Imagine how much money your business could save with these escalating energy costs if you could cut your utility bills. The Department of Energy estimates that the right improvement in commercial buildings could save the company money and operate up to 70% more efficiently. With a plan for upgrades, you could see a dramatic decrease in your bills over time. Work with a contractor or an energy assessor to decide on upgrades for your particular situation. Following are some energy-efficient business design ideas.
Doors And Windows
Fiberglass exterior doors are among the strongest on the market. They’re also some of the most energy-efficient. Fiberglass is a poor conductor of heat, making it energy-efficient on its own, but when insulation is added, it’s hard to beat. Energy-efficient glazing is the term used to describe the double glazing or triple glazing used in modern windows. Unlike the original single glazing or old double glazing, energy-efficient glazing incorporates low-emissivity coated glass to prevent heat escaping through the windows. Old doors and windows are often made from inefficient materials and are plagued by air leaks and gaps between the unit and the frame. Energy Star estimates that replacing old doors and windows will reduce energy usage by as much as 12% annually.
LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs are generally, the most energy-efficient lighting technology you can buy. A quality LED produces the most light with the least electricity. Replacing the light bulbs can be done without replacing the fixtures, and can save your business thousands of dollars annually. ENERGY STAR Certified Light Bulbs use up to 90% less energy than standard bulbs; they last, at least 15 times longer and save about $55 in electricity costs. They are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but the prices are dropping. And the way you should think about it is that LEDs are more of a long-term investment. So, while the upfront cost might be a little higher, you may be able to save in the long run. A New York City theater did a study and was able to save $50,000 in one year by replacing the bulbs in the theater with LED.
Lighting Occupancy Sensors
Have you ever walked into a room, and without flipping a switch, the lights somehow turned on? What you encountered was a motion-activated light switch, or occupancy sensor, which is a brilliant invention. Occupancy sensors replace a typical on/off light switch with a motion sensor. The sensor automatically turns on a light when people are inside a room and will turn the light off when there is no motion detected after a certain length of time. Per a study conducted by the EPA titled “Demand Reduction and Energ.” occupancy sensors can reduce energy waste by as much as 68% and increase energy savings by as much as 60%.
The Department of Energy estimates savings of about 1 percent for each degree of thermostat adjustment per 8 hours and recommends turning thermostats back 7 to 10 degrees from their normal settings for 8 hours per day to achieve annual savings of up to 10%. Work with your contractor to install a thermostat with modern programming options to give you more control over the temperature of your commercial space.
The Air Conditioner And A White Roof
The average lifespan of an HVAC system is 15 to 20 years, but as these systems age, they tend to get less efficient. If your HVAC is over 10 years old, consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient unit, such as one that has earned the ENERGY STAR label. You may save 20-40 percent of your cooling energy with a new unit. And cool your rooftop. if your roof is black it can get as hot as 150 degrees in the summer. This requires your HVAC to work harder to cool your building. Painting your rooftop white can fix the problem. Studies have shown a white roof will be 50 degrees cooler than a black roof.
Energy-saving appliances are designed to utilize the smallest amount of energy required to complete a task. Some of the different types of energy-efficient appliances include refrigerators, water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers. If your business uses these appliances you would be wise to look for the Energy Star label when you make a new purchase. All Energy Star label products must be 20% more efficient than required by the minimum federal standard to qualify for the Energy Star label. Your business can save lots of dollars over time by installing the right appliances.
Insulation And Weather Stripping
Work with a contractor with experience installing proper insulation and weather stripping in commercial buildings, especially if you are housed in an older building that lacks proper insulation. Both of these applications will keep the warm air out in the summer and cold air out in the winter. Typical recommendations for insulation are exterior walls R-13 to R-23, while R-30, R-38, and R-49 are common for ceilings and attic spaces. Plus weatherstrip your doors and windows as this will surely help with your utility bill and will make your building comfortable and more energy-efficient.
With a combination of effective upgrades, you can see a dramatic decrease in your expenses over time. Simply put, energy efficiency is about using less energy to get the same job done – and in the process, avoiding high energy bills and unnecessary pollution.
Contact Us (859-538-6198) For a Free Consultation!
Complete Structural Partners (CSP) provides commercial and residential contracting, renovation, and remodeling services to the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. We specialize in retail, office, healthcare, warehouse, and manufacturing construction projects. CSP provides quality craftsmanship that is completed on time and under budget. Our Interior Design Division provides decorating, staging, and space planning services as well as construction services for small remodeling projects.