If you’re looking for ways to cut costs, it’s a good idea to spend some time investigating the energy consumption in your building. According US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average building wastes about 30 percent of the energy it uses. With such a high figure, it’s wise to take simple steps to decrease the energy usage in your commercial building.
1. Audit Energy Usage and Invest in Upgrades
In order to reduce your energy usage, it’s important to get a complete measurement of how much energy is being used and why. Audit your utility bills for the past year to see what you’re spending, and check the condition of all HVAC, plumbing and lighting equipment. Collect any paperwork detailing service, maintenance and repairs. If you have equipment that is in poor condition, consider getting a newer model, which will help cut down on energy costs.
2. Invest in Program Controls and Operational Timing
If you manually shut off your heating and cooling each night, there’s a good chance that you’re forgetting at least some of the time. In order to avoid the hassle of shutting off your equipment and the possibility of leaving it running all night, purchase programmable thermostats or automation systems. These systems can automatically turn down heat and air conditioning at specific times, as well as shut off lights.
Educate your employees and tenants about ways they can reduce energy inside the building. Conduct training sessions and provide handouts with tips and strategies, such as reporting leaks and shutting off computers at the end of the day. You can also provide incentives that will reward those who implement energy saving measures.
4. Improve Your Insulation
Add insulation around your pipes, electrical outlets and HVAC ducting. This insulation will reduce how much air conditioning and heating your building loses in a way that doesn’t negatively impact your building’s comfort level. Ductwork that hasn’t been recently cleaned or inspected can compromise the insulation. This creates holes and tears where cold and warm air can escape from the air conditioner and furnace, resulting in wasted energy.
5. Maintain Your Equipment
Your cooling equipment, chillers and boilers should all be consistently maintained in order to work efficiently. When this equipment isn’t properly maintained, the following issues can occur:
Dust and debris can build up on the air conditioner’s coils, which compromises the heat transfer and causes the unit to cool the air less effectively.
Steam boilers can have malfunctioning steam traps that are constantly releasing steam. This causes your boiler to work overtime and will increase your utility bills.
If your air filters aren’t changed regularly, dust and contaminants can settle in the system, which decreases airflow. The system then has to work harder and run for a longer period of time.
By following these simple steps, you can reduce the energy bill for your commercial building.
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