Print shops, regardless of size or processes in use, can often find ways to reduce energy consumption. Conserving energy and natural resources is a pollution prevention method that is often overlooked. There may be opportunities for pollution prevention in some fixed cost operations, such as lighting, ventilation, heating and air conditioning.
Best Management Practices & Pollution Prevention
The following are suggestions to minimize energy use in a printing facility:
Retrofit ceiling fixtures with a reflector and switch the traditional four-fluorescent bulbs in a 2 ft by 4 ft fixture to a two-fluorescent bulb fixture (known as a T8 conversion). Some utilities offer rebate programs to help offset the financing of retrofits.
Where appropriate, especially in offices, install occupancy sensors.
Use spray foam insulation to eliminate drafts.
Heavy duty mats and rugs can be installed to help insulate feet from the slab floor.
Determine the source of odors to attempt to eliminate them. Do not use increased air conditioning or ventilation as the sole source to alleviate the problem. Remember, when making changes, it is essential to have enough ventilation to keep the pressroom safe.
Make sure all dryers and oxidizers are well maintained to maximize their performance.
Compressed air needs should be evaluated and compressor equipment should be properly sized to fit the needs of the facility.
Compressed air lines and fittings should be checked regularly for leaks and the leaks fixed.
Conduct an energy audit to find ways to significantly reduce utility bills. Many local utilities provide free energy audits for commercial buildings. It takes a quick call to arrange a convenient time for an audit. Audit reports commonly provide constructive, money saving suggestions to reduce energy use.
An energy auditor will ask questions about the gas heat and electric systems. He/she will go into every room of the building and take notes regarding the size of the vents, types and numbers of ceiling lights, and location of wall switches. The duct work and insulation in the attic are also examined.
Every situation is different, however there are trained professionals at local utility companies that can help determine where you can reduce your energy consumption and save money.