Owning a business means finding ways to reduce your costs as much as possible to help your profit margin at the end of the year. Energy costs for a business are one of the most important expenses for business owners. A few simple steps can reduce energy costs by changing and improving the heating and cooling system and implementing small changes in employee behavior to reduce overall energy usage.
The HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system used in your business is one of the largest components of your power use — possibly the largest. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that around 30% of energy is wasted in a commercial building. The following tips are just some of the ways that business owners can save money.
Seal Heating and Cooling Ducts
Air ducts that are properly sealed will prevent unnecessary air leaks. Ducts can be sealed with foil tape or a duct sealant, but you might need an HVAC technician to access some parts of your ductwork. Removing any leaks will allow conditioned air to be properly directed through the ducts, and the energy used by the HVAC system to keep the building cool or warm will not be wasted.
Regularly Change HVAC Filters
Dirty filters reduce airflow and lead to poor air quality, as well as an overworked HVAC unit. Employees may also breathe contaminants and allergens due to a dirty filter. Filters should be checked quarterly and changed monthly whenever possible. They should never go more than three months before replacement.
Educate employees about your efforts to improve energy efficiency in the business. Simple actions can make a difference, such as using blinds to reduce sunlight, adjusting the thermostat when the building is empty, and closing outside doors while the HVAC system is on. When everyone works together to reduce energy waste, costs will go down.
Invest in Your HVAC System
Image via Flickr by raketentim
Invest in programmable thermostats that will adjust the temperature automatically and minimize your HVAC use when the building is empty. The right model of programmable thermostat can be tailored to the schedule of your business.
Consider upgrading to a newer HVAC system with improved technology and energy efficiency. If your system is more than 10 years old, start thinking about replacing it with a newer one. Digital controls or sensors can also be added to an existing system to give it more efficiency.
Contact an HVAC Professional
Regularly maintain your HVAC system in order to keep it working longer and at peak efficiency. Parts of the system will need regular maintenance from a certified HVAC professional who will know how the system functions and can advise business owners on further energy efficiency tips.
Performing these simple and low-cost tasks can reduce the energy costs of your business. Involving your employees will also help cut expenses from your HVAC use. When it’s time for more involved work on your HVAC system, look for a professional who can advise you on the best steps to save energy.