Summer is a great time to do efficiency upgrades for residential buildings. In fact, Chicago has introduced new benchmarking guidelines for energy efficiency.
Here are a few ways we can improve building efficiency and save money by reducing energy costs.
Upgrading light fixtures has become a standard for improving energy efficiency thanks to CFLs. The newest however is LED lighting. Consider updating hallway, kitchen and other high traffic areas to LED and save warmer CFLs for living and bedroom spaces.
There are a couple of ways in to improve existing hot water systems. Insulating blankets specially made for hot water heaters help keep the cold out during winter months, thereby improving the efficiency of heating the water. Additionally, insulating the steam pipes help keep water hot on its way to you. Fiberglass pipe insulation prevents heat loss and saves money.
Heat loss happens a couple of ways through your windows. Older windows may need sealant upgrades or adjustments to prevent air leaks. Better yet, upgrade to energy efficient windows to improve not only leaks but heat getting in during summer, thereby doing double duty.
One of the easiest improvements for energy efficiency are smart thermostats. These units will help residents to turn the A/C up or heat down when they leave their units, and to program different temperatures for both air and heat to coincide with when they’re typically home and gone for the day.
These improvements will go a long way to reducing your energy costs as well as improving the overall building’s compliance in Chicago’s Energy Benchmarking guidelines.