A few simple changes can make a drastic impact on your heating bill. Follow our tips to reduce your energy consumption and costs. Contact your Veolia account manager for a quote and schedule an appointment today!
INSPECT SHUT OFF VALVES
With properly functioning shut off valves, heating costs can be reduced by up to 20 percent annually. Inspecting these valves on a regular basis is important:
- High pressure valves (over 150 psig): weekly to monthly
- Medium pressure valves (30 – 150 psig): monthly to quarterly
- Low pressure (below 30 psig): annually
MAINTAIN STEAM TRAPS
Defective or malfunctioning steam traps can compromise the overall reliability of your steam and condensate systems, in addition to increasing maintenance and fuel costs. Like all mechanical components, steam traps will deteriorate over time, therefore, inspecting and testing steam traps regularly is very important. Develop a simple inspection and maintenance plan, and follow these tips to help keep your system running optimally:
- Keep your system free from dirt and grit. This is attributed as the number one cause of system malfunction, early fatigue and failure.
- Use a computerized system to control and monitor processes, alert operators to any issues and maximize efficiencies.
- Perform a heat loss survey on all steam traps annually.
- Visually inspect steam traps every 120 days.
- If present in your steam system, administer an ultrasonic test regularly to test the bypass valves, ensuring steam efficiency and preventing condensate from exiting the system (a serious safety threat).
- Inspect and resolve any system design or mechanical issues, including improper piping or trap misapplications (typically resulting in water-hammer) and oversized traps (which typically yield inefficiencies due to rapid cycling).
- Survey all heating equipment prior to seasonal shutoff.
COMPLETE A DRAFT INSPECTION
Up to 20% of heat loss in a building occurs due to gaps around windows and doors. Check these areas as well as chimneys, skirting, and other exterior walls for air leakage annually.
INSULATE STEAM LINES
Oftentimes, the insulation that covers your steam pipes, valves, and fittings can be damaged or removed and not replaced over time. By insulating steam and condensate piping, energy losses can be reduced by up to 90 percent - eliminating a potential safety hazard and major source of wasted energy. Yielding a payback in as little as two years, insulation pays for itself over time in energy savings. Insulation also helps to ensure proper steam pressure levels for mechanical equipment. Read our insulation tips below and start to save:
- Conduct a survey of your steam piping to identify energy losses: Surfaces over 120°F should be insulated, including boiler surfaces, steam and condensate return piping, and fittings. Damaged or wet insulation should be repaired or replaced immediately.
- Eliminate sources of moisture prior to insulation replacement, such as potential leaking valves, pipes, tubes or adjacent equipment.
- Install removable insulating jackets on all valves and fittings so that it may be detached easily for inspection and maintenance.
- Following installation, review the overall steam system functions, since changes in heat flows can influence other parts of the steam system.
- Inspect your pipes and fittings frequently to ensure insulating properties.
SUMMER ENERGY SAVING
Staying cool in the summer is key to maintaining a comfortable and productive workforce. By following some simple tips, you can maintain a cool environment at your facility, while also saving energy and money:
- Physically survey tenant energy usage and evaluate after hours use.
- Adjust building thermostats to a warmer setting during non-business hours and limit tenant access to thermostats.
- Install blinds or shades to prevent heat gain through your windows.
- Reduce exhaust and outdoor-air ventilation rates within codes. Adjusting ventilation in unoccupied and low-density areas will reduce energy use, while maintaining comfort levels.
- Keep air filters clean for maximum efficiency and to avoid impeding air flow or damaging equipment.
- Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment to ensure it is operating efficiently and properly.
- If your cooling system or equipment is antiquated, consider installing steam cooling. Leveraging steam for cooling can dramatically reduce electricity costs and other expenses associated with peak electric demands during the summertime
- Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs), and install occupancy sensors.
IMPLEMENT AN ENERGY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Metering and an energy management system (EMS) allow building mangers to visually display usage and tenant billing information from their desktop and identify potential energy conservation measures yielding cost savings. Veolia’s customizable energy management web-based solution Emsys or a similar EMS system, can help building operators better manage energy to reduce costs and streamline tenant cost recovery.
CONDUCT AN ENERGY AUDIT
If lost heat is a major cost for your building, consider implementing corrective efficiency improvements. Through a focused building energy audit by Veolia’s trained technicians, all aspects of the facility’s energy consumption are analyzed and potential energy efficiencies yielding cost and energy savings are identified.
CONSIDER CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
While the cost might seem prohibitive at first, Veolia’s energy experts can recommend innovative financing models and solutions to advance capital improvement projects. Installing energy efficient systems and infrastructure can make a huge difference in energy efficiency and cost savings and will often pay for itself over time.