Find Out Where the Dollars Are Hiding in Your Facility

October 1, 2010

Look around your facility. Are all the pipes, ducts, and process equipment properly insulated? Is the insulation damaged? Do you know what type and thickness will provide you with the best results? Do you implement a regular maintenance program?

The National Insulation Association (NIA) estimates that about 30 percent of insulation on mechanical systems in commercial and industrial facilities are damaged or missing. Each section of un- or under-insulated piping, ductwork, or equipment costs you money every day in additional fuel, additional pollutants, energy lost, and unrealized equipment productivity. Recapture those dollars by finding out where the weak spots in your mechanical insulation systems are and see how quickly the fixes will pay for themselves.

A Certified Insulation Energy Appraiser can evaluate the thermal performance of facility piping and equipment and show you how much you could be saving by installing, upgrading, or maintaining mechanical insulation on facility systems. The appraiser performs a facility walk-though to identify existing insulated and un-insulated process systems and determines areas where mechanical insulation can be installed or upgraded. Using U.S. Department of Energy-approved 3E Plus® software and data collected during the facility walk-through, the appraiser can determine the dollar value of Btu losses and even calculate the current system’s greenhouse gas emissions saved.

The appraiser will recommend insulation solutions tailored to your facility to maximize return on investment while reducing fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Further calculations compare the energy costs for the current system and the potential energy savings with an insulation upgrade. The appraiser can also compare the environmental impacts of your current system and one with properly installed mechanical insulation.

Facilities that have benefited from appraisals include chemical, commercial, food processing, gas processing, government buildings, hospitals, institutional, oil refining, paper mills, petrochemical, universities, and utilities. The appraiser evaluates facility piping, boilers, ductwork, and air pollution equipment and reviews HVAC, hot and cold water, and steam processes. Typical returns on investment are less than 6 months—you would be hard pressed to find an energy efficiency investment with a faster payback time.

Mechanical insulation also plays a critical role in protecting your employees from potential injuries from hot or cold processes, as well as providing acoustic benefits. Properly installed and maintained mechanical insulation can reduce or prevent condensation and resulting problems like mold and corrosion, which can be far more expensive than maintaining a properly insulated system.

Certified appraisers are industry professionals who receive intensive training through the Insulation Energy Appraiser Program designed by NIA. You can find an appraiser in your area at by clicking the “Find a Certified Insulation Energy Appraiser” link.

It’s time to think about mechanical insulation in an energy efficiency capacity. Consider calling a Certified Insulation Energy Appraiser to find out how much you could be saving. In these challenging and competitive times, you can’t afford to let wasted dollars continue to hide in your facility!