Managing energy costs is a hot topic for many apartment and condo developments especially those that share a common bill for appliances like in-suite gas fireplaces.
Here are some simple ways to use less energy in your strata block or apartment complex:
Maintain your boilers and associated systems. Get your maintenance contractor to measure boiler efficiency at least once every year.
- Turn off boilers and heating pumps in the summer. If some residents require heat in warmer weather, it’s cheaper to provide them with portable heaters.
- Get your maintenance contractor to check the control system. Inadequate or incorrectly operating controls can increase your costs by 20 per cent.
- Replace your boiler if it’s more than 25 years old. Installing new high-efficiency units can reduce your gas usage by up to 30 per cent.
- Turn off pilot lights in the summer.
- Use automatic fireplace shut-off timers. Timers run for one hour, then need to be reset, and can yield major savings.
- Make sure fireplaces are part of your annual maintenance schedule.
Make-up Air Units
- Turn off heating in the summer months.
- Set temperature controls to 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit). This temperature is usually sufficient for corridors, stairs and hallways.
Tank-Type Water Heaters
Make sure tank-type heaters are part of your annual maintenance schedule.
Think about changing tank-type heaters to boiler/storage tank combinations for major cost and energy savings
- Make sure storage tanks are well insulated.
- Insulate all hot water pipes in the boiler room and any running through unheated areas such as parkades. Make sure that valves and flanges are insulated.
- Set the water temperature at 55 degrees Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit). Hotter temperature settings waste energy while lower settings can lead to increased bacterial growth.
Showers & Faucets
- Install low-flow showerheads and save up to 30 per cent on your hot water usage. Flow reducers on faucets can offer additional savings.
- Adjust temperature settings so that the air temperature in the indoor pool area is higher than the water temperature — this greatly reduces heat loss from the pool.
- Cover the pool and hot tub when not in use to reduce heat loss and evaporation.
- Reduce indoor ventilation rates at night when the pool is not being used.
- Cover the pool throughout the period when it is being heated before the start of the season.