How Facility Management Boosts Your Building’s Energy Efficiency

A facility manager’s job is to find ways to save on a commercial or industrial building’s operational costs. Optimizing a facility’s energy efficiency is the first step.

 

Facility management companies like Omnia360 in Cincinnati, Ohio, achieve this through accurate data-based asset management and maintenance, managing everything from HVAC to plumbing and electrical. 

 

Why Does Your Building’s Energy Efficiency Matter? 

According to Energy.gov, 35% of electricity in the U.S. is consumed by commercial buildings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that “30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted.” 

 

Wasting energy means wasting money, dollars that could otherwise be put back into your facility management budget or dedicated towards another growth opportunity. 

 

Not only that — implementing facility maintenance strategies to reduce energy consumption can: 

 

  • Reduce operating costs 
  • Increase a facility’s net operating income (NOI)
  • Provide a more comfortable environment for employees and customers
  • Reduce risks of early equipment failure and wasteful, unexpected downtimes

 

If you’re saving on energy bills due to modern light fixtures or a well-optimized commercial HVAC system, those cost savings can be reinvested into your business. In fact, our experts at Omnia360 help with capital asset management.

 

How Omnia360 Checks Your Building’s Energy-Efficiency

We work with your building’s unique architectural and energy system design in mind to create an effective maintenance plan that can greatly reduce your monthly energy consumption. 

 

First: We assess all levels of your building’s equipment and controls: checking pressures, temps, power settings, flows, and lighting use. 

 

From there, we create strategies that are implemented by priority to improve energy efficiency. 

 

Then, to ensure accuracy and continuity, we document operations: changing control strategies, sensor set-point, or sensor locations. 

 

Lastly, we track the savings. By doing this, any savings can be reinvested towards your facility’s operation and maintenance efforts. 

 

Commercial HVAC Repair and Maintenance 

Maintaining your building’s HVAC system is the number one way to save on your monthly utility bill. Your potential cost savings are enormous. According to the DOE, HVAC systems use nearly 35% of a building’s energy. 

 

Our HVAC technicians arrive on-site and perform an inspection of your building’s HVAC unit, identifying areas of concern and improvement that will maximize energy efficiency. 

 

  • Regular, routine maintenance checks 
  • Comprehensive preventative maintenance plans 
  • Checks for any seal leaks or damaged insulation 
  • Install smart windows or blinds 

 

Upgrading and Managing Your Facility’s Infrastructure & Energy Assets 

Facility managers look to analyze a building’s infrastructure from the ground up, identifying cost-saving opportunities in all facets of a building, everything from lighting and water usage to the type of on-site materials and equipment used by a facility. 

 

Lighting. 

It’s one of the best ways to ensure your building saves operational costs. Updating lighting systems with energy-efficient LED lighting from various sources.

 

Sustainable Materials. 

Using eco-friendly materials with energy-efficient devices (along with constant checks and evaluations), ensure maximum energy efficiency.

 

Water.

The goal is to reduce the monthly or annual water bill by assessing and fixing existing plumbing structures: showers, sinks, taps, pipes, and toilets. There’s also the use of rain sensors to irrigate the plants and fields on your property.  

 

Sub-metering.

Power submetering is a method that accurately monitors a facility’s energy output. A tracking system also allows technicians and facility managers to be alerted to any impending component failures and initiate proactive repairs. 

 

Asset Monitoring Technologies Measure Your Building’s Total Energy Use

FM companies typically utilize computer-aided facility management software (CAFM) and computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) technologies to identify areas, processes, and people that consume substantial energy and set a baseline energy usage by installing power metering devices in the facility. 

 

Leveraging automated solutions through detailed and data-driven analysis of a building’s functionality and energy consumption, on the whole, facility managers can create an energy management plan that sustains cost and energy savings over time. 

 

  • Assisting with protocol changes to energy maintenance plans.
  • Identifying incentives or rebates a building can qualify for. 

 

Lower Your Demand Charge with Better Energy Audits 

An FM company can perform an energy audit as part of the run-of-the-mill asset assessment. Energy audits let you know where you stand. They also help FM professionals identify ways to lower monthly demand charges. 

