Trane, provider of indoor comfort systems and services, recently released a list of 50 strategies for increasing the performance and reliability of buildings and managing operational costs:
Short-Term Payback (Zero to Three Years)
1. Find and fix leaks (doors and windows).
2. Install occupancy sensors.
3. Retrofit fixtures (T12 to T8).
4. Properly size to load.
5. Check alignment.
6. Check for undervoltage and overvoltage conditions.
7. Operate near best efficiency point.
8. Modify to minimize throttling.
9. For wide load variations, use variable-speed drives.
10. For small loads requiring high pressures, use booster pumps.
11. Repair seals and packing to minimize flows and reduce power requirements.
12. Check schedules, set point, and setbacks.
13. Check/inspect/repair equipment (fans, dampers, belts, filters, variable-air-volume boxes, etc.) for proper operation.
14. Utilize “free cooling” when using a chilled-water system in cold weather.
15. Fix steam and condensate leaks.
16. Inspect steam traps regularly and repair them promptly.
17. Preheat combustion air with waste heat.
18. Use variable-speed drives on large boiler combustion-air fans with variable flows.
19. Inspect and clean burners and nozzles.
20. Close burner air and/or stack dampers when off.
21. Automate boiler blowdown, and recover blowdown heat.
22. Use boiler blowdown to help warm a backup boiler.
23. Inspect door gaskets.
24. Optimize boiler water treatment.
25. Add an economizer to preheat boiler feedwater using exhaust heat.
26. Recycle steam condensate.
Water and sewer
27. Recycle water, especially if sewer costs are based on water consumption.
28. Use the lowest possible hot-water temperature.
29. Fix water leaks.
30. Install water restrictions on faucets and showers and/or install self-closing-type faucets in restrooms.
31. Verify water-meter readings.
Near-Term Payback (Three to Eight Years)
32. Evaluate and consider the replacement of chilled-water-system components.
33. Consider gas-powered refrigeration equipment as a way to minimize electrical demand charges.
34. Assess new HVAC-system options.
35. Replace boilers (higher efficiency, modular, etc.).
36. Consider installing thermal-storage and heat-recovery systems.
37. Determine optimum building-automation/control strategies and implement them.
38. Consider different utility-purchasing options, rate analysis, and/or buying utilities on the commodity market.
39. Ensure high-efficiency motors are matched to size/loads.
40. Optimize compressed-air equipment for maximum efficiency through leak analysis and end-use-requirements assessment.
41. Study part-load characteristics and cycling costs to determine the most efficient mode of multiple-boiler operation.
42. Consider more efficient options (not involving the main heating boiler) for domestic hot water during cooling season.
Long-Term Payback (More Than Eight Years)
43. Consider new chilled-water-system options.
44. Implement major HVAC-system replacements.
45. Replace or upgrade the control/building-automation system.
46. Install a geothermal heat-pump system.
47. Assess and verify reliability/availability of utilities (on-site generation).
48. Study building envelope (windows, doors, and roof) and make necessary improvements.
49. Study the benefits of adding renewable technologies, such as solar, wind, and biomass.
50. Engage in proactive maintenance.
Trane says that by implementing some of these tips, building owners easily can save 10 to 25 percent on their energy bill annually.