Start up and save – whether you’re restarting your store, restaurant or office building, you shouldn’t have to worry about energy performance and utility costs. Consider these tips to keep everything running smoothly, keep your energy use low and welcome customers back to a comfortable environment.
Take a look: If you haven’t been in the building for a while and equipment has been shut down, take a look at mechanical equipment like fans, pumps and motors to make sure there are no surprises. Bird nests, bee hives and raccoon treasures have all been found in idle equipment, and can imped their operation and airflow.
Check heating and cooling settings: The temperature is likely different than when you last were in the building, so check thermostat and control schedules to reflect current cooling and heating needs. If fewer staff are in the building, and operating hours have changed, make sure your temperature settings match.
Perform regular maintenance: Check dampers and valve lineups for proper operating conditions, replace air filters and ensure equipment is in good condition. A stuck damper or faulty valve lineup can cause your heating and cooling system to perform poorly and use extra energy. Issues such as rust, debris and equipment failure can affect your building’s performance, your customers’ comfort and raise your energy costs.
Consider your layout: If you’re not returning to full staffing yet, consider whether you can limit operation of heating and cooling systems or consolidate working spaces (while abiding by physical distancing requirements). There’s no need to heat or cool an unused section of your business, or pay to operate equipment that won’t be in use quite yet.
Stagger startup times of your equipment: Rather than starting every piece of equipment at once, stagger the startup of your major equipment – one piece per 30 minutes is a good rule of thumb. Sequencing equipment can reduce demand charges (where applicable).
For more resources, visit www.energytrust.org/commercial/bonuses