Are your facility's electric bills through the roof?
It's time to look into your roof's energy efficiency.
The cold months are behind us and the summer heat will be here before we know it. If you are considering ways to lower your facility's electric bills and take some pressure off your air conditioning system this summer, there are a few solutions to explore.
First, let's see how your building's roof may impact its energy efficiency and what you can do about it.
- Is your roof intact and watertight? It's no secret that active roof leaks are damaging to your entire building. If you postpone a minor roof repair for any reason, it may cause more harm to your entire building envelope over time and pose safety concerns for your employees and visitors. In addition, your energy efficiency will suffer as now there's a clear path for air transfer between the interior and exterior. Keeping your roof watertight is paramount for energy efficiency.
- How well does your roof reflect UV and heat? The composition of your roof surface defines its solar light reflectivity. The more UV and heat it can reflect, the less work falls on your AC system. If you are considering reroofing, explore energy-efficient roofing options, like cool roofs. If you want to increase the reflectivity of your existing roof, look into various coatings.
- How well is your roof insulated? Your facility's roof insulation can make or break your energy efficiency. When your insulation is inconsistent or ineffective, the air transfer through your roof is easier, and your AC system must work harder to compensate for it. Discuss your insulation options with a CentiMark commercial roofing professional and see how you can maximize the R-value of your roof installation.
- Is your insulation dry? Wet insulation loses up to 40% of its original thermal resistance, which means higher heating and cooling costs for your building. How can you determine where your insulation may be damp when you are in charge of a massive facility with multiple functions? Look into thermal imaging. This technology, available to all CentiMark customers, allows locating problem areas precisely and quickly.
- Is your roof properly ventilated? Particularly crucial for steep-slope roofs, proper ventilation allows hot air and moisture to leave the building in a controlled fashion, while cooling your decking and preventing moisture build-up.
What is next?
Once you complete all needed repairs and ensure your insulation is effective, there are a number of upgrades you can add to your roof to take your energy efficiency to a new level. Often referred to as "green roofing," these solutions aim at maximizing the use of daylight and temperature control. As a result, they may provide you with additional savings when it comes to your facility's power bills. These environmentally-conscious solutions may also help you earn LEED™ points and qualify your facility for various rebates and tax breaks.
- Cool roofs: As mentioned above, your roof's reflectivity plays a big part in the overall energy efficiency of your building. "Cool roofs" are designed with that in mind. They are highly reflective and drastically reduce heat absorption, allowing your facility to maintain a comfortable interior temperature with less pressure on your AC system.
- Daylighting: Installing prismatic skylights or light tubes on your facility's roof will allow you to utilize daylight to illuminate your interior. Commercial daylighting systems can be passive or active. Passive daylighting systems, like windows or traditional skylights, are static and collect sunlight without tracking it. Active daylighting installations are advanced systems that rely on various devices to follow the direction of the light and maximize its usage. Look into your floor reflectivity level to augment your daylighting installation's impact. Surfaces like polished concrete or certain coatings reflect the ambient light, improving your facility's illumination.
- Photovoltaics: Solar power installations turn your facility's roof into a cost-saving energy solution. Photovoltaic (PV) devices require no fuels and allow you to harness and store (if applicable) the energy needed. Those installations will help minimize your facility's electric bills and qualify you for potential rebates, grants and other incentives. You may be able to sell electricity to your local power company if you produce more energy than your facility needs.
- Garden Roofs: Rooftop gardens and other types of green spaces on commercial and industrial roofs are becoming increasingly common in urban areas. These installations help adsorb UV energy preventing it from converting to heat. Additional air cooling comes from plants' dew and evaporation cycles. Those installations help decrease your building's cooling costs, particularly in areas affected by the heat island phenomenon.
The energy efficiency of your roof plays a massive part in your building's overall cooling and lighting costs. According to The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 's outlooks, we should expect another scorching summer with temperatures above normal in large parts of North America. Let's ensure your facility's roof is ready for it. Schedule a consultation with a CentiMark roofing professional today!
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