6 MORE Ways Plant Managers Can Reduce Operating Costs

Reduce Operating Costs with These Easy Tips

During the summer nothing is more important than keeping your building cool. The problem is cooling gets very costly, very fast. Fortunately, there are many simple, low-cost steps a plant manager can take to reduce operating costs.

Keep Warm, Save Energy, Reduce Operating CostsSee below the 6 ways to prevent energy loss. This article is based on a list developed by the U.S. Department of Energy. These tips focus on home energy cost savings, but we’ll explain how they can be adapted for a workspace like a factory or warehouse.

  1. Use Your Windows to Gain Cool Air and Keep Out Heat: If you’re in a climate where it cools down at night, shut off the cooling system and open your windows. Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows, and shut the windows and blinds to keep the cool air in each morning. Utilize natural ventilation whenever possible.

Of course, we agree with that last recommendation wholeheartedly. The easiest way to control cooling costs is to bring in cool air and keep out or expel hot air. One traditional method is to open windows when it’s cool and closing them when it’s hot. Installing a roof vent, and ensuring that the air flowing through your building is at the optimal rate and volume, will ensure you can get the most out of this method as possible.

Investing in these solutions, along with automatic dampers and motorized louvers, can go a long way to controlling temperatures. These are larger expenditures to be sure, but they will work wonders when it comes to modulating temperatures.

  1. Operate Your Thermostat Efficiently; Keep your thermostat high while still remaining comfortable. The smaller the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature. Also, avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting when you first turn it on. Space will not get cooler any faster it could lead to excessive cooling and unnecessary expenses.

Few factories or industrial facilities are entirely air-conditioned, but this is still sound advice. Automating whatever cooling system you have in place will go a long way towards modulating temperatures in your building. Again, knowing how air moves in your space, and figuring out how to best take advantage of that can have a huge impact.

  1. Use Fans and Ventilation Strategies to Cool Your Home; A ceiling fan will allow you to increase the air conditioner setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. Remember to turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room because fans cool people, not rooms, by creating an evaporative effect.

In areas where you have exhaust fans or wall fans, make sure they are properly sized and are moving a sufficient amount of air for space. Wall supply fans can be much more effective when it comes to cooling off workers because it provides that evaporative cooling effect right onto the workers’ skin instead of up at the ceiling.

When used properly ceiling fans can yield great results. A Zone of Operation (ZOO) system can help cool personnel in key areas where it may normally get warm and improve temperatures in the most important places. By that same token, fans are not a good fit everywhere or even for every building. In very large buildings or buildings with a lot of process heat, natural ventilators will yield much better results. Of course the added benefit there is that a natural ventilator will completely eliminate you operating costs.

  1. Keep Your Cooling System Running Efficiently; Regular maintenance for your cooling system is of the utmost importance. Avoid putting TVs, electronics, or lamps near your thermostat as it may pick-up the heat from these appliances, and make the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.

Whether it’s a small HVAC unit or a large MoffittVent ventilator, maintaining a maintenance schedule is important. Making sure internal components are in good working order will guarantee efficiency and a prolonged equipment life.

Being smart about where heat generating equipment is also important. Study the air movement through the facility, and see how the heat rises off of the machinery. If the warm air is flowing away from the fans and getting trapped at the ceiling, you will have a problem. Moffitt offers free ventilation design to let you see how you can improve your ventilation system throughout your plant.

  1. Don’t Heat Your Home with Appliances and Lighting; Install efficient lighting that runs cooler and takes advantage of daylight instead of artificial lighting. Avoid direct sunlight to avoid solar heat build-up.

While a lot of cooking probably doesn’t take place in your plant, the lighting tip is a great one. Whenever our design team does a ventilation design, they always consider the heat loads from the lighting. Lots of lights can mean lots of heat. Natural ventilators also provide natural lighting. Reflected, not direct, light pours into the building making a brighter, cooler space that is not as intense as lights or direct sunlight might be otherwise. It also provides the added benefit of eliminating the costs that would come with running the lights too.

  1. Keep Hot Air from Leaking Into Your Home; Seal cracks and openings. Stop warm air from entering your home. Use caulk or weather-stripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows. 

It can easily go unnoticed but it is very important, to find air leaks. Leaks can let hot air in at inopportune places, and keep the cool air from staying where you want it. Perform inspections using thermal cameras and pressurization tests will help you find problem areas. Simple solutions like caulk and weather-stripping are often enough to seal leaks, even in large industrial spaces. This may be a small impact on your large facility, but lots of little leaks will add up.

Reduce Operating Costs Today

One of the most important pieces of advice we can provide is to perform regular energy audits. Make sure you know where the energy costs are coming from and minimize the expenditures where you can. Operating costs have a habit of both adding up and going unnoticed. Finding the problem areas and focusing on methods for reducing operating costs can make quite a difference in your facility’s energy bills.

Moffitt performs free ventilation design and can help you find the perfect ventilation solution for your building. Don’t wait, call us right now and we’ll get started on your solution today

Moffitt is now the exclusive U.S. partner for Colt Smoke Control & Daylighting Products.Learn More
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