In our society we depend on energy for every part of our day to go smoothly. Whether it’s turning on the lights, starting the car, or making a morning coffee, we depend on some source of energy. Every source of energy has some impact on the environment. The magnitude of that impact depends on the energy source itself, for example renewable sources have far less global impact than crude oil. One way to reduce your company’s environmental impact, besides alternative energy, is by retrofitting your properties and your offices.
What is retrofitting?
Retrofitting is modifying your buildings and properties to reduce its energy consumption. The process of retrofitting your property can be a long-term project that involves energy audits and strategic cost-benefit analyses. The goal of retrofitting is to make properties more energy efficient.
Here are 3 areas to consider as you begin retrofitting your properties.
Swap light bulbs and light switches out for energy efficient models. Swapping out standard lights for LED alternatives can reduce energy consumption up to 90%. Installing LED lights also are more cost-effective because they have a longer lifespan than standard bulbs, usually lasting around 10-15 years.
Motion activated lights can be installed both indoors and outdoors to detect when lights are necessary. They turn off when no activity is sensed to minimize any wasted electricity. Dimmer switches can be used to the same effect. Lutron electronics reports that even at their maximum, dimmer switches reduce electricity usage by 4%-9% and savings can reach up to 28%.
Retrofitting insulation enhances how heating and cooling system preform and reduce its cost. Modifying insulation is cost-effective and reduces heat lost in a building overtime, so you won’t have to rely on turning up your heating. You can approach the retrofit from the exterior with insulating foam, about 4 inches can make your walls more effective at retaining heat. For a less dramatic overhaul, insulation can also be improved by adding interior walls which can keep that property functional while it undergoes renovation. Retrofitting basement walls with insulation can save 10%-20% of energy and associated costs, especially in colder climates. You can reduce heat loss by up to 67% by adding insulation to walls that previously had none.
Windows & Doors
Before retrofitting your windows, you must first evaluate whether you need a full frame replacement or to just modify your current windows. Doors and windows account for a huge percentage of heat loss in a home or building and account for approximately 35% of escaped heat. To increase heat retention, methods like glazing and weatherstripping can act as a barrier and trap heat indoors. You can also switch to vinyl windows which are more effective at preventing heat loss, cost around 25% less than wooden windows and can last up to 40 years.
Reimagining your use of energy by retrofitting your properties can be time intensive but cost-effective in the long run. Retrofitting can decrease how much you spend on energy, reduce operating costs, and attract new customers.