Winter might be synonymous with cold weather and sky-high energy bills, but it’s not all doom and gloom.
If you run a business and are determined to lower your bills this winter, take a look at the following 10 ways to winterize your business to help manage energy costs.
Seal Any Leaks, Drafts and Gaps Around the Workplace
As the Department of Energy notes, Americans spend on average $2,000 on energy each year, $200 to $400 of which could be going to waste through drafts and air leaks.
Before winter arrives, take the time to assess your premises for leaks and drafts. Gaps can tend to be present around doors and windows, so pay particularly close attention to these areas. Plugging these gaps in a building could help reduce consumption between 5 and 30 percent.
Make Sure Insulation is Adequate
Insulation is vital in helping to reduce the exchange of heat through a surface, such as a building’s walls and ceiling. If your building is well-insulated, less warm air will escape during the winter.
In order to winterize your business to control energy costs, have a professional insulation installer or builder evaluate the existing insulation in your building. If it’s not sufficient, now is the time to improve the insulation.
Have Your Heating System Checked and Maintained
Looking after your business’s boiler and heating system will ensure it works efficiently and effectively all year round. Before the cold weather arrives and the heating system is forced to go into overdrive, have it checked.
Problems, such as airlocks, thermostat issues, leakage, and dripping, may mean your business’s heating system is not running efficiently. An inefficient heating system could mean increased energy bills.
Having the system checked and regularly maintained will ensure it runs as efficiently as it should, all year round.
Get Smart About Lighting
As the Department of Energy highlights, lighting is responsible for almost 25 percent of commercial energy costs. In order to crack down on business energy costs, the winterization of your business should include replacing conventional, energy-zapping light bulbs with energy-efficient ones.
LED bulbs use around 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. These energy-saving bulbs also typically last 10-25 times longer than conventional bulbs.
Automate your Thermostat
Having a programmable thermostat installed in a building can reduce heating costs by as much as 30 percent. During low-occupancy hours, set the thermostat several degrees lower compared to peak times to make significant energy savings.
Prepare the Pipes
Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on piping since, when water freezes, the pressure builds up in the pipes and can cause them to burst.
When winterizing your business to control energy costs, don’t neglect the pipes. Ensure all exterior pipes and interior ones in unheated areas are sufficiently insulated. Flexible elastomeric insulation works well on exterior pipes to give them the insulation they will require in the winter to prevent the water inside from freezing, causing the pipes to burst.
Check Heating Ducts
If your business has heating ducts, check them to see if the insulation needs to be replaced. Inadequately insulated heating ducts will mean the heating system has to work harder to keep the building warm, resulting in higher energy bills.
Install Energy-Efficient Glazing on Windows and Doors
With a staggering 10-20 percent heat lost through windows and doors, it makes sense to have energy-efficient glazing in place.
Replacing existing glass with low-emissivity glass, designed to prevent heat escaping through windows and doors, could mean significant business energy savings this winter.
Alter the Direction of Ceiling Fans
Use of ceiling fans in your business might be more common in the summer months. But did you know by simply changing the direction of the fan so it rotates in a clockwise direction can circulate warm air instead of cool. According to the ENERGY STAR webpage, altering the direction of ceiling fans can reduce heating costs by forcing warm air near the ceiling down into occupied spaces.
Change Furnace Filters
Prior to the winter months setting in, it’s recommended that you clean or replace furnace filters. Clogged up, dirty filters can restrict airflow, resulting in increased energy demand.
Check with Constellation to learn more about reducing your small business’s energy consumption today.
Caulking Window Photo via Shutterstock