A frugally-run business is a well-run business, at least from the financial standpoint. The first and most important aspect of being frugal is limiting expenses in every area of the business.
One of the most critically important areas many businesses fail with their money-saving efforts is the money they waste on energy costs.
This article briefly addresses the two central causes for this often unnoticed revenue loss: saving energy through employee work habits and adequately insulating the structure when it is built. These are invariably the two biggest culprits of energy waste.
10 Tips on Saving Energy in the Workplace
- Make energy-saving practices a priority by increasing employee awareness.
- Alert employees as to the importance of saving energy while on the job.
- Establish a system of rewards for employees who practice energy conservation in their respective company roles.
- Incorporate energy conservation into the orientation training for new employees. Reiteration of energy policy to all employees encourages them to adopt an energy-sensitive awareness.
- Stress the importance of turning off lights when their offices and work areas are not in use.
- Encourage the use of desk lamps instead of the more energy-consuming overhead lighting where appropriate.
- Discourage the use of multiple lighting sources where not needed.
- Do not install individual office or work area thermostats. These consume excessive heating and cooling energy. One person’s cool is another person’s cold, and it is the same with heat.
- Instead, use zonal heating and cooling to key, specific areas where most needed.
- Place the thermostats strategically in supervisor offices or work areas and establish a set and forget thermostat policy and limit access.
The Best Way to Save Energy During Hot or Cold Times of the Year
The above employee behaviors can certainly do their part toward limiting energy waste. However, the absolute best way to save energy year round is to build the structure with maximum energy preservation in mind.
Remember, commercial buildings require commercial-grade energy-saving construction. These structures receive heavy use from either the workforce they house, the customers who frequent them or both.
To assure worker and customer comfort, start with constructing a building in compliance with local and state insulation codes. This insulation should be installed by commercial insulation companies.
How to Properly Install Insulation in a Commercial Building
The first critical step for installing commercial insulation is to apply the appropriate external insulation wrap. Put it on straight and tightly. Use plenty of fasteners or cap nails. Overlap all door and window openings and secure the overlap.
Do not leave any loose seams or corners to wave in the breeze. Every opening in the wrap is a gap in insulation protection. These air openings actually reduce the R-value of the insulation.
Do a thorough walk-through of the building prior to beginning to install the insulation. Take special note of the areas around all doors, windows, knee walls, bay windows and all plumbing, electrical and exterior access areas like exhaust fans. These cracks must be sealed before putting in the insulation.
Be sure to adequately address every small crack around these areas. Caulk the smallest cracks and fill the larger cracks around doors and windows with insulation.
Other areas like fireplaces and structural features that create inaccessible spaces should also be filled with insulation.
These are areas sometimes overlooked when installing insulation. If they are left without insulation, they cause drafts, and drafts cost energy.
Remember, the objective is to create an unbroken insulation envelope. This also includes sealing both top and bottom framing plates prior to installing the batts.
Place the batts firmly into place and do not pack them or leave any gaps. Make sure the batt completely fills its space. If you need to install them end-to-end, like on a high wall, make sure there are no gaps.
Batts are already sized, but when cutting them for placement, always cut them a little bigger than the hole they are filling. This gives you enough to adjust and still fill the entire space.
When installing these batts, work your way from the top down. This helps ensure you do not leave gaps along the top plate.
Finally, make the cuts necessary in the batts to accommodate obstructions like gas lines and plumbing. Cutting halves to completely fill the opening is the usual method.
This article is for general information purposes. Check with your local building code office for the specifics about your building’s construction.
Article Submitted By Community Writer