Commercial HVAC: Keeping Your Employees Comfortable During the Winter

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Do you run a small company or own a commercial space in the greater Phoenix area? If so, you probably know firsthand the challenges of keeping the temperature optimal during the winter months. Mornings can be bone-chilling cold, and afternoons can feel downright balmy. This can make it a battle to maintain the right temperature for employees through the workday.

Occupational research studies have repeatedly shown that the optimal office temperature is between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit for the majority of workers. However, there are factors to consider as you adjust the thermostat:

Gender – Because women have lower metabolic rates than men, they can be more susceptible to cold. So, if there are a lot of women in the space, the temperature might need to be raised slightly.

Humidity – While it’s relatively dry during Arizona winters, a bout of rain can quickly increase the humidity inside a commercial space to an uncomfortable level. This can make the air feel muggy and too warm. In contrast, low humidity can make the air feel colder and can even impact skin, sinuses, the throat and eyes by making them feel dry and scratchy. Most experts will tell you that a humidity level of around 40 percent is ideal for year-round productivity.

Windows – Large windows, as well as skylights that let in a lot of sunlight can make an office feel warmer, even when the temperature outside is chilly.
High ceilings – The excess space created by voluminous ceilings can lead to poor air distribution. In other words, heaters in the winter, as well as air conditioners in the summer, must work harder when you have high ceilings.

Older buildings – Often, aging buildings have outdated HVAC systems that have uneven temperatures.

Set the Optimal Temperature

Office temperatures that are too warm or too cold are among the most common complaints of those in work environments. And, issues related to temperature result in millions of dollars in lost productivity each year. It makes sense to focus on getting it right.
The best solution is often to poll workers to find out what is most comfortable. Once you have a general consensus, you can program the best temperature for the majority of people. For those who feel the temperature is too cold, it may make sense to relocate them closer to a heat vent. Likewise, workers who like it cooler might be more comfortable near an open window or with a desk fan.

Maintenance Is Key

Of course, it’s impossible to regulate temperature effectively if you have an HVAC system that isn’t operating properly. Because your heater and air conditioner are vital to the success of your operations, it’s important that they are properly maintained on a regular basis. Call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating to learn more about our commercial heating and cooling solutions.