Running a business can feel exhilarating. It is your chance to break free from the daily grind, see a vision of yours come to life, shepherd it to success, and enjoy the fruits of that success.
But it can also be a constant headache. After all, as the boss, you never really get a break. While your employees are planning their summer vacations, you are troubleshooting a temperamental A/C unit and meeting with shareholders.
This is the life of an entrepreneur: every day is different and you never know what you will get.
But there are some preventative measures that can keep your workplace cool and calm this summer—starting with these cost-saving, overhead-reducing A/C tips.
Want to Cut Overhead? Start with Cutting Energy Costs!
According to Business.com, energy is one of the leading contributors to corporate overhead bloat. You already know what happens when you forget to turn lights off or adjust the A/C thermostat at home—you burn dollars on lighting and cooling you aren’t using.
Now multiply that effect by hundreds for the average workplace.
Luckily, many of the same cost-cutting measures that work to lower your home energy bills will work when you go to your office.
You just need to be sure your employees and managers are all in with you, since this is one cost-cutting job you can’t do by yourself.
Putting an Energy-Saving Workplace Plan Together
Garnering employee support will be key to lowering your energy-related overhead costs. One of the best ways to gain employee buy-in is to involve them in putting the plan itself together.
Whether you use an online survey, an intra-office chat meeting, a webinar or a face-to-face committee, your goal will be to encourage employees to submit many of the ideas your plan will incorporate (even if you already know exactly what they are).
You can offer categories to guide the brainstorming:
Options can include converting to energy-efficient CFL (compact fluorescent lighting) light bulbs, installing motion detectors for lighting, or using solar-powered outdoor lights.
Options can include programming the thermostat to reflect regular work hours, after-hours, weekends, and holidays.
Options can include scheduling regular air filter changes and tune-ups for the HVAC unit to make sure it is running at peak efficiency, providing shade for outdoor components, and keeping the area around the unit clean.
As applicable, options can include always choosing Energy Star-rated appliances when upgrading, and powering off appliances when not in use.
Options can include moving to a paperless system (this cuts down on supplies and energy costs) and selecting software to assist with this.
Options can include adding more greenery around the exterior of the building for shade as well as bringing in houseplants to improve air freshness and quality.
Options can include permitting telecommuting on certain days to lower overall energy overhead costs.
Options can include researching what incentives and/or tax breaks may be available to assist with energy savings-related upgrades to the workplace.
Scheduling Your HVAC Inspection & Maintenance
It may be necessary to begin realizing cost savings from minor adjustments before you make any major changes, such as upgrading to Energy Star-rated appliances or installing solar panels.
One of the best all-around ways to start realizing cost savings on energy use right away is to have your HVAC unit inspected, maintained, and tuned up.
Not only does this automatically reduce the risk of workplace fires by ensuring your HVAC unit’s connections and wires are in good condition and functioning properly, but it can begin generating energy cost savings right away.
Since up to half of your building’s monthly energy draw can go to cooling and heating your workspace, you first need to know what may be wrong before you can develop a plan to remedy it.
An Overview of a Typical HVAC Inspection & Maintenance Service Call
A typical HVAC inspection will always cover the following areas:
- Inspection of the heating and cooling unit
- Inspection of the electrical wiring and connections and the fuel lines
- Inspection of the ductwork (if any)
- Inspection of the filter and ventilation system
- Inspection for the presence of carbon monoxide
- Inspection for the presence of dampness/mould/mildew near the HVAC unit
Once the inspection portion is concluded, the maintenance will typically include:
- Repair or replacement of any parts or mechanisms that have worn out or broken
- Relubrication of any moving parts as needed
- Topping off refrigerant and other fluids as applicable
- System cycle test—testing that the HVAC unit cycles on and off and there is a temperature match between your thermostat and the indoor ambient air temperature
- Change of air filter as needed
Your technician can also offer recommendations to reduce monthly energy use related to cooling and heating. Often, recommendations will include these tips:
- Insulate and seal air ducts.
- Apply weather-stripping to windows and doors and seal up air leaks.
- Install window film and heat/UV-repellant window treatments.
- Change your air filters more frequently.
- Install floor or ceiling fans to help with ventilation and cooling.
- Program the thermostat (or upgrade to a programmable thermostat if possible).
- Schedule an air duct cleaning.
- Sign up for an annual Energy Savings maintenance plan to save cash on A/C repairs.
Contact Shipton’s Heating & Cooling Ltd.
Here at Shipton’s Heating & Cooling Ltd., we have been proudly serving the needs of our commercial and residential customers in and around the Hamilton area for nearly a century. Our services include repairs, maintenance, installations, air duct cleanings, and upgrades.
For information about improving the efficiency of your HVAC unit and air duct system and to schedule an energy cost-cutting HVAC inspection and maintenance visit, contact us today at 905-549-4616 or online here.