If you run a business, you likely know the importance of energy efficiency. While the days of constant air conditioning are over for now, fall is the perfect time to assess your energy consumption before the cold days of winter arrive. Read more to find ways to conserve energy at your business during the colder months and beyond.
Check Your Lights
- Switch your bulbs. You can cut down on lighting expenses without going dark. First, switch traditional incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient LED or compact fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs not only emit brighter light, but they also consume less electricity than conventional bulbs.
- Take advantage of natural light. Blocking the outdoor view can not only make your office feel like a cave, but you also miss out on free, natural light. Opening your blinds or curtains allows you to dim your artificial lights or turn them off entirely, especially when the sun is at its peak.
- Turn off unused lights. Sometimes we all need a reminder to turn off the lights when we leave a room. Encourage your employees to become more energy-efficient and consider installing motion sensors that turn off lights when no one is detected in the room. Motion sensors can be especially helpful in rooms that aren’t used regularly, such as bathrooms or conference rooms.
- Make sure outdoor lights are turned off during the day. Consider installing solar sensors that automatically turn off your outdoor lights when the sun is bright enough.
- Don’t use excessive lighting. While low light doesn’t create an optimal work environment, neither does too much light. Excessive artificial lighting can give your employees headaches and eye strain, and cause glare issues with computer screens. Reducing unnecessary lighting will help your employees—and your energy bill.
Regulate Your Building Temperature
- Maintain your HVAC. Before cold weather arrives, make sure you’ve changed the HVAC filters throughout your facilities. Make sure you replace any old, cracked, or worn components—which can not only cause high energy bills but also pose safety concerns. Hiring a professional to examine your system before winter arrives is a great way to make sure you aren’t overspending on heating this season.
- Take advantage of natural heat. Opening blinds and curtains is a great way to take advantage of natural light and natural warmth. On sunny days, keep blinds and curtains open, and draw them shut before it gets dark to trap in heat.
- Maintain your building’s temperature. Ideally, your building’s temperature should be set around 68 degrees during the workday, and between 60-65 when the building is empty. Put a lockbox around your thermostat to avoid thermostat wars and constantly changing temperatures.
- Take care of drafts. Check windows and doors for air leaks. If you feel cold air coming through, install weatherstripping or caulk to seal the leak. Don’t let the heat from your building escape!
Optimize Your Equipment
- Choose ENERGY STAR. Whether you’re ordering a new refrigerator for the break room or a new copier for the office, make sure it has an ENERGY STAR ENERGY STAR-certified equipment is much more energy- and cost-efficient.
- Opt for laptops. Did you know that laptops may use as much as 80 percent less energy than desktops? If possible, encourage your employees to use laptops to help save electricity.
- Use power strips. Surge protectors and power strips allow you to connect several devices, making it much easier to turn off all the equipment that isn’t in use at the end of the day.
- Shut it down. Make sure your employees know they should fully shut down their computers at the end of the day instead of leaving them on sleep mode. Even passive energy drawn by ‘sleeping’ computers adds up—especially across the entire office.
Want more helpful energy conservation facts, tips, and information? Check out our free, industry-specific Commercial Energy Guides.