Occupant Comfort Versus Energy Savings – Can You Have Both?

By taking a few steps now, you can keep your facility cool this summer – without sending your utility bill through the roof.

Summer and the accompanying scorching heat are just around the corner. If you live in the southern United States, exiting the office at the end of the day may already feel like entering a sauna. Even if your region still boasts a spring-like climate, there’s no doubt the summer heat will soon beat down on your facility.

Beat the heat, reduce your summer energy bill, and keep your occupants comfortable by preparing your facility now.

It’s time to increase your facility’s energy efficiency – today.

  1.         Note year over year data

Tracking your year over year energy data lets you know what to expect from the buildings in your facility. Energy data trends alert you to key problem areas – before your energy bill spikes.

Data provides insight for painless changes. By knowing how you’re using energy, you can ensure you’re not cooling unoccupied rooms or cross heating and cooling a space.

  1.         Check for energy hog buildings

After you’ve compiled your energy data, find the buildings that are the biggest consumers of energy. Determine how you can reduce the energy drain from these buildings.

While a major system or structure overhaul may be necessary, small changes like adding window coverings or caulking door frames make a huge difference in overall efficiency.

  1.         Tune up HVAC for efficient operation

Preventive maintenance on your HVAC system is critical for keeping occupants cool and costs low. The savings is twofold. Dealing with the issues before they are critical avoids pricey last minute repairs. (Nothing demands urgency like a building with no air conditioning on a 100 degree day.)

Regular maintenance has a dramatic effect on efficiency. A unit that’s 10% low on Freon results in a 20% increase in energy spend. Keep coils clean, filters replaced, and refrigerant full for major savings on even the hottest days.

Servicing your system for peak performance, prevents maintenance headaches and astronomical utility bills.

  1.         Send a customer survey

One of the best ways to determine the efficiency of your system is to contact your customers. If they’re uncomfortable – they will let you know. Send out a survey before the summer begins and pinpoint problem spots within your facility. (Just be sure to follow best practices for an effective survey). Simple fixes like adding window coverings will make buildings more comfortable for customers.

Customers are an invaluable source of ideas for increasing comfort. Some ideas may not fit within the budget, but cost effective ideas can spring from the survey as well.

  1.         Check conditions of doors/windows/seals

Areas of air penetration create a significant increase in utility bills.

Efficiency increases exponentially when buildings are properly sealed. Inspect buildings for drafts – and correct them before the summer heat leeches into your building.

(Check out this blog post for more details on finding drafts and weatherizing your facility.)

Are you ready to learn more about energy efficiency for your facility? Check out our Ebook “Energy Savings for Your Facility” and let the savings begin!

And of course, our Energy Management Solution can equip you with the tools you need to stay on track, as part of an IWMS and robust facility management software solution.