Some simple ideas:
- Reduce hot water temperature. For activities such as dish washing & laundering, water as low as 120 degrees may be used safely.
- Install low-flow shower heads & faucet aerators. These devices help slow the flow of water while maintaining pressure & coverage.
- Find & repair any plumbing leaks.
- Insulate all hot water storage tanks and piping.
- Turn off hot water circulating pumps during off-hours.
- Operate dish machines and laundry machines only when there is a full load, using cold or warm water whenever possible.
A business may also consider running a more efficient water heating system. There are a number of different types of systems to choose from nowadays. For example:
- Solar Water Heating - Utilizes heat energy produced by the sun to heat water. However, in many regions, these systems may not meet water heating demand during the colder months, and supplemental water heating may be required.
- Tankless On-Demand Water Heating - Typically located at the point of use, these systems heat the water only when needed, reducing standby losses. They tend to be most effective in remote areas with only occasional use.
- Heat Pump Water Heating - This type of system uses electricity to move heat from one place to another, instead of generating it directly. They work on the same principles as an air conditioner, but in reverse, drawing heat energy from its surroundings and transferring it to a tank of water. Because of typically high indoor air temperatures and high demand for hot water, these systems work particularly well in a kitchen environment.
- Direct-Fire Water Heating - Demand water heaters that can handle much higher quantities of potable water. By mixing combustion heat directly with incoming water, they are able to perform at efficiencies of 98% or higher.
Finally, once a building has a reduced demand for hot water and an efficient system for heating water, it's time to consider heat recovery. Heat recovery is the capture of heat energy from fluids or gases that would otherwise be lost. Heat can be recovered from drain water, hot air, heat pumps, and many other places in a commercial building.