Energy Conservation Tips to Adopt for Your Business This Summer

Published on: June 25, 2015
Installing HVAC ductwork | AC Southeast®

Energy waste around your business can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Taking steps to conserve energy can cut up to 20 percent from your consumption and save your business money. Some energy conservation tips for businesses are cost-free and easily implemented in just minutes. Others like upgrading the windows, increasing insulation in the walls and ceilings, or replacing inefficient, older equipment can be done over time.

Effective Energy Conservation Tips for Businesses

To get the biggest benefit from an energy conservation strategy, begin by charting the previous year’s utility bills to establish the baseline consumption of your business. Make sure you understand how you’re being billed and the energy rates you’re being charged. This allows you to track future consumption and costs and accurately gauge success once you begin implementing energy conservation tips for businesses in the following areas.

Office Equipment

  • Make sure your employees use the “standby” or “sleep” option on computers and other equipment to limit energy consumption during extended periods of inactivity.
  • Place all office equipment on power strips so it’s easy to shut down monitors, printers, scanners and photocopiers at the end of the work day.
  • Investigate having a power management system installed to automatically shut down inactive devices and turn off lights in unoccupied areas. This type of system also tracks energy usage and can pinpoint the top energy consumers to help you reduce needless waste.

Heating and Cooling

  • Have a programmable thermostat installed and schedule temperature setbacks at night or on weekends and holidays when the business is closed. Consider adding a locking thermostat cover to keep unauthorized employees from adjusting the settings.
  • Get the ductwork inspected for damage, disconnected sections and obstructions, then have it properly sealed and insulated to reduce energy losses.
  • Schedule annual professional maintenance for the cooling system so the equipment operates at optimal efficiency.
  • Make sure HVAC supply and return registers are kept free of obstructions.
  • Keep windows, exterior doors and loading dock doors closed when the air conditioning system is running.
  • Inspect weatherstripping and seals on windows and exterior doors and fix any deficiencies to reduce costly conditioned air losses.
  • Have exterior awnings, reflective window film or solar screens installed on south- and west-facing windows and glass doors to limit heat gain.
  • Have ceiling fans installed in offices and work areas. Running the fans while your business is open can boost comfort and let you raise the thermostat setting by up to four degrees to save energy.
  • If the business premise is cooled by an inefficient, older air conditioner, consider upgrading. Choosing Energy Star-rated equipment can reduce consumption and costs up to 15 percent compared to standard models.

Water Heating

  • Keep the water heater serviced and have the tank flushed regularly to minimize efficiency-eroding sediment.
  • Get dripping or leaking plumbing fixtures fixed promptly to avoid needless water waste.
  • Install insulating jackets on older water heater tanks and wrap hot and cold water pipes in foam insulation sleeves.

Indoor and Outdoor Lighting

  • Take advantage of natural light whenever possible, and shut off all unnecessary lights.
  • When it’s time to repaint, use a light color on the walls to help reduce artificial lighting requirements.
  • Keep light fixtures, lamps, bulbs and reflective surfaces clean to maximize light output.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that run cooler and consume 75 percent less energy.
  • When purchasing new fluorescent fixture, choose high-efficiency T8 models.
  • Use motion sensors, photocells and automatic timers to make outdoor lighting more efficient.

Miscellaneous Equipment

  • Inspect air compressors and lines, and fix any leaks promptly.
  • Always shut down equipment when it’s not being used.
  • Keep kitchen equipment like refrigerators, walk-in freezers and ice makers serviced and in good working order.
  • Make sure latches and gaskets on oven doors are working properly to prevent heat loss.
  • Invest in insulated covers for refrigerated display cases.
  • When upgrading or purchasing new equipment, opt for efficient Energy Star-certified models.

Learn more energy conservation tips for businesses and other commercial HVAC solutions from AC Southeast® or contact us today to find a contractor near you.