What is a Cool Roof System?

As businesses become more and more environmentally conscious, energy efficiency has become one of the biggest selling points in commercial real estate. Sustainability tech is the hottest trend for property owners and managers and can make a bigger difference to your clients than aesthetic choices or rent prices. If you’re interested in creating a more eco-friendly commercial building, a cool roofing system can help your facility stand apart from the rest. 

Most property owners don’t think about their roof as an opportunity to reduce energy costs, other than solar paneling. However, solar panels are still out of the price range for many and have a slow payback as opposed to other energy-efficient upgrades. A cool roofing system, however, can reduce your interior energy costs which makes a bigger impact on your tenants.

What is a Cool Roofing System?

Cool roofing systems are coated with a light-colored acrylic coating that helps reflect light away from the building. Like wearing a white shirt on a hot day, this helps your building to stay cool on hot days as opposed to black or dark-colored shingles which absorb the heat. Cool roofing systems are typically applied with a spray-on coating and can be easily added to your existing roof. 

Cool roofing systems offer a variety of benefits other than energy efficiency for your building, including: 

  • Cost-effective coating: A cool roof coating can lower energy costs, extend the service life of your roof, and is highly cost-effective to install. 
  • Durability: Cool roof coatings will often last several years or even decades if properly cared for and retouched. 
  • Compatibility: Most roofing systems can be renovated with an acrylic coating to become cool roofing systems, making them one of the easiest energy-efficient upgrades you can make to your facility. 

If you want your building to stand out as an energy-efficient and sustainable facility, ask your MaintenX team about cool roofing system upgrades. We can help you make your building a forward-thinking facility that is lower cost and easier to maintain than other buildings in your area. 

To learn more, contact your local MaintenX contractor today!

 

Environmental Pros & Cons of Solar Paneling For Your Roof

Many companies are on the move to switch to solar in the next decade. This renewable power source is not only trendy because of its environmental impact, but can help businesses save by allowing them to generate their own power. However, solar is often painted as a problem-free solution, which is not the reality for many businesses. 

 

In addition to its cost, solar can be tricky to install and require more maintenance than a traditional roofing system. Its environmental benefits also come at a cost. Below are just a few of the environmental pros and cons of solar paneling to help you make a better decision for your business: 

 

You are reducing your carbon footprint significantly. 

This is the most obvious, and most touted benefit of solar paneling. With the energy you save, you can reduce your carbon footprint for energy consumption almost to zero. While the manufacturing and installation of solar panels still create some carbon waste, it is paled in comparison to the consumption required for most buildings running on the grid. 

 

Disposal of panels is tricky. 

Unfortunately, the lifespan of a typical solar panel is generally 25-30 years. In comparison to most permanent installations for facilities, this is a relatively low lifespan, and recycling these materials is tricky. Improper disposal of solar panels can lead to harmful exposure from the chemicals and metals used to make the panels, so be sure to ask your installation team about recycling options and proper maintenance. 

 

Solar systems improve air quality. 

The pollution caused by traditional energy sources affects air quality in the urban areas surrounding them. With solar energy, this pollution is non-existent. This can aid in improving air quality for your entire community, which leads to a better quality of life for all. 

 

Solar panels can disrupt the land and habitat. 

If you are installing solar panels in a well-populated area and on an already-constructed building, this may not be a concern for you. However, solar paneling for entire cities often requires clear-cutting or repurposing of large spaces of land, which in turn harms the natural environment that once stood. Solar panels can also be a danger to birds and other wildlife if placed in uninhabited areas. 

 

The solar industry is creating jobs every single day. 

While many people fret that the transition to renewables will leave oil industry veterans out of a job, the solar industry is innovating faster than almost any tech sector in today’s market. This is creating new opportunities for young professionals looking to specialize in renewables, and in turn, grows the national economy in both the short and long term. 

 

Solar panels are not a catch-all solution to today’s environmental issues. However, by installing them at your business, you can save yourself money on the power bill and contribute to an innovative, cleaner future. To learn more about solar options for your facility, contact MaintenX today.

