Energy-efficient homes are not the only goals of U.S. government incentives designed to make buildings more energy efficient across the board.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction, which provides tax deductions to commercial property managers who invest in energy efficient products and systems.

The incentives allow property managers or tenants to upgrade their interior lighting, HVAC and hot water systems, and building envelope systems up to a cap of $1.80 per square foot. Should a manager or tenant opt to upgrade only one of the three systems, they can deduct up to $0.60 per square foot.

To take advantage of these incentives, individuals that own or operate commercial buildings should contact a qualified inspection service to assist them in assessing problematic aspects of their buildings. For 20 years, experienced professionals from Alban Inspections have worked with property owners of both residential and commercial buildings in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and Pennsylvania to identify practical solutions to energy problems.

Faulty HVAC units common in commercial buildings

While home inspections are detailed in their own right, commercial properties are generally larger and, in many cases, older than residential properties, so there are more opportunities for problems to develop.

One of the most common problems found in commercial buildings involves malfunctioning or inefficient HVAC systems. Because of their size, commercial HVAC units can become clogged with debris, especially dust and dirt. These clogs can occur naturally over time, or can result from employees covering output vents as a way to alter the temperature of a room. Large HVAC units are also more prone to normal breakdowns resulting from age. These malfunctions can reduce the efficiency of HVAC units and increase energy costs.

Finally, if an HVAC system is not provided regular maintenance, mold can proliferate inside its air ducts. If mold becomes prevalent, the air quality of a building could diminish as HVAC units spread spores throughout the building.

Achieving energy efficiency through HVAC service

In order to avoid potentially expensive overhauls of HVAC systems, commercial property owners should conduct regular maintenance on their units. Mold testing should be performed by an experienced home inspection service to determine whether HVAC systems contain mold. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that air ducts be cleaned if there is significant mold growth within the system. If mold and other problems begin to mount, a property owner may need to replace their entire HVAC system, which could cost them several thousand dollars, although newer models are likely more energy efficient than older ones.

Commercial property owners can further reduce their energy costs by installing compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs wherever possible. While CFL bulbs are more expensive, they could help a property owner slash their energy bill, especially considering the number of bulbs that are required to light a commercial property.

Alban Inspections helps a business's bottom line

A comprehensive analysis of a commercial property, coupled with tax breaks that come with achieving energy efficiency, could save a property owner a significant amount of money. A property owner may consider a five-star Alban Inspections service, which includes a basic inspection, an assessment of appliances that may have been recalled, a carbon monoxide screen, a termite inspection, an infrared inspection to find potential problem areas in otherwise inaccessible areas of the building, a mold screen, a moisture analysis and a re-inspection following any modifications.

Commercial inspections can be costly and involve significant repairs, but property owners will be thankful they contacted Alban Inspections when they receive their energy bill. An experienced inspector can ease the mind of a property owner or merchant, allowing them to devote more attention to what is most important – meeting the needs of their customers and improving their bottom line.