Energy Saving Warehouse Tips
Energy efficiency is a top priority for businesses that want to reduce costs. Non-refrigerated warehouses in the United States use approximately 6.1 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and 13,400 Btu of natural gas per square foot yearly. Cutting those numbers down as much as possible will improve your company’s bottom line, and we have some tips to help.
Perform an Energy Audit
Conducting an energy audit is a necessary first step to determine which warehouse systems use the most energy and determine how to reduce consumption. It’s best to hire a certified professional to conduct the audit because they know what to look for and often have ideas on improving energy efficiency. A typical audit includes:
The auditor examines the building envelope, which includes the walls, windows, and doors, to check for leaks and other potential causes of energy loss.
HVAC systems consume significant energy, especially if they’ve not been well-maintained. Your auditor will inspect the HVAC system and check for inefficient or worn-out components, or if the system is outdated or ill-fitted for the job.
Many warehouses still rely on aging lighting systems, which use more energy and wear out quicker than modern systems like LED. Besides the fixtures, the auditor can determine if warehouse areas are lit when they don’t need to be.
Equipment and Appliances
Another potential for energy loss is the equipment and appliances. The auditor can assess these and recommend whether you can increase your energy efficiency by upgrading outdated equipment.
Once the auditor finishes, you’ll get a detailed report with recommendations on reducing energy waste and increasing efficiency.
Tips for Making Your Warehouse More Energy Efficient
Upgrade Your Lighting
Warehouse lighting can consume a significant amount of energy, especially if you’re relying on old fixtures that use incandescent or fluorescent lights. According to energy.gov, LED lighting uses up to 75% less energy and lasts up to 25 times longer than incandescent lamps. You can significantly reduce your warehouse’s energy consumption by upgrading to energy-efficient lighting, such as LED lighting. The great thing about upgrading to LED is that it’s one of the most cost-effective things you can do to save energy, and the costs pay off in the long run.
Optimize Temperature Control
As mentioned, the warehouse’s HVAC system is another significant energy user. One way to reduce your heating and cooling energy usage is to invest in a smart HVAC system. A smart system will automatically adjust the temperature based on occupancy, outside temperature, and time of day. Additionally, sealing any air leaks in the building envelope will help prevent conditioned air from escaping and make your HVAC system work harder to maintain the temperature.
Use Renewable Energy Sources
Renewable energy can reduce a warehouse’s reliance on traditional energy sources. Installing solar panels on the roof can generate electricity to power the building.
Wind turbines are another option to generate electricity. Renewable energy sources are becoming more affordable, making them a viable option. Moreover, many renewable energy sources qualify for tax credits and other federal and state benefits and may cost next to nothing to install.
Implement Energy-Efficient Practices
Lastly, develop a plan to reduce your energy consumption by turning off lights and appliances when not in use, reducing idle time for machinery like forklifts, and scheduling pickups and deliveries when possible. Also, encourage your employees to be more attentive to saving energy with proper training.
If you’d like help making your warehouse more energy efficient or need a reputable general contractor for your next building project, call the experts at New Horizon Construction Services. We have over 15 years of experience as a licensed Florida General Contractor and a proven track record in the hospitality, education, entertainment, and retail sectors. Call today at 407-574-2164.