There are so many alternatives when it comes to constructing or updating a small business and more regularly we see appliances, devices and materials that cut down on costs and reduce energy output. If you have a larger budget, there are incredibly innovative ways to reduce energy consumption within buildings, starting with the thermostat and lighting systems.
Retrofitting Your Small Business
Consider a cooling system that adapts to its surroundings and makes adjustments based on the number of people in the room at any given time. It knows when to keep usage at a minimal and will remember temperature settings decided by the user. Fans are a rudimentary example of ways in which you can improve the efficiency of your business, and aren't as costly as installing an automated cooling system. Air movement made by fans can make the room less stifling and also allows for the temperature to be set a few degrees above what's typically comfortable.
Relatively, lighting is a major issue when it comes to energy consumption. At this juncture, it is pointless to buy incandescent bulbs over fluorescent ones, and it is always a waste to illuminate empty rooms; so, try changing your bulbs if you are on a low budget or updating your lighting to have motion detectors if you can spend more. This transition to better energy efficiency technology applies to any major appliance drawing power from your walls whether it is a large walk-in refrigerator, printer or exit sign.
Business owners should also think about phasing out desktop computers and implementing laptop computers as much as possible for long-term savings. I am not saying designers and computer engineers use a laptop with a 12-inch screen, more so in cases where the switch will not affect the outcome of the work.
Simple Ways to Save Energy at Work
Simple ways to save energy at work are as easy as putting all the computers in sleep-mode and turning off all monitors at the end of the day. Putting the computer in sleep mode uses up less energy than turning it off and restarting it; something which should be emphasized if mentioning an energy reduction initiative to employees. Unfortunately, not everyone has an awareness of how to conserve energy and can't be bothered to flip a switch here and there, so there's no shame in laminating signs that simply say turn off if not in use, or something along those lines.
Although businesses in America tend to have short vacation times, turning appliances of any size off for a one- or two-week period can help you save. Additionally, devices should all be plugged into an energy-saving power strip, and the strip should be turned off when not in use to cut off any electricity from being drained by the appliances.
Fuel Economy is a Must
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, business owners who operate vehicles can save up to $1,700 in fuel costs annually if they choose an efficient vehicle. By attaching these vehicles to your company, you can help promote your business as green and environmentally conscience. Additionally, you can ameliorate climate change and work in a community that’s concerned with what’s happening to the world.
It is wise to change filters of appliances or clean reusable filters at least monthly. If filters are not changed, performance is jeopardized, as is the longevity of the appliance. Oftentimes new installations or updates will include a contract of agreement to service what's installed for a specified number of years, so make sure to ask if getting an estimate on a new cooling system or other devices.
Windows and doors should be checked for proper sealing. If there are cracks, leaks or holes in the building or roof, they should be caulked or fixed for better insulation. Making sure appliances stay clean is also a must when it comes to functionality. Maintaining any parts to keep the wear at a minimal is also helpful when operating devices.
Utilizing What’s Available
If you can start from the ground up with your building, or you are in the market for a new building, don't forget to determine if the building is well positioned. Natural light can fill entire rooms and reduce the need for artificial lights. That light, however, can become a problem if it is heating up the office. In that case, screens or awnings are suggested to block the heat from transferring inside. Trees can also play a big role in how places are cooled.
Why Energy Efficiency Matters
Now that small businesses are on somewhat of a rebound in these still tough economic times, it is becoming more of a trend for business owners to reinvest in new energy-saving technologies for their company. These changes are a viable way to run your business and a sustainable way to live your laboring life, which sets a solid example for others, can boost morale and isn't bad for good publicity. It is important to care about the impact your company is having on the environment, and meanwhile can save money by finding the best solutions to operate with the least amount of energy as possible.
- License: Creative Commons image source
The writer, Christina DeParis, is presently studying environmental sciences at the University of Central Florida. She likes to look over local businesses and give advice on what works best in providing efficient electrical services: for air cooling for instance, she highly rcommends Facemyer A/C in Orlando.