Regulating cooling & minimizing energy use in your office
Air temperatures indoors tend to have the Goldilocks effect during the summer months… this room is too hot, this room is too cold, and this room is just right. To achieve these climates, we use a lot of energy. According to the Energy Information Administration, in 2014, 41% of total U.S. energy consumption was consumed in residential and commercial buildings.
Humidity and rising temperatures outside will put your HVAC system into overdrive, and this may or may not impact your overall comfort level at work. Office temperatures are among the top grievances expressed by workers, and that ultimately leads to a decline in productivity.
If you find yourself battling the choice between flipping a coin for control of the office thermostat and bringing in a blanket from home, you may want to read-on. The reasons for the climate differences from one room to another are all centered on the cooling center of your HVAC system. Improving HVAC performance saves energy and promotes a healthier, more comfortable workplace.
Potential causes for your fluctuating office temps include:
- Incorrect HVAC design
With new higher efficient equipment, it’s not an easy remove and replace a HVAC system without checking the design. Oversized systems will result in a satisfying temperature, but the office may tend to feel cooler and clammy without clearing the humidity in the air.
- Not enough thermostats
With systems controlling multiple areas/offices is considered a one point of control system with the thermostat usually in the boss’s office. Upgrading the thermostat and adding a remote wireless sensor to average the overall space, this will help to level out the hot and cold spots. Adding dehumidification to your system helps to raise the temperature and still maintain a comfortable work environment with lower humidity levels. You may also want to consider having an air balance check conducted to bring the system back to its original design.
- Improper electrical system support for your air conditioner or personal heaters
Most fire departments disapprove of using space heaters inside of an office space. The latest equipment and electrical requirements can either relive or put additional strain your electrical system.
- Gaps in furnace’s duct work
Ducts need to be sealed and insulation checked to be sure that it is still in place.
Your personal heater may be making matters worse. Personal heaters at your desk are a quick way to battle freezing office temperatures, but they are also creating a larger issue. Space heaters create air flow changes that can interfere with the air conditioning system.
Personal heaters are also a fire hazard and can cause the breakers to reset.
- Check your building automation system or building management system: BAS or BMS controls and monitors the mechanical and electrical equipment in your building, so a defective system could interfere with HVAC and ventilation.
- Check ducts and vents: It is best to have an HVAC professional inspect your office ducts and vents. Dust and debris can clog ducts and cause a cut off of air flow to certain vents. Problems may also stem from cracks or holes in the ducts due to faulty installation and sometimes flex connections come off.
- Lighting: Depending on the lighting in your office, a large amount of heat can generate and throw off thermostat readings. Try updating to LED lighting and make sure thermostats are not located near lights or windows.
- Update your HVAC system: A change to your office layout can throw off the way your ventilation system works. You may need to relocate ducts or add additional air handlers.
We Can Help
TP Mechanical has the solution, no matter how simple or complex your HVAC/Refrigeration needs may be. Our service team can perform an assessment and recommend steps to improve your office climate and minimize your energy usage. See more information about our service offerings.