Current estimates by the Energy Information Administrationhave homes and businesses that primarily use heating oil for warmth spending 19 percent more for heating this year than last year. For many small business owners that is a clear indication that it’s time to begin seeking out alternative heating sources. But, there’s so much news about how things have gone horribly wrong with some alternative heaters. What can you do to be safe while keeping warm this winter—without breaking the budget?
1) Choose your heating source carefully. There are many considerations that should go into selecting your heating sources such as: the room space that needs to be heated, the amount of free and clear floor space within the room, and the condition of the heaters you’re considering using as alternative sources of heat.
2) Pick professional installation services. These are men and women who have been trained to properly install the equipment you’ve invested in. You’ve been trained in your field of work and they have been trained in theirs. Let them do the job they came to do and trust their expertise in matters unrelated to the final price of the project. Professional installation also limits, to a small degree, your liability if something goes wrong with the unit as a result of the installation process.
3) Maintain your equipment without fail. Heating equipment is something you should never take for granted. Failure to properly maintain this equipment could lead to devastating fires that put the lives of you, your customers, and your employees at risk. As a small business owner, that’s a price that’s definitely too much to bear.
4) Understand how to operate and maintain your heating equipment. The equipment you have available for heating is only as good as your ability to operate and maintain it. If you’re having equipment installed in your business, take the time to have the installers explain to you how to turn it on, turn it off, perform routine maintenance, and recognize potential problems. This simple step can save time, money, and lives down the road.
5) Invest in adequate property insurance to cover fire damage. No one wants to think about the worst happening to his or her business. However, things can happen, no matter how carefully you work to avoid it. It is much better to be prepared with a proper business insurance policy to help you get back on your feet than to have an inadequate amount of insurance and struggle to open your doors again, or worse, never be able to make it.
Alternative heating sources can be effective tools for battling the bite of Old Man Winter. However, if you don’t take the appropriate precautions when using them, they could prove extremely difficult to work through.