Facility Dude

2 common energy-sucking pitfalls this summer

By FacilityDude
Jun 06, 2014

Energy, Energy Management

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Look out for these common energy-sucking pitfalls Effective energy efficiency management is one of the most important considerations for a facility manager. With summer fast approaching, it will be more important than ever to keep an eye on your building's energy output in an attempt to keep costs down as much as possible. As you assess your facility's current energy usage needs, there are a couple areas that deserve your special attention. Both your building's windows and its fan system can become serious energy drains if left unchecked, so you should familiarize yourself with the energy-sucking risks each poses, as well as how to maximize their efficiency.

Your windows

Even though they don't generate or use any power themselves, your building's windows can have a huge impact on your facility's overall energy efficiency. FacilitiesNet reported on a study from the Department of Energy revealing that windows can account for up to 5 percent of a building's energy use. And it goes without saying that the larger the window, the more of an energy issue it can be. The National Fenestration Rating Council has created three categories when measuring a window's energy efficiency: glazer, spacer and frame. The window's overall efficiency rating is a function of these three categories, and each can have varied and substantial effects on energy consumption.

Understanding how energy efficiency ratings for windows are used may be complicated, but it's a worthwhile endeavor. Not only will you save money throughout the year on your energy bills, but installing more energy efficient portals may even net you a federal tax credit. According to Energy Star, by installing approved energy efficient doors and windows, you may be eligible for a refund of up to 10 percent of the installation cost.

Your fan

As the weather warms up for summer, your HVAC system will be seeing more action as you work to keep your building cool. This is a huge opportunity to make sure you're maximizing these systems' efficiency - according to FacilitiesNet, HVAC can account for 50 percent of your energy usage, so reducing strain wherever possible is a must.

In an effort to help streamline the energy efficiency management process for HVAC, the Air Movement Control Association implemented a fan efficiency grade - a metric that looks at a fan's motor and drive to determine how efficiently  it's running. While still a fairly new initiative, this measure will be helpful moving forward when it comes time to repair, replace or install new fan systems, and may even impact how they're designed in the future.

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