7 mistakes that are costing you money on your energy bill

According to the EPA, 30% of energy used in buildings is unnecessary. Here are seven common mistakes that cause facilities to pay more on energy costs than they have to.

1.  Dirty coils. Obstructed or dirty condenser coils in your refrigeration system can increase power consumption by 10%.

2.  Loose connections: Loose or corroded electrical connections can mean reduced operating efficiency and corresponding increased energy costs. Not to mention, increased risk of breakdown, failure, even fire.

3.  Soot in the boiler.  Soot on a boiler’s fireside surfaces adversely affects the unit’s efficiency and results in higher fuel costs. Heavy deposits can increase fuel costs by 5% or more. A properly tuned burner will help minimize soot, improving overall efficiency.

4.  Neglecting air conditioning controls:  Air conditioning system controls can reduce energy usage 10-30%.  This reduction is achieved by limiting air conditioning operation during unoccupied hours.

5.  Old emergency Lights: Older emergency exit signs using incandescent bulbs can cost about $30 each to operate per year. Using LED’s will cost you less than $4 annually to operate.

6. Bringing in too much fresh air: Areas with constant flow air handlers may be wasting energy by bringing in too much outside air. A more efficient design is to monitor carbon dioxide and provide fresh air based on those levels.

7. Low refrigerant: Repairing leaks and recharging the air conditioning will help restore the system to its optimal efficiency. This can improve efficiency by up to 15%!

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© 2016 The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This article is for informational purposes only. All recommendations are general guidelines and are not intended to be exhaustive or complete, nor are they designed to replace information or instructions from the manufacturer of your equipment. Contact your equipment service representative or manufacturer with specific questions.

Ernest Freeman

Vice President of Engineering in Hartford Steam Boiler's Loss Control Engineering Group, with over 39 years of experience in equipment operation and maintenance. He is a Certified School Risk Manager (CSRM), member of The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) and a licensed commissioned Inspector by The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.


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