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10 Places Your Business Loses Energy (and how to fix them)

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Looking to save money and create a more comfortable environment in your business? Try doing a head-to-toe appraisal. You might be surprised by the unlikely places you’re losing energy – and some of the easy fixes you can make today.

1) Doors

What kind of doors does your building have? When you open them, do they give a big 'whoosh' of conditioned HVAC air escaping and outside air rushing in? Every 'whoosh' is your hard-working power blowing out the door, and it’s a problem many businesses have. In the long term, consider whether a revolving door or double-door antechamber entryway makes sense for your space. In the short term, check to make sure your door has the proper weather-stripping to create a tight seal. During periods of extreme temperatures, you can also erect a temporary vinyl vestibule around your exterior doorway or add heavy draperies to the entrance. 

2) Windows

If you have single-pane windows, consider replacing them with fresh-sealed double-pane models. Double-pane designs are much better at keeping inside air in and outside air out, which promises a more comfortable space for your employees and customers. You should also watch for signs of age in older double-panes windows, including condensation, visible dust and debris between the panes or panes that rattle and are no longer properly sealed.

3) Walls & Insulation

Is your business well insulated? Cavity walls, or walls without insulation between them, are common because they're easy and inexpensive to construct. Unfortunately, that also means they allow air to move pretty freely. So if your building has cavity walls, outside temperatures are probably creeping in. Fortunately, you can fill cavity walls with spray-in insulation without racking up a huge cost. Such a change can drastically improve the efficiency of your building, and you’ll see a change in your energy bills, too.

4) HVAC and Ducts

Even if you have a well-insulated building with energy efficient doors and windows, it’s critical to take a look at your HVAC unit at least once per year. Your HVAC regulates the temperature, but also filters the air and makes it easier to breathe. Make sure the air filter is cleaned or replaced regularly to keep performance at maximum efficiency. Similarly, inspect the plastic or metal ducts throughout your space. Any ducts that are damaged or cracked are a potential point of energy loss.

5) Attic

Yup, most commercial buildings have attics, too. It’s the place between the highest ceiling and the roof,  and can be an important area for energy efficiency. Take care of your roof, insulate your attic and carefully inspect for any weather-proofing failures in your upper reaches.

6) Light Bulbs

You've almost certainly heard about energy efficient light bulbs. Yes, they’re more expensive, but they really do use less power, and last a lot longer. If you need long bar bulbs, try halogens. If you've got traditional sockets, go for LEDs. You can save even more energy by using a simple dimmer switch or purchasing smart lights. Learn more about smart bulbs and other connected technology in our recent post.

7) Outdoor Lighting

Many companies jump through flaming hoops to become energy efficient in their building, but overlook what’s required outdoors. Consider what outdoor lights are necessary for safety and aesthetic purposes, depending on your operating hours. Like you’ll do indoors, replace traditional bulbs with energy-efficient ones, and consider motion sensors and automatic timers so you aren’t using electricity when it’s not needed.

8) Laundry

If your business uses washer or dryers, there are several behavioral ways to save on energy. First, only run loads if they’re full, or use the 'small load' setting. Second, use cold water if you can to save on the energy required to heat water. Third, when drying multiple loads, run them in quick succession to take advantage of existing dryer heat. Or invest in drying racks or a clothesline, especially if you can place them near an existing heat source.

9) Water Heaters

How does your building heat water? If you don't have an industrial need for hot water, there's no need to fill an enormous tank and send water through yards of cold pipes. Consider installing smaller point-of-use water heaters that mount on the wall and heat water on demand. These heaters often deliver hot water faster and bring down your energy bill.

10) Dishwashers

If your business has dishwashers, you might be surprised just how much power they can consume. Between heating the water, jetting it around to clean dishes and auto-drying at the end of the cycle, dishwashers tend to be power-hungry. In areas with lower volumes, like break rooms, consider using a drying rack or even providing sponges, dish soap and hand towels.

 

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