Technical improvements by professionals

Improving the heating system and building envelope

Review the performance of the existing boiler. An old boiler is less efficient than a modern one (a reduction in performance of between 10 and 30%). Condensing boilers are more efficient than conventional boilers as they recover more of the combustion gas heat. Insulate the hot water storage tank and distribution pipes. Hot water storage tank should be factory insulated.  Heat losses decrease 70% with properly insulated tanks. Insulate any cavity walls your office may have – the loss of heat through the walls can be reduced by up to one third.

Eliminate the thermal bridges in the facade of the building envelope (lintels, pillars, beams, windowsills and blind boxes). A thermal bridge is an area without resistance to the transfer of heat and, therefore, a continuous source of energy loss.

Insulate the loft/attic of the building. The loss of heat through non-insulated roofs can be up to five times higher to that of a fully insulated roof space. In the summer an insulated roof, breaks the circulation of heat from the exterior to the interior of the building. This will ensure that the building is at a lower temperature in the summer, minimising cooling requirements. Install windows with double glass or triple glazing for north-facing. Install solar collectors for hot water generation and heating and consider installing a PV-system for your electricity supply.

Cooling

If you live in a warm or hot climate, consider adding a radiant barrier to your roof or attic. A radiant barrier has a shiny surface, such as an aluminium-coated plastic sheeting, installed on the roof or in the attic.

When it's time to shop for a new air conditioner, select a unit with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (central air units) or energy efficiency ratio (window units). For humid climates, select a unit that dehumidifies efficiently and buy an appropriately sized unit.

Use landscaping, canopies, and overhangs to shade the outside of your office in summer. A shaded house costs less to cool than one in direct sunlight.
If possible, use fans to keep cool instead of an air conditioner. Fans consume a fraction of the energy of an air conditioner.

Do not position heat-producing appliances, such as televisions or lamps, near the thermostat that controls your air conditioner. The heat they produce interferes with the thermostat and causes the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.

When installing ceiling fans, remember that a 36- or 42-inch fan works best for rooms 12 feet by 12 feet or smaller. A 48- or 52-inch fan works best for rooms up to 12 feet by 18 feet. Two medium-sized fans work best in a room longer than 18 feet.

Consider using a whole-house fan as part of your cooling strategy. A whole-house fan is installed on the ceiling below the attic. Whole-house fans consume considerably less energy than air conditioners.

Under appropriate weather conditions in the cooling season, use window fans mounted in windows to exhaust hot air that accumulates indoors during the day and, reversed at night, to pull in cooler outdoor air.

Plant trees or shrubs or use other shading devices to shade the air-conditioning unit from direct sunlight. You can increase efficiency by up to 10 percent, but do not block air flow.