Anyone who thinks it never gets cold in the desert is sure to have another think coming, but Las Vegas business owners know better. Between May and September, of course, there is rarely a problem, but in the coldest months of December and January, nighttime temps will frequently dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s not necessarily cold enough to freeze the pipes, but for brick-and-mortars, restaurants, bed and breakfasts and other businesses that deal on a regular basis with in-house customers, chilly weather can easily cause serious problems.
It can also wreak havoc with your operating budget. That’s why it’s so important for any desert-based business to keep a careful eye on its energy use. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your heating costs to a minimum. Here are some things you can do to raise your business’s heat-efficiency quotient.
- During business hours, keep the thermostat in workspaces and customer-service areas at about 70 degrees, then set it lower after you close. Over During an eight-hour period, lowering the heat by just 10 degrees can save you as much as 10 percent of your heating expenses.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. These devices allow you to automate your heating needs with set-and-forget-it ease, keeping spaces comfortable during business hours and cooler once you’ve locked the doors for the night. A programmable thermostat also works in the summertime to keep your air conditioning expenses under control.
- Turn down the heat in unused areas. Some motels and hotels routinely keep unoccupied rooms at a livable temperature and ready for last-minute walk-ins. However, if you’re holding a certain room as a reservation, there’s no need to blast it with heat for hours. Just keep it moderately warm and bump the temperature up to normal an hour before your guests arrive.
- Locate and seal cracks around windows and doors. These gaps do more than let the winter winds blow in. They also allow the heated air to escape, and as a result, your furnace will be working overtime. Caulk and weather-stripping will usually do the trick, and to fill in larger openings, a can of expandable foam works wonders.
- Invest in insulating covers for window and in-the-wall air conditioners. These devices are famous for letting outside breezes enter a room while allowing expensive heat to escape. Although some experts recommend removing these appliances entirely during the winter months, this is not always necessary in Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Covers should do the trick.
- Keep an eye on your furnace’s air filter. It’s best to check it every month and to clean or swap it out for a new one when it begins accumulating dirt. A clogged filter will not only impede air flow but also force your furnace into overtime mode. It’s a quick and simple thing to do, and the savings in heating costs will make it more than worth your while.
- Open blinds and draperies during the day to let the sun shine in. Think of it as nature’s heating system.
- If your business is sufficiently large, it may have certain areas, wings or entire floors that are only rarely used for anything other than storage. You can save money and improve heating efficiency by simply closing these spaces off entirely. When you run your business in a desert environment, lightly used areas are bound to warm up and become more comfortable during the daytime hours.
- If you’re running a motel or bed-and-breakfast, consider assigning your guests to adjoining heated rooms and away from cooler areas. This ploy will allow you to save energy by separating your customers from unoccupied quarters that you’ll keep at a lower temperature.
Put a Stop to Problems Before They Start
You may be running your business in a desert environment, but you’ll still experience nights that could send your customers running for the dunes. An unheated venue in winter will drive your customers away, and they probably won’t return until you’ve solved the problem.
Fortunately, this is one situation that’s easy to prevent. If you operate a customer-facing business or even if you don’t, maintenance is the most important thing you can do for your heating system. An expert tuneup from Windy City Air will locate potential problems you might otherwise overlook and fix them before the unthinkable happens.
Don’t let an HVAC failure happen to you. Call Windy City Air today for that vital checkup, and help your business sail through the winter months with ease.