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It’s Summertime. Why Is Your Office Freezing?

What to Do When Your Commercial HVAC Works Too Well

summertime chill
Summertime HVAC shouldn’t mean winter clothes

It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries: on the hottest days of summer, there are certain offices that blow colder than a winter’s day in the Arctic Circle. You can usually spot the employees working in those types of environments by what they wear to and from the office. While the rest of us are in short sleeves, they’re the ones wearing ski sweaters when you run into them at your local coffee place.

No, they’re not insane. They’re just cold.

So what gives?

Well, first of all, this is a real problem. In a recent survey of government office workers, researchers found that over 60% of employees reported something science calls “thermal stress” at the office. And if this is happening on an institutional level, imagine what’s happening in smaller buildings nationwide.

A poor architectural design, poorly ventilated offices sealed up to the outside world, and even the switchover to cooler LED lighting instead of warmer CFLs can make it seem like winter in a building even in the hottest climates.

For any commercial property owner, fixing the problem starts with a properly maintained HVAC system, especially if it’s older equipment. Faulty or broken components translate into inappropriate temperatures building-wide. These problems also mean higher utility costs.

The good news is that once you get your HVAC under control to address the polar indoor temps, you’ll also be paying less for energy. Remember those freezing cold government offices? The General Services Administration estimated that just raising the temperature by two degrees in summer could save the feds almost 2 million dollars a year. Talk to one of our experts about economical ways to upgrade your existing system as well as troubleshoot. A colleague wearing an overcoat in her office is a warning sign of larger HVAC problems, and operational costs that are higher than they need to be.

Another solution lies in figuring out how your tenants, employees or building occupants can control their own environment. Hear us out: studies show that people shut in an indoor space with poorly ventilated, “artificial” air will demand to feel perfectly comfortable. If they can’t be, they’ll complain. In contrast, building occupants who are allowed a measure of personal choice, whether it’s being allowed to open the window, or adjust the thermostat in their own climate zoned workspace, report being more comfortable within a wider range of temperatures. Their productivity also increases. Scientists have posited that optimal temperatures for worker productivity are usually between 74 and 76 degrees. That cold blast is costing you money not just with higher utility bills, but lower employee performance too.

So when you see a ski sweater in the lobby of your commercial building, look again. Chances are your “secret Santa” is trying to tell you something.

Call Air-Tro today for superior commercial HVAC services. (626) 357-3535.