Don't be a fool by wasting fuel

  • Published
  • By Mr. Daniel Thiel
  • 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron
Comfortable warm rooms and running engines - that is the power of fuel. Jet propellants to power fighters, gasoline to run our vehicles, and heating fuel oil are the most popular fuel types derived from the crude oil that we use. On Spangdahlem Air Base, of these three types of fuel consumed, we spent the least on facility heating - but it still cost us about $5.5 million in FY 2015. 

In October, as the Air Force focuses on energy awareness, we all have an opportunity to make a positive impact on our collective fuel oil consumption and our environment.

It is autumn and the weather is starting to get cooler. This does not mean "crank up" the heat in your house to its upper limits. Please be aware and think about your environment, your energy costs, our energy costs and the cost to the Air Force. There are numerous viable options to consider in conserving energy without sacrificing comfort. One key factor is ventilating your homes correctly. Leaving your windows open all day while the radiator tries it's best to warm up the room is not an effective solution. Our suggestion is ventilating twice a day for 15 minutes with all windows opened to get fresh air in the room while the radiators are turned off. After ventilation, the rooms are filled with healthy, fresh oxygen and the radiators will have new air to warm. It is important, with the climate we have here, to limit mold growth and maintain a healthy environment for our families.

Finding the correct temperature for each room is another important factor. Having 70 °F in the living and dining room is enough while 60 - 65 °F will do in bedrooms. It seems like this is an unnecessary variation but lowering the temperature by 2 °F will reduce the energy costs in that space by 6%. Referencing the almost six-million dollars Spangdahlem AB spends on heating fuel, if we can achieve an overall temperature decrease by 2 °F throughout the year, we could expect to see about $360,000 in savings. A reduction of the temperature during the night time, when you're sleeping, will raise the savings even more and provide you better sleep. 

Give it a try. You will wake up more energized in a colder than in a warmer room - you will be astonished.

During the month, we will be providing you with tips on how to use your heating systems efficiently without a loss of comfort. This information will be provided on the "splash screens" on your PCs at work and at the energy information booth located at the Spangdahlem Gym on October 29th.