Energy Saving Solutions

ENERGY SAVING SOLUTIONS

AAA Energy Saving Solutions

Nearly half of the energy used by office buildings goes toward cooling costs. There are many ways to provide top-quality service to tenants while being energy efficient. Here are some easy steps to reduce energy usage, conserve natural resources and improve your bottom line.

NO-COST ENERGY-SAVING MEASURES

Lighting

Energy efficient lighting starts with efficient lighting design. Often people work in older spaces that were designed for different tasks or a different layout. Evaluate the design of the general and task lighting for the work being done in the area.

  • Reduce lighting where possible. Turn off lights in unoccupied areas, remove excess lighting, and turn off signage and other lights that are not necessary for security or safety
  • Turn off lights in areas where daylight is sufficient. Keep lighting fixtures and lamps clean. Remove lamps wherever possible
  • Make sure time clock and photocell lighting controllers are working properly and set correctly. Exterior lighting should be off during the daytime hours

HVAC

  • Make sure the air-conditioning economizers are working properly and set to maximize the benefits of “free cooling.” Pay attention to your thermostat settings. Set air-conditioning thermostats to 78°F or higher. When heating, 68°F is the recommended temperature. Turn off HVAC equipment when the building is unoccupied
  • Follow a routine maintenance schedule. Regularly clean and vacuum easily accessible components, clean or replace air filters, check fan belts, lubricate motors, pumps and fans, and inspect for refrigerant leaks
  • Turn off exhaust fans in unoccupied areas
  • Seal off unused areas and reduce or eliminate heating or cooling in these spaces. Storage rooms, warehouses and other unoccupied areas are good places to start
  • Keep exterior doors closed as much as possible so that you’re not paying to heat or cool the outdoors

Water Heating

Hot water, depending on the business, may or may not be a large percentage of facility energy use. It may be significant for facilities providing food services or requiring operating personnel to shower on-site.

  • Do not leave the water running when not needed, especially hot water
  • Do not overheat hot water beyond your needs or local codes
  • To keep sediment from building on heat transfer surfaces, drain and flush the tank every 6 months

Office Equipment

Another important category of use is often referred to as “plug loads” or equipment such as computers, printers, desk lamps, portable fans, etc. that can plug into outlets and can be turned on and off at the user’s discretion.

  • Reduce the hours your equipment is left running unnecessarily. Personal computers, monitors, printers, copiers and scanners should be turned off at night and over the weekend when not in use
  • Make sure your computers are using their power management capabilities. A screen saver does not save energy, but an enabled ENERGY STAR ® Labeled monitor will conserve energy by going blank after a preset period of inactivity
  • Educate employees on energy conservation and seek their ideas and actions in conservation goals
  • Utilize automatic features of computers and networks for sleep modes and power down modes
  • Make use of clock controls to de-activate copiers, and other equipment overnight and on weekends
  • Use equipment that is energy efficient and offers energy saving features (e.g., Energy Star®)
  • Monitor use of personal plug loads (e.g., heaters, refrigerators, coffee makers, etc.)

Low-COST ENERGY-SAVING MEASURES

Lighting

  • Have fixtures and lamps cleaned annually or as necessary to maintain light output
  • Upgrade lighting efficiency with retrofit kits or total replacement
  • Consider controls to turn off lights near outside walls that get natural day lighting
  • Use energy efficient lighting design and equipment for outside (e.g. high pressure sodium with timers adjusted for season)
  • Disconnect ballasts from delamped fixtures
  • Use electronic, not magnetic ballasts
  • Install occupancy sensors to turn off lights automatically when not needed in storage areas, conference rooms, restrooms and unoccupied areas
  • Install timers, time clocks or photocells to ensure that interior and exterior lights are turned off at the appropriate times
  • Purchase ENERGY STAR qualified replacement lamps
  • Replace or retrofit the incandescent lights in exit signs with light-emitting diode (LED) lamps

HVAC

  • Install programmable thermostats
  • Perform preventive maintenance on rooftop equipment
  • Replace HVAC filters at least once every three months
  • Insulate rooftop refrigerant lines
  • Clean condenser coils and shade coils from the sun if possible
  • Invest in energy-efficient equipment. When upgrading or adding new equipment, look for the ENERGY STAR label, which indicates the equipment meets federal standards for energy efficiency
  • Seal leaks and increase insulation, at least up to recommended R-values
  • Supply air for the compressors and boilers should be from the outside, not indoor air
  • Add economizers to the A/C system (a useful technique except on hot, humid days)
  • Identify and correct unwanted drafts and unwanted air movement from one area to another
  • Use ceiling fans where appropriate
  • Adjacent rooms that are maintained at different temperatures should be separated by doors or flexible transparent barriers
  • Heating and cooling ducts should be insulated
  • Use automatic controls such as programmable thermostats, time clocks, bypass timers, weather sensors, and activity sensors, where appropriate
  • Areas of building prone to solar heat gain should be shaded in summer and exposed in winter
  • Thermostats should be set cooler in winter and warmer in summer

Water Heating

  • Install water flow restrictors and aerators, especially in sink faucets. In addition to saving on water-heating costs, these measures can save by reducing water usage
  • nsulate tanks and pipes. This simple measure will reduce standby heat loss
  • Insulate hot water lines, especially those nearest the tank
  • Install low flow sprayers at point-of-use
  • If using an electric water heater, consider using natural gas instead

Office Equipment

  • Choose ENERGY STAR qualified products when upgrading or adding new equipment. These products meet federal standards for energy efficiency, and are often available at the same cost as less efficient models. And since most ENERGY STAR qualified equipment powers down during periods of inactivity, it produces less heat, which can help you save on air-conditioning costs

INVESTMENTS IN ENERGY SAVINGS

Lighting

  • Replace existing T-12 fluorescent lamps and magnetic ballasts with T-8 or T-5 lamps with electronic ballasts
  • Install electronic dimmable ballasts and day lighting controls to dim the lights when sufficient daylight is available
  • Replace incandescent or mercury vapor parking lot lights with metal halide or high-pressure sodium vapor (HPSV) lighting
  • Replace or retrofit channel sign lighting with LED products
  • Retrofit incandescent or mercury vapor parking lot lights with more energy efficient lighting such as high-pressure sodium vapor (HPSV) lighting
  • Replace mercury vapor lamps with super T8 or high output T-5 fluorescents, or other more efficient lighting
  • Incandescent lamps can often be replaced with compact fluorescent lamps that can significantly reduce lighting costs and last up to 10 times longer

HVAC

  • When replacing HVAC units, install high-efficiency equipment
  • Install adjustable-speed drives on HVAC fan motors
  • Install an energy management system (EMS) to control HVAC fans and other equipment
  • Install low-emissivity windows to reduce heat transfer through the windows. Building systems
  • Invest in energy-efficient equipment. When upgrading or adding new equipment, look for the ENERGY STAR label, which indicates the equipment meets federal standards for energy efficiency
  • Waste heat from compressors can frequently be captured for space heating or other uses

Water Heating

  • Install heat recovery systems where practical
  • Consider using a solar heater for the bulk of your hot water requirements

Call AAA Energy Service to discuss how we can help!
   “Building Efficiency … it’s what we do”