With long hours and a range of cooling needs, grocery and convenience stores eat up a lot of energy. In most stores, refrigeration accounts for 60 percent of all electrical use and store heating claims more than 50 percent of all natural gas use.
Ensure Doors Seal Tightly
Tight seals on doors prevents warm air from entering the unit, reducing energy required for cooling as well as preventing frost build up. Use this rule of thumb: If you can easily slide a dollar bill into the seal, have the seal adjusted.
Clean Cooling Coils
Dirt accumulation impairs proper heat transfer and lowers the efficiency and capacity of refrigerators. As you clean the coils, remove any ice that accumulates.
Keep Refrigerator and Freezer Doors Shut
To save energy, keep the doors to your cold storage units shut as much as possible. Repeated fluctuations in temperature can also damage food quality and led to inventory waste.
Use Display-Case Shields
Aluminum display-case shields can reduce refrigeration load from the display case by 8 percent when applied overnight and by 40 percent when applied over a 24-hour holiday, relative to the load present without the shield. Products are kept colder when the shields are attached and remain colder for several hours after the shields are removed.
ENERGY STAR®-certified bulbs and fixtures typically use one-quarter of the energy of traditional lighting. Use lighting controls and sensors to further enhance your lighting energy efficiency.
Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers
When it comes time to replace your refrigeration and freezer units, purchase ENERGY STAR®-certified models to save energy and money every day. You may even be able to find rebates for your purchase from ENERGY STAR® partners.
Install Anti-Sweat Heaters
Anti-sweat heater controls sense humidity in a store’s ambient air and reduce the operation of heaters in low-humidity conditions. Easy to install, these upgrades promise significant savings and quick payback. Energy savings range from 6 to 20 percent, according to the Washington State Energy Solutions Database.
Sources: energystar.gov and Business Energy Advisor.
Just as a tune-up for a car can improve gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort.