Energy Saving Tips for Office Buildings This Fall
When outdoor temperatures start to get cooler in the fall, you can expect that seasonal energy expenses are going to rise soon. The Energy Star program indicates that as much as 30 percent of the energy consumed, and paid for, in a commercial building is wasted. This means that even small areas of energy savings can have a significant effect on energy costs. The following energy-saving tips can help you trim your energy costs this fall and into the winter by taking some decisive steps to cut consumption and reduce waste.
- Have an energy audit performed: A good first step in reducing your energy usage is to understand where you are consuming, and wasting, most of the energy in your office building. A professional energy audit can pinpoint where energy loss and leaks are occurring, where you could increase insulation, and where your energy needs are being met without substantial waste. Energy auditors use sophisticated sensors and other devices to locate areas of energy loss. For example, thermographic imagery shows the precise location of heat loss. Surface thermometers can locate areas of walls that are hotter or colder than they should be for the season. Energy auditors can also help you better understand your energy bills and can perform an analysis of these bills to give you a good idea of your energy needs and usage patterns.
- Establish an energy use and savings plan: Create an energy use and savings plan to apply throughout your building. Make sure that the tenants in the building are aware of this plan and understand what they should do to help conserve energy and reduce waste. Work to get voluntary cooperation from your tenants rather than forcing them to comply; this will ensure better adherence to the plan.
- Make sure the building is sealed and insulated: Energy loss most often occurs in areas where the building is poorly sealed and gaps exist that can let heated and cooled air escape. These areas are frequently found around windows, doors, and openings in the building’s structure. Poorly insulated areas can also contribute to energy loss. Make sure there is adequate insulation in walls, ceilings, floors, and foundations. Seal gaps in the building’s structure, in and around doors and windows, and elsewhere, with material such as silicone caulking. The ductwork of the building’s HVAC system should also be checked to ensure all sections fit snugly together and that connections between sections are properly sealed with mastic or metal tape.
- Replace HVAC systems with high-efficiency models: One of the more effective energy saving tips is to replace your current heating and cooling systems with high-efficiency models. High-efficiency air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, and boilers operate at a much lower cost and can allow you to recover the cost of the equipment within a few years.
- Install timers: Install timers to shut off lights, computers, and other energy-consuming devices when they aren’t being used. Standby energy use by electronics can increase your energy bills noticeably, so consider hooking up multiple devices to a power strip that can be turned off to cut power to all of these devices at once. Install energy-saving lightbulbs, such as CFL bulbs, to further reduce energy use.
- Increase water conservation: Hot water is a significant expense in commercial and residential settings, so implementing water-conservation measures will help reduce the costs. You can also turn down the thermostat on the hot-water heater to 120 degrees unless your business operations call for hotter water. Water of that temperature is adequate for most plumbing and sanitation needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, fire protection, and alarm systems in mechanical, commercial, and residential settings. For more energy-saving tips for your office building, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!