Small businesses across the United States spend a staggering $60 billion on energy every year, most of which is consumed in electricity. Keeping work premises warm in the winter and cool in the summer is a necessary part of running any business but is also energy intensive, equating to one of the biggest energy costs.
Heating and Cooling Costs
Taking steps to reduce heating and cooling costs will significantly help reduce your business’s electricity consumption and therefore energy bills.
If you’re determined to cut back on heating and cooling expenses, take a look at the following ways you might be able to do it.
Ways of Reducing Your Business’s Heating Costs
Program Your Thermostats
You can save significant dollars by simply programming your thermostat, so the heating goes off when nobody is in the office. Even if your team works at different times, there will be periods when the premises is vacant and programming a thermostat to go off during these hours will prevent energy and therefore dollars from being wasted.
Regularly Maintain Heating Systems
It is important that you have the heating system at your business regularly serviced and maintained to ensure it keeps working at its optimum so you’re not wasting energy and money unnecessarily through a faulty or inefficient system.
Turn Your Temperature Down
According to Energy Star, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating by simply turning the thermostat in your building back by 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours a day from its normal setting. The ideal temperature to set a thermostat to during the winter is 68 degrees Fahrenheit when at work.
Prevent Air Leakage
It might sound obvious, but preventing cold air from entering your business premises can help keep the building warm and comfortable and place less pressure on your heating system. Prior to the cold weather setting in, inspect your doors, windows and other parts of the interior of your building for gaps that might let cold air in and heated air escape. Any gaps should be sealed and made weatherproof sooner rather than later to help with vital energy savings.
Change the Location of Your Thermostat
The location of the thermostat in your business might be affecting your energy consumption more than you think. If your thermostat is placed too close to a source of heat, for example, it is likely to be making your heating less efficient. It is advisable to place a thermostat out of direct sunlight, away from air vents, and not in kitchens, hallways or near windows or doors.
Ways of Reducing Your Business’s Cooling Costs
Switch to Energy-Efficient Cooling Equipment
Air conditioners use around 6% of all the electricity produced in the United States. In order to crack the code on cooling costs for your business, you should look at replacing inefficient, energy-zapping air-conditioning units, with more efficient Energy Star-qualified models to help make valuable savings on cooling costs.
Purchase Energy-Efficient Water-Cooled Ice Machines
When it’s hot outside, employees need to drink water regularly to stay hydrated and working at their best. Water cooling ice machines can be a godsend in offices and working premises when it’s hot outside, but unfortunately, these machines consume a significant amount of energy.
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), which provides efficiency guidance for water-cooled ice machines, highlights the benefits of using Energy Star-qualified equipment to ensure businesses get the best value possible on their energy bills.
Use Window Treatments to Prevent Direct Sunlight Filtering in the Room
Studies have proven that being exposed to natural light improves workplace performance and employee wellbeing. However, having direct sunlight filter in on a hot day will only make your cooling system have to work harder and subsequently drain more energy to keep your office and workers cool.
One simple and easy way to reduce your cooling consumption is to hang window treatments on the windows during the summer. Treatments such as blinds and window tints can significantly reduce heat transfer and cut down the amount of heat radiating into a commercial building, keeping employees cool without having to rely so heavily on energy-draining cooling units.
Have Your HVAC System Regularly Maintained
To ensure your ventilation and cooling systems are operating at their optimum and are not draining energy unnecessarily, it is important to get them regularly maintained. This simple process can be an effective way to reduce energy consumption and make smart savings on energy costs.
Use Variable Speed Fans
Placing variable speed fans at your business means that the fans slow down when ventilation demand decreases, thereby saving your business money on electricity and subsequently reducing cooling costs.
Follow these steps to reduce your energy consumption for cooling and heating and you can look forward to making important business energy savings, money that can be better spent elsewhere in your business.
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This article, “Cracking the Code on Heating and Cooling Costs for Your Business” was first published on Small Business Trends