 

What’s a demand charge? 

It’s a fee that applies to electrical bills during “peak usage.” Here’s how it works…

 

Just like a bank that needs to ensure there are enough dollars in the vault for people that want to withdraw their money, a utility company has to make sure they have enough energy available to give to commercial buildings during any unexpected, high-energy use periods: “peak use periods.” 

 

Your monthly demand charge fee acts as a type of insurance fee of sorts in order to cover this. It’s based on the highest energy consumption during a given time period. 

 

How does the cost go up? 

Let’s say your commercial or industrial building had a particularly hot summer month and spent an enormous amount of money on AC. Your demand charge will go up, as it is calculated based on the highest spend period. 

 

Many people don’t know this. But you can dispute a demand charge! That’s money back in your pocket. But here’s the catch: you’ll need quite a bit of paperwork and energy auditing (tracking your building’s usage). To dispute the charge, you have to present several months or years of energy use data to the utility company to prove your threshold is low. 

 

Long story short, it’s easier to let a skilled facility management company perform an audit of your building’s energy infrastructure and develop a comprehensive maintenance plan that takes into account cost-saving initiatives that can lower your demand charge: 

 

  • Solar panel cleaning and upkeep 
  • HVAC troubleshooting and maintenance 
  • Duct system cleaning and sanitization 
  • Thermal, insulated, low-e glass repair or replacement 

 

Assess Your Building’s Energy Efficiency with Omnia360

Want to save on your building’s monthly costs? Get comprehensive, integrated facility maintenance services 24/7 by teaming up with a leading FM company in Cincinnati, Ohio. Contact us today for a free assessment at (833) 360-6642. 

Types of Refrigerants Used in Commercial Air Conditioning Units

Refrigerant is a chemical compound that helps air conditioners do their job by absorbing heat from the air inside a home or business and leaving cool air behind. Knowing the different types of refrigerants used in commercial air conditioning systems can help business owners comply with refrigerant regulations and make eco-friendly choices when purchasing new HVAC equipment.

Read about some of the most common types of refrigerants used for commercial air conditioning, including details on what they’re made of and their environmental impact, in today’s blog from Omnia360 Facility Solutions.

R-12

This type of refrigerant is methane-based and is made with chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These are nontoxic, nonflammable chemicals that contain carbon, chlorine, and fluorine. R-12 is known to contribute to global warming and, therefore, was banned in 1994. However, if you have older HVAC equipment, it may still use R-12 refrigerant.

R-22

This type of refrigerant is also known as Freon. It’s made with CFCs, but it contains less chlorine, so it’s less harmful to the environment. Although it’s not as dangerous as R-12, it’s not considered “eco-friendly” by any means and will be phased out by 2030 due to international environmental concerns.

R-290

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly commercial air conditioning refrigerant, R-290 is a good option. It’s propane-based and flammable (which affects its ability to be shipped), but it adheres to the EPA’s SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy) program.

R-410A

This type of chlorine-free refrigerant is made with industrial chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). It’s also known as Puron. It was developed as an alternative to Freon. In comparison, Puron is more eco-friendly and also more efficient than Freon.

R-513a

This type of refrigerant is another eco-friendly option for commercial air conditioning. It’s a hydro-fluoro olefin (HFO)-based refrigerant, organic compounds made of fluorine, hydrogen, and carbon. Also known as Option XP10, R-513a is a highly efficient refrigerant option for air conditioning and is unknown to harm the earth’s ozone layer.

Need Help Choosing Refrigerant For Your Commercial Air Conditioning Needs?

Contact Omnia 360 Facility Solutions. Our licensed HVAC technicians can offer trustworthy guidance to help you make the best choice for your business. We offer customized HVAC services and packages to meet the unique needs of your business and budget, so if you’d like a quote or you want to schedule service, call us today.

How to Save Money on Your Commercial Facility’s Cooling Bills This Summer

The costs of cooling a commercial facility can be extremely high but keeping employees and patrons comfortable is typically a high priority among business owners. If high energy costs are a concern for you, there are several ways you can save money on your building’s cooling expenses this summer. Even if your commercial building isn’t built with the most energy-efficient building materials, these tips from Omnia360 Facility Solutions can help prevent unnecessary energy spending.

