Small Biz Smarts

Winter Savings For Your Biz

10 WINTERTIME MONEY-SAVING TIPS FOR BUSINESSES

Cold weather can be costly for businesses! Discover a few ways help your business save money in the wintertime.

Slippery Sidewalks = Potential Costs: De-ice sidewalks, parking lots and other outdoor pedestrian areas. It will reduce the potentially costly risks of employees or visitors getting injured from slips and falls. Remember, American Family business insurance can cover you for these and other risks, too — talk to an agent for details.

Don't Chill Your Workers Out: To reduce heating costs, lower the thermostat in work areas, but not too much. A study from Cornell University indicated that office workers are most productive at 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and that employers could save $2 per worker per hour by "raising the temperature to a more comfortable thermal zone." During non-work hours, turn the heat down to 55 degrees to save on heating costs.

Have a "Closed Door Policy: "Keep exterior and freight doors closed as much as possible to lower heating bills.

Let the Sun In: Open curtains and window blinds to maximize the amount of warmth generated by direct sunlight in work areas. But remember to close window coverings at night to keep the heat in.

Insulate It: Insulate water heaters and supply pipes to avoid wasting energy (and money). Also, insulating pipes and fire sprinkler systems can prevent costly water damage if they freeze and burst. Ceiling and wall insulation also lowers monthly utility bills.

Seal It: Ensure that windows are closed, properly caulked and not cracked or broken.

Decoration in Moderation: Planning on outdoor holiday lighting displays at your business? Save on energy by using a lighting timer to shut them off during off-hours. Use LED holiday lights, which consume 99 percent less energy than traditional lights. Take the lighting displays down right after the holidays, too.

Prevent Ice Dam(age)s: Avoid costly damage from ice dams by ventilating your attic, insulating your attic floor, and installing an ice-and-water barrier under your roof covering.

Be an Energy Star: ENERGY STAR® products help you save on utility costs. Case in point: ENERGY STAR heating and ventilation units are 20 to 30 percent more efficient than older models.

Good Maintenance = Savings: Ensure that your heating and ventilation systems are well-maintained and finely tuned. Keep ducts clean and replace filters.

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