Removing Non-Useful Energy Consumption
Optimization and Control of Specialized Equipment
Some areas represent special operating conditions. These areas may require specialized equipment and operating procedures:
- For businesses that have large server networks, it may be of benefit to have a dedicated AC unit for the server room. In some instances the server room is cooled by a HVAC unit. During the winter months, both the heating and cooling systems compete to condition this space. Cooling is required to help remove heat generated by the servers to ensure they do not overheat, while heating is required to keep occupants comfortable. Installing a dedicated air conditioner unit for this room will allow for reduced run times on both cooling and heating systems since they won’t be competing against with one another. Weather stripping along the door to this room may help reduce heat transfer from one area to the other.
- If you business does not have a dedicated room for your server be sure to locate your server away from competing heating/cooling appliances.
- If individual rooms are heated or cooled with packaged terminal air conditioner units, you may want to consider retrofitting these with thermostat controls that operate based on room occupancy. When the room is unoccupied, the control automatically sets back the temperature set point and shuts off the supply fan of the unit, resulting in a reduction of the overall electrical consumption.
Energy Efficiency Upgrades
Adequate insulation in a building can play an important role in reducing heating cost in the winter months as well as reducing cooling cost in the summer months.
A large portion of energy loss in your business can be attributed to poor insulation. You need insulation in your business to provide resistance to heat flow. The more heat flow resistance your insulation provides, the lower your heating and cooling costs. If you make the decision to upgrade your business with adequate insulation please keep the following in mind:
- Look for high R-Value (resistance to heat flow) insulation. The higher the R-Value, the greater the insulation effectiveness.
- Focus on the correct places to insulate (where is heat escaping)
- Air Ducts
- High Ceilings
- Exterior Walls
- Crawl Space
- Ensure correct insulation process
Building Envelope Improvements
Unwanted outdoor air that enters a facility can impact energy consumption as a result of heating, dehumidification and refrigeration equipment working harder to maintain desired settings. Some buildings may have building envelope improvements that would reduce unnecessary energy use:
- Air infiltration can be reduced by installing weather stripping on exterior doors.
- Bay doors are another common area that benefits from weather stripping, to reduce heating energy expenses. Insulation surrounding the bay door area may also help reduce heating costs during the winter months. Ensuring bay doors are closed whenever possible will also help you save energy. The addition of a man door in these areas may also produce energy savings, by reducing usage of the bay door.
- The construction of a windbreak or vestibule for high traffic exterior doors can serve as a barrier to help reduce the infiltration of cold air during winter months and warm air during the summer months.
- Boardrooms and conference/banquet areas may have a window wall that is covered with heavy curtains to keep direct sunlight from interfering with presentations and computer equipment. In these cases, an insulated wall may reduce heat loss. An insulated wall will increase the effective R-value (the measure of thermal resistance) of the building. The higher the R-value the less heat loss will occur.
- Ensure that you have proper weather stripping around windows in your business. This can account for a large percentage of heat loss.