Winter is rapidly approaching, which means that homeowners have turned their attention to making sure their furnaces and fireplaces are working. For commercial building owners and facility managers, that need to prepare is magnified. They aren’t merely heating a couple of thousand square feet. They’re heating a large building with multiple tenants, and efficiency can make a big difference in their bottom line. Even shaving a small amount of cost off of monthly utility bills can improve cash flow.
Identifying those small savings opportunities can be difficult, though. This checklist can help you as you prepare for the coldest months of the year.
Automate Your Thermostats
When your budget allows, invest in thermostats that can operate on a schedule controlled by your own management team. Set your thermostats to run at a low temperature at night, warming up in the early morning hours to prepare for tenant arrivals. If automation isn’t possible, lock your thermostats and mandate they remain at a lower temperature, making sure you keep your building comfortable while it’s occupied.
Utilize the Sun
The sun is your best friend when it comes to keeping your building warm. Make sure the blinds on the side of the building that gets the most sun remain open throughout the day. If possible, have tenants close blinds at night.
Every building will have areas that are more thinly insulated than others. Locate areas of the building that might be letting outside air in, particularly around doors and windows. Even sealing some of those up can help reduce your costs.
Have Your Heating Unit Checked
At the start of each season, invest effort into having your heating and cooling units serviced. This will help identify a malfunctioning system that may not be operating at peak performance. By finding the problem early, you’ll also avoid a major breakdown on the coldest day of the year.
Say “No” to Space Heaters
Property managers often have a restriction against space heaters in workspaces. Not only do these units consume a great deal of electricity, they can also be dangerous.
Replace Incandescent Bulbs
You can save money year-round by simply replacing your incandescent bulbs with LED lights. LED lights emit very little heat when compared to incandescents, which release 90 percent of their energy as heat.
If any of your heating or cooling units is due for a replacement, consider the extra energy savings that comes from purchasing one of today’s energy-efficient appliances. This extends beyond your heating and cooling to any other appliances in your building, as well. If you want to make a bold move, consider solar roof panels that can help you channel natural resources to power your building. Check to see if you qualify for any tax breaks for making the switch.
For facility managers and commercial property owners, saving money is top priority. With every dollar you can cut on your expenses, you have another dollar of your monthly income staying in your account. By taking small measures at the change of each season, you can prevent costly breakdowns while also ensuring your tenants remain comfortable.
Drain and winterize your outdoor irrigation systems. This will minimize the risk of freeze damage to the pipelines. There are three types of water removal methods: manual drain, auto drain, or blowout.
To avoid a deadly situation, be sure to inspect your fireplace before lighting it a blaze. Have smoke detectors checked to confirm they are working properly and invest in a professional chimney sweep.