Bud Hammer shares tips on how to keep your office warm without wasting heat—or money.
Heating an office is expensive, there’s no way around it. But what can you do to minimize your heating costs and reduce waste? We reached out to Bud Hammer, president of Bedford Hills-based commercial and residential HVAC installer Atlantic Westchester, for advice.
Do Not Use Electric Heaters
Avoid your typical plug-in, under-the-desk electric heater: they are problematic for a number of reasons. First, they are an energy (and money) suck, because your building is already heated, and because they’re often left on overnight. Second, they are fire hazards. So, the smarter option: Try to resolve the source of the coldness, whether it’s a draft or sitting by a window/exterior wall.
Have Your Ductwork Sealed for Leaks
Seal all the seams in your ductwork with caulk. Ducts carry hot air from its origin to its destination in your office. Leaks along the way reduce your heat’s effectiveness and are costly energy wasters. Sealing ductwork ensures the air is going to the space you’re trying heat, not trailing off along the way in the walls, attic, or basement.
Check Windows and Replace if Necessary
It sounds simple, but make sure all your windows are entirely shut. Second, make sure your glass is double-ply. If it’s not, or if windows are exceptionally drafty, at any decent hardware store you’ll find plastic sheathing kits that can cover the outside of your windows to create another barrier of weather protection. (Single-layer glass is very old technology and should be replaced with insulated glass, which is defined as at least two layers with an air space in between.)
Remove or Seal In-Window A/C Units
Cover and seal A/C units, or remove the unit entirely and cover the hole with insulation and plastic. Window air conditioners are notorious for leaking air.
Fortify Exterior Doors
Make sure that you have some sort of gasket or weather stripping around exterior entryways. Underneath the door, you should have something called a sweep, which, as it closes, fastens itself against the bottom of the frame and eliminates air gaps.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Your office should go to sleep when it’s not occupied. You can set the temperature to 10 degrees colder overnight. During winter, Hammer advises going down to, but no lower than, 60 degrees.