How to Reduce Energy Usage in Commercial Buildings
November 5, 2021
Six Simple Ways to Make Your Commercial Building More Energy Efficient
Whether you’re the owner or manager of a commercial building, you may face daunting financial challenges. One of the best ways to minimize costs is to reduce energy consumption by making your building more energy-efficient.
According to Energy Star, commercial buildings account for nearly half of all energy consumption in the United States at the cost of more than $300 billion per year — more than any other sector of the economy. Out of all that energy, 30% or more is wasted through inefficiencies!
Read on for some simple ways to improve your building’s performance.
Stay cool (and warm, too).
Compromised insulation is a major culprit of energy leakage. Effective insulation prevents your heating and cooling systems from overworking. Here’s why you should ensure your commercial building is properly insulated:
- The appropriate wall insulation allows a building to replace the heat lost in the winter and the warmth gained in the summer by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat, helping maintain a comfortable indoor temperature for occupants
- Pipe insulation helps minimize heat gain and loss so you can reduce your water temperature settings, resulting in lower monthly energy bills
- Insulating outlets minimize drafts and reduces heat loss in winter, which helps keep energy costs in check.
Open the door to energy efficiency.
Aging doors, windows, and roofs often lack the energy-efficient technology of modern options. Here are some ways to upgrade and reduce energy loss:
- Change doors to steel or fiberglass models
- Replace windows with those that have increased insulation around the frame or treat your window glass with specialty coatings to filter infrared rays without blocking light
- Install a new roof with one that is designed to absorb less heat and reflect more sunlight
Bring energy savings to light.
Lighting accounts for a whopping 17% of all electricity consumed in U.S. commercial buildings, according to Energy Star.
Here are some of the benefits:
- LED light bulbs use roughly half the wattage of fluorescent lighting (about 6 watts of power versus 14 watts of power).
- LED lighting can last six times longer (upwards of 60,000 hours) than fluorescent bulbs (around 10,000 hours) before needing to be replaced, saving you money in operations and maintenance costs.
- Compared to fluorescent light bulbs, LEDs are cool to the touch, which means they use less energy.
Switching to sustainable energy sources, such as solar panels, wind, hydropower, or geothermal energy are great ways to reduce operating costs, save on energy bills, and reduce environmental impact. Other advantages to renewable energy sources include:
- Solar panels, wind, hydropower, and geothermal power are all clean sources of energy, so you are minimizing the effects on the environment. Solar panels also offer a great return investment.
- Hydroelectric power is flexible and able to provide essential backup during major electricity outages.
- Any renewable energy source demonstrates responsible corporate citizenship, which can attract more customers, investors, and other interested parties
Upgrading and retrofitting your HVAC system.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, HVAC systems account for 44% of energy usage in commercial buildings. When deciding whether to retrofit or replace, consider the cost of each option, the potential savings, and the possible disruption to operations. Here are some of the benefits of an HVAC retrofit or replacement:
- A new or retrofitted HVAC will perform more consistently, allowing better humidity and temperature control, which will increase employee or customer comfort
- Replacing your HVAC system with higher efficiency equipment can reduce energy usage by 50% for electric heating and cooling systems and 10% for gas furnace heating systems (https://rpsc.energy.gov/tech-solutions/hvac)
- Installing a new system can reduce high maintenance costs that result from using equipment pasts the suggested lifespan
An ounce of prevention…
The best way to ensure your HVAC system is energy efficient is to have it serviced regularly. Consider hiring a company that provides a preventative maintenance contract. Here’s how regular HVAC maintenance can benefit your business:
- It avoids costly repairs.
- It identifies faulty parts that can cause your system to work harder and consume more energy.
- Cleaning your coils and replacing the filter regularly ensures proper operation and airflow of your system, which reduces overall energy usage.
How can we help?
United Mechanical Services has decades of experience providing Oklahoma businesses with a full range of HVAC mechanical services including retrofitting, replacement, and maintenance. A properly functioning HVAC system is one of the single most important factors when it comes to ensuring efficient energy consumption by your building. We invite you to read more about our customized service programs. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!