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Seal & Insulate Your Building

Lower your heating and cooling costs and improve your indoor air quality by air sealing and insulating your building or business. 

How It Works

Air leaks and drafts through your building’s walls, doors, basements, and windows waste a lot of energy, increase your energy bills, and can lead to an unhealthy indoor environment. When you properly seal and insulate your building, you can reduce heating and cooling costs while creating a more comfortable environment for your staff, customers, and/or tenants. Not all air leakage is bad, however, as a building that is “sealed” too tightly may experience worse indoor air quality than a leaky building. Potential issues include elevated humidity, stagnant air, and increased levels of carbon monoxide if a building uses equipment and machinery that burn fossil fuels.

To understand how well your business or multifamily building is sealed and insulated, start by working with a qualified contractor to conduct an energy assessment. A building performance contractor can evaluate and determine the appropriate levels of insulation, air sealing, and ventilation to safely reduce heating and cooling expenses for your building(s).

Air Sealing and Insulation Products

There are multiple products to better seal and insulate your building. Common products for sealing include basic spray foams and silicone or acrylic latex caulk. Meanwhile, prevalent products for insulation materials include fiberglass, cellulose, and spray foam. Your contractor will recommend sealing and insulation products that are best suited for your building(s).

Programs and incentives are available for businesses, commercial buildings, and multifamily buildings to receive a professional assessment of their air sealing and insulation and upgrade their building envelope.

  • Flexible Technical Assistance (FlexTech) Program: Complete an energy study of your building, with NYSERDA cost-share support, to identify and evaluate opportunities to reduce energy costs and incorporate clean energy into capital planning.
  • Multifamily Buildings Low-Carbon Pathways Program: Receive funding to implement a low-carbon energy-saving retrofit at your multifamily building(s) through incentive packages focused on your building envelope (e.g., air sealing and insulation), ventilation, heating and cooling, and domestic hot water.
  • Inflation Reduction Act (IRA): Receive a tax credit of up to $5 per square foot for installing interior lighting, a building envelope, HVAC systems, or hot water systems in a new or existing commercial building that reduce the energy by 50% or more in comparison to a building meeting minimum requirements set by ASHRAE Standard 90.1.

How You Benefit

  • Reduce your operating costs associated with heating and cooling your buildings
  • Purchase smaller, less expensive HVAC equipment without sacrificing performance or comfort 
  • Invest in the longevity and value of your biggest assets
  • Improve the health, safety, and comfort of your work environment
  • Take a major step forward in achieving your carbon reduction goals

When You Should Consider It

Air sealing and insulating your building(s) may be good for your business if you are:

  • Experiencing high heating and cooling costs
  • Receiving complaints about drafty or stuffy areas from staff, customers, or tenants
  • Thinking about making changes to your HVAC systems
  • Looking for strategies to achieve your carbon reduction goals
  • Planning other renovation projects that may involve “opening up” your walls

You Might Be Interested In

Air sealing and insulation go hand in hand with your building’s HVAC systems, so be sure to make sure your building has been properly sealed and insulated before replacing your HVAC equipment. HVAC upgrades, such as installing clean heating and cooling heat pump systems, can improve your bottom line and futureproof your business against volatile global energy markets. 

Explore financial and technical support opportunities available to businesses for making HVAC and complementary energy improvements, including:

  • Community Heat Pumps Pilot Program: Learn how community thermal energy networks can address the heating and cooling needs of new construction projects as well as retrofits of existing buildings and campuses.
  • Energy Programs and Incentives: Explore federal, New York State, and utility programs offering financial and technical support for businesses.
  • Strategic Energy Management Program: Develop a comprehensive approach to aligning energy efficiency with your business practices and goals to further assess and address energy related expenses and increase profitability.

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