Saving Energy In Your Commercial Building
Increasing the overall value of your commercial property for future sale opportunities is just one of the benefits of reducing the utility costs of your building. It also has the dual benefit of adding breathing room to your budget for necessary repairs and maintenance, so it’s no surprise that building owners have turned to energy reduction strategies over the past decade as a way to reduce fuel consumption. Often, building owners find that many energy saving improvements can be relatively affordable, especially in the long term.
Below, we will look at three basic areas where energy efficiency enhancements can be made. Whenever you’re considering the costs of an energy efficiency upgrade, be sure to take into account the long term savings, since many systems pay for themselves in as little as five or ten years through reduced energy costs, maintenance, and replacement. You will almost assuredly gain a measure of increased comfort with these energy saving systems.
HVAC Efficiency Importance
Cooling and Heating a commercial building can account for up to half of a building’s energy costs, but recent advances in HVAC systems and commercial integration of those systems have made the entire service much more affordable The EPA has estimated that the cost of replacing a building’s air cooling system, or chiller, offers significantly lower energy costs throughout the warm months of the year as well as lower maintenance costs year.
This is also true for your building’s boiler and pump system; higher current energy standards for HVAC come with a greater focus on energy efficiency, and less environmental waste through decreased maintenance costs.
Lighting – Often Overlooked Energy Savings
Often neglected, lighting can be a source of energy cost excess if serious efficiencies aren’t implemented. Today, natural lighting is preferable where possible, and can be accomplished through:
- Larger, energy efficient windows
- Reflective flooring and ceilings
- Light colored walls and furniture
- Automated light control systems using timers or motion sensors
Where natural lighting is not adequate, electrical lighting is the obvious solution, but many commercial buildings still rely on older, expensive and wasteful fluorescent lighting. Today, new highly energy efficient lighting not only provide appropriate levels of light which are closer to natural illumination, but also have a drastically increased lifespan; newer fluorescent lighting, like T-5 tubes, can last as long as 25 years before replacement is required.
Roofing – Reflective and Well Insulated
The roof of your building is one of the principal points of insulation. Without sufficient roofing components, you could be wasting considerable heating and cooling efficiency, and older roofs can easily become an annoying source of water damage inside your building. If your roofing system hasn’t been inspected within the past decade, then you may want to consider hiring a trusted commercial roofing contractor, since they could save you many headaches in the future.
Today, newer considerations, such as metal roofing can also offer significant heat reflection and insulation, which will reduce cooling costs during the warm months of the year. For building owners with an interest in the organic, rooftop gardens can also be a surprisingly effective way to cut down on heating and cooling costs. As an added bonus, a rooftop garden provides an attractive break area for employees and improves morale!
Author: Dick Wagner