Energy Tips and Tools
Most facility managers know a variety of ways to improve their buildings' energy efficiency. We all know about upgrading lighting systems and checking doors and windows for drafts. Here are some other ideas worth considering:
- Solar Heat Gain Reduction: Reflective solar film, shades, or awnings on south- and west-facing windows lowers cooling costs and reduces ultraviolet radiation.
- Variable Frequency Drives (VFD): If your facility's empty on nights and weekends, installing VFD will reduce airflow - and the power needed to drive the air - by up to 80%.
- Skylights: Replace artificial light with free daylight. Equip skylights with photo sensors and lighting costs to cut energy costs.
- Landscaping: The EPA says that well-designed landscapes can reduce cooling costs up to 50% and heating bills up to 40%.
- Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV): ERV systems can capture and transfer up to 80% of exhaust heat to the incoming fresh air supply.
- Air Curtains: These curtains keep outside temperatures where they belong - outside. They're popular for use in warehouses, walk-in coolers, and delivery doors.
- LED Exit Signs: While LED bulbs have a higher initial cost, they last much longer and cost less to use and maintain.
- Computer Peripherals: The Department of Energy says that the average printer costs about $40 annually to operate. Sharing printers saves energy, reduces equipment costs, and shrinks paper use.
- Laundry Equipment Controls: If your facility includes laundry operations, installing electrically-actuated steam valves and mechanical timers on steam tables reduces energy use and AC load.