With the sunny days of summer almost upon us – and with the Met Office currently forecasting higher-than-average temperatures in the coming days and weeks – it’s the time of year when many people start to think about air conditioning.
Here at Heritage Heating and Cooling, we’re specialists in air conditioning in Leicester and the surrounding area, so we’ve put together this introductory guide to air conditioning for your workplace.
Different workplaces naturally have different working conditions, so there are a number of factors that you’ll need to take into consideration to answer this question properly. However, most workplaces can benefit from a quality air conditioning system.
In terms of legal regulations, there is no specified minimum or maximum temperature. However, you must ensure that the temperature in all work spaces within buildings is “reasonable”. For the average work space, this will usually be around 16°C for sedentary work or around 13°C if most of the work is physical in nature.
Controlling the temperature of your workplace is not simply a matter of regulatory compliance, and there are many other benefits to having air conditioning in your work environment.
Studies show that the temperature in your workplace can affect productivity. When it’s too hot, your employees can’t help but feel tired and sluggish, so keeping them cool helps to keep your business productive.
The health of your employees can also be improved by the use of air conditioning, which in turn can reduce time lost due to sick leave and improve business efficiency. If you’ve ever suffered from hayfever, you’ll know how difficult it can be to concentrate on your work when your eyes are running and you can’t stop sneezing. With a good air conditioning system, you’ll be able to keep the windows closed and filter out most of the pollen before it gets into the workplace, helping your employees to maintain clear heads.
By installing air conditioning, you’ll also reduce the amount of temperature-related complaints in the workplace. This is particularly relevant when your employees are undertaking physical work, as exertion in hot temperatures can quite easily lead to heat exhaustion and even heat stroke.
Controlling the environment within your building can also be beneficial to the building itself. If your building is too humid, you can find mould and mildew forming, which causes maintenance problems as well as potentially causing respiratory issues for your staff.
However, there are other aspects of air conditioning that also need to be considered. It can dry the air out, which can cause irritation to the throat and cause issues to contact lens wearers. It may also cause discomfort when transitioning from the hot outdoors to the cool indoors, so if you have employees who need to come and go frequently, you may need to monitor and control the difference.
It’s important to remember that an industrial air conditioning system, like any piece of machinery, will need maintenance in order to keep it at peak efficiency. For example, the filters need to be checked on a regular basis to prevent clogging by dirt and debris, as well as being changed when necessary.
Here at Heritage Heating and Cooling, we provide maintenance for air conditioning in Nottingham, Derby and throughout the UK to ensure that our customers get the same benefits from their air conditioning today as they did when it was first installed.
Older units in particular can require a lot of attention. After a number of years in service, you may find that your simply isn’t as efficient as you need it to be, and if you’re spending a lot of time and money on repairs, a replacement may be in order.
The kind of air conditioning unit you choose will depend upon your requirements and the type of workplace you operate.
Floor mounted units are effective for cooling quickly because they blow the cool air directly into the occupied area, although they are easily blocked by equipment at floor level.
Ceiling units are efficient at cooling the entire room because they can use the natural circulation of air throughout the area and are less likely to be affected by equipment placement. In a room with high ceilings, however, your employees may take a little longer to feel the benefit.
Wall mounted units provide a good balance between quick cooling and efficient cooling – they’re closer to your employees than a ceiling unit, and less likely to be blocked than a floor unit. However, some may find them visually unappealing.
You need to consider the positioning and scale of your air conditioning unit carefully, as you don’t want to end up with a few employees wrapped up against the draft whilst others are still baking.
When you come to us for air conditioning in Leicester, Coventry or anywhere in the UK, our specialist engineers will visit your site free of charge to perform an inspection and recommend the best unit and the most efficient location.
For more information or to arrange a site visit and quote, contact us on 01509 814 123 or through the enquiry form on our Contact page.