A Guide to Energy Efficiency Measures for Buildings
No matter the size of your building or the type of business you have, there are simple energy efficiency measures that can cut costs and save money. Here are some tips on how to get started today.
The building sector is one of the most significant contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. This is because buildings are responsible for 36% of global energy use and contribute 39% of worldwide CO2 emissions (United Nations Environmental Program).
The good news is that there are many ways you can make your building more efficient. Here are some ways you can play your role in creating a greener world:
Install Energy Efficient Windows and Doors
Modern buildings are adorned with glass windows and doors, which are essential for letting in daylight. These windows are not just a sight to behold but can be the difference between crazy utility bills and ones that are manageable.
Energy-efficient glass can help you reduce your energy bills significantly when compared with regular glass. For example, double-glazed windows can be fitted in place of single glazing and help retain the heat generated from appliances within a building while also keeping out cold air drafts. This way, you can keep your heating costs down.
Add Solar Panels
Green energy solutions like solar panels are becoming increasingly popular. Solar energy harnesses sunlight to produce electricity or heat water for consumption, thus reducing reliance on fuels like oil and gas.
Installing solar panels will not only reduce your carbon footprint but also lower monthly utility bills by serving as an auxiliary power source when there's no sun out. To get the most out of your panels, you should also consider adding batteries to store excess solar energy for those cloudy days.
Install Energy Efficient Appliances
In addition to using eco-friendly lighting solutions and installing solar panels, it is wise to invest in appliances that use less power to avoid draining your utility bill. Energy Star-approved appliances are tested and certified to use less energy than regular appliances, saving on your utility bill.
In addition to installing efficient lighting throughout your building, it is also wise to invest in other eco-friendly technologies such as LED lights that last longer and consume lesser power.
Replace Old Fixtures with Modern Ones
It can be challenging to let go of old fixtures and fittings since they may have been with you for a long time. However, if your old fixtures are not energy-efficient or do not work as effectively as modern versions, it is wise to replace them with new ones.
In addition to being more efficient than their older counterparts, modern fixtures also help reduce carbon emissions. Years of research have led to the invention and development of technologies that use less energy and resources to work better.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are smart devices that allow you to save on heating costs by automatically adjusting the temperature of your home or office building when no one is around, such as during nighttime hours.
These devices can also help reduce carbon emissions from power since they handle your energy requirements more efficiently. For instance, a programmable thermostat can automatically lower the temperature in your building when you leave for work and raise it again before you come back home from shopping or an outing.
Seal All Air Leaks
Insulation is another way for buildings to become more energy efficient because it helps retain heat or cold within the building, depending on the time of year.
For instance, during the winter months, insulation makes it possible for your heating appliances to do their job properly and not let all that hard work go to waste by allowing too much heat to escape through air leaks in your home.
In the summertime, insulation can help keep your building cool without having to switch on the air conditioning too early in the day. Proper insulation will prevent hot air from entering your home and keep your cooling appliances from working overtime.
Look for Natural Light Sources for Your Building
Natural light can be harnessed to help reduce the amount of energy you consume since it's free, unlike electricity or gas that must be paid off month after month in utility bills.
If the natural lighting is poor in a particular area of your building or during specific times of the day, it might be time for an upgrade. Installing proper windows and doors that let maximum sunlight inside without compromising your privacy will help reduce the need for artificial light sources.
Turn Off Unnecessary Electrical Appliances
Another way for buildings to become more energy efficient is by turning off electrical appliances when not in use or putting them on standby mode until they are needed again. For instance, if you're leaving your office, make sure to switch off the computer. If you're not in your office at night, make sure the lights are switched off too.
This is because appliances on standby mode or left running overnight when no one will be using them continue to consume electricity and add to your monthly utility bill without giving back anything useful in return.
Sensitize Occupants on Energy Saving Practices
If you are in charge of a multi-unit building, it is your responsibility to make sure all occupants are aware of the need for energy efficiency and practice good habits when at home or inside their unit.
If everyone knows the importance of energy efficiency and how simple measures such as turning off lights when not in use or switching appliances to standby mode can contribute to lower utility bills, then you will be on the right track towards making your building more sustainable.
Inspect Equipment for Efficiency Regularly
Ensuring that all equipment in your building is properly maintained and inspected regularly will help prolong their life cycle. Equipment such as boilers, water heaters, furnaces, or other appliances that have been installed for a long time can start to wear down over time, contributing to higher energy consumption.
Inspecting these items regularly prevents any serious problems. You can hire a reputable HVAC company for regular upkeep and inspection of your building's equipment.
If your property is in Estherville or Spirit Lake, Iowa, look no further than Comfortec Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We provide a wide range of services, including HVAC repair and installation, to ensure your building is always in top shape. Don't hesitate to give us a call when you need expert advice on energy efficiency measures for your property.
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