Winter is on its way, but that doesn't mean that high energy bills have to follow. According to Owens Corning -- which identified $3 million of yearly savings in immediate efficiency improvements in its own facilities -- businesses can significantly cut heating and operation costs with a few energy improvements:
Conduct an insulation audit. Does the structure have enough insulation on the roof, or on the walls? If your roof needs replacing or your walls need an interior or exterior facelift, consider adding insulation while making those improvements. Also remove and insulate unneeded windows and other openings. Aside from a security benefit, insulating the area of unneeded windows and doors can reduce energy loss.
Seal heating and cooling ductwork. Leakage from joints, elbows, and connections can be substantial -- as much as 20% to 30%. All ductwork should first be sealed to reduce leakage and then insulated with ductwrap. Otherwise, the existing ductwork should be replaced with a sealed, pre-insulated duct system.
Schedule a thermal analysis. Some local utility companies are capable of conducting a thermal analysis of buildings by using an infrared camera to detect where structures are losing heat. This is an inexpensive and effective way to identify major energy leaks in a building.
Automatic system controls. Where suitable in small commercial buildings, a programmable thermostat is a great method of efficiently controlling energy demand. Heating and cooling equipment consumes 42% of all building energy use. Some of that consumption can be avoided using energy demand controls. Large commercial facilities especially benefit from a comprehensive, programmable system that manages all aspects of energy consumption in sync with interior demands and external conditions. Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning is a manufacturer of building-materials systems and composites systems.