UPS vs. Backup Generator Pros and Cons for Your Business

At MaintenX, we recommend that every business, no matter how small, invest in a backup power supply. They are required for some industries such as healthcare and food service but can be a lifesaver for your employees regardless of the type of work you do. However, choosing the right backup power for your business can be trickier than you may expect. 

 

Generally, businesses can choose between a backup generator or an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for their facility. A commercial backup generator is similar to generators for your home but is permanently installed and able to power entire buildings. A UPS system does the same but is installed inside the building and creates a seamless stream of power once the grid power is cut off. 

 

If you are in the market for a backup power supply, here is what you need to know about each of these options: 

 

Generators can be portable or installed.

A backup generator can be permanently installed outside of the building, but they are also available in smaller, portable options. 

 

UPS systems must be installed in the building.

Because a UPS system is powered by a battery and provides an uninterrupted power source, it must be installed into the building and connected to the electrical system. 

 

Generators are noisy and let off fumes.

Generators run on diesel, gas, or propane, and are therefore louder and more noticeable than a UPS system. They often let off fumes as well during the combustion process. 

 

UPS systems are quiet. 

UPS systems run on a battery and therefore make very little noise. They are ideal for facilities where loud noise could become disruptive, such as nursing facilities and apartments. 

 

Generators are more expensive in the short term.

Because of the size, generators are typically more expensive at purchase. However, they can often be cheaper to install than a UPS system because of the simplicity of the connection to your power grid. 

 

UPS systems cannot typically power as much.

UPS systems are designed to power the essentials, such as lighting and essential equipment. The UPS systems that are designed to power entire buildings are much more complex and expensive than a traditional UPS system. 

 

Generators require regular mechanical maintenance. 

Because generators are built with many more mechanical parts, they require regular maintenance to ensure they are in working order when a disaster strikes. We typically recommend yearly maintenance for any type of commercial generator. 

 

UPS systems have no lag time and are therefore safer for servers and essential services. 

If you run a complex or essential service such as a medical facility, UPS systems are the way to go. They protect your tech and ensure that no matter what happens, your essential services remain operational. 

 

MaintenX can help you find the right backup power and provide installation service for the industry’s top brands. To learn more about options in your local area, contact the MaintenX team today!

Five Energy-Savings Tips from The Pros

In Tampa, Florida, where MaintenX is headquartered, we hear plenty of complaints from clients about their annual energy costs. The extended period of summer heat we experience, coupled with the size of larger industrial and commercial sites can make electrical and HVAC efficiency of the utmost concern for facility managers. However, making your building more energy-efficient doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, there are several DIY hacks you can do today to lower your energy usage over time. 

 

Below are our top five hacks for DIY energy savings at commercial facilities: 

 

Air seal your building. 

Climate-controlled air is easily lost due to cracks in windows, doors, and crevices in the walls. Cooled air leaks out, and warm air creeps in, making your HVAC system work much harder. By adding a seal to your windows and doors and patching up minor cracks in the drywall, you can stop air leakage and reduce HVAC energy use easily. 

 

Adjust your thermostat to the weather. 

Every degree above or below the temperature outside raises your bill about 6-8%. We recommend setting your temperature close to 75F in the summer (or whatever is bearable for your staff) and close to 68F (or whatever is comfortable) in the winter to decrease energy consumption as much as possible. 

 

Turn off electronics. 

Electrical components like lighting can take up nearly 15% of your electrical bill every month. It may seem easier to leave your facility running overnight, but the more you are able to turn it off, the more you can save on energy costs. Turn off or unplug electronics and all lights in areas that are not in use. 

 

Replace air filters. 

Most of us know to replace our air filters every month, but not everyone follows through with this simple maintenance task. However, this recommendation is not simply made to sell more filters. By changing them once a month, you ensure your HVAC system has a clear passage for air to flow, thus reducing energy requirements. 

 

Install a smart thermostat. 

A smart thermostat can automatically heat and cool a room to stay at an ideal temperature through transitional months like March and December. It can also be programmed to change temperatures according to your schedule, such as raising the temperature after closing to save on cooling costs. If you are looking for a thermostat replacement, always choose a smart thermostat option rather than simply replacing your current one. 

