Energy costs change with the seasons. But unlike your thermostat, you can’t control the weather. AFGO’s guide to energy efficiency will help you control how much you spend (or save) on your monthly utility bills.
Follow these simple recommendations to maximize your HVAC system’s efficiency while reducing your energy costs.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats are ideal for offices because they can be set on a schedule. During working hours, they can be set according to employees’ preferences, but when the office is unoccupied they can be preset for lower temperatures. Settings are automatically stored, but can also be controlled manually. Programmable thermostats are also environmentally friendly as they do not contain mercury.
- Set the thermostat by the season. The Department of Energy recommends a setting of 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.
- Schedule regular checkups for your HVAC system. If you want your HVAC system to last, annual or bi-annual tune-ups are imperative. Even the smallest system problems, such as dirty coils or rattling pipes, could drastically decrease your system’s lifespan. AFGO can help you avoid HVAC emergencies with our affordable maintenance plans.
- Replace air filters regularly. Check your air filters monthly, and replace if necessary. Dirty air filters waste energy by blocking airflow throughout your system, and can cause permanent damage or HVAC failure. At a minimum replace air filters every three months.
- Seal and insulate to save money. We can’t emphasize the importance of sealing and insulation enough. Leaky ducts affect your bottom line, and slow down your system. Proper insulation and sealing can increase the efficiency of your HVAC system by more than 20 percent.
- Cut costs with curtains. Did you know that up to 20 percent of your facility’s energy literally “goes out the window”? Curtains not only up your office’s sex appeal, they save you money too. Keep them open during the day to allow heat from the sun to warm your office. At night, close them to trap heat in.
- Educate your employees on saving energy. Explain to employees that higher energy costs translate to lower paychecks. Ok, that may be extreme, but encourage your workers to participate in energy saving efforts, and hold office contests to come up with creative ways to conserve energy. Offer incentives such as free lunches or spa days for the best ideas. Also, consider designating an interested employee as office energy manager.