There are several different options when installing office air conditioning, and if you want to truly optimize your air conditioning solutions, you have a two-fold challenge on your hands. For one thing, you need to select the correct air conditioning for your office – or for each individual part of your office. There are always different priorities related to the function of each room and its location within an office complex. For an office lobby, a stronger cool airflow might be required to counter hot weather outside; in an office workspace, it might be prudent to avoid air conditioning as noisy as that. And in colder months, your air conditioning has to work the opposite way.
The second consideration is how to use your air conditioning properly to maximize efficiency and minimize disruption. There are also a host of environmental and energy-saving concerns which – more and more – companies want to be seen to be adhering to. Environmental concerns have in fact become so pressing, that failure to answer them can actually negatively affect a business. And there is also the perennial matter of cost – an air conditioning system has to be effective and cost-effective. In short, there’s much to consider.
Luckily then, the options are vast and varied and with the right amount of forethought and a proper browse around the market, the perfect air conditioning solution can be sourced for almost any office space, be it a small walk-in single-story office or a large complex accommodating hundreds of employees. Offices can vary a lot, and so can their air conditioning needs. The outside climate is also something that can vary dramatically based on location and time of year, and your office air conditioning needs to be up to that challenge.
With offices, air conditioning also needs to serve members of the public, all of whom have specific workplace rights and concerns that can, in some cases, even be protected by law. If the climate verges on the extremes of hot and cold, it is an employer’s duty to protect their employees. Quite simply, working in excessively cold or warm conditions can be hazardous. In this regard, air conditioning becomes almost like any other safety infrastructure, such as proper signage and compliant workplace safety equipment.
Optimally, you should seek to create and maintain a comfortable ambient indoor temperature, even if there are no hazardous levels of hot or cold to contend with. Employees working in comfort simply work better. So where does one begin?
As mentioned, air conditioning is a matter first of getting the right system and secondly of using it properly and efficiently.
Selecting the Perfect Air Conditioning System for Your Office.
Unfortunately, getting the right air conditioning system for an entire office is a little more complicated than simply picking the one you think will be up to the job. There will of course be budgetary constraints, and installation will in all cases need to be handled by a professional – and finding the right professional is important. And if you are upgrading your air conditioning or installing it for the first time after the office has opened, then it’s also important to install it with the minimum of disruption – time is money, and all that.
With that in mind then, here follows some of the most common and popular types of air conditioning units, as well as the types of offices they are best suited to:
Wall-mounted air conditioning comes with one great advantage right off the bat – there is no need to modify office design or seriously disrupt workflow ahead of installation. Wall-mounted units can be fixed high up on walls, which is usually one area of the office where there is always space.
Wall-mounted units are ideal for small-to-medium-sized offices. And you can scale up the operation by simply adding more if your office is a bit bigger. Wall-mounted units are great for directing airflow away and down from their position, which contributes to a relatively unobtrusive running. All you need to do is find a competent and discreet installer and make sure that the units don’t make too much noise when running.
These are also called “cassette units” or “cassette air conditioners”. The first thing to note is that they are more expensive, but what you pay extra for can be very useful. Ceiling-mounted units are discrete and aesthetically pleasing and take up little space as they are almost wholly concealed by the ceiling structure. Their high position is great for circulating air around larger office spaces – and they are not obtrusive at all.
Ducted units are more expensive still, but for large, prestigious offices were receiving guests and clients is a frequent concern, then they are probably the best option. Ducted units are again well concealed from view within the structure of a ceiling, exposing only the grill from which the air emanates. Unfortunately, installation of these units can be a complex process, so it’s best to install them as part of a new build or refurbishment project.
Tips for Air Conditioning Operation
Once you have your new air conditioning system, it’s important to make the most of it by using it properly, responding to outside climate conditions, minimizing disruption, and taking care not to waste energy. Here are some tips:
Keep The Temperature Stable
When the heat is stifling, it is tempting to simply blast your air-con at the coldest temperature in order to counter it. This is a waste of energy and is entirely unnecessary. Air conditioning sets the temperature to an ambient level, and they will do so regardless of what the outside temperature is. So set your aircon to a temperature that everyone is comfortable with, and do not feel the need to counter hot weather with the coldest air the machine can pump out. You will only waste energy and you might even make the inside temperature too cold!
Use the Fan Setting and Timers
Both are real energy-saving tips. The fan setting of air con is the alternative to the cooling setting. As the name suggests, it simply runs a fan and not the more advanced air-cooling technology inside air conditioning units. This is the best option when the outside temperature is a little too warm, but not stifling. It is also plain common sense to only run your air conditioner when there are people present who need it. Accordingly, the use of timers can also really slash your electricity bill.
Don’t Use Auto Mode
The auto mode might sound like a fantastic innovation, but the jury has long been divided on that one. We take the opinion that setting your air-con to automatically react to temperature changes will have it working at maximum power for too long, wasting energy. It’s far better to simply set it to constantly pump out air at the temperature you require, instead of continually heating up and cooling down a room.
In most climates, an air conditioning system can be a godsend, and keeping employees comfortable is imperative for the running of a successful business. There are several more tips besides those covered here, but for best results, there’s nothing like taking note of situations and needs and acting accordingly. Common sense can go a long way.