So you finally got that commercial HVAC repair your Tampa office has so desperately been needing and the AC is WAYYYY colder than it used to be. You know you can turn the AC down now that it’s finally keeping up but what is the ideal temperature to run it at in a commercial environment?
While everyone in the office will weigh in where the temperature should be set, there are some factors that can help you decide and we’ll go over those a bit to help you make an informed decision on your commercial HVAC thermostats settings.
What’s the point of finding an ideal temperature for your office?
In a commercial environment, productivity is extremely important, and making sure everyone is comfortable plays a big role in the productivity levels of employees. When it comes down to it, if people are uncomfortable productivity comes to a screeching halt or at the very least slows down dramatically.
As a matter of fact, a study from Cornell on the impacts of temperature in the workplace shows a decrease in errors by 44% and an increase in productivity up to 150% when HVAC temperatures were raised from 68 degrees to 77 degrees.
Being uncomfortable in the workplace leads to all kinds of time-wasting behaviors from simple daydreaming, to long lunches away from the office, more (and longer) smoke breaks, etc.
Time wasting aside, uncomfortable temperatures in a commercial office can lead to high tensions, and conflicts with employees in the workplace too since people tend to become irritable from being uncomfortable for a long period of time.
What factors affect the ideal office temperature?
Humidity: In the Tampa area here humidity is by far one of the biggest factors when trying to determine an ideal temperature for your commercial office’s HVAC system. While most HVAC contractors would recommend a temperature somewhere between 71 and 73 degrees in a commercial setting, Cornell shows it can be even higher and still increase productivity at 72-79 degrees.
With OSHA having so much say about everything related to the workplace what do they have to say on the matter? Surprisingly very little. OSHA only recommends clean, well-circulated air with between 20 and 60 percent humidity.
Obviously, temperature is not everything because humidity levels definitely play a role in comfort levels.
Gender: A person’s gender can impact the ideal temperature as well. This can be related to varying BMI depending on the person which plays a role in how a person’s body temperature is regulated.
Occupancy: Prior to covid offices were highly crowded and had many people in and out all day long. This introduced significantly more heat and humidity in the office space and required more ventilation. Now that offices are often not nearly as crowded it may be necessary for adjustments to be made not only to temperature but also ventilation to maintain an ideal office temperature.
The thermostat battle!
Thermostats that are accessible to employees and even the general public at risk of being involved in a thermostat battle. Commercial HVAC systems are constantly being turned up and down by everyone when your business’s thermostat is accessible to anyone.
The best solution for this is to make sure the thermostat is only accessible to certain staff. Beyond that, a proper pre-programmed system can help keep the office at ideal temperatures throughout the various parts of the day.
Some times of day may require higher or lower temperatures, more ventilation, use of de-humidifiers, etc. so having a properly designed system plays a big role in maintaining an ideal office temperature with your commercial HVAC system.
Yes, everything comes back to how well your system is maintained. Even is you set your thermostat to a comfortable 73-75 degrees (somewhere in the middle of recommended settings), if your system is not working properly it will struggle to maintain those ideal settings.
Ventilation becoming stuck, de-humidifiers not working properly, coils freezing, etc. there are so many different issues that can be caused by not properly maintaining your commercial HVAC system and all of them will lead to an uncomfortable feeling no matter where the thermostats are set!
If your commercial HVAC needs repair in the Tampa area or if you’d like to see what a proper HVAC design would be for your business reach out to us for a free consultation!