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Energy Conservation

Lee Layton, P.E.

Course Outline

What is commonly referred to as the building envelope is reviewed in this course.  The building envelope includes infiltration, insulation, windows, and vapor barriers.  HVAC are reviewed including HVAC terminology, types of HVAC systems, thermostats, energy recovery ventilators, and methods to improve the efficiency of HVAC systems.

Lighting is reviewed including lighting terminology, types of lighting systems, methods to use lighting efficiently, and lighting controls.

Building equipment is also reviewed including water heaters, air compressors, electronic equipment, and appliances.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

After taking this course you should,

Intended Audience

This course is intended for electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, architects and others who want to know more how to save energy in residential and commercial buildings.

Benefit to Attendees

From this course, the reader will learn a few of the simple and effective methods to improve energy efficiency in residential and small commercial buildings.

Course Introduction

Rising energy costs have created a renewed interest by facilities managers in the energy efficiency of their facilities.  Whether it is a commercial building, an industrial plant, or even an individual residence, there are strategies that can improve the efficiency of the facility without reducing its comfort or operational effectiveness.

Space heating is the largest consumer of energy at 49% of the total usage in a home, followed by lighting and appliances, which is 23% of the total.  Water heating is the third largest consumer of energy at 16% of the total.  These values vary based on the area of the country with air conditioning making up a larger percentage in the South and Southwest parts of the United States.  Small commercial buildings will have similar usage patterns except that the water heating will be less and the air conditioning and lighting will be a larger percentage.

Strategies to improve the energy efficiency of facilities include, improving the building envelope, installing energy efficient heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems, using appropriate lighting, and managing the various appliances commonly found in commercial and residential buildings. 

Course Content

This course content is in the following PDF document:

Energy Conservation

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

Course Summary

With rising energy costs it is important for energy managers to consider many different approaches to reducing energy consumption.  The preceding material has been an overview of topics related to energy consumption in residential and small commercial buildings.  Some of the most significant energy efficiency improvements are most easily made during the construction phase of a facility such as building envelope improvements and HVAC choices.  Other decisions, such as lighting changes, equipment purchases, and operating procedures can be implemented relatively easily at anytime.  The United States is entering a prolonged period of increasing fuel costs and all viable energy conservation measures should be considered.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.