Summer is here, and with it the fluctuating weather conditions that send commercial building managers scrambling to check their budgets. In the Northeast, June was rainy and cool—it felt more like San Francisco, the coolest U.S. city in the summer, where temperatures average 61. Other major cities in the Northwest were not far behind and remain cool. In Seattle and Portland, Oregon temperatures hover in the mid-60s. In Alaska, however, heat records were shattered as the temperature reached 91 while Alaska heated up to 91.
Similarly, record-setting heat sent temperatures soaring above 110 for days on end in Europe, driving even the air-conditioning averse to seek relief. In the U.S. Southeast and elsewhere temperatures that recorded the hottest June on record promise to remain high for months to come: 2019 is forecast to be among the hottest years since records began in the mid-1800s.
For commercial property, energy consumption is likely to be the largest operating expense.
There are steps you can take now and new technologies to learn about that reward in multiple ways.
Standard tips for reducing energy consumption-good but is it enough?
Some savings can be had by employing the following tactics:
- Raise the temperature in the building by just a few degrees in summer. It will have a large impact on energy costs.
- Raise the temperature a few degrees more in evenings, on weekends and holidays when the building is largely unoccupied.
- Collect trend data from your HVAC system to assure it is in fact raising the temperature as indicated above.
- Perform regular HVAC system maintenance in order for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service. Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.
- Move furniture so they are not blocking open vents. Air that must be distributed from under furniture requires more energy.
- Explore various alternatives to reduce the amount of direct sun coming through windows, such as installing solar shades.
- Explore on your own or hire a consultant to assess the energy and economic impact of various technologies, giving priority to those that save the most energy at the lowest cost.
- Benchmark, track and analyze energy consumption, looking for ways to save. Use tools such as BuildingSync®, government metrics that provide standardized language for commercial building energy audit data to evaluate program performance and analyze trends across multiple buildings.
- Attempt to educate building occupants about how they can help reduce energy costs.
Cool it! The roof, that is
Recently-created new technology for roofs adds another option that pays for itself in just a few years: Cool Coatings. At Nygra, we’re developed advanced roof products to be among the easiest and most cost-effective new energy-saving technologies, and they’re available today.
The new roof products do more than just reflect more of the sun’s rays, as would be expected by painting the roof a light color. They have several additional benefits:
- Cool coatings absorb less heat, lowering roof surface temperatures by up to 50to reduce peak cooling demand by 10-15 percent.
- The coatings extend the life of the roof by protecting the roof’s surface from sunlight, chemical and water damage.
- The new coatings can withstand temperature fluctuations for use in any climate.
- Color doesn’t matter. Don’t like the idea of a white roof? No problem. Today’s advanced polymer coating technology renders cool paints in dark colors with the a similar ability to reflect the sun’s infrared rays and still significantly reduce heat absorption.
Cost savings are even greater with a tax credit of up to 10 percent of the material’s cost for buildings with ENERGY STAR-certified metal and asphalt roofs. But nearly every building can benefit from a roof treated with cool coatings.
Ever walk in a large city during a heat wave? You can feel—and almost see—the heat emanating from the sidewalks. When urban areas experience significantly higher temperatures than surrounding areas, urban heat islands form. These heat islands are caused by heat trapped in buildings in close proximity to one another. That heat is absorbed by the city’s concrete sidewalks and asphalt roads, impacting air quality as exhausts from vehicles, chimneys and plants have no effective way of dissipating.
That walk on the sidewalk to get lunch or go to a meeting? It puts your health at risk too. Heat islands are known to cause heat stroke, respiratory problems and other health issues. Reducing them while at the same time stretching your building maintenance budget instead of depleting it– solves multiple problems.
If you have any questions about cool coatings, feel free to email us at email@example.com.