Even though they are quite beneficial institutions that allow us to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle, sports facilities are also often a major source of energy use. Not only does this present a financial challenge for someone running a recreational center, but such wastefulness can also have a significantly negative impact on the environment as well. Thankfully, by implementing a few simple operating changes, your facility can be that much more green and efficient. To that end, here are some ways you could improve energy efficiency in your own sports or recreational facility:
Include energy-conserving features
If you’re still in the stage of planning or building your recreational facility, now is the perfect time to introduce more passive features that will go a long way towards preventing any excessive energy loss in the future. For instance, you can install efficient solar panels or insulate the walls, floors, ceilings, hot water tanks, as well as any doors and windows in your facility, in an effort to conserve energy.
Keep in mind that both renewable energy and insulation can still be done on all necessary aspects even after the completion or during the renovation of your sports complex. However, it might come at a slightly higher cost, and take up a bit more time than ideal.
Invest in the most efficient equipment
Another simple way of increasing the energy efficiency in your recreational center is to invest in modern, high-quality electric equipment and appliances. Exercise machines and other types of sports equipment have a tendency to waste an excessive amount of energy, which is why it pays to select only the equipment with the highest energy-saving potential.
Similar to your home appliances, it would be best to look for Energy Star gym equipment for higher efficiency. Maintaining the appliances regularly, utilizing “power down” features, using time clocks, and switching the equipment off during the night, unless your facility is working all hours, can also be of great help when it comes to conserving energy.
Implement better lighting solutions
Naturally, good lighting is a vital aspect of any sports center, not only for the visibility and the safety of your visitors, but also for providing comfort and satisfaction in your space. However, the lighting system can also be one of the most wasteful aspects of your facility, especially if you opt for unreliable incandescent lights.
The best option for your facility would in fact be durable LED sports lighting that is made with recreation in mind. Apart from being the most energy-efficient form of lighting, these LED lights are also made following special sports criteria, allowing for increased safety and higher visual comfort in your space, all while saving on energy and future maintenance costs, due to their high-quality build.
Update the AC and ventilation systems
Even though the benefits of LED lighting are undeniable, there are other aspects of a recreational center that could significantly contribute to the energy consumption in your space. For instance, the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system can be particularly wasteful, especially if it’s over a decade old.
For that reason, you might want to consider updating your HVAC system, and opting for an Energy Star alternative as well, for maximum efficacy. It might also be a good idea to install smart thermostats in your facility, as they will allow you to set ideal temperatures and adjust the appropriate ventilation in different rooms, thus providing optimal comfort and function, as well as improved efficiency in your sports center.
Focus on the smaller aspects as well
There are some smaller features of recreational centers we don’t think about quite as often, which could end up being particularly wasteful as well. For example, simply ventilating and heating up a pool could take up a large percentage of the facility’s energy, which is why heating only to the minimum necessary temperatures and using a pool cover are recommended practices.
Another aspect you might want to consider is educating your staff, as well as your visitors, on energy conservation. Keep in mind that even something as simple as using equipment properly or turning off the lights and appliances when they’re not in use could help to maximize the energy efficiency in your sports facility on a daily basis.
Considering the fact that the fitness industry tends to be incredibly wasteful, it’s perfectly understandable that running your own recreational facility might require plenty of energy. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use more power than needed, as long as you adhere to the helpful tips mentioned above.