One of the biggest line item expenses your manufacturing company throughout the winter is likely the cost of heating and powering your massive facility. With high ceilings and large footprints, the amount of money you spend on energy each month can be eye-popping, but there are ways you can reduce that cost without making your workers uncomfortable or hurting your operational effectiveness.
The following suggestions are some of the best ways to heat and power your factory more efficiently:
1) Keep your thermostat lower — and change the setting throughout the day
Probably the simplest way to cut heating bills in the winter is to turn your thermostat down by one or two degrees during operating hours, according to Plymouth Rock Energy. Your workers likely won't notice, and you can shave potentially hundreds off your bill. To really save, though, installing a thermostat that automatically turns down several more degrees after hours can present an incredible savings proposition.
2) Install better lighting
This is a tip that works well all year, but swapping out old lighting fixtures for those that can use more efficient bulbs is an effort that pays off over time, Plymouth Rock Energy advised. You not only lose less power by switching to LED bulbs, for instance, but you also have to replace your lamps far less often.
3) Turn off things that are not in use
Another year-round tip that is part and parcel with turning down the temperature when no workers are in the building is powering down everything when it's not in use, Plymouth Rock Energy further noted. That means shutting off production machines when no one's there, of course, but it also means shutting down computers overnight, turning off lights and so on.
4) Conduct an energy audit
Over a few years, there are many little problems with your heating and electrical system that you don't notice, but which can add up to a big problem when viewed together, according to 128 Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric. Bringing in a professional to conduct an energy audit can highlight a lot of areas of inefficiency that you can fix and, potentially, save a ton each month as a result.
5) Get your heating system some much-needed maintenance
Along similar lines, you would also be wise to have a professional inspect your furnace, air conditioner and HVAC systems on a regular basis, 128 Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric warned. They can repair any issues that crop up over time and generally help ensure everything is running at peak performance.
6) Divide up larger spaces
In a large industrial setting, you likely have to use a lot of heat to get the facility to a comfortable temperature in the first place, and subdividing such spaces with curtains, doors, artificial walls and the like reduce that initial need, according to Grainger. Something as simple as installing plastic sheeting between your loading dock and the indoor space where shipments are processed can go a long way.