Living in Michigan means experiencing four seasons, sometimes even in the same day. These types of temperature variations can lead to rapid changes in energy costs, especially for businesses whose heating and cooling accounts for about 50 percent of their energy consumption. In order to maintain energy efficiency, businesses should assure their boiler or furnace systems are properly maintained.
If Your Business Has a Boiler…
Boilers use water to distribute heat through small hot water pipes to baseboard, cast iron radiators, or radiant flooring systems. In order to maintain your boiler system, keep these tips in mind:
- Tune up your boiler: If a boiler is emitting excess heat into a room, this forces your cooling system to work harder. Hiring someone for a tune-up will ensure your boiler has the right fuel-to-air ratio, which means the proper amount of air is being used to burn the right amount of fuel to heat a room.
- Start a maintenance program: To ensure your boiler components are all operating at peak performance, implement a boiler maintenance program by having a licensed boiler contractor inspect your unit at least once a year.
- Upgrade insulation: Swapping out old insulation with newer materials allows for better insulation and a lower heat capacity – meaning it will heat up faster. You’ll also want to improve your steam distribution insulation to make sure it is stable under temperature changes, includes low thermal conductivity, and is resistant to water absorption and combustion.
- Improve boiler controls: Your boiler controls system manages your cycle control, otherwise known as when you boiler is triggered to turn on or off. You can have better control over your boiler by installing a flue gas monitor, repairing leaks in the boiler or the flue, reusing hot condensate in your boiler, improving steam pressure operations, and repairing steam distribution leaks.
If Your Business Has a Furnace…
A furnace heats air and then distributes the heated air throughout the space with a blower motor and duct system. To keep your furnace working properly, focus on these areas:
- Tune up your equipment: Hiring a trained professional to tune up your furnace and HVAC equipment will improve your heating and cooling system’s efficiency and comfort level.
- Change the filters: At a minimum you should change the filter every three months, but if it looks dirty after a month, swap it out with a new one. A clean filter allows your system to maintain air flow and avoids the system from overworking.
- Clean, seal, and insulate ducts: Your hired trained professional should be able to recommend how often your specific ducts require cleaning. Maintain a strict schedule as clean, sealed, and properly insulated ducts will improve cost-effectiveness and indoor air quality.
As a DTE customer and business owner you may also be eligible for extended savings through our Incentive Programs. Through prescriptive, custom, or new construction incentives you can make long-term savings investments. For more information on increasing your business’ energy-savings, go to dteenergy.com/savenow and click on the “Business” page.