Program the thermostat

If you haven’t done it already, program your facility’s thermostat to coincide with working hours and peak seasons. If you keep the thermostat at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months, consider turning it up to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature difference won’t be noticeable, but you’ll still save a significant amount on cooling expenses.

Clean vents

Dust and dirt buildup can make it difficult for your HVAC system to breathe. For your system to work correctly, it should be regularly cleaned and clear of dust and debris. To accomplish this, you can establish a monthly HVAC cleaning task list or add it to your existing cleanliness procedures.

Prioritize proper sealing and insulation

If you have a properly insulated and sealed commercial facility, you can reduce your energy output by up to 10 percent, which is a significant amount of money saved over time. If your building is already insulated, an HVAC contractor can recommend improvements to your existing insulation to provide cost benefits.

Invest in an energy-efficient HVAC system

This may not be a financially viable solution for all businesses, but investing in an energy-efficient HVAC system can reduce your cooling costs dramatically if you have the budget and your energy consumption is very high. This is especially true if your commercial facility is outfitted with older HVAC equipment. 

Schedule annual maintenance

Scheduling bi-annual maintenance inspections and tune-ups will ensure that the HVAC equipment in your commercial facility is working as efficiently as possible. It can also prevent costly repairs and replacement costs by catching issues early on.

Want a Pro to Take a Look at Your Commercial Facility’s HVAC Equipment?

Contact Omnia360 Facility Solutions for professional recommendations and maintenance services that will help reduce your cooling expenses this summer. We provide customized services and packages to save you time and money.

The Most Common Problems With Commercial HVAC Systems in Cincinnati Ohio

Maintaining a commercial HVAC system is an essential task for a business owner. Not only does it keep employees and patrons comfortable while they’re on-site, but it also ensures that energy bills don’t get out of control and health risks are eliminated due to well-maintained HVAC equipment.

Unfortunately, many things can go wrong with the equipment, primarily if it’s not maintained correctly. Here are some of the most common problems with commercial HVAC equipment and how to fix them brought to you by Omnia360.

Issues With the Drain Line

The drain line is an essential part of HVAC equipment because it diverts moisture away from the primary unit. However, sometimes it can get clogged with debris, algae, or even develop mold growth over time. This can result in leaks, water damage, and an unhealthy work environment for employees.

Improperly Sized Equipment

Often, HVAC equipment is either too large or too small for the space. If it’s too small, it won’t be able to cool or heat the building thoroughly, resulting in an uncomfortable environment for employees and patrons alike. If the HVAC equipment is too large, it won’t run efficiently, and business owners will pay the price with increased energy costs. Fortunately, inefficient heating and cooling can be resolved by investing in properly sized equipment, which an HVAC contractor can recommend.

Leaky Ductwork

Leaky ductwork is extremely common in both residential and commercial buildings. If your ventilation system has leaks or cracks, it will allow conditioned air to escape, which means the commercial HVAC equipment will have to work longer and harder to heat or cool the space. It’s also likely the main reason why a commercial building is too hot or too cold and why the energy bill is so high. Properly sealing ductwork will ensure that the space is efficiently heated or cooled, so it’s more comfortable. It will also extend the lifespan of the equipment.

Strange Noises

Weird noises like clinking or banging might occur when the HVAC equipment is first turned on. However, this isn’t normal and shouldn’t be happening. More than likely, these sounds indicate a more significant issue, such as ventilation joints that aren’t fitting together correctly or loose bolts throughout the system. An HVAC contractor can investigate these strange noises, provide adequate solutions to avoid any significant issues, and ensure the system is working safely and correctly.

Need Commercial HVAC Service? Contact Omnia360 Facility Solutions

If you’ve noticed any of these issues with your commercial HVAC equipment, Omnia360 Facility Solutions can help. We offer customized, cost-effective, and efficient packages so you can work with one single provider instead of several. Contact us today for more details! We’re happy to create a service package that is right for you and your business.