Energy efficiency in the office can have positive impacts on your business in more ways than one. The most obvious direct benefit is the cost savings you’ll experience. Running your HVAC, keeping the lights on during working hours, and operating computers and other office equipment throughout the day all cost you money. Cutting down on energy usage, even in small ways, can cut your costs and improve your bottom line.
But another benefit that many business owners don’t consider is the impact that an environmentally friendly image can have on your brand. Consumers like to work with companies that do their part to protect and preserve the environment. Taking steps to go green can help improve your image and bring you more business.
So if you’re looking to save energy in your office, consider these 5 simple ways to do so.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
One of the biggest energy drains on your company’s wallet is the heating and air conditioning system. If you’re like many offices in the US, you experience a daily battle over your thermostat, with employees constantly changing the temperature to their own comfort zone. Many employers lock down the thermostat so that only managers can change the temperature. But even then, odds are your HVAC system is pumping for the majority of the day.
So what can you do? Well, for starters, consider turning up the air conditioner by just a few degrees. Studies have shown that most offices in the country are too cold, and increasing the temperature of the space by a few degrees can actually help your employees to be more productive—another bonus to your bottom line!
Secondly, switch to a programmable thermostat. Brands like Nest are relatively inexpensive and easy to install and use. You can program your thermostat to stay within a certain temperature range, making it impossible for employees to change the thermostat’s setting more than a few degrees. This can help to save you energy by keeping the temperature war at a minimum.
You can also program the thermostat to adjust the temperature after your office is closed, so that it is not heating or cooling an empty space. This is something that business owners often forget to do upon leaving the office, but it can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year depending on the size of your office space.
Seal around Windows and Doors
Speaking of heating and air conditioning, how much of that treated air is actually staying in your office space? Take the time to check around your windows and doors for areas where the air may leak out. This is especially important if your office is in an older, less energy-efficient building. You may even want to ask an HVAC expert to come out and check for leaks for you; they often have special thermal tools that can tell you where the problem areas might be.
Once you pinpoint places that your heated or cooled air is escaping, seal it up as best you can. A few tubes of caulking and some weather stripping can go a long ways towards improving the energy efficiency of your office space and saving your company money.
Move Data to the Cloud
If you’re still hosting all of your own data on private servers, then you’re not only behind the times, but you’re also using up a lot of energy. Migrating your data to the cloud eliminates those constantly-running servers, which eat up a lot of electricity throughout the day.
Additionally, those servers generate a lot of heat. If you’re trying to cool your office, but simultaneously heating the space with a room full of humming servers, you’re wasting a lot of energy and a lot of money. Removing the servers from your space will keep the space cooler without making your AC work as hard.
And, as an added bonus, if all of your data is on the cloud, it may be possible for some of your employees to telecommute. Fewer employees in the office on a daily basis means less energy being used every day. You may even be able to downgrade to a smaller space to save even more money.
Upgrade to Light Panels
Traditional fluorescent office lights are major energy eaters. If you’re still using those outdated bulbs, then it’s high time that you looked at upgrading to a smarter lighting solution. LED lighting panels last 50,000 hours and use 80% less energy than conventional lighting. Which means, of course, that the cost to keep your office lit throughout the day will drop significantly when you upgrade your lighting.
Additionally, those fluorescent bulbs are bad for your employees’ health, and cause headaches, eyestrain, and low productivity. All in all, a lighting upgrade is a small cost that will have long-term, positive impacts on your business’s bottom line.
Use Smart Blinds
So what do your window blinds have to do with your energy consumption? They don’t use any energy to operate, but when properly utilized, your blinds can actually cut down on your office’s energy consumption.
Let’s start with the obvious: Blinds are used to either let in or keep out light. Most office spaces have a lot of windows, and opening up those blinds to let in more light means that you may be able to turn off the overhead lighting in some spaces. But as the sun moves throughout the day, it may cast a glare on computer screens, so employees shut the blinds and you’re left paying for the electricity again. Proper adjustment of the blinds throughout the day can let in the right amount of light without causing screen glare, minimizing your use of overhead lighting.
Additionally, letting light into your office can also create a little extra heat in the space. So, on hot summer days, when your air conditioner is already running nonstop, open blinds can heat up the space and cost you even more money. Conversely, opening the blinds on a cold day can create a little extra heat to minimize your heater’s operating time.
But there’s a reason employees tend to just shut the blinds once the sun gets up in the sky: Nobody has time to be constantly adjusting the blinds throughout the day. While it may seem like a frivolous thing, upgrading from standard blinds to automated smart blinds can actually help you to make the most of natural light throughout the day to reduce your energy consumption.
If you want to learn more about smart blinds, LED light panels, and how they can help you save energy while at work, just contact us at Office XYZ.