Residential buildings in New York have been reaching soaring new heights, but a new study says that the cost of heating them doesn’t have to be through the roof. The report, released by Urban Green Council, shows how a change as simple as plugging up open vents in a building’s elevator shafts could help keep heat in and bring utility costs down. By preventing heat escape in tall structures, building owners stand to save a whopping $11 million a year, while also preventing 30,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from invading the atmosphere.
As its population booms, NYC has turned to looking up, with more and more residential towers popping up to accommodate the influx of residents. These super-tall buildings may pack in more New Yorkers, but their height also makes them act like chimneys, consistently funneling out hot air into the atmosphere. Naturally, this means that apartment heaters and boiler rooms are constantly pumping out more and more heat to make up for this loss. This costs tenants and owners a pretty penny in utilities, but also hits the environment with unnecessary carbon emissions.
But according to the Urban Green Council’s report, appropriately called “Spending Through the Roof,” some simple steps could make a huge difference. If building owners target the places where heat can leak out, like elevator shafts, ill-fitting windows and gaps in masonry, then each building could save significantly each year. Solutions like motorized vents will save on heat, but also help to save the environment from preventable carbon emissions and an influx of hot air.