Winter has arrived and now it’s an on-going challenge for businesses to keep their buildings at a comfortable temperature for employees. HVAC is the most common method for heating large spaces during winter, but it comes with a cost of higher electricity bills. Even though energy efficiency can seem allusive during the winter months, don’t worry; I have 4 tips on innovative technologies that create ways to conserve energy at work.
1. Really Big Ceiling Fans
One simple yet effective solution for lowering energy costs in workspaces during winter is using a big ceiling fan, which uses less energy to heat (reducing heating costs by 30%) workspaces. Other benefits of the big ceiling fan include large amounts of air movement that can reach all employees – not just those working in specific spaces, increased comfort at work and overall better indoor air quality by aiding ventilation designs and strategies.
A great benefit of this strategy is that big ceiling fans can be installed in most workspaces without major restructuring and can even make an HVAC system work more efficiently. An HVAC system that is running more efficiently means that it’s using less energy, which means lower utility bills. That’s a big win. If you have a very large workspace, something to consider would be combining big ceiling fans with a Building Management System. This allows facility managers to have much greater control over the way big ceiling fans and HVAC systems work together, which can provide a tremendous reduction in the amount of energy used to heat a workspace – check out the next point!
2. Have a Computer Do It: Building Management Systems
A building management system (BMS), is a computer-based system designed to monitor and control building mechanical and electrical equipment and network them into a system. The biggest benefit of the BMS for a workspace is that it optimizes equipment performance to minimize energy consumption. It also provides facility managers with a picture of sometimes large and complex networks of building technology and data for more strategic decision-making.
Building management systems can be accessed remotely or locally. A BMS can manage facility equipment such as lighting, security, power, HVAC and big ceiling fans based on customized user input. A BMS can even help capture and analyze real-time equipment data, which helps facility managers develop strategies that drive energy costs down.
3. Get an Advanced Thermostat
AirEffect is an optional control system for MacroAir big ceiling fans that senses and automatically maintains the desired room temperature. The benefit of AirEffect is that it measures the temperature and humidity levels at the ceiling and on the floor. To achieve the desired temperature, AirEffect takes the existing temperature and humidity information in the space and calculates each fan’s ideal operating speed and direction to run the fans and get the space to the desired temperature
In a recent forecast, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects households whose primary space heating fuel is heating oil to spend an average of $69 (20%) more this winter than last winter. Additionally, the EIA forecasts retail heating oil prices to be 50 cents per gallon (18%) higher than last winter and consumption to be 1% higher than last winter.
4. The Doorway to a Warmer Workspace
Workspace doors and windows are a major source of heat loss and, in some workspaces, it’s impossible to keep those doors closed or sealed. Heat loss and poor insulation can create:
- Damaged inventory from extreme cold
- Inability to retain employees because of cold stress and an uncomfortable environment
- Higher energy consumption, which means higher energy bills
Investing in how your doors retain heat is an easy and cost-effective solution that can prevent heat loss when cold weather affects your workspace. Helpful solutions include:
- Installing insulated dock panel doors
- Insulation kits provide great value and are easy to install
- Adding weather strips or seals to the gaps at the tops, bottoms, and sides of all doors
- Using high-speed doors
I am positive that these tips will help you keep your workspace warm and help you conserve energy during the winter.
What other energy efficient methods have you seen or used that heat and conserve energy in workspaces? Leave your comment below!
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