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Beat the heat and save!

After a long, tiring winter, summer has finally arrived. As the temperature outside begins to rise, unfortunately, so do our electrical bills from air conditioning. There are lots of ways to help reduce those cooling loads and shave some dollars off of your bill. Use these top Central Illinois business tips this summer to keep your employees and customers cool, while saving some green.

Keep air vents clear from paper and office supplies. It takes as much as 25 percent more energy to push air into a workspace when the air vents are blocked.

Use ceiling fans. Fans can also allow you to raise your air conditioning up to 4 degrees without a reduction in comfort, saving green on your energy bill. Remember, fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you leave your space.

Set your thermostats to 78 degrees. This can lower your energy bill between 6 and 18 percent. Use fans to provide the wind chill effect and keep people cool.

Use weatherstripping around doors and windows. Keep as much cool air as you can inside and help your AC unit not have to work as hard.

Use window treatments and coverings to help reduce heat gain from the sun. There are plenty of shades that help keep spaces cool but still let some light in.

Use energy-saving light bulbs, such as LEDs and CFLs. Incandescent light bulbs can emit up to 70 percent more heat than efficient bulbs, unnecessarily heating up your space.

Remember, we're here to help your business not just be green, but operate more efficiently and effectively. We hope these tips help your business not only beat the heat, but save some green too.

The Illinois Green Business Association is a nonprofit organization in Champaign that offers certification and green business services. You can contact the IGBA via their website at www.illinoisGBA.org or call them at 217-531-2179.

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