My family is taking a Christmas trip to Colorado this year– with our RV.
As we’ve been planning this trip, one of the biggest considerations we’ve had to keep in mind is how to prepare our RV (and ourselves) for a week of cold weather. After all, we’re from Texas, and cold weather in Texas is not the same as cold weather in Colorado.
With the predicted highs that week in the 30’s and the lows in the single digits, most of our southeast Texas friends and family think we’re crazy to brave the cold in a structure that has walls that are only 2 inches thick. However, the truth is that this won’t be our first RV adventure in the cold and what we’ve learned from our previous cold nights in the wilderness is that a little bit of preparation today, makes for a comfortable and efficient journey tomorrow!
Chances are that your business isn’t run out of an RV and that your walls are thicker than 2 inches. However, the same cold weather that has the potential to ruin our Christmas vacation without a little bit of preparation will also wreak havoc on your utility bills if you, as a facility operator, aren’t prepared for it.
Here are five things you can do this week to help prepare your business for the colder months and make your journey through this winter more enjoyable for your employees and your customers.
1. It doesn’t have to be drafty in here!
Most businesses don’t realize how much money is slipping through the cracks around the windows, doors, and even the electrical outlets. Check door frames, window frames, electrical outlets, and light switches for drafts. Simply take your hand and run it around these edges of these items. If you feel cold air– you’re spending more money on energy than you need to. A trip to your local hardware store or a quick search on Amazon will help you find tools and supplies to seal those little cracks and save money!
2. Set it and Forget it!
A lot of people don’t realize that your HVAC system isn’t just heating and cooling the air, it’s also heating and cooling the furniture, the flooring, the walls, and everything else in your office. When your thermostat’s settings are constantly changing, your HVAC system isn’t only having to adjust the ambient air temperature; it also has to compensate for the temperature variations of the items and materials in the room. These thermostat fluctuations contribute to energy costs in the winter because things like desks, chairs, and flooring take longer to warm up and act like little refrigerators throughout the office, making your HVAC system work harder than it needs to. A good practice to combat this is to set the temperature in the office and don’t let it fluctuate more than five degrees up or down. This way the air in the office stays warm, but so to do all the items in the office!
3. Space Heaters are space invaders!
Space heaters work great for keeping an RV warm in Colorado in the winter. However, in an office environment, they are a huge energy hog and can be extremely dangerous. Of course, you probably already knew that, but did you know that space heaters do longterm damage to your office that you can’t see? These little appliances take a toll on a building’s electrical system and cause it to deteriorate quickly. Worn out breakers, fatigued connections from heating and cooling wires, and damage to other items plugged into the same circuit are all indirect costs associated with space heaters in the office. The solution is to keep your office warm, so your employees aren’t tempted to bring in these devices. The truth is that what you’ll pay now for those extra degrees on the thermostat may be a lot less than what you’ll pay your electrical contractor later!
4. Spend less on lighting!
When you spend less on lighting, you can spend more on keeping things warm and comfortable. LED lighting is a great solution for redirecting operational dollars to keeping the business warmer in the winter. LED lighting also creates a better lit work environment so not only will you have more money in your energy budget, your teams will be more productive, and the business will benefit all around!
5. It’s going to get warm again!
For most of us, the cold months won’t last all year. The best time to prepare for coming Summer heat is during the cold months of Winter. The savings from LED lights that are warming you during the Winter will also cool you off during the Summer. Now is the time to consider adding controls to your HVAC system, or having your electrical system overhauled to handle the larger electrical loads of the summer months. Looking for things you can do in the winter to prepare for the summer will not only help your business save money but will help you give you the peace of mind that no matter whether your business is ready to do business!
Whether you’re in an RV or a 100 story high rise, we all want to be comfortable and efficient. A little bit of preparation today can make sure your customers and your employees are comfortable tomorrow!
FSG can help you make sure your business is ready for the winter months and for the summer months that follow! Give us a call today and let us talk to you about how we can help your business be more efficient.