Most modern workplaces have air conditioning these days.
It allows businesses to regulate the temperature for employees, ensuring health and safety standards are met. It also allows office equipment to be cooled when necessary and provides a welcoming atmosphere for visiting customers.
Running the air conditioning can cost businesses hundreds of pounds a year, though.
On an average electricity tariff of 15.41p per unit, the cost of running an air conditioning unit for eight hours a day for 90 days per year can vary from £75 to £326, depending on the size and power you need.
In an office, you may want to run your air conditioning for more than 200 days a year, which would more than double that cost.
As the warm weather of summer beckons, here are a few basic things you could be doing to help reduce that bill:
Keep your office windows and doors closed – it costs more to run a unit and it is less effective if windows are opened, for example.
Set your air conditioning to as high as is comfortable then use a programmable thermostat to increase the temperature when no one is in the office. That could save you up to 10% on your bills.
Try to maintain a consistent temperature. Don’t be tempted to turn the temperature right down when you walk into a room – you may well forget about it and spend more than you need. It also isn’t as effective as maintaining a constant temperature when people are in the office.
Maintain your systems. Ensure filters aren’t blocked – cleaning them once a month could reduce energy consumption by between 5% and 15%. Make sure the evaporator and condenser coils are also clean. Keep trees and shrubs away from outside units.
Turn computers off at night. If your office has large numbers of them, that could be adding to the heat in your workplace.
Close blinds and shades to prevent heat from building up from sunlight. This also protects workers using computer screens from glare.