Lowering the Cost of Ownership in Your Metal Building
Budget is always a major consideration when you’re in the market for a metal building. You really must consider not only upfront costs, but also the cost of ownership over the lifetime of the building. You can save money for years to come by investing in a good, high R-Value insulation system among other energy saving systems such as lights and doors.
The Car Analogy
The estimation is similar to that which you might do when buying a new car. Say you’re choosing between a brand-new, $30,000 car that’s a bit over your budget and a preowned $20,000 vehicle, which is closer to what you envisioned spending. At first glance, the used model might be your best bet…until you factor in the long-term costs of fuel.
Say that used car gives you about 15 mpg, while the other, newer vehicle runs on solar or battery power, making fuel practically free. In this case, you’d save about $300 a month on fuel costs, and you’d make up that $10,000 difference in the initial price of the car in a little over two years. Then, rather than throw that $300 in your fuel tank every month thereafter, you could use it to put toward other expenses, automotive or otherwise.
The Fuel Factor
Like cars, steel buildings are fuel burners. In a large, climate-controlled space, you can save a tremendous amount of money by insulating it at the time of construction. Even a lower-level insulation package can save you $100 a month or more, which comes out to $24,000 in savings over a 20-year span.
Other Ways to Reduce Ownership Costs
You can also save money over the life of your metal building by reducing your reliance on energy-sucking mechanical or light fixtures. Fans that kick on and off to regulate interior temperatures in a heated or cooled building are a major source of lost income, and they are subject to heavy wear and tear over time. With a properly insulated system, though, you can as much as double the lifespan of your mechanical systems when compared against those running inefficiently in a poorly insulated space.
Small portable heaters are also a major expense, and they have the potential to add hundreds of dollars in energy costs to your bill each month. Investing in a smart thermostat allows you to lower building temperatures during colder morning or evening hours, or during non-working hours, lowering energy expenses as a result.
The easiest time to inventory materials is when you initially unload them. Make immediate notes on the shipping bill of any damaged or missing parts prior to signing for and accepting the material. If there are any missing or damaged components, promptly notify your supplier.
Air leaks are also common and are the number-one cause of energy loss in steel buildings, with most of the air escaping through your building’s doors or windows. Most insulated steel building doors contain R-7 insulation, but foam-filled doors with seals can offer up to R-27 insulating properties, and the cost difference between them is negligible.
The Smart Choice for Cost-Conscious Consumers
When you operate a climate-controlled space (and keep in mind – your building is an energy-burning investment you can never shut off!), you must consider how much you’ll pay in energy expenses over the life of it. Because your building’s insulation system has a sizable impact on your energy bills for every month you own the building, this is clearly not the area in which to cut costs.
So, rather than ask if you can afford to make your building energy efficient at the time of its purchase, think “big picture” and ask yourself…can you afford not to?