Here are 10 ways you can reduce your energy usage and costs without sacrificing comfort or building functionality.
The tips are among the free tools and case studies available on the Johnson Controls Inc. microsite www.MakeYourBuildingsWork.com.
The site launched earlier this summer as part of the company's campaign to emphasize practical solutions for owners, managers and building operators to improve the energy efficiency and performance of their facilities.
Here are the tips to reduce energy consumption and costs in buildings.
1. Assess how your building consumes and wastes energy. Conduct regular energy audits to determine what condition your equipment is in and how it is performing. These audits will show where and how energy is being wasted and prioritize energy improvement measures.
2. Use more energy efficient equipment. Install new energy efficient equipment and replace or eliminate outdated, inefficient equipment. Look for Energy Star labels for equipment and appliances.
3. Match HVAC and lighting output to occupancy. Install programmable building controls that enable systems to provide light, heat and cooling to building spaces only when they are occupied.
4. Maintain equipment for maximum efficiency. Make sure that your equipment is properly serviced and maintained so that it runs as efficiently as possible. Increase operating efficiency of chillers, boilers and packaged cooling equipment through proactive service and maintenance.
5. Maximize lighting efficiency. Upgrade lighting to high efficiency bulbs and fixtures. Energy efficient lighting uses less energy and generates less heat, reducing your costs and easing the strain on your HVAC systems.
6. Measure water usage and waste. Conduct water audit in your facilities, campus, or geography to determine where water is being used and wasted. Reduce water consumption by installing low-flow equipment and fixing leaks.
7. Schedule cleaning during regular work hours. Experiment with different "day cleaning" schedules. Arrange cleaning schedules to overlap with work hours instead of having cleaning done after hours and keeping the lights, heating and air conditioning on at night. That will reduce energy consumption.
8. Insulate thoroughly. Insulate exterior walls, outlets, pipes, radiators, etc to reduce heat and cooling loss.
9. Meet LEED standards. Build, renovate, and operate your facilities according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. That will benefit your bottom line by lowering operating costs and increasing asset value. It will benefit the environment by conserving energy and water, reducing waste sent to landfills, creating healthier, safer occupant environments, and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
10. Make building occupants more informed. Educate and engage building occupants to promote energy conservation and reward wise energy decisions and behaviors.
Image of National Geographic Society Headquarters, the subject of an energy efficiency case study, courtesy of Johnson Controls.