02 12 2015

Winter Energy Efficiency for Businesses

02 12 2015

Simple Ways Your Business Can Control Energy Costs This Winter

Having enough working capital to keep your business operating smoothly during winter can be tough. But a more hidden expense could be sapping money from your budget without you even knowing. Energy costs for many properties increase during winter due to increased use of gas heating.

For businesses, heating a large office area, warehouse or shipping facility can be expensive, especially if the proper steps aren’t taken to make sure each dollar spent on utilities is being put to good use. Commercial buildings are notorious for being large sources of energy waste. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average building wastes 30 percent of the energy it requires for daily power. This waste is seen in the form of higher electricity and heating bills, forcing you to spend more money.

So this winter, ensure your business is keeping a lid on rising energy costs, by following these cost saving tips:

Retrofit lighting

If your company is one of those businesses that leaves its lights on when the office isn’t in use, then you should probably rethink your energy strategy. But monitoring electricity use is only one way to control lighting. Removing old light bulbs and replacing them with LED ones can save money because LED bulbs require less electricity to power and will last longer, according to TXU Energy.

Update HVAC system

Your HVAC system is necessary for heating, cooling and ventilating functions, but it can also be a major source of inefficiencies because many businesses don’t have the time or money to routinely keep up with maintenance checks. However, an HVAC system can begin corroding in a matter of weeks and energy costs will soar if steps aren’t taken to correct the issue.

Speak with an engineer or technician to have new HVAC coils and filters installed into your unit. This will not only make your HVAC system run faster and more efficiently, but also improve the quality of air inside your building.

Seal all cracks

Windows, doors and any joints that are not properly sealed will let cold air in and heat escape. This will throw off the temperature inside your building and force your HVAC system to work harder to maintain a set heating level, increasing electricity consumption.

Apply weatherstripping around door frames and seal any cracks along windows with caulk to make sure all holes are plugged and outside air isn’t finding its way in.

Insulate pipes

Your building’s plumbing system runs the length of the property connecting bathrooms, sinks and kitchen areas, which makes it a prime target for issues resulting from cold weather. When temperatures drop, the water inside the pipes will freeze and contract, bursting the pipes and potentially causing thousands of dollars in damage and repair costs.

Insulating pipes with a foam or rubber wrap will keep the water inside the pipes at a more controlled level so that no breaks occur.

Lower thermostat setting

The Consumer Energy Center noted that every degree you lower the temperature in your building, your energy costs will decline 5 percent. Such a small task can lead to real results, simply by adjusting the thermostat. You can still remain warm inside the comfort of your building, but not have to pay higher costs to do so.

In total, these methods of cost savings increase your business’s cash flow and eliminate wasteful spending. With the residual energy savings, you can invest in new machinery or hire more staff.

Contact National Funding for more ways to increase your business’s capital with services like a merchant cash advance.

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