No matter what size office your business occupies these days, it seems like energy costs are going up, up, up. Here are some tips on how you can save money and help the environment.
Perform Regular Maintenance Checks on HVAC
If you own your business property or are responsible for the heating and cooling systems, you'll want to have them checked on a regular basis. Typically, having a professional give them the once-over in spring and autumn is best. Cleaning and replacing worn parts or filters can go a long way in increasing HVAC efficiency.
Automate Your Utilities and Lights
Using automation for lights and utilities gives you better control when they’re operating, which reduces needless use. This includes:
- Using a programmable thermostat to decrease heat or A/C usage during non-business hours
- Installing automatic light switches in break rooms and restrooms
- Using photocells or motion sensor lights outside
If you set up automation to be controlled by a mobile device, you can make adjustments on the fly, such as when someone needs to work on the weekend or you forgot to turn off the lights at the end of the day.
Switch to LED Light Bulbs
It used to be the case that compact fluorescents were the answer to energy-hogging incandescent bulbs. However, LED bulbs offer even greater energy savings. While LED bulbs cost a bit more up front, they last months or even years longer than old-fashioned bulbs. They draw significantly less electricity, too.
Use Energy-Efficient Appliances and Electronic Devices
From break room refrigerators to office computers, you can save with energy-efficient appliances and devices. Look for Energy Star appliances, which often include discounts at tax time, and swap out desktop PCs for laptops and tablets. If you’re not sure what to change, consider having an energy audit conducted by a professional consultant or your utility company.
Change from Overhead to Task Lighting
If you’re like many businesses, you have overhead lights on all day, everywhere, when you don’t really need them. You can shut off those lights and change to tabletop lamps in many cases. As a bonus, it makes the office more appealing to workers and can reduce eye strain, too.
Seal Up Places Where Heating or Cooling Is Lost
Your office may be losing money to the outdoors if your heat or cooled air isn’t staying in the building. Look for places where you’re running up your energy bills unnecessarily and make improvements. Seal doors and windows, install windbreaks by entrances, insulate flimsy walls, and hang energy-efficient window treatments.
Turn Off Equipment When Not in Use
You can operate the most energy-efficient equipment in the world, but if it’s left on when no one is around, you’re still wasting money. If you can’t automate some items, create an end-of-the-day checklist to make sure they’re switched off or unplugged. When replacing equipment, look for models that shut off after a certain period of inactivity. And you can use an energy monitoring device to see how much power any electrical item is drawing when both turned on and on standby (known as electrical leaking, phantom load, or vampire power). Sometimes it’s simply better to unplug something when it’s not in use.
Want to save even more money for your business? You may be paying too much for your commercial property insurance or other business insurance. Call McGee & Thielen Insurance Brokers at 916-646-1919 today to see where you could be saving, or reach out online to get a competitive quote.