Air conditioning has been around for more than half a century and has been a frequent saviour to many a household and business. However, it still sometimes gets a negative reputation, based mainly on the amount of electricity used to run them. In recent years, great lengths have gone in to making air conditioning units more economical and less energy hungry. The reality is that air conditioning still uses less power than a central heating system. Therefore, it is still an advantageous choice for many households.
Ultimately, the greatest benefit for having air conditioning is how it brings us comfortable conditions in quick time. This can be due to both the heating and cooling of an area and make a dramatic difference to everyone within the air conditioned room. There are countless examples of how having a comfortable surrounding can help us in our everyday lives.
Benefits of having air conditioning in your office
One of the key benefits air conditioning brings is how it increases the efficiency of people. This is most keenly felt in the workplace, be it a factory, office or shop floor. If a person is too hot or cold, it’s a fact that they cannot work to their maximum potential. They get irritated and have more lapses in concentration. Air conditioning eliminates these elements and in turn makes people work harder for longer. Customers too, feel like they want to spend more time in a retail environment if it’s air conditioned.
Health Benefits of air conditioning in the work place.
It’s not only work rate that improves either. Your health is also given a well needed boost when the air conditioner is on. This is because it pumps filtered air in the room and removes potentially harmful particles that can trigger allergies. Therefore, the cleaner the air, the higher productivity will rise.
Air conditioners also are a great alternative to having windows open in hotter months. This directly reduces the amount of noise created that can leave negative effects on workplaces. With an air conditioning unit running, windows can be closed and therefore everyone can work in a more peaceful environment.
Lastly, air conditioners are extremely versatile machines. They can be operated manually or remotely, they can cool or heat a room. They provide warmth or coolness instantly. They produce little noise and new sleek designs mean that they are no longer office eye sores. An integral piece of kit in so many environments now, including the everyday home, air conditioners are most definitely here to stay.
Why is the Air Conditioner taking longer to heat the office in Winter?
To answer this question you need to understand how an air conditioner works, an air conditioner moves heat from one place to another – as simple as that, this is why they are also referred to as ‘heat pumps’.
When you set the air conditioner to cooling mode, the refrigerant within the system absorbs heat from the indoor air and this is then moved to the outdoor unit where it is expelled to the surrounding outside air (if you feel in front of the outdoor unit you will see the air coming out of it is warm).
When you set the air conditioner to heating mode, the refrigerant within the system absorbs heat from the outdoor air and this is then moved to the indoor unit where it is expelled into the office (if you feel in front of the indoor unit you will see the air coming out of it is warm).
When its cold outside there is less ‘heat’ for the refrigerant to absorb which in turn is then transferred to inside thus it can take longer for a system to heat an office when its cold outside. Modern systems for the UK market can provide heating to a room down to an outside temperature of -15C but it takes longer to do this.
The use of timers means you can start the Air Conditioner system before people arrive into the office (thus the room can be heated & be comfortable before staff arrive). When the temperature drops to below 0C we recommend that people keep their systems turned on in heating mode throughout the night but at a lower temperature (say 18C), this means the office temperature doesn’t drop that low which means it won’t take as long to heat up to the preferred temperature set point.
You might think that this is a waste of electric but there is evidence to show that you actually use more electric in trying to raise the temperature in an office from say 12C to 22C than by leaving the system to ‘tick over’ at 18C overnight before raising it to 22C.
So, now you know why the Air Conditioner takes longer to heat the office when it gets colder outside!
There are 2x modes which allow a temperature set point to be made, cooling mode and heating mode.
The answer to this question is that there is no answer – everyone is different and will therefore like a different temperature, from our experience the general norm setting in cooling & heating mode is around 22C.
Setting Air Conditioning Temperature
Setting your Air Conditioner lower than 21C in cooling mode is normally regarded as too cold and is generally a waste of electric in trying to cool the room this cold, likewise trying to heat a room to higher than 24C is generally a waste of electric – most people set their home thermostat to approx 22C so you should set your Air Conditioner to the same temperature.
