The operating cost of a child care center is definitely an expensive one, but we all realize that providing a safe, fun, and educational environment for the children who attend is well worth every penny. There are supplies, food, and payroll expenses just to mention a few of the more obvious expenses. Other costly operational expenses would include the energy usage for the center.
Below are a few options to consider in keeping the energy usage for child care centers under control and lowering expenses.
1. Construction Materials
The materials used to construct child care centers can have a direct impact on their energy efficiency. Insulation, for example, can lower energy bills by keeping heated and cooled air inside. Large windows, which can make the center bright and cheery, can also contribute to heat gain and loss, which then can drive up energy bills.
When building a new child care center, consider the orientation of the building in comparison to the sun as well. South-facing windows allow sunlight in throughout the day, which can help with heat in the winter. Add an awning to block the sun in the summer months when it is higher in the sky.
2. Occupancy Considerations
Next, consider how many children and staff will be inside the building, especially during peak occupancy times. Bodies create heat, and you will need to compensate for that. In addition, some areas of the facility may not be used at all times. Occupancy sensors in these areas can automatically shut off lights when staff leaves.
3. Lighting Decisions
Lights have to be consistent and bright in child care centers, but they use electricity and can create heat gain. Consider the most efficient lighting possible, like LED lighting, to avoid wasted energy and unnecessary heat gain.
4. HVAC Hacks
Finally, the HVAC system for child care centers can help keep energy costs low and occupants comfortable year-round. A few ways to cut energy usage for child care centers with an HVAC system include:
- Using Wi-Fi smart thermostats. These systems let you set active hours and maintain consistent airflow and usage without overworking your system to quickly heat or cool the entire facility.
- Having zoned areas. By reducing the amount of time your heating and cooling system are running in certain areas, you can easily cut costs for your facility. If you use classrooms in the morning and main communal areas in the afternoon, you can zone those sections appropriately instead of running the system for the whole building all day.
- Schedule regular maintenance. Regular maintenance reduces the cost of operating your system by making sure it’s running properly. It also ensures you curb the cost of unexpected repairs by being in tune with your system on a regular basis.
Energy usage for child care centers can drive up the costs of operations. Having an optimized HVAC system can help, contact the team at Jackson & Sons today to learn more.