The heating bill is often the scariest, especially for small businesses or startups. After all, you can’t go by without heat, and the energy market is not looking extremely happy for the foreseeable future.
Still, you don’t have to get in debt just to pay the utilities during the cold season. There are ways to reduce consumption or bring down the bill without making everyone work in a freezing environment. If you’re not sure what these ways are, here are a few practices to get you inspired.
Try Different Systems & Fuels
Most American homes and businesses use natural gas as their primary heating source, but with rising prices and the current energy crisis, the heating bill may be through the roof for the following several cold seasons.
So, if you have the option, you may want to switch to a different heating system. Among the alternatives, you can find solar thermal, heated floors, heat pumps, and space heaters. But you can also switch to propane as the main fuel.
Propane prices fluctuate throughout the year, with prices dropping during the hot season and soaring during the cold season. However, if you plan ahead and have the possibility to purchase your propane when it’s low, a propane heater can help you save a lot on your heating bill.
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Limiting waste on heating and energy, in general, is one of the small steps towards big business savings. Plus, the results will be more evident in time, especially after all employees learn to care for the heating bill.
Check Your Doors & Windows
Doors and windows are the primary sources of energy waste, so you have to make sure they are properly insulated and protected from the cold weather (especially if the temperature drops significantly).
Plus, exterior walls need a thick layer of insulation to keep the heat inside and the cold air outside. Otherwise, it’s like paying to heat the outside! Also, you can keep the cold from going through the windows by using thicker curtains or external shutters.
Dress for the Weather
There is a never-ending battle over the best office temperature, but recent studies discovered (among others) that warmer offices are perfect for creative work, and colder environments are ideal for repetitive, logical tasks (such as working with numbers).
Still, even if you’re running a creative agency, this doesn’t mean you have to crank the thermostat up so everyone can work in a t-shirt and shorts. Have a staff meeting with everyone working in the office and have a chat with everyone on the topic of office temperature settings and energy waste.
Also, decide on the maximum and minimum temperatures that can be expected in the office and ask your employees to dress accordingly. It may take a bit of an adjustment, but it’s normal to wear a sweater in winter, right?
Regulate the Humidity
Heaters (of any kind) dry the air in the offices and homes. This can lead to irritations of the airways but also dehydrated skin, which makes you more sensitive to cold. The solution is to add humidifiers in the office(s) and make sure the humidity stays between 30 and 50%. If it gets higher, then it can affect the furniture or the electronics in the room, so pay close attention to this aspect.
It may sound implausible, but by simply adding an extra layer of warm clothing and increasing the humidity in the room, you can see a slight drop in your heating bill. If your windows and doors are insulated against the cold and protected, this means a further drop in your bill.
So don’t think less of these methods, even though they are not highly technical in nature. They will help you save on heating so you can invest in your business!