September weather is rough on your HVAC system. The temperatures seem to fluctuate on a daily basis: 90 degrees today, 50 degrees tomorrow. Then there’s rain, humidity, and pollen to throw a monkey wrench into the situation. Keeping up with the changing environment and keeping your building comfortable may be more than your air conditioning system can handle, especially if it hasn’t been regularly maintained.
The result? Parts of the building are too hot, and other areas are too cold. High humidity may be causing condensation buildup and even dangerous levels of mold, pollen and other contaminants in the air. People are uncomfortable and may even be getting sick from the poor air quality. What’s more, the environment also has a direct effect on the productivity of your employees or tenants. They’re feeling lousy, they’re getting less done, and before you know it, they’ll be fighting mad. If you don’t do something to address the situation, they will.
Your employees are already taking matters into their own hands
After they have complained a few times, people will not wait long before they start taking matters into their own hands. If you take a walk around your office, you may notice some of the following DIY measures enacted by uncomfortable and disgruntled building occupants:
- Portable heaters and personal fans. You may not see them when you walk through, but check under the desks when the office is empty. When some people are hot and others are cold due to less than optimal office temperature, the losers in the thermostat wars will resort to making themselves more comfortable even if it drives up your electric bill and causes even more temperature control problems.
- Blocked air vents. Taping something over the vents to block or redirect air flow is a common sight in a building with office temperature variance issues. Some passive-aggressive types may even try tying ribbons to the vents to show you how air is blowing on their heads. Unfortunately, blocking vents can compound the problem.
- Moved furniture. Some office workers will even go so far as to rearrange the furniture in order to redirect the flow of air according to their preference.
The problem is, these do-it-yourself solutions are not compatible with office safety guidelines. Personal heaters, for example, are a fire hazard can even lead to small power outages requiring maintenance staff to continually reset breakers.
So, if you don’t want non-professionals tampering with the office temperature, it’s important to take action — and the sooner the better. It’s entirely possible, and even affordable, to make your office temperature more comfortable and worker friendly.
Take control of the battle by having your system checked by a professional
It may surprise you that easy fixes to your HVAC system can help to better meet the comfort needs of the tenants, workers or customers in your building. The problem could be as simple as clogged ductwork or dirty air filters. You system might just need a good cleaning.
There’s also a chance that your system hasn’t been updated along with any changes in building layout and usage. If you’ve done renovation or even just changed cubicle layouts without adjusting the ductwork, your system may require some changes. And, if you haven’t had regular service, you could have worn parts that are no longer working efficiently.
HVAC systems are composed of hundreds of component parts and possibly thousands of feet of ductwork and venting — any part of which could be contributing to temperature extremes. Before your HVAC system can be improved, it’s necessary to find out what’s to blame, and that requires thorough testing by an experienced professional.
It’s time to take control of your office temperature variance issues with a complete HVAC system evaluation. When you consider all of the benefits that arise from a more comfortable work environment, it’s safe to say that the savings and revenue generated by a happier workplace could cover the cost of any system updates you might need.
To learn more about how temperature variance is costing your business and how to fix it before world war three breaks out in your building, grab a copy of our free guide, Improving an Imperfect World: Mitigating Office Temperature Extremes.