Boosting the Energy Efficiency of a Home-Based Small Business
Boosting the energy efficiency of a home-based small business can not only save money but also precious resources. Learn how to optimize your energy use.
Working from Home
A lot of small business owners make a decision to base their firm at their own homes, and for them, energy efficiency is something that can have a large impact on both professional and personal bottom line. Implementing energy efficiency upgrades in these cases usually involves the whole house and typically yields savings in the utility bills up to 20% or more.
Since in home-based businesses, the residence and workplace are in the same location, energy projects usually include improving insulation, lighting, cooling/heating, office equipment, and depending on the available budget, larger upgrades such as the installation of solar panels.
These are the areas where home and business overlap and here are the most important considerations to bear in mind when boosting the energy efficiency of your home-based small business.
Energy Star labeled lighting products are designed so that they deliver exceptional features at a much lesser cost. They combine excellent quality and appealing design while using one quarter the energy of traditional lighting. In comparison to incandescent light bulbs, they are also more efficient and even in light distribution.
Another feature that is very convenient for home offices is installing motion sensors and lighting control that can help reduce energy consumption by up to 30%. For instance, in storages, toilets, back offices and places with less traffic, motion and vacancy sensors will only switch on when someone is present.
You can also opt to install light dimmers, that come both in LEDs and CFLs, that can automatically dim your office based on the amount of available natural light. Moreover, choose Energy Star light fixtures throughout your entire household and you’ll reduce both your electricity bill and greenhouse emissions.
The largest amount of energy is wasted due to faults in insulation and leaks in windows and doors. With proper insulation of your home, including the attic, basement and crawl spaces, and by replacing your old doors and windows for new, more efficient models, you’ll be able to make a significant difference in the overall comfort of your home and offices, and in your utility bills.
For more serious savings, you should consider combining several upgrades. Here you can learn how an affordable contemporary energy improvement financing plan works in practice. This is the way to get more for your money’s worth and significantly boost not just the comfort and value of your property, but also your revenue. Aided PACE financing doesn’t require any upfront payments and you can get prequalified in minutes.
With this kind of help, you’ll be able to afford more serious upgrades, such as getting the roof replaced, new heating/cooling equipment, new doors and windows and even solar power panels and solar water heaters.
Having a heating/cooling system on your premises is essential in keeping both you and your employees comfortable, but it’s also an important contributing factor to the overall energy consumption. Almost half of the energy used in a single household accounts for cooling and heating, so it’s absolutely essential to keep it in pristine condition, running as efficiently as possible.
Regular maintenance includes checking the filters monthly, especially during heavy use in hot summer and cold winter months, and tuning up the HVAC equipment yearly, which will improve its efficiency and smooth operation.
Your final option is installing a programmable thermostat that allows you to control the room temperature around the clock. It allows you to program it so you can include specific settings during the week, such as the weekends and off hours. If you set it well, a programmable thermostat can give you up to $180 of savings per year.
Computers and office equipment
Similar to all the other energy upgrades around your home, computers and office equipment of the latest generation can provide you with substantial savings over the older, standard models. Energy Star certified equipment such as desktop computers, notebook, laptops, printers, copiers, televisions, small-scale servers, and workstations will become your major contributors to the energy efficiency of your home office. Make sure you use power management features and put them in sleep mode after an appointed time of inactivity.
Being green and energy efficient has become easier and more affordable than before. Making these small but important changes and upgrades and transforming your home-based small business into an energy-efficient hub will not only improve your operations but also add value to your property and contribute to environmental protection.
Follow her on Twitter: @lillian_connors