With more businesses and consumers than ever aiming to improve their energy efficiency, facility managers have plenty of work on their plates in the search to identify ways to save energy and costs. One expert recommends that these supervisors first examine a few common areas that contribute to energy loss.
In a piece for Environmental Leader, John McDermott of Grainger Industrial Supply writes that facility managers could help their clients save in energy costs if they identify temperature-related power leaks. Devices or equipment that leak hot or cold air often contribute significantly to wasted energy costs, so McDermott advocates the use of thermal imagers to sniff out leak locations.
When analyzing a property's heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, for example, maintenance staff would be wise to sweep ductwork, which can be energy drains when not properly sealed. Fans, blowers and electrical connections are also prone to overheating.
Electrical motors and power generations should also be scanned with thermal imagers to check for steady airflow, adequate insulation and electrical connections, McDermott advises. Steam heaters used for central heating may also leak energy through radiator coils, steam lines, valves and condensers, while boilers and electrical systems could also be top sources for power drains.
Ultimately, these sweeps are critical to identifying which pieces of equipment are doing more harm than good, which offer facility managers the information to take corrective steps.
Facility managers could incorporate a thermal sweep as part of regular system and equipment inspections. Preventative maintenance software could help these professionals keep track of such inspections, ensuring that this analysis occurs on a regular basis and that minor problems are not allowed to manifest in wasted expenses.
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