It’s actually quite simple to take big chunks out of your heating costs. Yet, while we all want to be energy efficient, so many organisations still waste money and expensive energy.
So, in a similar vein to our Energy Saving Lighting Tips, below here is some easy to implement, energy and cost saving advice for heating. Remember, whatever we save, it’s also good to know that we are doing our bit for the environment.
One of Chalmor’s key business focusses is on heating management and control solutions. The focus of this blog will be in this area of our expertise.
Our Top Energy Saving Tips for Heating
1. Thermostat Settings
Setting your temperature too high will put a big dent in your heating budgets. An increase in room temperature by 1% can mean increases of up to 10% in heating costs, sources:
- Energy UK; the trade association for the UK energy industry.
- Business Wales; Welsh business directory.
When no one is present (assuming no heat sensitive equipment), you should operate the room at a reduced baseline heating setting and similarly for cooling. For example:
- In winter, set office controls to around 21oC during the day/business hours; set below this level during unoccupied times (as appropriate).
- In summer, set cooling controls to around 25-26oC degrees during the day/business hours and set above during unoccupied hours.
One added point. Accurate temperature control helps you balance heating systems. When over-heating is reduced, more heat is available for areas that were previously under-heated.
2. Temperature and Productivity
Naturally point 1. does NOT mean having your workers freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer. That’s just bad for your employees and business productivity. A lot of research is available on the correlation of reduced productivity to ‘uncomfortable’ temperatures.
A useful report supported by the US DoE and Finnish Technology Agency has compiled some of this research. The chart below shows this varied research as different coloured graphs.
The key take-away is when room temperatures are either too cool or too warm for your staff, productivity declines. So, find out the comfortable temperature range for your staff. You can then can set and manage temperatures economically within that band.
(Explaining the graph. The vertical axis shows decreasing productivity and increasing temperature is shown on the horizontal axis. All agree that setting a temperature band of 21-25oC is optimal for highest where productivity).
3. Use the Technology
Controls and management of heating are becoming increasingly more intelligent these days. With more and more online control of web enabled devices (IoT – Internet of Things).
As an example, let’s look at thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs):
- Simple TRVs provide very basic local control of radiators.
- Programmable TRVs are better, since they also allow scheduled heating control.
- eTRV (from Chalmor) is arguably the most efficient. Its patented dual sensor technology provides far closer temperature control than conventional TRVs. This means happy and productive staff – and maximum energy savings .
- Web enabled TRVs (WeTRV), offer the additional benefit of convenient remote control for larger buildings.
- Using movement sensors with temperature set-back, so heating only when required and no more heating empty rooms
- Ensure that thermostats are placed in the correct locations away from; draughts, direct sunlight and heating sources.
- Zoning (control), allowing temperature management of different parts of a building at different times and at different temperatures – according to occupants’ needs.
- Simultaneous heating and cooling of spaces. This is commonplace and wastes lots of money. Set a ‘dead band’ of 4 – 5°C, by interlocking heating and cooling to prevent this from happening.
- Regularly re-commission control systems to make sure settings are in line with your requirements. Upgrade controls that can’t offer the flexibility to suit your requirements.
This Carbon Trust document advises that businesses are wasting energy by poor heating control. As much as 30% of energy can be saved by effective control and management.
Remember: Heat on demand – you no longer have to heat everywhere all the time.
4. Think ROI and Pay-Back
Heating installations can be massively expensive long-term projects.
With improving heating control and management technologies, those projects can be made far more efficient. Investing in the latest energy saving heating management and controls can give payback in 1 to 2 years; sometimes even months.
It can even cost nothing – you pay from the savings in your Operating Expense.
A quality and experienced supplier can quantify the savings you can expect (you can even get energy saving guarantees).
For help calculating ROI and Pay-back, consult an expert (better still, talk to us).
5. Appropriate Heating For The Activity
Different working environments require different heating levels. Too many organisations heat everywhere the same – such a waste! The following highlights the heating guidance as per the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE):
- Heavy activity: 11 – 14°C
- Light activity: 16 – 19°C
- Sedentary: 19 – 21°C
- Offices: 21 – 23°C (although we at Chalmor would advocate no more than 21°C!)
Deploying heating appropriate to usage, means serious cost savings.
6. Meter Readings
Regularly check utility meter readings to spot adverse trends and don’t forget to verify the bills when they arrive!
7. Staff Awareness
Saving energy should not be the sole responsibility of the leadership team. Employees must also be brought into the energy saving discussions.
Enable them to suggest their own innovative ideas to cut down energy costs. Don’t forget incentives – a valuable motivator.
This also helps create an energy efficient work culture in your company.
8. And, a final thought……..
The old adage of leaving well alone (see our last lighting blog), does not apply in the drive for energy and cost efficiencies.
It costs nothing to check out your heating control and management systems, to make sure you are getting the best for the large amount of money you are paying.
Bonus Tip – Speak to Chalmor, we can help!
Contact us at: https://www.chalmor.co.uk/contact/