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Commercial Energy Conservation
The following are a few hints you might wish to implement at your foodservice operation to help save on rising utility bills.
- Be certain heating and cooling systems are in good operating condition. Clean or replace filters, remove accumulated dirt, have a professional "tune up the system", etc.
- Can you reduce heat setting (or raise A/C setting) at night or during holidays or vacation periods?
- Do you have a programmable thermostat to automatically accomplish set back?
- Is your exhaust and air intake system balanced?
- Is your facility adequately insulated: ceilings, walls, etc?
- Do you need ceiling fans?
- Open delivery doors only when necessary.
- Keep equipment clean. Dirty equipment usually must work harder and therefore uses more energy.
- Instead of turning on all equipment when initially entering the kitchen, can you wait until closer to actual opening?
- Limit preheat time to that period recommended by the manufacturer for the particular piece.
- Turn off unused equipment or turn down units during slow periods.
- If feasible, cover pots, as this usually reduces heat loss and lets food cook faster. Likewise, keep oven doors closed as much as possible.
- Preheat ovens to required temperature rather than setting thermostat higher and then turning it down.
- Clean fryer filters.
- The hottest gas flames for standard open burners are all blue with a distinct cone, not lazy looking, yellow-orange in color, or blowing off the burner.
Check for leaking faucets; replace washers or repair leaks. Besides wasting water, you could be wasting energy if that drip is hot water. One estimate indicates a hot water faucet dripping at 1 gallon an hour consumes 9,000 gallons annually. Take advantage of Mother Nature. Use daylighting rather than artificial lighting to reduce the A/C load in the summer. In winter, sunlight could help warm a room, but remember to close blinds or drapes at night to retain that heat. Conversely, block sunlight entering during summer season. Put lighting on timers. New equipment generally is more efficient than its older counterparts. When purchasing, inquire about efficiency, look for Energy Star designation, etc. Some smaller manufacturers may have worked diligently to produce more efficient and convenient equipment. If buying a steamer, for example, you might look at the new boilerless gas equipment. Hard water in our area can cause problems, necessitating "deliming." Failure to do so can cause premature failure of the equipment.