The bottom line of running a successful business is to make every dollar count. Cutting back on unnecessary energy use helps to keep costs down. There are several ways for office buildings to reduce their energy consumption which can help facility and property managers find creative ways to save money.
Improve the Efficiency of Cooling and Ventilation Systems
Setting the thermostat to 78˚F during working hours and raising the setting to 85˚F when the space is unoccupied can save a significant amount of money. Each degree the thermostat the raised can save as much as 2% of an organization’s air conditioning costs. Using a programmable thermostat enables easy adjustment of settings and temperature regulation. Consider a locking the cover of thermostat to avoid employees changing the temperature settings.
Keep cooling and ventilation systems tuned and running efficiently with regular filter replacements and cleanings. Be sure to also check ducts and pipe insulation. The installation of ceiling fans can make areas feel at least 4˚F cooler during the summer.
When it is time to replace the HVAC system, choose ENERGY STAR. They are 20% to 30% more efficient than older models. Installing an air conditioning economizer to bring in outside air when it’s cool will also help to save energy.
Lighting – The Right Light for the Right Task
Many offices facilities can easily reduce lighting without affecting productivity. Use task lighting instead of overhead lighting can provide a significant savings on lighting bills. Make sure that equipment and lights are turned off after hours.
Replace old fluorescent lights with newer, more efficient models with electronic ballasts (such as retrofit T12 lights with magnetic ballasts to T8 lights and electronic ballasts). Replace high use incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights which use 75% less electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb. Compact fluorescent lights last about 10,000 hours as opposed to the 600 to 1,000-hour average life of an incandescent bulb. Replacing a 100-watt incandescent with an equivalent 25-watt compact fluorescent can save more than $90 per bulb in electricity costs.
Computers and Other Office Equipment
Turn off computers and any other office equipment when not in use, especially overnight and weekends. This practice costs nothing and can potentially save as much as $44 per year, per computer, depending on what kilowatt-hour cost is. “Smart” power strips are being marketed that sense the presence or absence of office workers and turn the attached equipment on and off accordingly.
For computer protection during a power curtailment, a company might invest in Uninterruptible Power Supplies (also known as UPS systems) which combine surge protectors and battery packs. These will run a computer for a short time to allow a worker to save files and prevent the loss of information when the power goes out.
For additional energy saving tips, contact MAC today. MAC is a contractor Kansas City property and facility managers have trusted for more than 25 years. MAC can help you with any facility repairs, remodeling, custom cabinetry, construction and many other projects.