‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ for Commercial Building Energy Savings

February 26, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

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.

2 comments on “‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ for Commercial Building Energy Savings

  1. Expecting commercial buildings to switch to daytime janitorial (i.e. cleaning) is unrealistic if not just plain silly. The whole idea of cleaning office buildings that make it so that the cleaning personnel won’t interfere with people who are trying to do their jobs, something that would happen if you had daytime janitorial hours.

  2. We use daytime cleaning in our office, and generally I just walk away from my desk when they come by to vacuum and take the trash and wipe down the desktops. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes normally, and if I am on a call they just skip my area until the next week. It is pretty clean anyway.

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