Office Energy Savings Tips

When looking at the standard monthly costs of many businesses, three of the areas that has a great portion of those cost are lighting, office machines and the heating and cooling (HVAC) system.

Lighting:
Reduce lighting.
There are a couple of ways to do this, one of the best is to take advantage of natural daylight. Turning lights off or dimming them during the day allows for lower energy costs. It can also make for a more comfortable environment. If you need more light use task lights to light the area where you are working.

Use timers and sensors.
The installation of occupancy sensors, timers, or photocells will ensure that interior and exterior lights are turned off at the appropriate time. These inexpensive devices can reduce lighting costs by up to 40 percent by turning off lights in unoccupied areas. In closets and restroom install motion sensors or timers so that the lights are off when no one is using the room. These can also be used in seldom used work areas such as copier rooms.

However, be aware that sensors may not be the best option in the work area. Many people have complained about the light going off while they are working at their desk typing a letter or working on a report.

Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)
This type of bulbs can last up to ten times longer and provide the same amount of light as standard incandescent bulbs. Replace incandescent lights in exit signs with LED fixtures, which can reduce costs of these signs by up to 95 percent. Caution though must be used with these types of bulbs since they do contain a small amount of mercury. CFLs should not be placed in areas where they could easily be broken.

Turn off the lights when not in use.
It doesn’t get any more simpler than this.

Office Machines:
Turn them off when not in use.

Turning off one computer and monitor nightly and on weekends could save up to $80 a year. It’s a good idea to set PCs, monitors and copiers to use sleep mode when not in use. Unless a computer is doing a critical function at night, such as a daily backup that takes hours or being used as a server, there is no reason for it to be on. Turning it off will not allow the system to last longer, and will only be wasting energy.

Choose ENERGY STAR® products when upgrading or adding new equipment.
These products meet federal standard for energy efficiency, and are often available at the same low cost as less efficient models.

Replace Power Wasting Units:
LCD monitors uses much less energy that a CRT Monitor. The cost for a new LCD monitor will pay for itself in a short period of time making it uneconomic to keep a CRT Monitor when replacing an older system.

Turn the monitor off when not in use or better yet have the computer put the monitor and itself into power save mode when inactive for a period of time.

Do you have an old hand-me-down refrigerator for office use? It may be using more energy than a newer energy efficient model.

Heating and Cooling:
Lower the thermostat temperature in the winter and raise it in the summer.

Adjust the thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer and shut off when not in use. Even a few degrees can significantly reduce heating and air conditioning costs.

When the building is not occupied, nights and weekends, turn the heat or air conditioning off or at least adjust the thermostat.

Make certain that the thermostats are not blocked.
It’s not unusual for thermostats to be above filing cabinets and having books or paper around them. When blocked they aren’t able to get a correct reading of the room air temperature. The room may be cold, but the thermostat may be warm and comfortable.

Don’t open windows and doors.
All this does is to heat or cool the outdoors. If the area is too warm or cooled there may be a problem with HVAC system that needs to be checked. Or as stated earlier the thermostat may be blocked.

Install programmable thermostats or time clocks
These systems can automatically control temperature settings on heating and air conditioning equipment so that when the office is not scheduled to be in use the settings can be at a saving level.

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