4 Ways Facilities Waste Energy During the Winter
It’s no secret that the essential forms of energy that power facilities and workplaces are becoming increasingly expensive. Between 2010 and 2016 in the Toronto area alone, large industrial energy users saw their electricity prices jump 46%1. And what’s worse, the prices continue to rise for large businesses and industrial facilities. Over the past year or so, large-power consumers in Ottawa and Toronto faced an increase in electricity costs of 7% and 10% respectively2. With these numbers in mind, the ability to use energy responsibly and efficiently is essential for industrial facilities. This is especially true in the upcoming months, as understanding the ways facilities waste energy during the winter can be majorly beneficial.
It begs the question: what can facility managers do to reduce their energy expenditures? The first step in improving the conditions of any facility is understanding the areas in which problems commonly arise. From there, facility operators and managers can work with Lenworth to address and improve these areas with proper products and services. Read on to learn about four ways facilities typically lose energy in the winter and how Lenworth can help solve these problems.
1. Improperly Sealed Loading Dock Doors Can Lead to Energy Loss in Winter
Improperly sealed loading docks are prime areas of concern when it comes to energy loss in the winter months. With the amount of time that loading dock doors remain open for loading and unloading purposes, the need for an airtight seal between the trailer and the dock becomes imperative.
Dock seals protect against the elements and prevent warm air from escaping. As a result, this leads to better energy conservation and comfortable, safe working conditions.
Lenworth carries Adjustable Curtain Dock Seals that form an airtight seal around loading dock openings. These seals are made with resilient foam pads covered by an abrasion-resistant fabric. They create a perfect canopy around the full perimeter of any trailer to keep warm air inside the facility and foul weather outside. These adjustable dock seals allow a facility to better control and maintain its internal environment. By containing warm air and preventing infiltration, they can help facilities reduce their energy costs.
2. Improper Air Destratification is One of the Common Ways Facilities Waste Energy
Air destratification refers to the process of distributing air around a facility to ensure a consistent internal temperature. Distributing heated air effectively presents an operational challenge for many facilities, especially ones with high ceilings and large square footage. Proper, controllable internal air distribution is even more crucial during the winter months. It can help conserve energy usage and provide more comfortable internal conditions for everybody in the facility.
High-Volume Low-Speed (HVLS) Fans are specifically engineered to help properly de-stratify air in larger spaces. They can make a significant difference in a facility’s ability to reduce their heating costs. During the winter, HVLS fans effectively re-distribute warm air trapped at the ceiling, down to the floor level. These large fans work with HVAC systems, supplementing and effectively moving the warm air they generate in order to reduce wasted energy.
Lenworth carries three models of AirVolution fans designed to address different workplace specifications. We provide free consultations to help determine which fan will work best for your facility.
3. Facilities Rely on Poorly-Insulated Sectional Overhead Doors Leading to Wasted Energy
Outdated overhead doors do not provide the type of protection needed to sustain warmer temperatures around loading dock areas. Consequently, this can lead to uncomfortable, inefficient workspaces.
A properly insulated door shields facilities from the external elements and allows businesses to effectively utilize the conditioned air they pay for.
Lenworth’s Sectional Overhead Doors are rigid, energy-efficient, long-lasting door systems that can help facilities reduce their overall energy expenditures. They can withstand harsh weather conditions and are designed with a thermal break to help reduce the transfer of thermal energy through the door. This thermal break keeps the warm air in and the cold winter air out.
4. Slow Overhead Door Cycle Times is One of the Ways Facilities Waste Energy
Loading dock doors with slow opening and closing speeds can contribute to increased energy waste and higher heating bills. The longer these doors stay open per cycle, the more airflow can occur between the outdoors and the inside of a facility. Cold air can rush in and warm, contained air can escape. This unwanted air transfer can result in significant amounts of wasted energy. In addition to being inefficient, low-speed doors in the loading dock area are less effective at protecting employees from the elements.
High-Speed Overhead Doors can reduce a door’s cycle time from 56 seconds to 5.6 seconds. This difference of a few seconds may seem small, but when you consider the amount of open/close cycles facility doors complete on a given day, the difference is significant. When it comes to low-speed doors, most energy is lost when the door is closing. High-speed doors can close up to 2-3 times faster than low-speed alternatives.
Lenworth carries High-Speed Overhead Doors for both interior and exterior applications. While both types of doors carry similar benefits such as air-tight seals, high-speed cycle times and supreme durability, there are differences in their designs that cater to their respective environments. Our exterior High-Speed Doors are all specifically designed to maintain a high level of performance even under harsh weather such as wind, snow and rain.
Lenworth Specializes in Reducing the Ways Facilities Waste Energy
To learn more about how Lenworth can help your facility become more energy efficient in the winter and beyond, book a free no-hassle consultation today. One of our experts will help you understand the areas to improve your facility. They will also suggest solutions that align with your needs, budget and logistics.
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- Energy Manager. “Significant energy costs threaten Ontario’s competitiveness”
- Fraser Institute. “The Ontario Government’s Electricity Policies 2018–2019: How They Are Failing and How to Fix Them”
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