Even if you think you have a handle on your commercial building’s energy usage, chances are, there are ways you can improve the efficiency of your building even more. In fact, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average commercial building wastes 30 percent of its energy. Luckily, there are relatively easy steps you can take to save even more money on your heating and cooling costs.
1. Perform Energy Audits and Get Equipment Upgrades
In order to find out how to save money, you first need to know how much you’re actually spending. Collect your utility bill statements from the past year, and do a thorough read through of what is being spent. Next, inspect your plumbing, lighting and HVAC equipment in order to determine the condition of each. You’ll also want to collect any records of service, repairs and maintenance. If your equipment is outdated or breaking down, you may want to consider getting an Energy Star model that is more efficient.
2. Invest in Operational Timing and Program Controls
One of the easiest ways to save money and decrease your energy usage is to avoid relying on manual settings. If you or someone else has to remember to turn the thermostats down or off when the building isn’t in use, it’s very easy to forget and subsequently waste energy. Instead, it can be a good idea to get programmable thermostats, if your building houses a small operation, or facility management and building operational systems if your building is larger. These systems will automatically turn heat and cooling down or off at specific times and can also turn off lights when the building isn’t occupied.
3. Educate Your Users
A great way to reduce energy costs is to help your tenants or employees know how to decrease their energy usage. You can conduct a training session in order to inform them about the positive impact of turning off computers at the end of the night and doing what they can to alert management when something needs to be fixed. For example, leaky faucets and running toilets can decrease energy efficiency. You can also set up incentives for being proactive about energy consumption, which will help them feel like they’re involved in an important process.
4. Improve Your Insulation
Adding insulation around your HVAC ducting, electrical outlets and pipes can reduce how much air conditioning and heating you lose. This simple solution also doesn’t have any negative impact on the comfort level of the building. Insulation can easily get compromised when it hasn’t been cleaned and inspected in a long time. Holes and tears can form in the ductwork and cause the air conditioner to leak cool air, and can cause the furnace to leak warm air. These air leaks of course never make it to the occupied spaces in your building and result in wasted energy.
These simple practices can help you use the energy in your commercial building more efficiently.
Follow us for additional tips and information on heating, cooling and more.