Simple Ways to Reduce Small Business Energy Costs
As a small business owner, you have a narrow margin of profit to maintain, especially if you’re just getting started. You may keep close watch on accounts, spending, and your clients and customers, but one area of potential savings you might not have tapped into is heating and cooling costs.
Utility cost for a business can run much higher than you might have estimated, but you can invest in increased efficiency for years of savings down the road. Here are some simple ways you can reduce office heating and cooling costs.
Heat Your Business, Not the Building
If you use your office space, storefront, or restaurant during business hours in the day, you don’t have to keep the same standards when the doors are locked and customers and employees go home for the day. Invest in a programmable or even smart thermostat that allows you to control the temperature remotely.
Turn the heat down to just above safe level for the time when the doors are closed, and have it start to go up about an hour before opening. The same goes for air-conditioning. You don’t need to super cool a restaurant or appliance store when nobody’s around.
Stop Battles Over the Thermostat
You know those employees always exist. One is never cool enough, sweltering away at the desk, and the other is never warm. If your thermostat is accessible by employees, managers, or even supervisory staff, you’re paying the price for the temperature whims as shifts and seasons change. Every hour someone might adjust the temperature in the name of comfort.
New thermostats can lock at a specific temperature. You can keep things cooler in the winter to help save on heating, and you can boost it up a few degrees and lock it in during summer. Your employees can get used to dressing for the temperature in the office by bringing sweaters or chilled drinks to their desks.
Upgrade Outdated HVAC Components
An updated HVAC system is one of the most effective ways to save. You can only adjust the temperature of your business so much before you have to worry about client and employee comfort and health. No amount of adjusting can compensate for a run-down furnace, an ancient AC compressor, or leaky ducting.
Components can be costly to replace at first, but moving to new Energy Star appliances can increase efficiency as much as 40 percent in some cases.
Don’t Forget About Maintenance
You may get caught up in the maintenance of your business. Finances, employees, schedules, deliveries, and larger physical problems put basic maintenance into the background. However, simple things like changing the air filter on a furnace boost the efficiency of your entire system, but so many people forget to do it.
Maintenance can include cleaning your air ducts, especially if you have a commercial system. Air conditioners should be serviced each year. You can hire an HVAC company to do routine maintenance for you on schedule so it’s something you don’t have to think about.
A well-maintained system is also less likely to break down, so your furnace and AC components last longer.
Install a Tankless Water Heater
While many people consider this a water cost, heating your water is still part of your overall heating bill. You likely don’t use a lot of hot water at work. Washrooms need some hot water for hand washing, and you might have a hot water tap in the break room.
If you have limited hot water needs in your business, a tankless heater can help save on heating costs. This way, you’re not paying to heat a huge reservoir of water. The water is instead heated on demand.
Gas heaters save households around 104 dollars a year, so you could expect drastic savings in your business office because of your office doesn’t require the showers, bathtubs, and dishwashers that a home does.
As another bonus, a tankless heater saves on space and last longer than a tank heater. If your utility room is already crowded, you can enjoy more space for keeping basic supplies like your mop and bucket.
Talk to Your HVAC Company About Using Gas
If your city has plenty of gas lines running to homes and business but your business uses electric heat, talk to your HVAC company about the possibility of switching to gas. Initially, the change to gas lines in your building might cost more, but if neighboring businesses already have convenient gas lines, it might not cost too much to have your space plumbed for gas.
Gas is less expensive than electric heating, and you can use the winter savings to help offset summer cooling costs.
For more information about finding the right HVAC system for your business, contact us at Ragan Mechanical. We have experience with commercial and residential HVAC systems and can help you get the cost savings you are looking for.