5 Ways to Make Any Building More Energy Efficient

*This is a collaborative post

Older buildings are far less energy efficient than their modern counterparts. Many still rely on large amounts of non-renewable resources to keep residents or occupants comfortable, which will only become more of a problem as the world's fossil fuel reserve continues to be depleted.

In more recent years, there has been a shift in thinking among building designers, and the need for energy-efficient structures is now a priority. However, there are still a lot of buildings that were constructed prior to this modern shift. Read on to find out how to make them more energy efficient.

1. Let In the Light But Keep Out the Heat

There's no denying that the hottest days of summer are getting even hotter. Property owners can't just continue to run their air conditioners more to keep up. Instead, they should look up commercial window tinting near me and find a company that installs high-quality window tinting film that boosts energy efficiency and mitigates UV radiation while simultaneously allowing in plenty of natural light.

2. Upgrade the Insulation

There is a direct correlation between the quality of a building's insulation and its energy efficiency. Insulating not just attics and ceilings but also floors and walls helps property owners save up to 10% on their annual energy costs. Even if the building has some insulation, it won't do much good without a properly sealed building envelope. 

Air leaks will continue to affect the indoor climate, forcing heating and cooling systems to work harder and use more energy. Sealing leaks and upgrading the insulation will put a stop to that problem.

3. Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting

Incandescent light bulbs are extremely inefficient, so making the switch to LEDs can make a huge difference. Research shows that LED bulbs use over 75% less energy than their incandescent equivalents and last up to 25 times as long.

4. Install a More Efficient HVAC System

Residential and commercial HVAC systems use a lot of energy. In many cases, air conditioners and electric heaters are the most energy-hungry fixtures in the building, so switching to newer, more efficient heating and cooling systems can make a big difference. Even if the HVAC equipment is only 10 years old, property owners can expect to save 20-40% of their energy costs after replacing it with a new, more efficient system.

5. Focus on Using Renewable Energy

Even the most energy-efficient buildings still require some power, and around 75% of that power comes from fossil fuels. Making an active decision to pursue renewable energy options requires an upfront investment but pays off in the long run. 

Installing solar panels and batteries is a fantastic option for both commercial and residential properties as long as they are in areas that get sufficient sun. Working with electricity providers that prioritize wind and solar power over coal, oil, and natural gas is also a great option if it's available in the area.

Start Making Changes

There's no need for property owners to change everything about their buildings in one day, or even one year. Start by making affordable improvements such as replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs, adding extra insulation, or installing tinting film to the south-facing windows. Then, save up for larger investments like new HVAC systems or solar arrays. All of these improvements will add up to create a more energy-efficient building that requires fewer non-renewable resources.

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