There’s no fighting it, winter has arrived, and along with the colder temperatures comes the potential for higher electricity bills.
The right temperature can impact productivity and employee mood, but it can be hard to get the temperature right in the workspace without it costing your business a fortune.
Here are some tips for efficient heating of the office during winter to stay in control of your businesses energy usage.
The right heating
Once turning the heating up becomes unavoidable you may still be able to save on your energy usage if you choose the right type of heater for your business. Consider your business, the layout and size of your workspace as you want the heating system that is going to be the most efficient solution.
Radiant heating is considered to be an energy efficient heating solution. It is quiet, allergy-friendly, and provides a more consistent temperature compared to fan forced heating systems. Radiant heating uses direct radiation of heat to warm people and objects. Radiant heat panels can be a good option for under desks or small areas.
Convection heaters use fan-forced to circulate warm air into a room. Convective heating can warm up a small space quickly, however, if you have a large office space it may be harder to maintain the ideal temperature.
Different types of heating systems can be better suited to different environments, so it’s important to choose the most efficient heating solution for your business.
Encourage your staff to rug up
In the workplace it can be hard to cater for everyone’s level of comfort when it comes to heating.
During the day, some employees may be warmer than others due to differing body temperatures and where they’re seated within the office. To help you avoid turning your heating up and down, encourage your staff to dress warmly and layer up so they can remain at a comfortable temperature throughout the day.
Position working stations away from doorways to avoid employees being subject to draughts. In some situations however, you may have limited options for layout of workstations and appropriate clothing can help reduce effects of draughts while also being cheaper than turning on the heating.
Windows can be a significant cause of energy wastage, potentially leaking up to 40% of your heating.
Heaters produce air movement that causes hot air to rise from the heater to the ceiling. The air becomes cooled when it comes into contact with windows, it then is drawn back to the floor. Sitting in draughts caused by air movement makes you feel colder. Windows coverings are effective for improving the insulation of your office, minimising draughts, and therefore, reducing your heating costs.
Invest in quality curtains and blinds for your office to help keep the heat in. Sheer blinds can be a great option for an office, as they still allow natural light to come through during the day. You don’t want to sacrifice natural lighting, as you’ll only end up compensating your heating costs with lighting costs. And make sure to close the curtains to keep heat in overnight.
If possible, add an additional layer of glazing on windows and skylights to improve insulation of your office.
Window coverings can be a cost-effective way to reduce your businesses electricity costs. It’s important to assess the potential savings against initial cost to determine which is the more cost-effective option for your business.
Don’t heat empty space
Heating an office space can be costly enough without you wasting that energy heating spaces that don’t need it. You want to ensure heat is being used efficiently.
Close internal and external doors to keep the warmth in. Place signs to remind staff to keep doors closed.
You don’t want to waste energy heating empty space, but you may also want to consider that some spaces within your office don’t need heating, especially all day. Sorry to say but you probably don’t need to waste energy heating your bathrooms, and you should close off meeting rooms when not in use to reduce your heating costs.
Invest in door seals to prevent heat from escaping through gaps and cracks in doors and windows. Just remember that if you can feel cold air getting in, it means warm air is getting out.
Improve efficiency of your office heating
Your heating system can account for a large portion of energy consumption, but there are various ways you can improve the efficiency of your business heating.
Optimise your existing HVAC systems with improved control systems to maintain consistent temperature during the day. Every degree you reduce heat can save up to 10 percent of your energy use, so it’s recommended to keep the thermostat between 18 and 20 degrees in winter.
Only use heating for a limited time each day and don’t leave it on overnight. Investing in timers can help you avoid overuse of your heating and keep costs down.
Relocation of your heating unit can help improve its efficiency. It should be placed close to the main working space, and away from doorways where heat can be lost.
Maintenance of your heating system is essential. Service your system according to manufacturing instructions and regularly clean the air filters of fan-forced heating systems. When your heating solution becomes outdated, consider upgrading to a more efficient system.
Creating a comfortable working environment that is warm and draft-free doesn’t need to be overly costly. For more tips on efficiently heating your business, check out our blog on strategies for saving energy in the workplace.