Energy upgrades are the number one way for commercial buildings save energy and improve their bottom line. Inefficient buildings can raise overhead costs and reduce profit margins. There’s no need for a commercial building to accumulate high-energy costs when there are many affordable solutions. Here are five suggestions you can follow to improve your energy efficiency.
Retro-commissioning is a procedure done to provide an understanding of how close the building comes to operating as it was intended to. This is a great first step because this process identifies improper equipment performance, and what equipment needs to be replaced.
The smallest adjustment will make a huge difference.
This evaluation of the entire building also allows you to target opportunities for saving energy and money. A study from the Energy Systems Laboratory at Texas A&M University said that retro-commissioning is one of the most cost-effective ways to identify and improve energy use within a building.
The next step is to upgrade lighting. Lighting is a major component of energy costs, and it contributes to up to 30% of commercial buildings’ energy consumption.
Another benefit of upgrading your current lighting equipment is that new energy efficient LED lighting emits less heat than either incandescent or CLF bulbs. This will lower air conditioning costs.
Reduce supplemental loads
Supplemental load sources are secondary contributors to energy consumption in a building. This includes people, computers, lights, printers, and the building itself. These energy loads can have negative impacts on the heating and cooling systems in a building. This heat can really add up in a smaller space like retail or office spaces.
After analyzing their interactions with HVAC systems (Heating, Venting and Cooling), you can find proper solutions to upgrade equipment and cut costs. Electric powered equipment affects electric loads, and indirectly affects cooling loads.
Simply turn off equipment when not in use.
There are many opportunities to reduce electric loads, which will in turn reduce cooling loads. One of the simplest ways to reduce supplemental loads is to simply turn off equipment when not in use.
Air distribution systems
Air distribution systems bring conditioned air to people in the building. There have been great technological improvements over the last couple decades that have made these systems more efficient, benefiting temperature-sensitive warehouses.
The biggest savings in air distribution systems is in building fans. Fans that move conditioned air through buildings accounts for 7% of the total energy consumed by some commercial buildings. Make sure that you have the right sized fan for the capacity of your air distribution system.
Heating and cooling
Heating and cooling accounts for up to 25% of a buildings energy consumption. There are a few strategies to bring this number down and increase efficiency. Cooling systems usually have higher space-conditioning capacities than heating systems, which provides for more opportunities on savings with cooling systems.