Staying Cool at Work this Summer
When we get sunshine in Ireland, it’s often while we’re stuck indoors. According to Met Eireann we’re about to enjoy our best heat wave in seven years. So what’s the secret to staying cool at work?
Top Tips for Facilities Managers
- Use complaints received in previous years to help identify specific building hot spots or indicate possible improvements. Tell users what you are doing to make them more comfortable, and seek their buy in.
- Even when heating is switched off via local control be aware that there can still be considerable heat output from the distribution pipework even when the thermostatic valves (TRVs) are closed.
- Audit/review the location and type of heat and/or moisture producing equipment such as printers, copiers, ovens, microwaves etc. Consider if these can be reduced in number or moved away from work stations into central locations, preferably with local ventilation to remove heat at source.
- Check that unnecessary lights and equipment are switched off (not left on standby if possible) when not in use, particularly overnight. Inform and remind staff about this. Heat reduction and energy savings are possible even for equipment in regular use if it is switched off between uses.
- If the workplace is not air conditioned, opening windows can reduce the build-up of humidity and increase air movement. It’s important that users are aware of the best ways to do this in your workplace. Such as opening windows early and late when it is cooler outside, encouraging cross flow ventilation and avoiding excessive drafts.
- Consider night-time ventilation to provide cooling as long as security is not compromised. Leaving windows on upper floors open securely can help cool the building fabric, before occupation.
- Keep your cooling and ventilation systems tuned with regular filter replacement and maintenance.
Top Tips for HR / Office Managers
- Instead of the power point presentation take your team meetings outside or go for a walk, you’d be surprised how a change of scenery can affect productivity.
- Allow your workers to wear comfortable clothing during hot weather. It makes little sense to keep a room cold enough that workers must wear suits and coats.
- Ensure everyone has access to cool drinking water. Adding mint leaves, orange, lemon or cucumber slices to your water makes it more refreshing & interesting.
- Explore flexitime options for your staff, allowing them to start & finish earlier during the summer months, improving morale & avoiding the overheating problems associated with maximum occupancy.
- Close window blinds to shade your rooms from direct sunlight.
- Run your own energy awareness campaign – you can find resources and templates from the SEAI Link below.
An energy audit or workplace environment assessment might be the best investment you could make for your staff and your business. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org