 

Energy efficiency is something every building manager should focus on to improve facility costs. To learn more about easy DIY hacks you can use for your building maintenance, visit our Resource Center.

The Importance Of Environmental Awareness in 2022

2021 was a year of growth for many individuals and companies, especially on the environmental forefront. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 made brands reevaluate their priorities, and despite the turmoil that ensued, many came back with a renewed mission to do better for their employees and the environment. 

 

In 2022, MaintenX wants to help as many companies as possible reach their sustainability goals through eco-friendly and energy-efficient equipment installations. We specialize in energy-efficient HVAC, electrical, roofing, and even plumbing installation and repair, and have several reasons for kicking it into high gear this year.

 

In 2021, the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) set high standards for countries and brands to reach environmental sustainability goals by November of 2022 (the date for COP27). These included emissions reductions, plastic pollution reductions, and a plan to end deforestation within the next several decades. Many of these plans will take place at the corporate level, with big brands reducing emissions and creating sustainable policies with the help of government initiatives. 

 

2022 will also be a major turning point as the COVID-19 crisis hopefully slows down, giving governments and brands the resources back to refocus on environmental sustainability moving forward. During the initial COVID-19 outbreak, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and noise pollution were reduced significantly, showing businesses what is possible in order to achieve environmental goals in the next 30 years. 

 

However, it will take more than big businesses and governments to reach the goals set for 2022. As a small business or even as an individual, there are ways you can improve your local community through environmental awareness and conservation. 

 

What Your Business Can Do To Help

 

Your small business, franchise, or regional brand can make a big impact on the way you do business in 2022. Below are some simple ways to reduce your environmental impact while improving your bottom line:

 

  • Reduce wastewater and pollution by installing a water recycling unit for your facility
  • Install or upgrade to energy-efficient appliances such as your HVAC, water heater, and lighting fixtures
  • Design eco-friendly packaging, or reduce plastic components in current packaging
  • Offer ways for customers and employees to recycle or reuse at your facility

 

MaintenX can help you at the operational level by installing and providing maintenance for energy-efficient and smart appliances. TO learn more about eco-friendly options for your roofing, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems, give us a call today!

How To Incorporate Environmental Sustainability Into Your Company Culture

What defines a company’s culture is about much more than what it says in your mission statement. It’s about how your teams communicate, what they believe is important, and what guides your decision-making process at every level of the company’s operations. Company culture isn’t something you write down – it’s something you feel and something you cultivate in the minds of your ground workers all the way to the top. 

 

Creating a sustainable culture intentionally is hard work, and requires everyone to be on the same page as to what your duty is as a company. If sustainability is all about your bottom line, it likely won’t catch on with anyone but the C-suite. However, if you make employees feel good about the ways in which they’re creating an eco-friendly work environment, your sustainability culture will spread rapidly. 

 

Below are # different ways you can empower your staff to take initiative and feel connected to sustainability-centric company culture: 

 

Start on the ground floor

The best way to engage your staff in the sustainability effort is by making it relevant to their daily lives. If they can talk to customers about the eco-friendly packaging you use or tell friends how your company is creating more green space on the facility, you can help them see how their work impacts the environment for the better. 

 

Educate the right way

Education on environmental issues that impact your industry can go a long way toward helping your team understand the importance of creating a more sustainable work culture. However, facts and frightening statistics often fall on deaf ears and can make people actually less enthusiastic about your mission. Instead of lecturing, show how your actions as a company can help clean up a local habitat, reduce plastic pollution within your community, or help the next generation have better outdoor air quality. These tangible results can make people see the good in their actions instead of trying to avoid the bad. 

 

Lead by example

If you want a truly sustainable culture that does more than look good on paper, you need to start by educating your upper management on sustainability efforts in your industry. If they can use this information to make better decisions for your brand, you show your employees and customers that sustainability is a top priority. 

 

Sustainability is good for the planet, good for your community, and good for your bottom line. If you want to take the first step by installing energy-efficient upgrades into your facility, give MaintenX a call today!

