With the coming of January, the intense cold of winter is upon us, causing skyrocketing heating costs to businesses everywhere. In the interest of communicating energy saving solutions for winter, we’d like to offer some solutions that keep a balance between optimal energy efficiency and the toll on human beings from setting the temperature too low. In a previous blog post, we looked at some of the effects of cold office temperatures on morale, productivity, and health. However, this doesn’t have to be an either-or battle, where you have to completely surrender your facility’s energy efficiency to keeping people warm. So how do you keep a good balance between optimal energy efficiency and human comfort? In this blog series, we’d like to explore some of the ways that your building control systems can help you to optimize your energy costs.

winterefficiency1-bHow Old Is Your Facility?

First of all, it’s important to analyze the age of your building and evaluate the equipment you currently have in place for managing your heating, electricity, gas consumption, and other energy-consuming factors. If your facility was built within the last few years, then you probably have equipment that is up-to-date enough to take advantage of the best that modern technology has to offer in terms of monitoring and controlling your energy consumption. On the other hand, if you have an older plant or office building that has not been updated, you may be working with outdated pneumatic equipment that is expensive to maintain and gives you fewer automatic controls. In this post, we’ll take a look at what you can do with a newer facility, and in the next blog, we will consider the options for when you have older systems in place.

New Building With Modern Building Control Systems

If your building controls are new, congratulations! You have the best options at your disposal to keep your energy costs at a minimum. The more you have to work with, the more you can customize your options for optimum results. Here are just of a few of our ideas for improving your site’s winter performance, ranging from simple to complex.

  1. Monitor your building controls to ensure that you don’t lose savings by people adjusting them over time.
  2. Make sure that your building’s energy efficiency plan starts with your performance objectives. Determine what you want your thermal comfort conditions, indoor air quality, lighting levels, and other variables to be. Only then will you be able to accurately assess what path you need to take in order to get there.
  3. Base your building control settings on more granular data. Rather than just having an energy optimization plan for “winter,” try implementing three separate stages based on the average monthly temperatures for December, January, and February.
  4. If you have a Direct Digital Control (DDC) system, it uses algorithms that can be re-programmed relatively quickly and easily. As technology is constantly changing and new innovations are coming out all the time, there may be new ways to automate your building’s controls that a programmer can deliver to you.

Here at Energy Network, we are determined to make a difference for our clients and for the planet in the way that we responsibly and efficiently run our facilities. Contact us today for access to our top-quality coaches who will be able to uncover all the ways you can save energy.