Save Money and Energy This Summer At Your Business
Summer is here! And it’s going to be a hot one. But that doesn’t mean it has to be an expensive one. You don’t want to see your energy bill going up like the temperature!
You can keep things cool without breaking the bank. To celebrate one of our favorite seasons, we’re going to take a look at some of the ways you can save money and energy at your business or home this summer.
Tune up that HVAC
Give your AC some TLC this summer and schedule maintenance with a qualified electrician. An HVAC technician will ensure that your system is clean, has proper fluid levels, and is working at optimal energy efficiency and will be able to for years to come. Tune-ups are recommended once a year, preferably before heavy use in the heat of the summer months.
Don’t forget to change your filter regularly. Clogged air filters will block air flow and lower the capacity of your AC’s blower fans to circulate air, using up more energy. Make sure that your vents aren’t blocked by rugs or furniture to maximize flow.
A system upgrade is also an option. Heating and cooling use nearly half of the energy in U.S. homes, so make sure you have an Energy Star-certified system, ideally with high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) ratings. These are 15% more efficient than other models.
Insulate and seal
Make sure that no cracks or openings are leaking warm air into your space. You can add caulk, expanding foam, or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around doors and windows that easily filter the air in.
If your windows are single-pane or drafty, look into possible window upgrades - it may cost you now, but it’s one that will pay you back over time in both energy efficiency and overall comfort. Your savings can be significant - it would be wise to make a financial plan for this investment if the time isn’t right for you to upgrade just yet.
Keep the doors and windows closed to keep the indoor air cool. Shutting your blinds and curtains can also make a huge difference in cooling the room temp. Block those summer rays at the hottest times of day by pulling sun-facing window treatments back. The best kinds of window treatments include reflective shades, honeycomb blinds, and blackout drapes.
Only about 10% of the energy incandescent bulbs consume results in light - the rest is turned in to heat. Fortunately, we live in the era of affordable LED lighting, so you don’t need to remain in the dark to avoid that extra unwanted summertime heat. LEDs are cool and efficient and draw a fraction of the power used by incandescent and fluorescent bulbs - they use 75% less energy and last 50 times longer.
Remember that you don’t always need your lights on, too. Turning them off will keep a room cooler. Take advantage of the natural daylight while avoiding direct sunlight.
Flow low (and cold)
As much as 50% of the water used outdoors is wasted from evaporation, wind, or runoff from overwatering, and in the summer, water usage usually increases. Keep costs down by watering plants and grass in the early morning or at dusk - basically whenever it’s not the peak of the afternoon heat.
For indoor usages, installing low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets is a measure that is both sustainable and cost-cutting. Wash with cold water - heating up your water can account for up to 20% of the energy consumed in U.S. homes.
Don’t crank it
Like the button for an elevator, cranking the thermostat down won’t cool down your space any faster - it will only waste energy dollars.
Setting your thermostat to around 78° (or as high as comfortable) can save you up to 10% in energy costs. The more closely the indoor temperature is to the outdoors, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Keep the space warmer than normal when you are away and only set it back to 78° when you are present and need cooling.
Optimize your settings with a smart thermostat that you can control with a tap of your phone, wherever you may be. Smart thermostats can learn your heating and cooling habits and automatically adjust the temperature while you’re away.
Be mindful of where your thermostats are, and try to keep electronics away from them to avoid expelling more energy trying to cool the space down.
Unplug and minimize
Avoid energy vampires that quietly suck up your electricity when you’re not using them. Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, like running a computer or burning open flames, and unplug any electronics and appliances, such as TVs, freezers, and refrigerators that aren’t in use.
Curb your daytime use of big appliances. This can include spending a lot of time in the kitchen! Using kitchen appliances in the middle of the day during the heat of the summer can raise the temperature by 10 degrees.
Be a fanatic
Fans, from ceiling to portable, will allow you to raise your thermostat 4° while staying at the same level of comfort. Make sure your ceiling fans are turning counterclockwise (creating the downdraft that cools the air) and that you don’t leave them running in empty rooms. Fans aren’t meant to cool space - they’re meant to cool people!
We hope you can use some of these tips to maximize your efficiency and give you some extra savings for that weekend vacation once fall comes around!
If you need a tune-up, are looking to upgrade, or if you have any questions at all regarding a summer review the heating, cooling, and electricity at your business, reach out today at (955) 577-7923. We’re happy to give you an estimate, free of charge.