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CES Blog

Retrofit: An Ongoing Project

  • September 26, 2019
  • Written By: Brooke Williams
  • No Comments

LED lighting retrofits are inexpensive compared to most updates, and they have a great investment return while reducing energy consumption by nearly 90%.  However, updating your lighting isn’t the only retrofitting project. From daylight harvesting to installing smart sensors, we’ll uncover how to keep your retrofitting goals moving forward to achieve a more efficient building.

Daylight Harvesting 

Even though you may have the most efficient lighting for your building, you can’t waste energy you don’t use, which is why daylight sensors are one of the next steps we recommend after a lighting retrofit. Similar to LED lighting, daylight harvesting should pay for itself over a short period.

And if you can’t complete an LED lighting retrofit, daylight harvesting should be your next best option. Incandescent and halogen bulbs create light through heat, which means 90% of the energy from these bulbs is just heat. When it comes to fluorescent bulbs, 30% of the energy is wasted through heat. This can cause serious stress on your HVAC system and may lead to higher maintenance costs on both your HVAC and your lighting systems. Daylight harvesting sensors will help you keep these lights off, lowering your cooling costs across the board.

Sensors Save the Day and Money

Sensors will help you monitor where you’re wasting energy and how to reduce your energy consumption. Applying daylight, HVAC, and lighting sensors in appropriate locations will help you see which areas of your building are the busiest while allowing you to set proper lighting, heating, and cooling schedules.

Incorporating temperature sensors in your building can also help you cut down on wasted heating and cooling. With how developed these sensors and smart thermostats are now, you can set pre-defined schedules based on the season for your heating and cooling needs. You can even use a program to find the most optimal heating and cooling schedule for your building. Some HVAC systems can also turn on automatically when someone enters a room, saving you money in areas of your building that don’t need to be heated or cooled all day.

And although this technology has been around for a while, motion lighting sensors that turn on and off automatically if someone is present will help you make sure you aren’t wasting electricity lighting a room no one is in.

Solar Shading Tips

Although our next project may interfere with daylight harvesting, it could save you more money during the hotter months on cooling costs. Solar shading devices for windows, doors, and new high-performance windows for your climate are just a couple of options to cut down on your HVAC’s operation.

Utilizing the sun’s light and heat is a great way to cut energy costs, but it has to be done smartly. From sun control and shading devices to windows that are manufactured with your local climate’s specific weather patterns, it’s easier than ever to make sure you aren’t throwing money out the window when you need to cool your building.

It’s important to keep in mind that no matter what shading solution you use, shading can affect the amount of light admitted in the building. What may save you money on cooling costs can cause you to spend a little bit more on lighting.

From Appliances to Water

Upgrading to Energy Star-rated equipment, including appliances and HVAC, can help you minimize your energy consumptionWater consumption is another area that can be improved through an extensive retrofit. From high-efficiency plumbing fixtures to using native plants that can tolerate your local climate, water conservation will help you save money while being eco-friendly.

A newer technology that is also seeing rapid improvement involves pre-heating or pre-cooling incoming ventilation air. This will help ease the stress on your HVAC equipment. With pre-heated or pre-cooled air, your system won’t have to constantly run to maintain comfortable temperatures in your commercial, industrial, or institutional building.

Measure Twice, Then Keep Measuring

Measuring your building’s performance regularly should be a part of any retrofitting project. Even with all of these energy and money-saving devices, equipment, and sensors installed, it will still require regular maintenance, repair, and analysis. You may find that you need extra shading during summer and that it’ll cost you less to keep the lights on than it will to run AC. The important thing is to ensure you’re running the most optimal schedule for your utilities to maximize your retrofit investments.

No matter where you are in your retrofitting project, CES has the solution and the vendors to suit your needs. Visit your local CES branch and ask your sales rep to point you in the right direction!

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