If you are like most people, you go above and beyond to save on energy costs at your home. The main reason is becaue this money comes straight out of your pocket. But what about your workplace? Similarly, you need to strive to save money on heating bills. Moreover, the benefits are twofold: your business saves money, and you help conserve fuel reserves. Read on to find out some of the easiest and most effective ways to save money on commercial heating bills.
Set the Thermostat Right
Did you know that every 1-degree increase in the thermostat setting during the cold months leads to a 15% increase in energy consumption? That is why setting the thermostat correctly is the most basic way to save money on heating. Ideally, you strike the comfort and energy efficiency balance at 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) during working hours. When everyone leaves the premises, you can lower the temperature to around 6-8 degrees Celsius. Most importantly, refrain from constantly changing the thermostat setting, which can end up costing you even more.
Another thing to bear in mind when it comes to the thermostat is where you place it. You can tune it to the best setting, but if you install it at the wrong place, then your efforts are vain. The best place for the thermostat to be installed on a commercial premise is at the center of the room.
However, avoid places like:
- The office kitchen
- Directly above air vents
- Close to doors or windows
You might also consider updating the thermostat at your place of work for even more savings. You can shift from a thermostat that requires you to manually set it daily to a programmable or smart thermostat. Such thermostats come in handy especially when there is no one around on the premises.
With a programmable thermostat, you can set more than one temperature preference for each day of the week. On the other hand, a smart thermostat learns your pattern and automatically adjusts the temperature for maximum energy saving. Even better, you can set a smart thermostat remotely, since you don’t want everyone at the office to have privileges to adjust the thermostat.
Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up
The furnace does the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping you and your employees warm and cozy during winter. That’s why investing in preventative maintenance saves you money in the long run. During maintenance, our experienced technicians will conduct a number of tests, such as inspecting the heat exchanger and the igniter. They will also clean all the furnace components, such as the blower to ensure there is no buildup inhibiting airflow.
Most importantly, our technicians can troubleshoot problems with your furnace before they appear. That way, you won’t experience a breakdown when you need your furnace the most. Besides, regular maintenance extends your furnace’s lifespan, which saves you even more money in the long run.
A common question we get is whether annual furnace tune-ups are necessary. Our answer is yes. Catching minor errors early can save your business money. Another benefit of regular maintenance is safeguarding your manufacturer’s warranty – which is a win in your book.
However, while regular furnace tune-ups are essential, there is still so much more you can do in between your appointments to ensure the furnace is running at peak efficiency. For instance, be sure to change the filters regularly, at least every one to six months.
Bear in mind that despite regular furnace maintenance, its efficiency still decreases with age. Ideally, a well-maintained furnace can serve your business for anywhere between 15 to 20 years. Beyond that, you might consider a replacement to save on heating bills.
Use a Humidifier
During summer, you will want to get the humidity out of your premises, since water vapor in the air holds more heat. During winter, it’s quite the opposite. You want the air to hold more humidity to save on your heating bill. So, the question is how do you put humidity in the air? You do it by using a humidifier. Additionally, since moist air feels warmer than dry air, consider running the humidifier while the heat is on. Besides, a humidifier comes in handy at the workplace since it lowers the chances of colds and flu among people. That translates to higher productivity, thus more benefits for the business.
Prevent Heat Loss
One of the reasons you could be spending a fortune on your company’s heating bill is due to heat loss. There are a few things you can do to combat heat loss. The best place to start would be conducting a commercial energy audit. Through the audit, you can find even the most hidden air leaks that could be costing you lots of money.
Once the audit reveals the air leaks, the next step is sealing these gaps and openings. Besides sealing the air leaks, you also need to insulate the walls, floors, and ceilings of your commercial building properly. For instance, you can add blanket-style insulation between the beams in the walls or floors. Another viable alternative is putting foam insulation in wall cavities, attics, and other irregularly shaped areas of the building that might be hard to reach.
Another culprit of heat loss is your ductwork. You need to ensure that all sections of ductwork in the commercial building are in perfect shape, and fit snugly. You might also consider insulating the ductwork with blanket insulation or rigid fiberboard, alongside sealing it with mastic.
To further prevent heat loss, consider installing door closers to ensure that the doors don’t remain open for too long after use. That means that the warm air doesn’t escape the building. Once you prevent heat loss, it means your HVAC system doesn’t need to work extra hard to generate more warm air, which drives up the heating expenses.
Rearrange the Office
Your office layout has something to do with how much you spend on heating bills. For example, if you place office desks and chairs in front of radiators, they obstruct the heat from reaching all areas of the room. Therefore, it takes much longer to heat the entire space, driving the energy bills up. Similarly, if the radiator is directly under the window, ensure that curtains don’t hang in front of it, since that will trap the warm air.
When it comes to flooring, it would be best to stay away from wooden floors. However, if your commercial building already has wooden floors, you can salvage the situation by laying down rugs. They will act as makeshift insulation, saving you between 4% to 6% on the energy bills.
Talk to Your Provider
When you have done everything in your power to save on energy, you can go the extra mile and ask your provider if they offer budget billing. Most providers offer budget billing, which means they look beyond your usage and instead, estimate an average monthly cost. They can offer a custom plan, depending on your hours of usage.
To learn more about how to save money on your commercial heating bills, contact Beyer Mechanical in Austin. We have over 25 years of experience in commercial air conditioning and HVAC services. Contact us today!