You shouldn’t set the Air Conditioner to the lowest cooling setting (generally 18C) – this is far too cold for an office environment and likewise you shouldn’t set the temperature to 30C in heating mode, both of these simply waste electric.
Keep Cool in the Office
Temperature set points can cause arguments within an office environment; we have found that men generally like the temperature lower compared to women, we have one customer whom has a mixed office and on a service visit we found that the women had all moved to one end of the office whilst the men had all moved to the other end of the office, the office had 2x air conditioner units and they found this way the men & women each had their own system – a tad extreme but nonetheless solved the office bickering.
In summary we would recommend a temperature set point of approx 22C.
The Dangers of Excessive Heat in the Workplace
In the summer months, when the temperatures soar for a short while, there can be some very real consequences attributed to by excessive heat in the workplace. Over exposure to extended periods of hot weather can increase the risk of a sizeable amount of heat related illness. Workers who are employed in outdoor work are at risk of the elements for prolonged hours, as are those who work in hot environments, such as bakeries, miners and fire-fighters. In general, the younger and fitter you are, the less at risk you are. This however, does not always apply and it is wrong to think that you can easily dodge the side effects of heat in your workplace.
One such illness is heat stress. This indicates the first signs of danger and can lead on to other more damaging effects, such as heat stroke. The initial signs of stress from heat can cause irritability, sweaty palms and forehead, headaches and dizzy spells. Without proper intervention, this can then lead on to heat rashes or cramps, which usually indicate a growing cause for concern. Once the worker experiences some of these symptoms, it is crucial they let somebody know and attempt to cool down. The worst case scenario for a worker in an overheated climate is to suffer from heat stroke, which is a more aggressive form of heat exhaustion. This can sometimes lead to black outs, and people die every year through not heeding the warning signs of onset heat stroke.
Preventing the effects of heat in the workplace is an extremely important job of any employer. There are many ways of doing this, such as installing air conditioning, opening windows, introducing fans, letting workers take short breaks, allowing drinks to be consumed and letting the team know about the dangers. Alongside this, there should always be someone within the vicinity who has first aid training and who can assist in any emergencies, should they occur.
Excessive heat can result in the raising of your body temperature to dangerous levels and this can happen very quickly, if nothing is done to stop it. If you or someone else begins to feel chills, suffer from slurred speech or experience dizziness in hot weather, then try to act immediately and seek help. Wearing suitable, light clothes can offer some respite from the heat, but most important of all is to become aware of your own body’s signals when in danger.
Air Conditioning Servicing – its so important!
Filters, Filters, Filters…. keep you filters clean on your portable / installed air conditioning system and not only will the system work better but it will cost less to run as it will use less electric – basic air conditioning servicing is critical for the system to function correctly.
Dirty / Clogged Filters restrict airflow and is one of the most common causes of problems with systems, the less air that enters a system the less air that exits it, if air cant get into the system then it cant be cooled, this means the system cant work as well as it should and the air conditioning doesn’t work effectively. This not only results in less efficiency but less efficiency means increased running costs so it costs you more to run to get less out of the system. Who wants to pay more to get less??
You are also damaging your system by not keeping your filters clean, components such as fan motors have to work harder / longer when airflow is restricted, this naturally reduces their lifespan as they are overworking, the compressor will also have to work harder as system pressures will also increase, clean equipment will always work better, be more efficient, consume less electric and last longer. The morale of the story – Air Conditioning Servicing !
Keeping your filters clean is one of the easiest tasks to do but is probably one of the most important!
If you have a portable unit the filters will be on the side and will normally slide out, brush them off and then put them back in – a really simple task.
Air Conditioning Servicing throughout Sussex – If you have an installed system and want someone to take care of filter cleaning for you then give Climachill a call or email for a free no obligation quotation for a service/maintenance contract – cleaning filters is just one of the tasks our engineers undertake during a service.
01273 803820 | firstname.lastname@example.org