Owning a small business is a demanding job, and it's always important to seize an opportunity for savings.
EnergyStar estimated America's small businesses spend more than $60 billion a year on energy. However, with a few strategic changes, a small business can save 10-30 percent more energy without sacrificing its quality of service or efficiency.
Try out these tips to unlock energy savings:
1.) Check your AC settings
While summertime temperatures call for heavy air conditioner use, there are likely hours during the day when your business is unoccupied. During this time, you can bump the setting on the AC up a few degrees to save energy. In fact, the U.S. Energy Department said turning up the AC 7-10 degrees for eight hours can trim as much as 10 percent from your annual energy use. With a programmable thermostat you can even set the unit to automatically change during afterhours, weekends or holidays.
2.) Consider window treatments
If you have a lot of windows in your business space, be sure you're using them efficiently. In addition to making your business look nicely designed, draperies and blinds can help to keep your space from getting too hot from heat from the sun. Covering your windows may reduce your heat gain by 33 percent - and give your AC a much needed break.
3.) Change air filters
During the hot summer months, your air conditioner has to work extra hard. If its filter is clogged or dirty, it will operate at reduced efficiency, pulling more energy and lowering your office's air quality. Simply checking the filter once a month during the summer can unlock significant energy-saving potential. If the filter looks dirty, go ahead and replace it, or clean it if you're using reusable filters. Remember, maintaining your heating and cooling system is important throughout the year, so even once temperatures cool off, be sure to check the filter at least once every three months.
4.) Seal your heating and cooling vents
EnergyStar estimated that most U.S. buildings lack proper insulation. In fact, if you added up the conditioned air that escapes from a typical U.S. building due to leaks, holes and gaps, it would be equivalent to leaving a window fully open all year long. You can address air leaks in your business and make the office more comfortable by sealing the spaces around your heating and cooling vents where cool air may be escaping.
5.) Think outside your building
Want to make the entrance to your business more appealing to your customers while also saving energy? Planting shade trees around your building will help block heat from the sun from entering through your windows and roof, providing natural cooling.
Bonus tip: Unplug at the end of the day
Every small-business owner can benefit from unwinding at the end of a long workday. Just as you need to "unplug" from work for a while, your small appliances do as well. You can save energy by unplugging small devices like printers, faxes and coffee makers when you leave each day. Be sure to switch your computers off as well.
Explore Gexa Energy's ideas and energy-saving tips.