‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ for Commercial Building Energy Savings

by | Feb 26, 2015

fruitThe Mechanical Contractors Association of Chicago (MCA) offers the following simple tips for reducing energy usage in commercial buildings, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Turn off office equipment at night. MCA says turning off one computer and monitor will save $60 annually. A study on virtual energy assessments conducted with nine Boston buildings found that plug loads represent a significant portion of energy use in commercial buildings and are an area ripe for energy savings.

Install vending machine misers. Cisco says vending machines are huge energy wasters as they’re typically powered on 24-7, but used infrequently.

Clear vents of furniture and other obstructions because blocked vents use 25 percent more energy to circulate air.

Move janitorial services to daytime hours. Daytime cleaning saves energy from lights and heat, which can be turned down during the night. One of the best things about day cleaning is that it doesn’t cost anything extra. It’s simply a matter of switching hours for cleaners.

Inspect the HVAC system regularly to replace dirty filters and fix dampers that don’t open and close properly, among other things. After cleaning the air conditioner coils at one of its campus buildings, Florida State University generated an additional 6.1 percent increase in air-flow, and the cooling coil showed a 10.5 percent increase in heat transfer.

Photo of picking fruit via Shutterstock.

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