At home, it's easy to monitor how much energy you use — and how much you can save with smart practices. At work, though, it might be a bit more difficult to oversee all of the resources your company and employees go through in a day, month or year.
Whether you're tired of extra-high bills or looking to streamline further, there are plenty of tips for effectively heating and cooling your business so everyone's comfortable. Here are five ways to do so:
1. Avoid Waste Heat
You've probably seen a building that leaves its lights on all day and night. Of course, those bulbs start to get hot, creating heat in the office. Computers switched on and humming give off warmth, too. All of this combined is what's known as waste heat.
In the office, you can take steps to avoid waste heat so you don't waste A/C in the summer to overcompensate. Start by installing occupancy sensors so that lights only turn on when needed. Swap out old light bulbs for their newer LED counterparts, which give off much less heat. And consider using natural light to illuminate your workspace when possible.
2. Change the Air Filters
If it seems as though your heating and cooling system isn't pumping out as much air as before, you might need to swap out your current filters for new ones. Once they get filled with airborne dust and dirt, air flow slows. With fresh filters, though, the air will come right through, and you might even be able to turn the unit down since it's working more efficiently. So, change them out once a month to keep the system working as intended.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Old-fashioned thermostats didn't know whether you were in the office or not — they kept the temperature steady all day and night long. Programmable thermostats have changed all that, though. Now, you can set the times at which you want the temperature regulated so your unit will shut off once working hours end. Throughout the day, too, it will only turn on when the temperature dips or rises so your ideal environment lasts all day. With this close regulation, you can save up to 10 percent on your energy bills each year.
4. Flip on the Fan(s)
A few fans working in tandem with your HVAC can enhance the temperature you choose for your workspace. If it's spring or summer, fans will keep the fresh air flowing and circulating, thus helping the A/C unit work more efficiently. In the winter, fans can do the same with heat, although you might want to run them on a lower setting so they don't create chilly air. Placing commercial fans in bigger energy-use spaces, such as warehouses, will save you money and keep staffers cool who work outside.
5. Try an Energy Audit
An HVAC professional can help you improve the energy efficiency of your business, too. In many cases, they will come out and perform an energy audit for free. They'll pinpoint any deficiencies in the pre-existing system, such as vent leaks, weak insulation or energy-inefficient appliances or accessories. Then, you can work to improve in those areas — you can even hire your auditor to help you do so in many cases. Unless you're handy in this area, avoid DIY-ing your repairs because, without the proper skills, you'll often do more harm than good. Instead, hire a licensed professional to solve your problems soundly.
Keep It Comfortable
The purpose of all of this is to keep your business at a comfortable temperature without breaking the bank. And, with the above five tips, you'll easily do just that — you might even save money with these simple updates or changes in behavior.
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