Checklist for Your Commercial Building’s Energy Evaluation
For commercial building owners, managers, and tenants, a thorough energy evaluation is the best way to identify how energy is being used and sometimes wasted throughout the structure. By conducting an energy evaluation of your building, you’ll be able to see where your major areas of energy use are and how you can take steps to reduce energy loss and boost efficiency. In the long run, an energy evaluation will save you money, improve the performance of your HVAC system, and make your building’s interior spaces more comfortable. Here is a brief checklist covering what you should do during an energy evaluation and what you can expect if you call in a professional energy auditor.
You can do several effective energy evaluation tasks yourself without the need for professional assistance. Be prepared, however, to call in your HVAC professional or other expert if needed during this phase.
- Find and seal air leaks — Loss of conditioned air is probably the greatest source of energy waste in a commercial building. It can be more pronounced if you have large warehouse or bay doors that are often open or if you have customers continually coming in and out. It’s not practical to expect the doors to stay closed, but you can find and seal air leaks that let warm air escape in the winter and cool air out in the summer. Look for leaks around door and window frames and casings and seal them with caulk. Put weather stripping around window and door frames to seal gaps that create drafts. Add rubber sweeps at the bottoms of doors to stop other drafts. Caulk or seal areas where pipes, conduits, or wires penetrate the walls of your building. Make sure all connections between ductwork sections are tight and are sealed with mastic or metal tape.
- Change HVAC air filters — Put new air filters in your HVAC system. This will not only improve airflow the system needs to function properly but will contribute to improved indoor air quality. With clean filters, your HVAC system will operate at its most efficient, reducing energy use and improving monthly savings.
- Check insulation — If you can reach the areas, check insulation in the walls, floors, ceilings, attic, and basement of your commercial building. Insulation is needed to stop the flow of heat–out in the winter, in during the summer. Increase the amount of insulation or add insulation where there is none. Blanket insulation is common between beams and joists, whereas foam or loose-fill insulation may be found in irregularly shaped or hard-to-reach areas.
- Replace lighting — Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent lights and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Consider using energy-saving LED lights in offices and other areas where it would be appropriate.
- Establish and follow an energy policy — Establish an energy policy for your building that would include guidance for tenants on areas such as energy conservation, reducing energy waste, and making the best use of the energy they consume.
The most comprehensive energy evaluations should be conducted by a professional who will perform tasks such as:
- Energy bill analysis — Your professional will be able to assess your energy bills to help you identify areas of highest energy use and where efficiency measures can be implemented.
- Thermographic scans — Thermographic scans use heat-sensing cameras and devices to locate areas of heat and energy loss in your building’s frame. They can indicate where insulation should be increased or air sealing should be done.
- Blower door test — Blower door, or infiltrometer, tests can find the smallest and best- hidden air leaks in your building, improving the thoroughness of your air-sealing efforts.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on the benefits of a commercial energy evaluation for your building, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!