It's Getting Frosty; Time To Think About Energy Saving For The Winter
Winter is COMING....
With winter fast approaching, it is important to save money when keeping your business properly heated for the next 6 months. Especially when bills continue to be on the rise (yes, even for business owners!) and the economy remains stagnant.
However, here are some energy saving tips to help keep you and your office warm this winter and to keep your heating bill affordable.
Tip #1.Wear Another Layer, Bundling up...
It might sound silly, but, lowering the thermostat to around 68 degrees and wearing an extra sweater to work can indeed help with costs. Maybe even make a game out of it--who can wear the worst Holiday sweater?
(UPDATE: Okay, I tried this last week...have to admit..it didn't go so well. Office was 60 degrees on Monday morning and nearly froze...hard to wear gloves and type! 68 might work though...I will let you know)
Tip #2.Speaking of Thermostats
Get a programmable thermostat so you don't have to manually turn it down. You can set it and forget it. Thermostats sometimes qualify for incentives. Our utility company came in and changed ours out for FREE last week.
(UPDATE: Tried this...actually is what caused the problem above..just a hint: you may want to see what the person who changed the thermostat actually set it at so you don't have frost on your computer Monday morning)
Tip #3.Seal It Off
Make sure that all windows and doors are properly sealed so heat can't escape and let cold air creep in. Self-sealing installing kits are available at hardware stores, if having it professionally done is not in your budget.
Tip #4.Let Some Sun In
Open up those blinds and let some sun in! This will naturally heat up the area throughout the entire work day without adding to the heating bill, just remember to close the blinds at the end of the day.
(UPDATE: I would love to try this....but my office doesn't have any windows, I would love to see the sun warm me up.)
Tip #5.Watch Your Lighting
Make sure to turn off any lights which are not in use as well as replacing light bulbs with energy-saving ones, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED lighting. There are numerous incentives and energy saving benefits to changing out your bulbs. Be sure to check your utility provider for details.
(UPDATE: Any one else finding the wait time for a CFL annoying? That is the number one complaint I am hearing. Try LED, they are instant, last a long time, and they are dimmable...I know some CFL's are too, but...)
Tip #6.Invest In A Humidifier
Humidifiers put moister in the air and make the dry, winter air feel warmer. Keeping one on, however, might take a lot of energy (depending how big the area is) so try and use it sparingly.
Tip #7.How's your heating filter?
When was the last time you checked the filters on your HVAC system? Preferably, this should be done every month on top of keeping tabs on any leaks in pipes and air ducts, broken parts, or bad coils.
(UPDATE: This is a good idea as it will help you breathe better as well...very important in the winter when we don't open the doors up as much)
Tip #8. Forget The First 7 Tips and Get An Energy Efficiency Audit
Well, not really. The tips above are all good and added together can have a significant impact on the amount of energy consumed.
BUT, IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED IN SAVING BIG BUCKS this winter...You should have a professional perform and energy audit. We do this for FREE. Typically the improvements to lighting alone often pay for themselves in less than a year.
Even SAVING $2000 per year over a period of 10 years gives you $20,000 to spend somewhere else...and we have seen savings as high as $3,000 per month!