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Feel Refreshed this Summer with 4 Cost Reducing Tips

June 14, 2017

Summer is upon us and the hours of splendid sunshine and rising temperatures mean an increase in cooling costs and water usage. SOL VISTA excels in promoting energy efficiency for all our clients, using Skywalk® to implement personalized plans with annual utility savings up to 43%. Check out the following tips to give your property the best summer:

Summer Building Energy Tips
  1. Evaluate off hours usage of air conditioning: Conduct a survey and find out how many people are in the building throughout the day. Are there areas in your building where air conditioning setpoints and runtimes can be modified based on this schedule? Bonus tip: Be sure to annually calibrate thermostats using a hand-held digital thermometer measuring to two decimal places.
  2. Be aware of equipment malfunctions with a water meter data management system: Summer is a peak time for water usage, whether it's a pool system, decorative fountain, or irrigation. Installing submeters will provide valuable insight into the amount of water supplied to specific activities, and help identify leaks and other malfunctions. Bonus tip: Using a management system with remote communication capabilities provides instant feedback for all systems at a central location.
  3. Clean pool and spa filters on a regular basis to maintain efficiency: According to an estimate by the California Water Efficiency Partnership, for smaller pools and spas (34,000 gallons and under) it is most efficient to use cartridge filters; for larger pools (150,000-860,000 gallons), use industrial filters. For pools and spas that fall in-between, sorptive media filters are the most efficient. Use a pool filter pressure gauge to determine when filter cleaning is necessary (when pressure increases to 10 pounds per square inch) and install a pool filter sight glass to visually determine when backwashing is complete and minimize backwashing time.
  4. Reduce irrigation requirements with smart landscaping: Planning landscaped areas with four to six inches of topsoil and shaded areas decreases the water needs for all vegetation. Be sure to aerate soil annually to improve water infiltration if the area sees regular foot or vehicular traffic, and keep it free of weeds, ensuring all water goes to the decorative landscaping. If fountains, ponds and waterfalls are integrated into designs, consider recirculating the water used and shutting off the features when possible to reduce evaporation loss. Bonus tip: consider a full audit of any irrigation systems every three years to assess both performance and schedule of water use.

Use the above tips to assess your portfolio and keep energy costs low this summer. Even a slight change can save thousands of dollars; for example, identifying a leak in a drip irrigation system (0.5 gallon/minute) can save owners over $2,000 annually. For more tips and best practices on saving on energy costs, contact us now for a complimentary energy savings session.

SOL VISTA helps buildings quickly and continuously reduce utility expenses through a unique combination of onsite services and its performance data analytics platform, Skywalk.

Schedule a Skywalk Information Session