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How to Make Your Library More Energy Efficient

Updated: Jun 13, 2019

National Library Week Energy Efficiency for your library

Libraries play a crucial role in the community and as we kick off National Library Week, we want to encourage libraries to get involved in energy efficiency. From energy assessments to lighting improvements, energy efficiency projects not only generate cost savings, but they work to improve the overall safety and aesthetics of your building. To help you get started at your library, check out some of our energy efficiency tips below.

Lighting and Occupancy Sensors: Lighting is a major area of improvement for most facilities, and it is especially important for libraries. By switching out your incandescent or fluorescent bulbs to LEDs, your lighting will use less energy, reduce maintenance costs, and provide a higher quality of light to your patrons. To further improve the efficiency of your LEDs, consider installing occupancy sensors to areas such as conference rooms or bathrooms. This will ensure that lights do not remain on in unoccupied areas. Likewise, if your library receives a lot of natural light during the day, it pays to have daylighting sensors. Daylighting sensors monitor the amount of natural light available in your space and automatically dim your indoor lights based on necessity.

HVAC: When we look at buildings within the public sector, heating, cooling, and ventilation are generally the top energy consuming systems. To optimize the performance of your HVAC, keep up with regular maintenance and schedule a system tune-up at least once a year. A tune-up can extend the life of your unit, prevent costly future repairs, and help to maintain the comfort level of your library. Aside from general maintenance, there are low-cost solutions to reducing the energy consumption of your HVAC, such as economizers and variable speed drives.

  • Economizers: An economizer takes the air from outside your building and uses it to cool the inside of your building. This is known as “free cooling” as the HVAC system gets a break from the mechanical cooling process.

  • Variable Speed Drive (VSD): If your current system is not equipped with a VSD then it only has two settings: on and off. With a VSD your system will have more motor control and functionality to provide heating and cooling on a supply and demand basis. To learn more about HVAC optimization, read our blog post here.

Energy Management System (EMS): Since your building is equipped with several energy consuming systems working together, it’s important to make sure each system is operating correctly. This is where an energy management system can help. An EMS continually monitors and analyzes your building’s energy usage to detect any shifts in energy consumption. An EMS will alert you of abnormal energy usage which may be the result of old or damaged equipment, faulty sensors, or a less than optimal automation schedule.

Retro-Commissioning: To get your operating schedules assessed by a professional, consider retro-commissioning. Retro-commissioning is a building study that looks for low to no cost operational improvements to optimize energy performance. Our engineers can analyze your EMS data to find opportunities for improvement such as fine-tuned scheduling or temperature setbacks.

Libraries are essential to the community and should be operating efficiently. For more information on how to lower your energy bill, contact 360 Energy Group at 312-265-3971 or and keep up with us on social media for more energy efficiency tips and tricks.


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