No one can deny it: summer is here. Not only that, employees are slowly coming back to work as companies try to revive themselves from the economic onslaught brought by the pandemic.
For any business owner, this season can lead to one question: how can they afford the potentially high costs of electricity? As early as now, many power companies advise their customers about the surge in prices as the demand goes up significantly.
Businesses can explore a variety of strategies, which include the following:
1. Get That AC Checked and Fixed
If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught the world, it’s that many things can surely happen in a year. The same is true for the air-conditioning unit.
Just because it sits idle for more than 12 months doesn’t mean it’s still in its pristine condition. If it already had problems before everyone worked from home, one can expect that it should have gotten worse.
A problematic AC will do two things: not function at all that the business may have no other choice than to buy a new one or work harder, which means it may consume more electricity to perform its job.
A local AC company can inspect the unit. The specialists are more likely to check the filters, condenser, compressor, coils, and circuits. They may also see if the refrigerant is gathering acid. They may suggest a replacement of some parts or a repair.
Depending on the condition, they may not do anything more except provide the business some ideas to take care of the unit. Either way, the service is worth it as the company can save money on electricity.
As an additional note, for those who want to save more money on services, they can consider getting a free inspection quote. They can also reach out to previous AC repair providers and ask if they provide special offers to returning customers.
2. Consider Leasing Additional Units
Summer can be scorching, especially in states like Arizona and California. The office may need more units to keep everyone comfortable. However, commercial air conditioners are not cheap. For businesses that are trying to recover, this extra cost may be too much.
An alternative, for now, is leasing additional units. The interest rates can be high, but the company can spread it across many months, making the rental more affordable. The lessee also doesn’t need to pay for the unit’s maintenance, although they may be held responsible for damages.
Further, leasing may allow the business to meet the needs of users without shelling out a huge amount of money at one time, get to use the latest models and brands, and determine which unit is ideal for the space in case they want to invest in a commercial air conditioner when finances are better.
3. Invest in Energy-Efficient Air Conditioners
There’s a good reason the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strongly recommends both commercial and residential AC users switch to energy-efficient ones. These appliances can truly help save money.
Finance Guru suggests that the brand-new, energy-friendly models may save the user as much as 40 percent in cooling costs. Moreover, because of their age and design, they are less likely to experience breakdowns anytime soon. They also come with many years’ warranty for defective parts and labor.
Some states and utilities may also offer tax rebates or incentives for businesses that invest and install energy-efficient appliances like air conditioners.
4. Maintain a Hybrid Workplace
Many experts believe that post-pandemic, offices are likely to go hybrid—that is, employees may work from home on some days. This arrangement can be helpful for those who want to reduce cooling costs.
First, there may be days when the air-conditioning unit isn’t running. It can already save a ton of money and energy.
Second, it’s a well-known fact that a crowded space feels hotter or more humid even if the air-conditioning unit is running. It’s because humans expend heat, while carbon dioxide, which we expel, is a much hotter gas than oxygen.
Lastly, the greater number of people in a given space, the less likely that cool air can circulate properly. Thus, some areas may feel hot.
Companies should also not forget that the country is still dealing with a pandemic. While restrictions are easing, social distancing and better air circulation are still necessary to reduce the risk of infection. A hybrid workplace model can provide both benefits.
Experts predict over 250 record-breaking heatwaves in the Western United States, according to CNN. Some reports also suggest that future temperatures could be above average. In this season, air-conditioning units are no longer optional—they are necessary to prevent health consequences, including heatstroke.