You probably have completed one or more audits of different areas in your school by now. Chances are this has raised as many questions as it may have answered. Quite possibly you have many suggestions on how to make your school more energy efficient based on what you have discovered. Here is a list of some ideas of ways you might improve the energy and water use in your building.
Heating and Cooling
- Install automated thermostats and set temperatures to optimal seasonal settings for your region, set for in-school and out of school times
- On average, if you raise the thermostat one degree you can reducing cooling costs by 3%.
- Make sure that the numbers of areas being cooled or heated are reduced as much as possible on days when school is not in session.
- Consider adjusting the thermostat settings one degree each week, until at the optimal regional seasonal setting. This will allow people in the space to acclimate to the temperature change.
- Be sure all and filters are cleaned on a regular basis.
- Change the filters on the systems on a regular basis.
- Close the blinds or drapes in areas that receive direct sunlight.
- Encourage students, facility, and staff to dress accordingly. Consider proposing dress codes that allow for the changes in temperatures.
- Turn off cooling systems the last half hour that the building is occupied.
- Strategically plant trees and shrubs around the building. Look for areas which will provide shade to the building and/or air conditioning units.
- Check for leaks around windows and add weather stripping
- Check for leaks around doors and place stops underneath
- Be aware of indoor air quality issues. This means making sure there is a good exchange of air.
- Turn off all equipment when not in use. This includes copy machines, coffee makers, computers, printers, fax machines, etc. Use power-strips if more effective.
- Set computer equipment to energy efficient settings.
- Use the equipment on only when needed and turn off when not in use.
- Have your copiers serviced on a regular basis.
- Encourage the replacement of old equipment with new energy efficient machines.
- Don’t forget the machines that are in the out of the way places!
- Make sure all the equipment is turned off before the weekends and holidays.
- Don’t forget that fax machine!
- Insulate all the pipes and the hot water heater with thermal blankets and insulation.
- Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the hot water coming out of the faucets. How does this compare to the setting on the hot water heater? Could the temperature on the water heater be adjusted?
- Reduce the temperature on the hot water heater if possible.
- Check for water leaks.
- Is there an electric water heater? If so, turn it off if the building is unoccupied for more than an evening.
- Check all the seals on the refrigerators and freezers. Replace all the worn seals.
- Clean equipment regularly.
- Make sure the equipment is well ventilated.
- Check the temperature often, this will help make sure units are functioning properly.
- Turn off all lights that are not needed.
- Use daylight when possible.
- Make sure all light fixtures are clean.
- Turn off all the lights when the building is unoccupied, except for those needed for security
- When cleaning the building at night, only turn on the lights needed in a particular area and then shut them off.
- Make sure lights in display cases are turned off.
- Turn off all decorative lighting.
- Consider replacing bulbs with low wattage and more energy efficient bulbs.