Managing the Air-Conditioning in the Office
Office Life

Managing the Air-Conditioning in the Office

It’s too hot or too cold? Here some tips to manage air-conditioning in the office properly

Most organizations have air conditioning systems so they can maintain a comfortable office environment in winter and summer months. Air conditioning systems draw in outside air, filter it, heat it, cool it and circulate it, and expel some air back outside. These systems must be managed properly to get the most out of them.

It’s too hot or too cold: How to Manage Air-Conditioning in the Office

A common complaint voiced by employees is that the office environment is too hot or too cold. No office dispute can be quite as divisive. This is because the way people are affected by temperature depends on various factors, including circadian rhythms, body type, and gender. Women typically prefer a warmer temperature because they have a slower metabolic rate than males. The body temperature of night owls often reaches its lowest point two hours after morning people. Those who exercise and eat a lot of protein and unsaturated fats may have a higher body temperature than others.

Set your temperatures and leave them alone

Employees often resort to tampering with the thermostat and may turn it up and down all day long. Assuming you have your settings at a reasonable temperature and everything is in working order, there is no reason to change them. The temperature you require shouldn’t change much from day to day. A reasonable temperature may have to be governed by office polity when employees cannot reach an agreement.

Adjust temperature to suit the weather

You will need to adjust settings for different seasons. It may seem counter intuitive, but indoor temperatures should be a little cooler when it’s cold outside because people will come to work wearing warm clothing. Likewise, in summer, people dress in lighter clothing, so blasting them with cold air won’t necessarily make them feel more comfortable. Air conditioning works harder in extreme temperatures. If you try to create the opposite environment to what is happening outside, you waste energy and could even damage your system.

Have a preventative maintenance program

While air conditioning can make workplaces more comfortable, it also carries some risks. Office workers spend many hours in air-conditioned workplaces, and if the system is not maintained properly, poor indoor air quality has the potential to negatively impact the health, comfort, and productivity of employees.

Use high tech solutions for feedback

Some employers are using apps to help them manage office temperatures better. An app called CrowdComfort allows employees to send complaints by phone to the facilities manager. The manager can adjust the temperature that is out of target range and give feedback to employees.

AppNexus, an advertising technology firm, uses the Comfy smartphone app that allows employees to request a ten-minute blast of cool or hot air to their area. The firm requires at least two people in the same space to make the same request within ten minutes before they receive a blast of air.

Vector Occupant is another smartphone app that lets users register office temperature complaints with the control system of the building.