Energy Saving Tips to Put to Use in Your Commercial Building
Studies have shown that most commercial facilities have the potential to immediately reduce operating costs by up to 20 percent simply by adopting a few energy saving techniques. While optimum energy efficiency is now “built in” to most new construction, existing facilities need not remain locked in the norms of a bygone era.
There’s a lot that can be done to update these buildings to reduce energy consumption, lower operating costs and diminish our environmental impact. Here are some energy-saving tips to prioritize the steps necessary to reach today’s goals:
- Conduct an energy audit to discover sources of energy use that shouldn’t be powered at night. These items include so called “vampire” consumers that continue to draw electricity even in standby or sleep mode.
- Encourage continuing maintenance and service of all power-consuming equipment to ensure that it’s operating according to manufacturer’s specs. Quantify the potential savings from proper maintenance and set goals for lowered costs.
- Schedule definite start-up and shut-down time for all equipment to avoid unnecessary usage.
- Where possible, schedule janitorial and building maintenance activities during hours that don’t require nighttime lighting.
- Create methods to track savings from increased efficiency. Spread the good news by rewarding individuals and departments that take creative measures to reduce consumption.
- Make all employees aware of energy saving tips, such as turning off unused lights and relying as much as possible on free natural light.
- Install occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lights in unused areas.
- Open blinds and curtains and utilize skylights.
- Where appropriate, install task lighting to illuminate individual workspaces. This is preferable to room lighting.
- Identify over-illuminated areas by measuring light levels and comparing them to recommendations by the Illuminating Engineering Society. In areas with a surplus of light, remove light fixtures to eliminate needless expense.
- Make sure all devices that incorporate a power management function are set to operate in the energy-saving mode.
- Completely power down devices like printers and copiers when they aren’t directly in use.
- Connect vending machines to power misers to cut yearly expenses by up to $300.
- Automate temperature changes with programmable thermostats to set back temperatures during hours when the building is seldom used. Program seasonal changes into the thermostats, as well. Check the calibration of thermostats regularly to verify accurate readings of room temperature.
- Have maintenance personnel replace or change all HVAC filters monthly during the height of both the cooling and heating seasons. Purchasing filters in bulk is inexpensive compared to how much energy is used by air conditioning equipment when filters are neglected.
- Utilize passive solar techniques, such as controlling direct sunlight through windows, to warm or cool a room. During summer, cut heat gain through windows with the use of shades, blinds or ideally, by installing solar window film.
- During the winter, keep south-facing windows unobstructed, so solar energy can infiltrate for the maximum amount of hours. At night, close blinds and drapes to reduce heat loss that re-radiates out of the building through glass windows.
- Maintenance should include regular cleaning of evaporator and condenser coils to ensure maximum heat transfer and energy efficiency.
- Maintain steam heating equipment by repairing leaks in steam traps and replacing malfunctioning traps.
- Regularly evaluate the condition and thickness of installed insulation to verify its integrity. You should also confirm that it complies with current climate zone standards set by the Department of Energy. Repair.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more energy saving tips and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website.