As Old Man Winter makes his annual return, it’s a good time for us to examine the ways in which we can push back on his expensive byproduct: the heating of commercial businesses. Although you can’t control the rising cost of energy, that doesn’t mean you're helpless when it comes to managing the expense. Simple, easy-to-implement solutions actually go a long way, so use the following checklist and enjoy the reprieve from bone-chilling bills!
Tip 1: Install a Smart Thermostat
We thought we’d go ahead and knock out our favorite tip right away! Programmable thermostats, which give you the ability to schedule heat for only when it's needed, have been proven to reduce energy costs by as much as 20%. And, if you need any recommendations, we know a thing or two about the technology ;)
Tip 2: Shine a Light
If you’ve ever stood under a tree to get relief from the hot sun, you instinctively understand the concept of radiant heat. In the winter, that same radiant heat you were dodging earlier in the year can come in handy. Keep the blinds open during the day and windows unobstructed and allow our favorite star to exude its warmth and radiance on your interior!
Tip 3: Insulate it all
Think of insulation as layers, or barriers, which prevent the escape of heat. You can insulate your body with layers of clothing (one way to reduce the need for forced air heating), and you can also insulate your building; those same blinds you opened to allow sunlight during the day should be closed after sundown, providing another barrier between the interior of your building and the outside cold air. And, if you have the budget, consider increasing the R-Value (a measure of insulation) of your building. It can have a high upfront cost, but can save a lot of money in the long run.
Tip 4: Close the Gap
Keep doors, windows or docks closed whenever they’re not in use! If you have a dock or entryway that’s continually opened in the winter, consider installing an air curtain which prevents heat loss while still allowing people and things to come and go. Look for any gaps in doorways, too, as you may be “leaking” the precious hot air you paid good money to enjoy!
Tip 5: Destratify to Satisfy
Thanks to physics, we know hot air is less dense than cold air and thus rises. So while your ceiling may be a balmy 25 C, the temperature at the floor (where the people are) may be 13 C. Installing large diameter, low velocity ceiling fans to slowly mix the air (without creating a cooling effect) is a great way to recover heat trapped at the ceiling level.
Tip 6: Freshen Your Filters
Dirty filters cause a system to run less efficiently, and in our experience, most people don’t change them as frequently as recommended. While lifespan may vary depending on filter type and system usage, we’d recommend changing them monthly.
Tip 7: Duct and Cover
Heat escaping from your ducts can be costly, so seal any cracks (and around the joints) to prevent such loss. Simple tape or caulking sealant can be used here.
We hope these tips help you identify some easy-to-implement solutions for curbing high heating bills this winter. When in doubt, talk to a certified HVAC technician who can perform an audit and system evaluation. Or talk to your friendly neighborhood smart thermostat company, and we’ll be happy to assist!