When the cold winds of winter are howling outside your office door, you might not care where the heat in your building comes from; you’re probably just happy to have it. But if you’re trying to find ways to cut your carbon footprint and develop a greener brand image for your business, it’s never too soon to start examining your company from top to bottom in search of areas that you can work on. And when it comes to your facility, heating is one area that you can almost certainly make some improvements. If you’re operating out of an older building, you might be working with oil or gas boilers that create steam to heat your facility (a particularly inefficient means of heating). More likely, though, you have some kind of gas-powered HVAC system. Either way, you could certainly find ways to cut back on the natural resources you use and probably save yourself some money on the heating bills, to boot. Here are just a few things to consider.
The first and easiest method for going green when heating your office is to install a newer, Energy Star approved system. These high-efficiency systems often operate by older methods, but they are engineered to create more heat while using less energy and fuel. Often this has to do with the furnace itself, which is designed to operate more efficiently, but it could also be linked to a computerized thermostat that works in concert with the system to ensure maximum heat with minimal waste, as with a two-part system that steps up energy usage depending on demand. Of course, Energy Star HVAC systems don’t come cheap. But considering how much one might save you over time, it could be well worth the cost.
There are other options, though. You might try a heat-pump system, for example, that draws in cold air and uses a pump system to extract heat (sort of like the setup used to keep your refrigerator cool). They use no fuel, so you won’t waste any natural resources in the process, and they tend to be fairly efficient, as well. Or if you want to go really green, you might even consider a geothermal heating system, which uses the pump method to draw a base temperature from the Earth. Basically, pipes buried under your facility bring in air that is either the temperature of the ground or of the ground water. Since these temperatures tend to be fairly constant and more moderate than outdoor air, it takes far less energy and resources to heat them than, say, the cold air outside.
Unfortunately, replacing any HVAC system is not going to be easy or cheap until some sustainable form of invented air conditioning and heating is discovered. But replacing an inefficient unit with one that is eco-friendly can definitely save you some money down the line on utility bills, as well as help to reduce your carbon footprint while you heat your office. And you may even save a little up front by converting an oil system to biofuel, for example. There are many alternatives to standard heating options, so you’re sure to find one that works for your office and your budget.