Summer often hurts productivity for businesses—employees take summer vacations and may be less motivated. But, there is another challenge that you may not have considered: the stress on your building HVAC system. And with more hot weather ahead of us, it’s important to keep your system running effectively.
To be fair to facility managers, it is difficult to ensure the right temperature when it’s hot outside. It’s a delicate balance between keeping employees comfortable, controlling costs, and keeping your HVAC system in good shape.
At Reitmeier, we help our customers with this balancing act. In turn, this helps productivity and comfort for the people in your building.
Learn more about how your building’s temperature affects your employees’ productivity and comfort, and what you can do to control your building’s temperature in the hotter weather.
Higher temperatures = problems for business
Temperature isn’t always an obvious tie to the success of your business, but the data shows how strong the connection truly is. According to a CareerBuilder survey of 4,285 full-time U.S. workers, 22 percent reported that a too-hot workplace made it difficult to concentrate at work, and 11 percent claimed the same result for too-cold workplaces.
The survey also found that 27 percent of workers described their workplace as too hot, 19 percent said it is too cold, and 54 percent said it is just right. Considering an average commercial building capacity, these percentages translate to a lot of people throughout the U.S. who claim that temperature is affecting their quality of work—and life.
Beyond the discomfort that a too-hot or too-cold building can bring, it can also pose a real detriment to office productivity. According to a study from Helsinki University of Technology, workplace performance increases when temperatures sit from 69.8 degrees to 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit. While these temperatures are quite precise, the bigger point stands: temperature is your friend when it comes to a successful, thriving environment within your building.
Creating ideal comfort in your building
Temperatures are still warm in the Pacific Northwest. For many, this means continued stress on our HVAC systems, increased energy consumption, and a subsequently higher cooling bill. It’s difficult to make it through the warm season without wasting unnecessary energy or money.
So, knowing the research that links temperature and productivity, what’s a facility manager to do? Fortunately, the Reitmeier team is equipped with tips and tricks to help your building deal with warm weather stress—and to keep your HVAC system running at efficient and effective capacities so your employees can thrive.
Here are a few ways to keep people comfortable and at optimal temperatures by maintaining your HVAC system:
Clean indoor and outdoor coils
Did you know that a dirty coil reduces your HVAC system’s ability to cool your building, which causes the system to run longer? Not only does this impact comfort and productivity as we previously discussed, but it can also increase your energy costs and shorten the life of your equipment.
Pay close attention to ducts
Your ducts are a significant contributor to your overall energy consumption, so monitoring them is key. Make sure your ducts are cleaned and maintained regularly to prevent unnecessary energy waste. The most common duct problems include:
- Leaky, torn, and disconnected ducts
- Poorly sealed registers and grills
- Leaks at furnace and filter slot
- Kinks in flexible ductwork restricting air flow
Encourage employees to use the thermostat responsibly
While we’ve talked about the importance of temperature in relation to productivity, it’s also important to encourage responsible use of the thermostat. For example, it can be tempting to turn the thermostat down even further when walking in from the hot outdoors, but setting the air conditioner to a colder-than-desired temperature doesn’t cool down the space any more quickly—it only keeps the unit working longer than necessary. Encourage your employees to resist this urge, and to only set the thermostat to the desired temperature.
We can help you beat the heat