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How Do I Save Money by Installing Phase Change Material?

There are many reasons that building managers decide to invest in energy efficiency, but saving money is probably the most important factor. While there are plenty of ways to reduce energy costs in a commercial building, phase change material is a clear winner in terms of total cost savings. Unlike expensive heating and cooling technology, phase change material uses the natural temperatures around it to regulate a building’s heat and cooling.

Think of phase change material as a giant ice cube. When dropped into a glass of water, ice cubes absorb the heat of the liquid around them, melting and releasing its stored cold temperatures. Phase change material works the same way. As a building heats up, phase change material absorbs that heat and changes into a liquid-like substance. Then, as the building cools down, the phase change material releases that stored heat and turns back into a solid. 

Here are a few ways that installing phase change material can help save money for commercial buildings: 

Fewer Temperature Swings

Due to its ability to absorb and release heat, phase change material prevents buildings from ever becoming too cold or too hot. When temperatures are at their hottest, phase change material is absorbing the heat, keeping the building cool. When temperatures are cold, they release heat, warming the building back up. Because the building stays within an acceptable temperature range, occupants won’t need to choose between paying the electricity costs or being uncomfortable in the heat or cold. 

Less HVAC Use

Running an HVAC system can account for a significant portion of a building’s operating costs. Because phase change material passively regulates temperature, buildings can rely less on their HVAC systems for heating and cooling. By using less electricity for temperature control, a typical building with phase change material saves 30-40 percent on electricity bills.

Load Shifting

In most places, electricity rates are the cheapest at night when electricity needs to decrease. But because most commercial buildings’ heating and cooling needs occur during the day, few building operators get the chance to take advantage of these lower prices.

With phase change material, building managers can run HVAC units at night, banking that cold for the morning. When the building is in use during the day, the phase change material will melt, cooling the building and requiring less use of the HVAC system during peak rate periods. This is known as load shifting.

Off-Balance Sheet Upgrades

While most energy efficiency technology requires high up-front costs or long-term contracts, phase change material can be installed for just a low monthly utilization fee. This risk-free option through D.I. Pathways allows building owners to get the energy savings they want without buying a costly system.

To learn more about how phase change material can help your company save money, contact D.I. Pathways today.

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