Owning a commercial building means that it typically comes with more energy usage than a regular residential dwelling. This is expected, but if you are concerned about the carbon footprint or the bill (or both!) that more energy consumption brings, there are ways to combat the overall energy use. Over time, it is a good idea to replace aspects of the building that need replaced with energy-saving alternatives, like energy-saving windows or solar panels, or investing in a tin roof, which has a much longer life than asphalt shingles and is also recyclable. These are certainly great items to keep on your to-do list, but there are things that you can begin doing today to save energy in your commercial building.
5 Commercial Building Energy Savings Tips
- Control the lighting
- Replace the air filters regularly
- Check your motors
- Regulate the water temperature
- Regularly check all seals for door and window frames
Lighting is the major energy expenditure in a commercial building, and there’s no way around that, but there are ways to control it a bit. Using dimmers switches and LED lighting is a start, but the real savings can begin by using electronics to manage time schedules, occupancy sensing, and daytime light availability. Occupancy sensors sound expensive, but some studies show that each one saves about $170 per year in energy costs.
There’s a lot more air filters in a commercial building, and they get dirty much more quickly than in a home. Make sure they are replace regularly so your heating/cooling system isn’t working harder than it needs to be. Some filters are cleanable/reusable – it’s all about your time vs. money interests.
Most HVAC unit motors are only good for about 12-15 years, many less if they are in constant use, as in the case of a commercial building. It makes sense to replace these with a new unit that is efficient rather than an old one that struggles – and consumes a lot of energy – to keep up.
Regulating the water temperature is a good idea for many reasons, primarily for safety. People so get burned from faucet water when the water heaters are malfunctioning or set too high. The laws on this can actually vary by state, so it’s good to look yours up, but comfortable bathing should be no higher than 115 degrees. Almost every state sets a max of 120 degrees, so check it often.
In a commercial building, there’s a lot more windows and doors than in a home, and they are probably getting more use. The seals around the frames should be inspected monthly for intactness. It’s important to remember you don’t want a building to be air-tight, because that can bring about its own environment hazards, such as pollutant and carbon monoxide poisoning. Keeping that in mind, you shouldn’t be able to feel any type of cold draft coming from a closed window or door. Replacing these energy-drainers will pay for themselves in no time.
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