If you own a business, you have to watch every cent, and that sense of diligence should extend to all of your business expenses from payroll to office supplies to cooling costs. Luckily, regardless of which type of business you own, there are a number of strategies you can employ to save on your cooling costs. Here are six ideas to get you started:
1. Turn Up Your Thermostat
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, cooling your office by a single extra degree can increase your cooling bill by 10 percent. That means that having a 23 degree office can save you 10 percent, compared to having a 22 degree office. Ideally, you should have your thermostat set to the highest temperature possible.
2. Loosen Your Dress Code
To make the higher office temperatures easier for your employees to handle, consider altering your dress code for the summer. Let your staff loosen their ties or ditch coats and ties altogether. If you have casual Fridays, just extend that day so that it lasts all summer long.
3. Maintain Your Air Conditioner
Proper maintenance is essential to any machine, and if you want your air conditioning unit to run smoothly, you need to have it regularly maintained. Annually, hire an air conditioning technician to check your filters, ducts and other parts of your unit. Regular maintenance and timely repairs ensure your unit does not run inefficiently and increase your bill.
4. Alter Activities
In many cases, the activities you do in your business can impact how warm your business feels and thus how often you must run your air conditioner. If possible, examine the day-to-day activities that happen in your place of business, and if you believe that any of those activities are increasing the temperature in your office, try to reduce or eliminate those activities.
For example, if you run a restaurant, using your oven can cause the temperature in your establishment to increase, causing your air conditioner to work even harder. However, by altering your menu to include more pan-fried rather than roasted foods or by outsourcing your baked goods, you can keep your oven off during the summer.
Similarly, if your employers wear personal protective equipment to perform some of your company's tasks, that equipment can heat up your employees, making them uncomfortable and thus necessitating you to run your cooling unit more often. Ask yourself if you can delay those activities until temperatures drop. If not, try isolating those activities in a small space so that you don't have to cool your entire space or consider changing the type of protective gear used.
5. Rearrange Appliances Or Change Seating Plans
If you have any heat producing appliances located near your air conditioning unit, it is time to rearrange! Moving those appliances to a different part of the office gives your air conditioner a much needed break. In other cases, even rearranging your employees can help.
Many people have different tolerance levels to heat. Rather than letting your employees get uncomfortably cold or warm in an unevenly cooled office, allow them to switch cubicles so that each person is in a spot that feels right to them. That prevents you from constantly turning up or down your air conditioning unit in an attempt to make uncomfortable employees more comfortable.
6. Consider New Doors And Windows
Losing cool air through drafty windows can increase the temperature in your office. Similarly, if you own a retail business and your doors are constantly being opened, that can bring in hot air. You can eliminate those sources of heat gain by buying new windows or by installing revolving doors. However, if you cannot afford new doors and windows, you can create a similar effect by hanging energy-efficient window treatments.