Each year, the cost of heating, cooling, and running a commercial building is steadily rising. This is because energy costs across the board are going up, and commercial buildings use more energy than almost any other type of building.
These increased costs are starting to have a negative impact on business, resulting in negative repercussions for everyone. Workers aren’t getting as many hours, their wages are being lowered, and space inside these commercial buildings is being used inefficiently as a direct result of rising energy costs.
Fortunately, there are a handful of ways that business owners can combat the rising cost of energy in their commercial buildings without sacrificing the quality of their customers’ experience in their buildings.
Here are 5 ways you can reduce energy costs in commercial buildings this year while keeping your customers and your employees as happy as ever.
According to a recent study, it turns out that commercial buildings are actually wasting up to 30% of their energy every year! For a large building, that’s an enormous amount to be paying for and not be using each year. The best way to get a handle on this is to have an energy audit performed on your building.
By having a professional come in and assess your energy usage, you can find out where the biggest leaks are coming from. There are multiple areas that could end up being your biggest concern, so by having an audit done, you can avoid treating smaller leaks and leaving bigger ones un-patched.
For example, you might have an actual air leak somewhere, but without knowing that you may try to replace your lighting or appliances. Getting an energy audit should be your first step when it comes to lowering your energy costs.
This is protection for the outside of your building. Barricade Wrap Plus is a high-performance, non-woven, non-perforated, permeable membrane for your commercial building. It is officially recognized by both the IBC and the IRC as an air barrier, meaning it’s the perfect addition to your building if you want to keep the outside out, and the inside in.
It’s also translucent, which makes it incredibly easy to install because builders can see framing members right through it. It’s also wind, water, tear, surfactant, and UV resistant, in addition to being incredibly strong.
Many older buildings are equipped with an HVAC system that’s very inefficient at saving energy. By switching to pre-insulated ducts you’ll have less air leaking out and you may be able to save up to 20% of your lost energy each year. Such ducts have fewer leaks, and are much lighter than old models, making them incredibly easy and cheap to install.
If you haven’t by now, you need to upgrade your lights. LED lights are far more energy efficient than traditional or fluorescent ones. Especially if you have your lights on all day and night, switching your bulbs out for LED versions is going to make a huge dent in your yearly energy bill.
LED lights also typically have a longer lifespan than fluorescent or traditional lights, meaning you will save money over the long-term by not having to replace them as often. Another clever way to lower the cost of your lighting is to opt for daylighting in the design of your building.
You could have some skylights installed so that instead of having your lights on 24/7, you can allow the sun to light up the inside of your building during the daytime. This also has the added benefit of improving the atmosphere inside your commercial building, as customers enjoy the natural, wide-open feeling of authentic sunlight shining through.
This is a popular option for older buildings because they tend to be under-insulated or have broken-down, degraded insulation. You might want to add new bats, spray insulation, foam boards, or loose fill, whatever is the most cost-effective and apt for your particular building.
Each of these methods on their own will have an impact on your monthly and annual energy bills. By having an energy audit performed, you can see which area you need to address the most, and avoid treating problems that don’t exist or aren’t significant.
Using Barricade Wrap Plus is one of the best ways to lower your heating and cooling costs, thanks to its official status as an air barrier. Indoor insulation can help you achieve the same thing, and combining them may just eliminate your air leaks. Replacing your HVAC system with pre-insulated ducts can also slash your air leakage if your current ducts are old and outdated.
Finally, switching out your old light bulbs for LED versions is another excellent way to save money in both the short-term and the long-term. If you’re up to it, combine each of these 5 tips for maximum energy saving results!