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Energy Conservation

Energy Use Facts and Tips

(Although the information here applies to typical school operations and equipment, many of these facts and tips can apply to any work or home environment.)
 

Lighting

  • Turning off non-essential lighting, even for just a few minutes, saves more energy than leaving them on. New technology fluorescent lighting does not require a "warm up" period to reach full brightness.
  • Lamp and switch life are not significantly affected by increased on/off cycling.
  • In most schools, lighting is the largest energy user, consuming 38 to 54% of total classroom energy.
  • Turning the lights off in one classroom for one hour during the school day can save up to $36/year/classroom in electricity alone.

Tips

  • Turn lights off every time you leave a room even if just for a few minutes.
  • Take advantage of natural daylight whenever possible and turn off unnecessary lighting.
  • Use task lighting to directly illuminate work areas and turn off non-essential room lighting. (This means a small desk or table lamp, not a stand-up torchiere type).

HVAC

(Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning)
  • Leaving doors and windows open while the HVAC system is running causes the equipment to work less efficiently by its having to condition the added outside air. The result is longer running times and shortened equipment life.
  • Turning your thermostat to extreme settings does not make the space heat up for cool down any faster. The HVAC system cannot be "throttled" up or down with the thermostat. 
  • The air inside the classroom is many times cleaner than the air outside.

Tips

  • Keep doors and windows closed while heating and cooling. 
  • Don't leave doors open between interior spaces where conditioned air can migrate into other spaces where it's not needed.
  • Close shades or blinds on the sunny side of your building to reduce solar heat gain during hot weather. Open them up during the cold months, but be sure to close them at the end of the day to reduce heat loss at night. 
  • Wear clothing that is appropriate for the task and the season.
  • Keep thermostat settings at 78 or warmer for cooling and 68 or cooler for heating. Both provide a good level of comfort and substantial energy savings.