3.1 Heating

Smaller shops and offices often have heating systems similar to large domestic units. They are typically based around a gas or an oil boiler feeding radiators or a warm air system. As at home, it is important that you ensure the boiler is serviced regularly to keep it in peak operating condition. New boilers should always be high efficiency condensing models. Larger systems may benefit from installing burner controls that improve the efficiency of boilers and minimise emissions by optimising the firing range. If there is more than one boiler, ensure that proper sequence controls are in place, to stop them running simultaneously at low loads.

Controls are also important: for cellular offices, thermostatic radiator control valves are essential, as some rooms heat up much more quickly than others because of the equipment inside them. Systems should be programmable to match occupancy patterns, which may run for five, six or seven days a week. Large buildings can benefit from a full Building Energy Management System (BEMS) with several heating zones. Where there is air conditioning but windows can also be opened, encourage staff to use natural rather than artificial ventilation. Entrances to shops may benefit from air curtains; warehouses or store areas can benefit from moveable warehouse curtain dividers that limit heated areas to those in use.

3 Taking action – some easier measures

3.2 Insulation