With another New England winter fast approaching, the increasing cost of home heating is at the forefront of residents’ minds. According to a WBUR report, National Grid’s Massachusetts customers should expect their monthly heating bill to be about $50 higher than last winter. Meanwhile, Eversource predicts the average customer will see their monthly gas bill increase by as much as $86. But homeowners aren’t the only ones facing increases. Those developing and managing commercial buildings will also feel the pinch of higher energy costs.
Frequently, discussions about reducing heat loss in offices and other commercial spaces focus on insulation – reducing the amount of warm air that leaks out, and cold air that enters buildings through exhaust systems or windows that are improperly sealed. But there are, in fact, higher-tech methods that heat buildings with greater efficiency and keep energy bills as low as possible.
With energy costs skyrocketing, it is especially important for builders to consider high-performance energy recovery ventilation systems. These systems integrate components into a building’s existing HVAC, capturing energy that would otherwise be exhausted out. Instead, these systems use captured energy to pre-heat the air entering from outside. Like heat pumps, this technology is another heating method increasingly recommended in Massachusetts amid the growing commitment to green energy. These systems will also pre-cool the outside air during warmer weather to save on air conditioning costs
Proper ventilation can also improve indoor air quality by filtering out dirt, pollen, dust, and other contaminants that might irritate skin, eyes, noses, and throats. These flexible systems mean that businesses remain a comfortable working environment throughout Massachusetts’ sweltering summers and frigid winters.
According to NY Engineers, integrating energy recovery ventilation into new constructions can allow for downsized tonnage in a building’s air conditioning systems. This investment will further decrease costs on top of the energy savings that will accrue upon completion. Once installed, energy recovery systems are easy to maintain, only requiring periodic inspections and filter changes.
Energy costs will remain a primary concern for developers and their clients. In our area of the county, where we can see extremes in both cold and hot weather, it is especially important to understand all the available tools and technologies. The initial costs of installing an energy ventilation system quickly pays off in savings, as well as health benefits year-round.
By: Adam Palmer, Project Executive and Director of Operations