With summer and its heat approaching quickly in South Florida, many building owners may be thinking, “What upgrades can I make to my building to save on air conditioning?” There are many factors that determine the amount of energy used for air conditioning in a building.  Wall insulation, roof insulation, window insulation, window tint and air conditioner efficiency are all major players in dictating the energy cost on cooling. To analyze the effects of each factor, The Falcon Group utilized an energy simulation program to create a standard building and analyzed its energy consumption with different combinations of building insulation and AC efficiency. This simulation was created using Miami’s weather data and standard electric prices in the area.

To start, the air conditioning was changed from 14 seer to 15 seer. This saw a 3.6% savings per year in energy use for cooling. Next, the seer was reverted to 14 and the window solar heat gain coefficient (tint) was changed from .8 to .5. This resulted in a 6.2% savings on energy for cooling. After resetting to baseline, R-4.1 insulation was added to the concrete block wall. A 5.2% savings was seen on cooling from adding this wall insulation. In general, it can be seen that improving building insulation and using tinted glass can produce noticeable savings on energy for cooling.

However, it is important to take this information with a grain of salt. This exercise was executed with a standard building and weights of each factor will certainly vary from building to building. For instance, a building with a very low glass to wall ratio will have less of a savings impact from tinting glass than a building with a higher glass to wall ratio. To have an energy simulation created with recommendations to save on energy specific to any building, reach out to The Falcon Group for a proposal today and start saving!

- Benjamin T. Louden, E.I.T., Project Manager - The Falcon Group