Energy Tips - Commercial
Commercial Tips PDF Print E-mail

First step is to always institute an Energy Awareness Program

HVAC System (Heater and A/C)

  • Make sure your HVAC system(s) is the correct size for the building
  • Tune your HVAC equipment yearly, with this, make sure it is clean and free of debris and blockage
  • Install programmable thermostats
  • Limit who has access to the thermostats
  • Relocate thermostats to optimal locations
  • Periodically calibrate thermostats, make sure thermostat setting equals actual space temperature
  • Change your air filter regularly, usually every 2-3 months
  • Set thermostat to 78°F in the summer and 68°F in the winter - energy usage increases 6% to 8% for each degree  
  • Adjust thermostats to avoid energy use when your office is closed, optimize start off and end time, consider coasting last hour of operations
  • Adjust ventilation in low or unoccupied spaces
  • Outside A/C units or condensers should be in the shade and free from debris
  • Use ceiling or portable fans; a room can be cooled by 4 to 6 degrees with the use a fan
  • Check for leaks and seal heating and cooling ducts, attic access area, also recessed lighting
  • Make sure your attic is properly insulated
  • A lower temperature on your thermostat will not cool your building faster; the temperature set is just the target comfort zone that you set for your A/C
  • Install VFD Variable Frequency Drives and VAV Variable Air Volume Systems
  • Install heat recovery equipment (enthalpy wheels, heat pipes) to optimize conditioning of ventilated air
  • Do not use humidifiers or evaporator coolers in addition to your A/C 

Water Heater 

  • Set the temperature of your hot water heater to 120°F
  • Insulate water heater with an approved hot water heating insulation kit that can be found at your local hardware store or home improvement center
  • Drain you water heater tank regularly to remove sediment build upInsulate warm water pipes
  • Install low flow faucets, toilets and shower heads
  • Keep all faucets free from leaks, especially hot water leaks because they are continuously using energy to reheat the water that is being lost 


  • Turns lights off when you leave a room
  • Replace incandescent (the common round ones) light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs and HIDConvert T12 to T8 and T5
  • Use high efficiency LED EXIT signs
  • Install timer controls, photocells or motion sensors for exterior lighting
  • Use workstation task lighting 

Electrical Equipment/Computers 

  • Turn off electrical equipment/appliances when not in use
  • Use power strips, even when turned off, most electronics and appliances continue to consume electricity when plugged in
  • Don’t leave chargers for cell phones, MP3 players, cameras, etc… plugged in when not in use
  • Turn off computer when not in use
  • Use power strips for your computer and its related equipment and turn them off here, too
  • Turn off printers, copiers, faxes when not in use
  • Set the sleep mode for your computer for a few minutes after being idle instead of more, such as half an hour 


  • Unplug any refrigerator or freezers that are not in use
  • Keep the condenser coils on the back of your refrigerator and freezer clean
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer full, they operate most efficiently this way
  • Only run a dishwasher with a full load
  • Turn off the heated dry setting on your dishwasher and use the air dry setting instead
  • Turn off coffee maker/warming plate when not in use  

Ventilate, Insulate, and Weatherize  

  • Proper attic ventilation will reduce temperature and moisture buildup
  • Reduce air leaks in your building by caulking, sealing and weather-stripping all seams and openings to the outside
  • Consult a local nursery,  trees and shrubbery can add shade that cools your building during the summer and can be a wind block during the winter
  • Replace single pane windows with energy efficient windows or add solar shading or tinting film
  • Use shades or curtains to block the sun and heat during warm summer weather
  • Install or repair weather stripping or door sweeps
  • Insulate rim joist 

Janitorial Practices 

  • Clean one floor at a time
  • Clean during working hours 

Commercial Food  

  • Turn off equipment not in use
  • Create a start up and shut down schedule for all equipment
  • Position your cooling equipment as far away as possible from your cooking equipment so refrigerators/freezers do not have to work harder to keep cool
  • Do not keep refrigerators/freezers temperature settings lower than necessary, this can waste energy
  • Keep doors shut and seals tight on cooling equipment, continued opening and closing causes temperature fluctuations and the unit to work harder to cool down
  • Perform scheduled maintenance on the units  

Upgrade Outdated Appliances with Energy Efficient Models 

  • Buy energy efficient office appliances and equipment: refrigerators, copiers, computers, monitors, etc…
  • Visit the Energy Star website for more information 
  • Upgrade a refrigerator that is 10+ years old – a new Energy Star approved refrigerator uses about half of the energy of a 10-year old conventional model
  • Consider a tank less water heater, they heat water as it is used and are up to 45% more efficient
  • Replace your central A/C system if is 7+ years old – an Energy Star approved A/C can use 20% less energy than your old one