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March 21, 2015
These days most households take proactive steps to save energy whenever they can. When businesses and other commercial properties get involved in conserving energy as well, the positive results can be exponential. With winter finally in the rear view mirror, Colorado businesses should start thinking about ways to conserve energy as the weather gets warmer. Steps that are taken now to conserve energy in a commercial facility will most certainly help to save money once the really warm weather hits in the summer.
Choose equipment wisely
Whenever possible energy-efficient office equipment should be purchased and used. Any piece of office equipment that is labeled as “Energy Star” is a good bet. Equipment with this label is guaranteed to be more energy efficient and will provide money savings year round. Business equipment that can have the “Energy Star” label include large items such as air conditioning units, boilers, and heaters as well as general office equipment such as computers, printers, fax machines and photocopiers.
All office equipment should be set on an energy saving mode. This setting will cause the equipment to go into a sleep setting after it has not been used for a particular length of time. Although this can and should be done year-round, it is particularly helpful when the weather starts warming.
Cooling and ventilation systems
Once the summertime comes, the cooling system will be put to the test. The spring is the optimal time to improve the efficiency of the system. This is a good time to do an inspection of the system to make sure it is working properly and to change out any filters that need to be replaced. This is also a good time to check the ducts and pipe insulation to assure everything is in good working order.
Spring can be an unpredictable season in Colorado. There are some decidedly cool days and some warmer-than-average days. Since the weather at this time of year can be erratic, the indoor temperature of commercial properties can be hard to maintain. Avoid the temptation to constantly adjust the thermostat. Continually raising and lowering the temperature in the building can put undue stress on the system and will result in increased energy consumption and bills. A better alternative is to keep the thermostat set at a constant temperature and use other ways to adjust the temperature. Using fans to circulate air will help to keep the office cool on warmer days. Make good use of shades or curtains that cover windows. By keeping them drawn or closed, will keep the heat and sun out on warm days and will block cool air from coming in on the colder days.
Generally commercial properties have lots of lighting. When spring arrives Colorado experiences an increase of daylight hours. Using the daylight as a natural source of light can help businesses save on energy costs. There is no need for lights to be on when the light streaming through the windows is bright enough for workers to accomplish their tasks. Spring is also a good time to do an assessment of the lighting in the building. If it is economically feasible, any florescent or any other type of inefficient lighting should be replaced with a more energy-efficient variety.
Weatherize the outside
Some changes can be made to the outside of commercial buildings that help to make them more energy-efficient. As the weather warms up in the spring, it is a good time to make these changes. If the building already has awnings, now is the time to make sure they are in good working order. If they are not, they need to be repaired or replaced. If the building does not have awnings, consider having them installed. Simply hanging an awning can cut down on the sun’s glare, which will lower the temperature in the building on warm days. Take advantage of the mild temperatures outside by having solar panels and/or heat-blocking roofing materials installed to provide great energy and cost savings when the summer arrives.
Spring is the perfect time to assess the landscaping around a commercial property. It is amazing how strategically-placed greenery can help keep an office building cool in the heat of the Colorado summer. If the building doesn’t already have a substantial amount of trees on the property, this is the perfect time to plant them. Trees provide a natural block from the sun so they will keep a building cool. It is also a wise idea to make sure there are trees planted near all parking areas. Not only will this help prevent cars from being overexposed to the heat, it will also reduce the temperature of the air that blows toward the building.
Conserving energy and the costs that are associated with it are important for every business in Colorado. Taking some wise actions in the springtime helps ensure businesses will save money when the temperatures really stat to rise in the summer.
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