How to Reduce Heating Costs at Your Retail Space in NJ
Winter’s here, and the elements are out in full force. If your retail space in NJ feels cold despite huge energy bills, it may not be the weather that’s the problem. While there are things you can do (changes to your diet and lifestyle) to feel less cold, in this blog, we want to discuss ways to save on your energy bills – in particular, saving on heating costs at your retail space by using tricks from your go-to real estate agents in New Jersey. Let’s get started!
Get regular maintenance on your HVAC unit
Just like you’d get regular maintenance done on your car or property, you need to get your electronics checked too. HVAC units are complex systems with thousands of working parts, and a small issue in a single part can bring the entire unit to a halt. Regular maintenance helps spot burgeoning issues and fix them, so your heater can continue to work smoothly.
Unlike repairs, maintenance doesn’t cost much. Usually when you buy a new unit, you get an annual maintenance contract for a set number of years that you can later renew. Ask the building owner about it, and they’ll let you know how things usually work in your building.
Get your heater repaired
If your heating unit has been making odd sounds or has shown any other signs of needing repair, get it fixed sooner rather than later. An issue in the unit might cause it to work inefficiently, thus using more energy and leading to a larger electricity bill.
You might be worried about repair costs, but nowadays it’s easy to find repair personnel and other professionals through apps and websites, and most local businesses will offer a discount due to the pandemic. So, don’t put off getting your heating system fixed – get it done as soon as possible.
Consider renewable energy
The thing about renewable energy (e.g., solar power) is, after an initial investment, your bills will usually be zero. Of course, as a business owner you’ll want to have backup so your retail space in NJ isn’t freezing cold if there’s no sunlight, but your bills will usually be low enough to make the investment worthwhile.
See if you can install a solar panel on the roof of the building. Check with the landlord – or if you own the building, talk to a tech and see what they say. Not every building is suitable for solar panels, so you shouldn’t get your hopes up just yet. However, if it’s possible, you should seriously consider getting solar panels or some other form of renewable energy. It isn’t just wallet-friendly, it’s also environmentally-friendly.
Talk to your staff
Do you really need the temperature set as high as it currently is? Have a conversation with your staff to gauge how they feel about it. It’s possible you have the temperature set at too high and are making most people uncomfortable, while also paying more for heating.
You can also ask your customers their opinion, especially if they happen to be regular customers. If a store is too hot or too cold, it may deter customers from shopping there, because they expect the shopping experience to be comfortable. If you see people flapping air at themselves or nudging their sweater closer, you’ll know the temperature isn’t quite right. But of course, having a frank conversation is always best.
Get energy efficient products
If you’ll be buying a new HVAC unit or other heating systems, go for an Energy Star rated device instead of one that isn’t as energy efficient. If saving energy costs is important to you, you need to consider it when you upgrade to a new system.
In fact, if your old system’s functional but uses a lot of energy, it may be worth it to upgrade to a new unit that uses less energy. Older systems have a declining lifespan, and if you care about the environment and want to make your retail space a little more eco-friendly, it’s a good move to take the plunge and get a brand-new energy-efficient system. Just make sure that when you do, you get a good maintenance contract!
Let the sunshine in
When it’s broad daylight, you can get the space to warm up a couple degrees just by allowing the sunlight in. If your retail space in NJ happens to be on a South-facing building, you’re in luck. It’s an asset you should use. You could even consider putting your desk in the sun, so you get warmed up by the sun’s gorgeous rays as you work.
If you’ll be sitting in the sun, remember to apply sunscreen before you leave for work. Even if the sun isn’t hot, it still has UV radiation that can cause sunburns and other skin problems. Better safe than sorry, as the proverb goes.
Set the thermostat
From Small Business Trends: “Have you ever found yourself in the midst of an office thermostat war? According to a survey by CareerBuilder, almost half of employees said their offices were either too hot — or too cold.
Some employers put thermostats only in the hands of management to control — and avoid the constant adjusting of the thermostat by individuals.
Newer thermostat systems such as the Nest, have a feature called Thermostat Lock. This allows employees to adjust temperature but only within a certain range of a few degrees, to keep energy bills from getting out of hand.”
Using technology in the workplace is always a good idea, because it’s rigidly automatic, so not only does it make things easier for everyone, but it’s also neutral. Your staff will appreciate that, even if they are a little hot or cold initially. This is where talking to your staff and getting their opinions will come in handy. Set the temperature to an average, so everyone’s happy.
Fix leaks around doors and windows
Drafty doors and windows aren’t just an annoyance, they can cost you dearly. If your windows and/or doors are leaky and don’t seal perfectly, warm air will seep out and cold air will sneak in, making everyone uncomfortable and forcing you to ramp up the heating and push up your bills.
So, if you have your heating turned up but everyone’s still cold, examine your doors and windows to see if they are the problem. Fixing a drafty door or window is usually easy, but you might need to bring in a repair person if you aren’t handy with tools or if the problem is bad. For particularly severe problems, see the next point.
Get better windows
If your retail space in NJ is in an old building, the doors and windows probably need some major work. Because although old-timey windows were charming and pretty, they were certainly not airtight. Instead of getting them repaired and fixed every time a new issue sprouts, consider getting them replaced. Many businesses provide window replacement services, and you can get high-quality fiberglass or vinyl windows that seal amazingly, look gorgeous, and which will last for decades.
Getting new windows is obviously a big investment, but it’s completely worth it. High-quality doors and windows provide better insulation, better security, they’re easier to operate, they look nicer, and their lifespan is much longer. Instead of having old, draft windows with peeling paint, get brand-new windows that form a perfect seal and don’t need any paint.
Get a programmable thermostat
Your thermostat doesn’t need to work all day – especially when no-one’s in the store. So buy a programmable thermostat (it doesn’t cost a lot) and set it to adjust the temperature during the nights and weekends. This way you’ll save a lot of energy on heating costs, and the thermostat will pay for itself soon enough.
If you decide to go to work on a Sunday, or to stay late, you can always adjust the thermostat manually to set it at a comfortable temperature. However, it’s winter and nobody wants to work during the weekend or late at night, so do the smart thing and save yourself some bucks by using technology.
Find the perfect retail space in NJ
If you’re expanding and need to find a new space to accommodate your business, get in touch with Blau & Berg. Established in 1932, we are experts in commercial and industrial real estate. We will comb through thousands of prospective properties to find the perfect one for you that fulfills all your requirements – space, cost, energy savings, and whatever else is important to you.
We are a company that cares not just about our clients, but also about the environment. We are always on the lookout for environmentally-friendly spaces, and for ways to help our clients make their property more eco-friendly. If you have any particular needs such as an energy-efficient building, please don’t hesitate to mention them to us.