Four Ways You Can Transform Your Building With Green Technology

As the eco-movement grows each year, many people are looking for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle in their everyday lives. However, more and more of the environmental activism movement is focusing on the part businesses and commercial buildings play in carbon emissions. Research estimates that energy emissions from commercial buildings account for approximately 19% of total U.S. emissions each year. This shows just how important it is for businesses to step up and start thinking green in their everyday practices. 

 

In many cases, it is better to retrofit existing buildings with green technologies rather than building new ones. Below are some examples of ways you can use green technologies in your facility to create a healthier, more eco-friendly workplace:

 

Reduce, reuse, and recycle

This old adage is one of the most useful when it comes to reducing your overall energy emissions. Even with renewable energy technologies and energy-efficient appliances, typically buying a new product has a higher carbon footprint than repurposing an old one. That is why proper preventative care for your facility systems is important. By extending the service life of your HVAC and electrical systems, you can reduce the waste created by your facility. 

 

Invest in renewables

Many companies are looking at renewable energy sources to replace their existing energy sources. Whether you install solar panels or look for a supplier that uses wind, geothermal, or other renewable energy sources, this is a great way to dramatically impact your company’s carbon footprint. Even giants like Empire State Realty are making the switch, and so can you!

 

Use carbon-negative materials for new construction. 

While it’s best to retrofit existing structures to meet commercial building needs, carbon-negative building materials serve as an ideal alternative. Certain types of wood as well as hempwood and other green building materials can actually absorb small amounts of carbon in the atmosphere. This small act can make a big difference as more companies adopt carbon-negative building materials. 

 

Always choose energy-efficient.

Energy efficiency is an option for nearly every appliance and electrical system in your facility. From automatic lights to energy-efficient windows, roofing, and plumbing, you can find cleaner alternatives when the time comes. While we don’t recommend upgrading all at once (following the first tip in this list), when your current equipment reaches the end of its service life you should always look for energy-efficient models. 

 

Green technologies are available for almost every commercial application. Research local alternatives for energy and suppliers, or ask your MaintenX team for recommendations. We are always happy to help our clients make informed and greener choices for their HVAC roofing, plumbing, and more. 

What To Do Before Turning Down the AC This Spring

In Tampa, Florida, here MaintenX is headquartered, we do everything we can to soak up the spring weather. From April to November, Florida experiences summer-like heat, so the more spring we get to enjoy, the better! Plus, with those long summer months, our customers have to carefully budget their energy costs. Air conditioning is one of the highest monthly bills for Florida businesses, which is why we’ve compiled this list of tips to help you reduce your summer cooling bill. 

 

Below are five ways to reduce your HVAC bill this spring and summer: 

 

Inspect your ductwork

If your ductwork has leaks or clogs, it may not be running as efficiently as it could be. You could be losing cool air through a leak, or might be working your HVAC system too hard if it does not have clear ductwork to run through. Check with your MaintenX HVAC technician to see if ductwork repairs are needed before the summer season. 

 

Ensure proper airflow through the vents

If your vents are dirty from unchanged air filters or blocked by furniture, you’ll have a harder time keeping cool. By providing proper airflow through the vents you can help your HVAC system run more efficiently. Remove any blockages or dirty filters from your vents and see the difference it makes. 

 

Update your thermostat

Most modern systems come with programmable thermostats so you can automate temperature changes by room, time of day, and season. If your thermostat is out of date, it may not be able to provide optimal temperatures, or may not even register correctly. Ask your MaintenX technician about thermostat upgrades available with your system. 

 

Inspect your outdoor units

Outdoor units that are dirty or covered in foliage will not run as efficiently as well-maintained ones. Check the individual condenser units to ensure that no debris or dirt is clogging the system. Be sure to clean outdoor units after landscaping services, as cut grass and fertilizer can get blown around and stuck in your HVAC units. 

 

Insulate refrigerant lines

If your refrigerant lines are not well-insulated, you could be losing cooling power throughout your system. The insulation can also break down over time, so be sure to ask your HVAC technician to inspect these elements during their routine checks. This is especially important during the spring and summer when your HVAC system will be working harder. 

