To ease the burden of rising energy costs, start by taking a look at your HVAC system. The unit not only maintains the current climate control in your restaurant, but it also controls exhaust from the kitchen. One way to maintain climate in the back and front of the house is to install two or more HVAC units. While costly in the beginning, you’re likely to see a more even internal temperature throughout.
Tips for saving energy (sourced from the Washington State University Cooperative Extension Energy Program and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance) include:
• Use the thermostat factory settings. Leave the thermostat settings at 76 F for cooling and 68 F for heating. Each degree of heating or cooling can cost an additional four to five percent in energy costs.
• Use the thermostat’s night setback feature. Set the thermostat to bring your restaurant to temperature no earlier than needed.
• Opt for florescent lighting and save as much as 1/4 on your energy output. Plus, the bulbs expel less heat than traditional light bulbs, helping to keep your restaurant cooler.