Retrofit To Boost Energy Saving

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The UK is in the vanguard of countries committed to reduce carbon emissions. For example, the government’s recently published industrial strategy sets out a positive framework for the low-carbon economy we need and delivering affordable sustainable energy is a central pillar in this.

We also have the most advanced environmental legislation in the world in the Climate Change Act 2008. This places a legal obligation on us to cut emissions by 26% by 2020 and by 80% to 2050.

Pledges, however, are all very well, but without action they are meaningless. If we are to meet the ambitious objectives set out in the Climate Change Act we will need to work hard. Indeed, we have a mountain to climb – by some estimates there are 26 million existing homes and around two million non-domestic buildings in the UK that make a significant contribution to the carbon footprint of our built environment.

Most of these buildings will still be standing in 2050, which implies they will need to be improved significantly if we are to meet these stringent targets. The question is: How?

One important answer is retrofitting. Essentially, this means adding a component or accessory to something that didn’t have it when manufactured which improves it in some way.

A (literally) high profile example of retrofitting includes the Empire State building in New York. A $20-million retrofit – which included everything from cleaning and re-insulating more than 6,000 windows to caulking leaks in the building’s facade – reduced energy use in the 102-storey building by nearly 40%.

Non-domestic buildings account for 18% of the UK’s carbon emissions and the Carbon Trust has estimated that cutting 2005’s CO2 emissions from non-domestic buildings by 35% could save the UK as much as £4.5 billion a year by 2020 so there is a financial imperative as well as an environmental one for retrofitting.

Indeed, it is an essential undertaking because, when it comes to developing greener buildings, starting from scratch simply isn’t possible. The obvious places to start in the energy-saving endeavour are heating and ventilation, as they are responsible for, respectively, 46% and 11% of carbon emissions.

One simple measure that can be taken to boost the energy efficiency of HVAC systems is to fit ECEX Air Intake Screens. These are designed to prevent airborne debris before it can enter HVAC systems and cause damage to coils or internal filters. Lasting up to 15 years and cleaned simply using a soft brush, hose or vacuum, air intake screens are the ideal first line of defence for air intake systems.

They reduce maintenance time by up to an impressive 70%, extend the service life of equipment, prolong internal air filter life by up to 60%, and maximise airflow to save energy.

Find out more in our new video.