This is the second half of our two-part article on workplace energy efficiency. Last time, we discussed how external factors can influence the resource consumption and energy or maintenance expenditures your building may need. Yet, most of the direct ways to alter your power usage happens indoors from internal operations. Consider adding and practicing these energy-efficient building adjustments to reduce operation energy bills.
Insulation is one of the most important aspects of a building's energy efficiency. It keeps the cold from escaping in the summer and the heat from escaping in the winter. It also serves to dampen sound between rooms to reduce echoes and unintentional sound carryover.
However, if you don't have the capabilities to open your walls to add and change internal insulation, pieces of wall decor can be an alternative solution. Hanging heavy, decorative rugs or blankets can serve a triple purpose in the workplace. First, it can be nice wall art, which serves to break up long stretches of blank business wall. Second, all that fabric prevents drafts and helps to keep the cold from transferring between the outside wall to the inside rooms. Finally, the fibers of the fabric itself catch and disperse sound reducing both echoes inside rooms and transference of sound between rooms.
Light is by far one of the costliest energy resources that we require to run a modern business. While LED bulbs and smart home/building automations save energy for the building environment, also consider your technology tools, like the power it takes to light up a monitor. Unless you're in a sun-drenched or very brightly lit room, full monitor brightness is almost never necessary, and many people may prefer to work with dimmer monitors. Dimming all the monitors in the company even by 20% can make a noticeable difference in your power bill. Encourage employees to dim monitors as much as reasonably workable.
If your company runs a little non-traditionally, consider practicing “lights out” hours. Turn off most lights, and dim monitors. This can be a fun, interesting way to save money on a regular basis. Even if it only minimally affects your monthly energy bills, it can add up greatly over time.
Depending on the size of your business, you could be wasting energy broadcasting too large and too long of a Wi-Fi signal to cover your entire building at all times. Unless you have a night shift, you may not need wireless networking overnight after everyone has gone home. Consider setting your Wi-Fi broadcast to turn itself off at the end of the day and back on before the first shift starts. This can save a little money every night.
If your building has a night-time down cycle, the Wi-Fi router isn't the only appliance or function you don't need at night. Coffee pots, printers, and fans can all be switched off for nights and weekends with minimal to negligible impact on daily business life. You might even consider unplugging them to kill phantom power problems, as appliances continue to sip on tiny amounts of energy even when not in active use.
Your HVAC system works with the thermostat to maintain indoor environments to match temperature settings, running either the air conditioning or the heater. The thermostat is an incredibly useful device, allowing us to judge the temperature of an entire room by taking measurements at a single point. Therefore, the location of your thermostat matters greatly. To get most accurate, comfortable, and efficient results from your thermostat, keep other appliances away from it to avoid poor temperature readings. When appliances run electricity, they generate heat, which can change the temperature locally. One or two large appliances near your thermostat can affect accurate readings, and affect HVAC systems to trigger (or not trigger) unexpectedly.
Every business strives to lower its overhead by improving energy efficiency. Simple practices of various techniques can lower your monthly and annual power costs. Your building also becomes more sustainable in your business practices. For more information on energy efficiency solutions for your commercial facilities, contact us today!