In 2016, the Council of the District of Columbia amended the law requiring commercial Properties to keep their windows and doors closed when running the air conditioner.
ENFORCEMENT SUSPENDED DURING SUMMER 2020 DUE TO COVID-19
DOES THE LAW APPLY TO ME?
All commercial properties must keep their doors and windows closed when the air conditioning is running. Restaurants are excluded.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
HVAC systems work harder to achieve and maintain set temperatures when doors and windows are open. During high heat days this can cause high demands on the electrical grid which, when multiplied or concentrated, may lead to brownouts. A brownout causes a reduction in voltage, which can damage your appliances. Lights may go dim and electronic devices - especially computers - can be damaged.
HOW CAN I BE MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT?
The DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) can assist you in saving energy and money in your buildings. Through their custom rebate programs, free technical assistance, and training programs, DCSEU will work with you to design a customized strategy for maximum energy efficiency improvement. Contact DCSEU at 202-479-2222 or visit dcseu.com.
Additionally, U.S. EPA’s proven Guidelines for Energy Management offered by ENERGY STAR® can help you determine where to start. For small businesses you can visit energystar.gov under the Commercial Business section there is helpful information for Small Businesses and Tenants.
HOW CAN I BE SAFE DURING COVID-19 AND FOLLOW THE LAW?
Don’t run the HVAC system when your doors and windows are open.