On average, laboratories use three to eight times more energy and water than offices and classrooms of equivalent size. While some of this energy-intensive equipment is necessary and/or out of our ability to modify, there remain plenty of things we can do to reduce lab energy consumption. Many of these tips involve the simple act of flipping a switch and take mere seconds of your day.
Fume Hoods: close the sash when not in use
-Fume hoods use 3.5 times more energy than the average house.
-Closing the sash when not in use can save up to thousands of dollars per year per hood.
-Even just lowering the sash can also save a significant amount of energy.
Liquid Nitrogen Freezer: defrost regularly
-Defrost when the frost in the freezer more than 2 cm thick. Frost insulates the coils and makes the compressor use more energy
Autoclave and dishwasher: only run with full loads
-Fewer loads mean less energy usage.
Incubators: use as intended
-Incubators are much less efficient as refrigerators and can waste 10 times more energy.
Computers: when not in use put in sleep mode, and shut off at the end of day
-Change the settings so that the monitor goes to sleep mode after 20 min. of inactivity. Monitors use up half the energy of the computer.
Other appliances: plug into power strips and meters
-Plug in appliances that aren’t constantly being used into power strips so that you can easily turn them off and on. Vampire appliances suck electricity even when they’re “off” as they’re actually on standby.
The content of this site is managed by the Sustainability Web Publishing Team. If you have comments or suggestions please contact us via email using the links below. If you are interested in volunteering to support the team, please contact Kristen directly.
Kristen Adams, Department of Anesthesiology
Erica DeMint, Practice Operations
Kelley McVay, Human Resources
Jeffrey Russ, Class of 2012 Medical Student