If you spend a good deal of money each month on business utilities at a rented store or office building, you can cut back on expenditures by implementing ways to reduce how much energy you use to cool your building. Commercial air conditioning is a necessity for most modern businesses, but you can still enjoy some savings (and reduce your environmental footprint) by considering some of the following suggestions for your business.
1. Get a service contract
One of the easiest ways to save money on your heating and cooling costs is to make sure that you have a standing contract with an HVAC company who will come on a scheduled basis to make small repairs and to do system tune-ups. They can take care of things like changing the filter and cleaning the ducts so that your system is running at peak efficiency all the time. When a system is not maintained, it gradually uses more and more energy while also becoming less and less effective.
You might share an office building with other businesses. If this is the case, contact the other companies in the building to see if they are willing to contract with a service provider together. If you are leasing the building, talk with the owner about whether or not there is already a set contract in place.
2. Invest in window treatments
Natural light is great way to open up a space and to leave customers with a positive impression of your business. It can also help with employee productivity. However, if you have large windows that face east or south, your office will be harder to cool, as the windows will amplify the sun's heat during the warm periods of the day. You can invest in window tinting to help with this problem, or you can plant trees in front of the office so that the windows are in partial shade. Awnings also help to shade windows while allowing for natural light to enter during the day.
As a last resort (since they are not as effective), installing blinds or drapes will at least prevent heat from circulating through the building. The downside to blinds or drapes is that they block light, which means you will enjoy less natural light and need to rely more on artificial lights, which cost you in electricity charges.
3. Bring the outdoors indoors
Plants are another great way to decrease the amount of air conditioning you need in the summer, while also improving air quality in the winter. In fact, research shows that having trees indoors can reduce cooling costs by 20 percent. The reason why plants are so effective is because they produce water as a "waste" product from photosynthesis. When water vapor from plants is released into the air, the air itself has a greater heat capacity, which means it takes more heat to raise the temperature of the air.
As an added bonus, plants also increase employee productivity, which saves you money as well.
4. Turn off the lights
If possible, try to use indoor lighting as little as possible. Allow employees to work next to windows, or install skylights for added natural light. Using artificial light gives off extra heat that your HVAC system will need to work harder to cool down. If you must use indoor lighting, stay away from incandescent bulbs. Instead choose compact fluorescent lamps, which give much less heat than older light fixtures.
There are many ways to reduce your cooling costs as a small business owner. Click here to read more about commercial cooling options, and make sure to talk to a contractor for more suggestions about energy efficient cooling solutions.
Does your heating bill send you into a state of shock? If so, now is the time for you to begin making changes to your home to bring the cost of heating your home down. In years past, my heating bill was actually more than my mortgage was. It really made getting through the winter difficult for my family. I decided to do something about the high bills. I started with insulation, then invested in some new windows, and I also changed the way that we used our utilities. You can learn everything that I did to reduce my heating bill so that you can cut your heating bill as well.