5 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Winter and Cold Weather
Regardless of where your business is located, the winter will most likely impact your energy bill. Whether it’s keeping the heat on, using your lights more often, or experiencing an influx of customers coming in from the cold, your bill is probably going to look a little different. And, even if you don’t notice a fluctuation in usage or price, it’s a great time to check in and make sure you’re being as energy efficient as possible.
1. Seal leaks, gaps, and drafts around the building.
You’re likely aware of where leaks and drafts exist in your building. Typically, you’ll find them around windows, doors, and cracks near the wall or ceiling. Weather stripping can help around the doors, caulking can help around older windows, and expanding foam can be used to fill cracks in brick or cement walls.
2. Have your heating system serviced.
It is recommended to have your gas furnace serviced at least once a year, although ideally you should have it looked at in both the spring and fall. Reach out to a professional who can check and clean parts of your heating system that commonly malfunction, such as the air filter, fan, pilot light, and the heat exchanger. A professional may also be able to check your heating ducts for leaks, clogs, and anything else that can prevent your furnace from properly heating your business.
3. Upgrade your lighting.
Because the sun rises later and sets earlier in the winter, you’ll find yourself keeping the lights on longer and longer. That’s why upgrading your business’ lighting can be a crucial energy saver. Here are a few ways to manage how much energy your lights use:
- Install energy-efficient LED light bulbs and holiday lights. You can also look into replacing your fluorescent lighting bays with energy-efficient LED lighting for long-term cost savings.
- Invest in motion-activated light switches for the rooms in your building that aren’t consistently occupied (bathrooms, storage closets, etc).
- Place timers on holiday lighting displays instead of running them day and night.
4. Automate your thermostat.
A programmable thermostat will be far more energy efficient than one you must adjust manually, as it can compensate for fluctuating outdoor temperatures. It can also be set to keep the temperature above freezing when no one is at your establishment to protect the pipes, and then switch to a more comfortable temperature during peak hours. By not overheating your business, or keeping it needlessly warm when nobody’s around, you can save quite a bit on your natural gas bill.
5. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans
If your business has high ceilings with ceiling fans, reversing the direction can help keep your business feeling more comfortable. During the summer, cold air settles near the ground, so you want the fans pulling air up. During the winter, hot air rises, so you can reverse the direction to help keep warm air at ground level.
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