Reducing your energy and water consumption will accomplish two good things: you will lower your monthly utility bills and help stop climate change.
At home, it is easy to make simple lifestyle changes that will significantly impact energy and water consumption. However, a restaurant has its own unique demands that make conservation more challenging.
How can you reduce energy and water use in a restaurant? Here are some tips.
In a home or in a business, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, better known as the HVAC, consumes the most energy. It keeps the space warm when it is cold outside and cool when the weather is hot.
However, the HVAC is less effective when there are leaks within the structure. A hole in the roof or cracks in the wall let air come out, forcing the HVAC to work harder to effectively warm or cool the interior.
The solution is to patch up the areas where the air leaks. Call your commercial roofing contractors to find holes on the roof and make appropriate repairs. For walls, you can do it on your own with epoxy (if it is concrete) as long as the damage is still small.
Check windows and doors, too, for any problem.
If you fear that the holes and cracks compromise structural integrity, ask the professionals what can be done to fix it.
Perform Maintenance Regularly
Maintenance of electrical equipment should be done regularly, especially at a restaurant where these devices are used frequently. When you ignore cleaning or servicing, your electrical equipment may not work as efficiently as the manufacturer intended.
The condenser coils of your refrigerator, for example, gets clogged with dust over time. If that happens, the refrigerator will not be able to expel heat and, therefore, have to use more energy to keep its temperature down and prevent your food from spoiling.
Read the manual. There usually is maintenance instruction to guide you on how to better care for your equipment.
Upgrade Your Equipment
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or EPA recommends that restaurants use machines that have the Energy Star mark. Energy Star is a sign that the equipment or device has been designed to use significantly less electricity and water. The EPA says that Energy Star models can reduce utility bills by at least 10%.
You should also switch to LED or CFL bulbs. They use less electricity and have a longer life span compared to the regular incandescent bulb.
Make Your Layout More Efficient
If you want your restaurant to become more energy and water efficient, you may need to rearrange some things.
Your kitchen, specifically, should be arranged in a way that helps your equipment perform at its optimum. Remember to provide a breathing room between each appliance, especially your refrigerator which has to expel heat in order to keep its interior temperature down. It is also important not to place machines that cool near machines that warm. If you, for example, place your ice cream machine beside the grill, it would take longer for the ice machine to cool the liquid inside it because the grill gives off so much heat.
In addition, your staff should follow basic conservation protocols. Shut off any equipment and turn off the tap when not in use. If you can, you should also choose renewable energy sources for power. These tips hopefully can help your restaurant save money and reduce its carbon footprint.