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Summer's hidden facility costs

You've had the air conditioning system cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional. You're ready for summer, right? Well, maybe not. There may still be undetected issues in your facility that can put the heat on your energy bills.

Out-of-tune building controls

Thermostats, sensors and other building controls are designed to save energy and maintain a comfortable, productive indoor environment. Without seasonal adjustments, however, neglected controls can waste energy. Align indoor and outdoor building sensors. Calibrate room and duct thermostats and humidistats, as well as pressure and temperature sensors in accordance with design specifications. Inspect damper and valve controls to ensure they function properly.

Kitchen ventilation

Facilities with kitchen operations often leave hood ventilation units running at full speed, even during idle times. Not only does this waste energy, but it sucks air out of the building. That makes the HVAC system work harder to make up the cool air. Demand-control hood ventilation adjusts ventilation fan speed according to need to save energy.

Server room heat

Server rooms always require cooling, but summer temperatures really increase the load. In addition, overheated servers may shut down, leading to costly downtime or repairs. There are actions you can take to save energy and money:

  • Retire idle equipment. Eliminate or consolidate unnecessary devices to reduce excess heat.
  • Manage airflow. Position servers in rows facing each other in a hot aisle/cold aisle arrangement. This improves airflow and cuts down on the need for cooling.
  • Distribute servers. If you have extra room, distribute servers evenly throughout the space. This will reduce the potential for overheating.

Leaky ducts

Ductwork typically remains hidden behind walls and ceilings, but leaky ducts can show up on your summer energy bills through higher cooling costs. Inspect accessible ductwork for leaks and seal with mastic tape to prevent conditioned air from escaping. Use aerosol-based technology to seal your entire duct system from the inside and avoid time-consuming manual sealing.

Failed steam traps

Failed steam traps and system leaks get more attention during winter, but for facilities that use steam for laundry, processing and other applications, a leaky system may cost you all summer long. Establish a program to regularly inspect, test and repair steam traps, pipes and other system components.

Would you like to find more ways to cut your energy costs this summer and all year long?

Consider an energy audit. A qualified professional will examine your facility and recommend targeted energy-saving opportunities.

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