Posted on: 13 June 2016Share
As your organization faces another long, hot summer, you may already be bracing yourself for the high cooling bills that accompany those high temperatures. But at the same time, you have to maintain a reasonably comfortable work environment if you expect anything to get done. Here are three intelligent tactics that can help keep both your thermostat and your energy costs under control.
1. Overlaying Your Asphalt Roof With a Reflective Coating
Asphalt is a relatively cheap roofing material to install -- but once the summer sunshine hits that tarry, black substance, the money you saved may go right into paying elevated electrical bills to keep your workforce from sweltering. But the good news is that you don't necessarily have to tear that old roof off and replace it with en entirely new one; instead, you can apply a reflective coating to turn it into a "cool roof."
The most effective cool roof products are typically white or light-colored to enable it to bounce the sun's energy away from the roof as efficiently as possible. Single-ply polymer membranes can be laid right on top of low-slope or flat roofing in large sheets and then adhered into place. Spray-on foams, light-colored gravel and reflective metal panels are other possibilities worth investigating.
2. Investing in a Green Roof
If your business has flat roofing as well as an eco-friendly corporate culture, then a green roof might make even more sense than a white or reflective roof. A green roof is essentially an entire rooftop given over to the landscaping, including a carpet of lush grasses and picturesque collections of leafy plant life. This strategy can help fight a phenomenon known as the "heat island effect," in which densely-packed urban structures and dark asphalt streets absorb thermal energy and radiate it back into the air as constant, stifling heat. Green vegetation, on the other hand, is known to pull heat out of the air through evaporative cooling, lowering surrounding temperatures. Plant a green roof on the top of your building, and you can stop worrying about all that heat being transferred from the rooftop down into your workspaces.
Green roofing is especially attractive to organizations devoted to environmental sustainability. The vegetation strips pollutants and other toxins out of the atmosphere, while the cooling effect lets you expend less energy, reducing your business's summertime carbon footprint.
3. Improving Your Windows' Thermal Insulation
A facility that sports enormous picture windows may offer its employees and visitors beautiful views, but it also invites lots of summer sun -- along with lots of unhelpful thermal radiation that can turn your building into an oven. If you'd like to keep your facility comfortable without constantly engaging your air conditioner in a futile fight against the sun, it's time to look at ways you can block some of that unwanted incoming energy. The easiest solution to implement quickly is the addition of thermal blinds or curtains. Thermal curtains, which are backed by a layer of insulating foam, can offer a higher degree of insulation than blinds, especially if they extend all the way to the floor with the other edges contained with cornice boxes.
If you prefer an even more thorough, versatile and and permanent means of boosting your window's insulating powers, give serious thought to having your existing window glass replaced with low-emissivity or "low-E" glass. Low-E glass features a layer or coating of metallic particles so thinly distributed that the transparency of the glass remains unaffected. As thin as this layer may be, however, it can block a substantial amount of incoming heat energy; in some cases, it can reduce the glass's emissivity level to a mere .02 (as opposed to normal glass's emissivity of .84). Best of all, you can continue to enjoy your view of the outside world even as you enjoy a cooler space and lower utility bills.
Don't be singing the summertime blues over your organization's seasonal energy expenditures. Make these smart adjustments to your facility and reap the benefits this summer -- and every summer for many years to come! For more information, contact your local roofing or window installation company.