Does your commercial insulation company understand the differences between insulating commercial buildings in warm climates versus insulating buildings in cold climates? While many of the materials are the same, they may be installed differently in order to maximize benefits and minimize possible problems. Insulating commercial buildings properly results in energy savings and greater comfort for employees, clients, and customers. Here are some of the factors your commercial insulation company should take into account when assessing your building.
The Importance of the Building Envelope
The “envelope” or outer shell of your building influences cooling energy consumption, particularly in buildings with low interior load densities. In warm climates, energy consumption for cooling can be cut by use of thermal insulation in exterior walls. Energy savings from this alone can be 3% or more. The hotter the climate, the more an insulated building envelope can help reduce cooling energy requirements. In the hottest climates, cooling capacity savings can be over 7% when the envelope is properly insulated.
Ventilation and Insulation
In warm climates, ventilation is important for both controlling building cooling costs and for assisting with moisture control. Your commercial insulation contractor should be able to make recommendations about how ventilation can be improved so that the insulation can do its job most effectively. Proper air flow under the roof can make the building more comfortable, less humid, and less costly to cool.
The Use of Vapor Retarders
Your commercial insulation contractor may recommend the use of a vapor retarder depending on the specifics of your building’s design, orientation, and use. Usually a Class II or III vapor retarder is recommended for warm climates. Using the wrong vapor retarder can lead to moisture problems in some buildings. Your insulation contractor should be able to determine whether you can benefit from a vapor retarder and if so, what type to install for best results.
Avoiding Mold Problems in Commercial Buildings
A properly insulated, properly ventilated commercial building can avoid mold problems. Preventing water leakage into the building is critical, as is keeping it dehumidified. Ideally, the building should be kept dehumidified to where the dew point temperature (a measure of humidity levels) is at most 55 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
Energy savings from insulation don’t just occur in cold climates. In warm climates, a well-insulated building with proper ventilation and an efficient cooling system can lead to significant energy savings. Furthermore, the building will be much more comfortable, and more resistant to mold and mildew growth.
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