Insulation and building enclosure energy savings tips
Sealing and insulating your facility's building enclosure — its walls, ceilings, windows, doors, roof, floors and perhaps skylights — is a cost-effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort. The building enclosure protects the climate-controlled indoor environment from outside elements.
Find more building enclosure tips in SRP's Energy Savings Guide for Business .
Seal doors and windows
Doors and windows that don't close completely let conditioned air escape and let in outside air. Follow these tips to tighten up your doors and windows:
- Repair doors and windows that don't close. A double-hung window may be missing the lock that keeps the upper sash closed. Outside doors that don't close completely may need to be refitted or rehung, or you may just need to adjust the striker plate or plane.
- Adjust automatic door closers. Closers may shut the door slowly or not completely. Often a simple adjustment can be made with a screwdriver.
- Close gaps. Close any penetration of the building enclosure. Air and energy dollars leak out of gaps where doors meet, where parts of windows meet, and where doors and windows meet the walls. Use the correct type of caulking or weather stripping to seal cracks around doors and windows, between the foundation and wall, and in other openings for electrical or communication lines. To detect gaps, run your hand around door and window frames to feel for air passing through, and look for daylight around them.
- Replace broken glass. Broken or missing panes let air enter and escape.
Windows are a major source of heat gain. Heat gain makes your air conditioner run longer, which translates into higher energy costs. These ideas can help you keep your business's heat gain under control:
- Close window treatments during summer months. Install shade screens and awnings on east-, west- and south-facing windows.
- Add reflective solar films to windows. Look for a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.35 or less.
- Plan landscape design to shade windows in sunstruck sections of your building. Consider deciduous trees that will block the sun in the summer yet shed their leaves in the winter.
Does your air conditioner seem to run nonstop on hot days? Does your heating system do the same on cold days? You may need roof or wall insulation.
Without proper insulation, you may be paying more than you should for air conditioning or heating, especially if your business is on the top floor. The correct amount of insulation is critical in a hot desert climate.
- Look under the roof and feel the walls. If you're on the top floor and there is a suspended ceiling, push up a ceiling panel and look for insulation. If there's an attic, you may need to look there instead. If you have a flat roof, the insulation may be outside and hard to detect. If the walls feel warm on a hot day or cold on a cold day, they may need insulation.
- Consider insulation if your business doesn't have it. Insulation is often the best energy investment for a business, depending on the number of stories and the percentage of the roof area to the overall building enclosure.
SRP business rebates
SRP has rebates for building enclosures. Find a rebate now and start saving.
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