Thermostat Wars

How warm should it be inside your offices?

You can change the coffee, the water cooler, the piped in music or the floor signs in the elevator. But if you really want to see people get upset start messing with the office thermostat. Comments from employees across the Northeast are rampant on this topic. In western and Upstate New York, spring and early fall can be quiet in our industry. The temperatures are often “mid range”, everyone in the region who’s lived here for a few seasons knows they may want to carry a jacket because we have fickle weather patterns. But once temperatures rise in summer and fall significantly in late Autumn, the war for the office thermostat begins.

As a commercial service business, we hear and see these comments from a lot of employees in an office setting. And while there are sometimes similarities along gender lines, in our experience that’s not really the determining factor.

What’s hot what’s cold and why?

Most commonly the real issue is proximity and balance. In an office setting those employees closest to the vents will feel the greatest effect. Whether that’s heating or cooling, you can expect comments about what’s not comfortable. In most office settings an average temperature around 72° is the most common. But even in these instances, age of the structure, inconsistent system maintenance and (believe it or not) office partitions, can all create issues around temperature. Each of these elements can have a negative affect on air circulation. And due to that, employees may experience hot and cold spots.

Obviously the vents have to go somewhere. So perhaps the question is less about temperature than balance.

Balancing with zones

Maintaining spaces with an overall temperature that works for most people is, in our experience the most efficient. For property owners and managers you’ll also find that installing and maintaining multi-zone systemscommonly reducesannualized costs. In addition may also reduce the calls your maintenance staff receives for service.

And then there’s humidity

In addition to managing heating and cooling in an office setting, multi-zone systems add another benefit: Managing humidity. Almost equal in factor to airflow, humidity control can greatly affect our perception of the ambient temperature in a room. Maintaining a consistent percent of humidity will keep the majority of people comfortable most of the time. On average, the comfortable relative indoor humidity level is 40%.

Work with the Professionals

There are a lot of factors that go into maintaining a comfortable workspace and understanding how that affects employee productivity. When you’re looking for an experienced commercial heating and refrigeration team, contact Triton Mechanical. We are three generations of heating and Refrigeration experts, and we look forward to serving your commercial needs.

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