Comfort, Electrified: How Building Electrification Improves Resident Comfort
Beyond helping to reach Local Law 97 compliance, reducing carbon emissions in our buildings increases economic opportunities and improves building and property values. It also helps us demonstrate the collective impact we can have in fighting climate change.
With a focus on building electrification and weatherization, we touch on one particularly significant benefit of lowering emissions: improving overall resident comfort and quality of life.
Going Electric for Improved Health
While there are different paths to transitioning to a low-carbon building, electrification is one of the most common, and efficient, ways to lower building emissions. Simply put, it means converting building systems that use fossil fuels (gas, oil, or propane) to high-efficiency electric equipment that is increasingly powered by clean and renewable electricity.
When building owners transition their buildings’ heating & cooling, water heating, laundry, and cooking appliances to all-electric power sources, it significantly reduces indoor carbon emissions emitted from fossil fuel use, quickly improving a living space’s air quality and reducing the risk of diseases such as:
- Lung cancer
- Coronary heart disease
Additionally, building electrification all but eliminates the risk of carbon monoxide exposure, which even at very low levels can cause unwanted health effects like headaches and nausea.
Going Electric for More Efficiency and Greater Peace of Mind
Building electrification also helps increase the energy efficiency of each residential unit.
Electric heating and cooling technology, such as mini-split heat pumps, as well as high-tech cooking appliances like induction stoves, use less energy than is typically expended by traditional gas-powered appliances. Additionally, electric heat pump water heaters can be two to three times more energy efficient compared to gas or propane options. More efficient energy use not only means a more comfortable living environment, it can also mean lower monthly energy costs, bringing some peace of mind to residents facing the rising cost of, well, everything else.
Building electrification can also increase safety, and as a result, improve residents’ peace of mind. In addition to eliminating the potential for gas leaks, induction stoves cause a pan to create its own heat via an electromagnetic current, meaning that the cooktop surface never gets hot to the touch, mitigating the risk of hazards like little hands touching hot stovetops.
Maximizing Electrification Benefits with Weatherization Improvements
Building electrification provides a host of benefits to your building’s residents, but when coupled with weatherization improvements (such as air sealing windows and doors and upgrading insulation), the impact of electrification is even greater.
Weatherization upgrades are not only critical to helping building owners reduce carbon emissions and meet higher energy efficiency standards, it can also greatly improve resident comfort. Sealing drafty windows and doors allows heating and cooling systems to work much more efficiently, keeping indoor temperatures more consistent, reducing energy use, and potentially lowering monthly energy costs.
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