Though we love to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd, there is never a bad time to review the sustainability of your facility. In addition to the environmental benefits of reducing your facility’s footprint, many sustainable swaps also reduce operating costs and extend the lifetime of mechanical systems, offering savings in the short and long term. Continue reading to learn more about a few sustainable moves that can benefit your building, its occupants, and the environment:
Elevate Your Tap Water
Not-so fun fact: according to EarthDay.org, Americans purchase 50 BILLION plastic, disposable water bottles per year! A water filtration system either for a whole building or located at point of use can deliver fresh, good-tasting tap water without the use of harsh chemicals or single-use plastics, and can offer a quick payback schedule based on water delivery services or buying plastic water bottles.
At the JK office, we replaced our office water cooler service with a filtered water bottle filler, encouraging our team to stay hydrated as well as avoiding single-use plastics. In addition to the operating savings, it’s also nice to have the storage space back!
Consider Custom Controls
How do you control the comfort system at your facility? As a general rule in HVAC, better control means better efficiency. The more your facility can customize your comfort needs, the less likely you are to pay for energy use that isn’t actually needed or wanted, all while improving occupant comfort and satisfaction. In a residential single-family home, this can often be achieved with a smart or programmable thermostat. However, when we’re dealing with large residential homes, small-to-large commercial facilities, or even multi-building campuses, utilizing custom Advanced Controls is a smarter, more sustainable, and more convenient way to get the job done.
Add Regular Maintenance
Regular planned, professional maintenance isn’t just good for maintaining your comfort and extending the life of your heating & cooling system. Regular maintenance—including regular filter changes—also help your unit work more efficiently, thus saving you on utility costs and using less non-renewable resources. A dirty air filter causes your heating and cooling system to work harder, using more electricity and driving up your utility bill. According to EnergyStar, even just changing a dirty filter can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15%. Better comfort, saving money, and good for the environment: win/win/win.
Bonus Tip: If your facility’s system is getting up there in years, it might be worth it financially and environmentally to upgrade to a newer system with higher efficiency ratings. In addition, extended equipment lead times can make it more difficult to get needed equipment quickly in event of an emergency breakdown. Talk to your JK maintenance technician at your next planned maintenance appointment for guidance, or click here to schedule your complimentary, no-pressure replacement evaluation with JK Comfort Consultant Ryan Kelly.
Tankless or On-Demand Water Heaters are growing in popularity with homeowners thanks to their small physical size, endless hot water, and significant energy savings compared to traditional “tanked” water heaters. For commercial facilities with natural gas or propane available, On-Demand Water Heaters can also be a sustainable way to provide for inconsistent or irregular hot water needs while saving resources by not maintaining a tank of hot water in “off” hours. For example, JK Plumbing manager Casey Blackwell proposed Navien Tankless Water Heaters for the event venue remodel at Elizabeth Furnace Plantation. Because of the nature of event venues, with large hot water demand during the event and then little or none in between, using on-demand water heaters “just made sense,” allowing the facility to effortlessly match demand while saving resources at the same time.
At JK Mechanical, we understand that there are hundreds if not thousands of decisions that go into facility design, construction, and maintenance. Our team is standing by to help you make the best decision possible for your team, building occupants, and the environment.