As we move into spring and the weather starts getting warmer, you may find yourself wondering what you can do to save money on your energy bill. There are many ways to ease the transition from winter to spring and prepare your business for warmer weather. By taking action now, you can prepare for the incoming heat of the summer months and reduce your energy usage.
Schedule an AC System Tune-Up
Energy usage can skyrocket as the weather gets warmer. Have a reputable HVAC company come to your building and perform a tune-up on your central air conditioning system. This should be done yearly, so doing it in the spring will help your AC run as efficiently as possible in the warm spring and hot summer months.
Be sure to change your air filter every month. During heavy use months (such as the summer), your AC’s air filter will get dirtier faster. A dirty air filter can slow down airflow and make your system work harder to cool the space, wasting energy.
Our bodies produce sweat to keep us cool, but that only works when the sweat evaporates. When humidity is high, there’s more moisture in the air, preventing sweat from evaporating. This makes us feel much hotter.
If your thermostat is set to 70 degrees but your building still feels like a sauna, it’s likely because the indoor humidity is high. Investing in a dehumidifier can take the moisture out of the air and make your building feel cooler. A reputable HVAC company can even install a solution that works for the entire building. This way, you don’t have to lower your AC temperature and spend more money on cooling.
Raise the Temperature
It’s important to keep building occupants comfortable, but that doesn’t mean that your AC has to be set to 68 degrees. If you have the proper humidity control, you can adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees during operating hours. When the building is unoccupied, set the temperature to 88 degrees. During the spring, your AC may not have to kick on at all, depending on where your business is located. Keeping the air set to a higher temperature can do wonders for your electric bill.
Utilize Fans and Window Shades
Running a fan is much less expensive than running your AC but can make a big difference to occupants in the building. Ceiling fans will help the building feel cooler without having to adjust your thermostat. In fact, with a fan you can set your thermostat about four degrees higher with no reduction in comfort. Remember to turn off fans when the building is unoccupied since they help people feel cooler, but do not change the temperature.
Using window shades can prevent your building from heating up during the day when the sun is the brightest and warmest. Southern- and western-facing walls receive the most sunlight, so invest in high-quality curtains, drapes, or shades for these rooms to prevent unwanted heat. Make sure the shades are tightly closed.
Turn Off Idle Equipment and Lighting
While it sounds simple, conserving energy can be as easy as turning off lights. Countless businesses waste hundreds of dollars a month because they leave idle equipment and lights running. During down time, turn off lights and electronics. There’s no reason to light a room that no one is in. Use timers for outdoor lighting or solar-powered outdoor lights that charge themselves.
Keep Exterior Doors Closed
One of the quickest ways to waste energy is having exterior doors hang open while greeting guests or bringing supplies into the building. This lets in warm, outside air. To compensate, your AC will have to work much harder to get your building back to its set temperature. Every time exterior doors are left open, your energy bill can increase.
For more tips on saving energy, check out our Business Owner Energy Guides.
Interested in saving money on your energy bill? Contact the experts at UGI EnergyLink today.