 

These five maintenance services can help you keep cool at a lower cost. If you’d like to learn more about HVAC maintenance for your commercial facility, contact MaintenX today! 

Switching to Solar? How Panels Can Affect Your Roofing

Solar panels are becoming more and more popular for commercial facilities. Not only are they a great way to reduce your building’s environmental impact, but they can help reduce your energy bill as well. Florida and many other states offer incentive programs to switch to solar, making it more affordable than ever to install solar paneling. However, there are many factors to consider besides cost before installing them onto your roofing. 

 

Solar panels are a major installation that is not suitable for all buildings. The panels are heavy and require a significant amount of space to be effective for commercial applications. Plus, improper installation can lead to structural damage. This increases your building’s risk of water damage, fire, and can cause your warranty or insurance to be canceled. In order to enjoy the full benefits of solar roofing, you need to work with an experienced contractor and determine whether your building is a good candidate for solar installation. 

 

The installation team will first inspect your roofing to determine whether it is in proper condition for solar panel installation. Roofing that is old, damaged, or structurally compromised is immediately eliminated from solar panel installation. Your roofing contractor will also look at: 

 

  • Height of the building
  • Frame load capacity
  • The seismic and wind loads
  • The slope 
  • The roofing material

 

After inspection, your contractor can talk about installation requirements and solar panel brands. However, before this conversation takes place you will want to talk to your roofing installation team to determine whether your warranty is still valid after the addition. You may also want to check with your insurance company to determine whether this changes your rates. By choosing a reputable contractor, your odds of keeping insurance and warranties are much higher. 

 

You should also ask your roofing contractor if your roof flashing is in good condition. The installation crew will have to drill through both the roofing material itself and the flashing to secure the panels. If the flashing is not in good condition, this can lead to water damage. The structural integrity of your building comes first. If your roofing contractor has concerns, you should replace flashing or roofing panels first. 

 

With these tips in mind, you can successfully implement a solar panel system to your commercial roofing. By understanding the risks, you can prepare your roofing and ensure a safe installation from start to finish. And, MaintenX is always here to help with your roofing and solar panel installation needs. 

 

To learn more about our maintenance and installation services, contact us!

Backup Generators vs. UPS Systems

In Tampa, Florida, where MaintenX is headquartered, we are all too familiar with power outages. They happen during Florida’s powerful hurricane season and can wreak havoc on operating businesses in the area. Many facilities cannot accept power outages because they provide life-supporting or sustaining services throughout the area. Even companies that have the option to close do not want to wait indefinitely to reopen their doors after a major storm or outage. 

 

If you want to be prepared for power outages 24/7, you have two options. You can invest in a backup generator, or install a UPS system at your facility. Both have their unique advantages and disadvantages, and MaintenX is here to help you choose the right one for your facility: 

 

The backup generator

Backup generators are separate pieces of equipment that can either be portable or permanently installed at your facility. These large, loud machines can supply power to large warehouses or factories in the event of a power outage. While they are affordable and practical, they can be an inconvenience during operation because of the noise. Backup generators also have a lag of around 30 seconds, which means continual power is not an option. 

 

For this reason, backup generators are not ideal for hospitals or businesses that require continual power.  They can be a more affordable and practical option, however, for facilities with plenty of outdoor space to install a permanent generator, such as a grocery store or manufacturing facility. 

 

UPS systems

Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) are options for facilities that require power 24/7 no matter the conditions. They are integrated into your electrical system and act as a battery for your entire facility. These are ideal for hospitals, data centers, or any other large facility that cannot afford a shutdown. They also come in smaller units that ensure that computer systems have the time to shut down properly, which is ideal for any business that relies heavily on its tech integrations. 

 

While UPS systems are typically the ideal option, they can be expensive. Maintenance on these machines is not easy either, which means that only serious business owners should invest in one. If you plan to shut down for storms and power outages, a backup generator may be the practical solution. 

 

Backup generators and UPS systems are critical for any business. MaintenX offers maintenance and installation services for both and can help you make the right choice for your specific facility. To learn more about our installation and repair services, contact us today!