After a long winter, spring is finally upon us. Spring is an opportunity for new beginnings—and energy savings. If spring cleaning your energy plans isn’t on your radar, add it to your to-do list. As a small business owner, you need to take advantage of every tip and trick available to keep your energy bills down and protect your bottom line. Check out these tips on spring cleaning for energy efficiency.
Replace Air Filters
Did you know you should replace your HVAC system’s air filters every three months? It’s easy to forget, especially since it’s not something you look at every day. But a clean air filter can do wonders for energy efficiency!
Clean air filters remove harmful contaminants from the air and protect your HVAC system from dust and debris that can slow down or halt operation. Dirty air filters cause your system to work harder than necessary, which raises your energy bill.
Many HVAC systems have maintenance sensors that notify you when it’s time to change your filter. Take note of this, especially if your business is in a heavily polluted area, like a city. You may need to change your air filters more often. Another way to check is by looking at the change intervals recommended by the filter manufacturer, noted on the packaging of your filter.
Here’s a quick and easy step-by-step tutorial that will work for most* units.
- Power off your HVAC unit.
- Remove the access panel or filter doors.
- Remove the old filter(s) and place in a garbage bag to keep dust and debris at bay.
- Insert the new filter(s) following the directions on the filter label. Note: Make sure the filter is facing the right way for proper airflow.
- Replace/close the access panel.
- Turn your HVAC unit back on.
- Dispose of the old air filter(s).
*Contact an HVAC professional for specific directions for your unit.
Clean Air Ducts
Like air filters, having clean air ducts can help save money, keep you (and your customers) healthy, and keep your HVAC system running smoothly. Because your HVAC system collects dust, dander, debris, hair, and dead skin cells, it creates an environment where mold, bacteria, dust mites, and other allergens can flourish. These contaminants worsen the air quality in your business, directly affecting your staff and customers.
Beyond air quality, clogged air ducts cause your HVAC system to be overworked, meaning more energy is required to heat or cool your business. With regular cleaning, you can extend the lifespan of your HVAC.
You can find more detailed instructions in our article here, but here’s a quick rundown of how to clean your air ducts:
- Remove the screws from the air duct covers and the return-air grill plates.
- Cover vents that supply air to each room.
- Set your thermostat to the ‘fan on’ position.
- Loosen any buildup of dust with a brush.
- Clean supply and return registers.
- Turn off the fan and furnace.
- Clean the blower compartment and the return air boot.
- Replace the furnace filter.
Contact an HVAC professional if you have any questions.
Cleaning your business’s windows and/or glass doors not only keeps up appearances for customers but can help with energy efficiency, too. Clean windows (and screens, if you have them) make your business brighter by allowing more in more daylight.
If you can maximize the daylight, you can reduce your use of artificial lighting. This is key since lighting is one of the largest expenses for any business. Just make sure to close the curtains when summer comes around!
Here are a few cost-efficient window cleaning tips:
- Do it yourself. Unless your business’s building is very large or located on the second (or higher) floor, take advantage of the newfound nice weather, and wash the windows yourself.
- Get the right equipment. Unfortunately, some Windex and paper towels probably aren’t going to cut it. Order a cheap squeegee online and head to the Dollar Store for a sponge. Effective cleaning doesn’t have to be expensive!
- Make your own solution. You don’t have to shell out cash to get crystal-clear windows. Just mix two gallons of water with about a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in a bucket.
Now, you’re ready to take on spring with energy efficiency in mind. Contact the experts at UGI EnergyLink today for more information! We can help improve your business’s energy efficiency in other ways, too.