Heatwaves are washing over several places across the world this year. In Northwest US and Western Canada, temperatures reached as high as 116 Fahrenheit. While those kinds of temperatures have not been seen closer to home in the UK and in Europe so far this year, heatwaves may be more common in the future, according to climate experts.
The urge to blast aircon all day long is understandable in such hot seasons. However, with power prices on the rise for small- to medium enterprises on the rise this year, a reliance on artificial cooling can be expensive.
We have some ideas on ways you can keep your office nice and cool for your workforce without breaking the bank. Implementing all or a combination of these practices can help you save on business energy expenses.
Block out direct sunshine when possible
There is no doubt that sunshine brings out our cheeriests moods. It also delivers sometimes unbearable heat, especially when its rays are aimed directly at large windows in our office spaces.
While you may not want to completely block sunlight from peering into the workspace, blocking out the sun strategically can keep the office cooler. If you have curtains or shades over your windows, pull them down when the windows are subject to direct and intense sunlight. The heat generated from through the glass can heat up a room rather quickly. Keep opposite windows bare to let in indirect sunlight.
If drapes are not an option, you could invest in reflective window film. Placing these over your windows will keep your indoor spaces cool because sunlight bounces off the film and away from you. What’s more, you won’t need to completely obstruct any stunning views your office space may have with shades or curtains.
Having said this, a pleasant and truly green alternative to shades and curtains are plants. Some plants such as cacti, aloe, succulents, and others that do not require much water can simultaneously block sunlight and suck in moisture from the air.
Build up a network of fans
Ceiling and desk fans are time-tested alternatives to energy-consuming air conditioning units. While traditional fans do not create the artificial coolness like aircons do, a strategic placement of a few fans can generate a comfortable breeze and remove hot air.
If workstations in your office have power outlets, encourage employees to place small desk fans near them. The small breeze with help to push away evaporated perspiration.
Bigger, taller standing fans should be placed in doorways and facing near windows to pull in cool air and push away hot air. The generated crossbreeze is soothing too. A neat trick to try is to place iced or frozen beverages in front of fans. The coldness emanating from the drink will be ever so lightly distributed around the office.
If you have ceiling fans on site, make sure that they are running counterclockwise. This direction of movement pulls hot air upwards off the ground and towards the ceiling.
However you devise your network of fans, adding in a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air will all the more improve the air freshness of your office space.
All systems do not be need to be go
Your workspace is certain to have several assets and gizmos running at any one time, be they computers, servers, and other electronics, to kitchen and heating and cooling appliances. If this is the case for you, the first thing you should do is to space out the bootup of these assets. Starting everything up at one time is costly as it pulls more power than necessary from the grid.
Now, when thinking about keeping your workspace cool and comfortable, it is ideal to leave infrequently used assets shut off. While it is true that machines and devices today run far more efficiently than in times previous, they still give off some heat. Leaving some things off means less heat is being added to the already stifling conditions which you are battling to cool down.
Consider turning off unnatural light if your office is illuminated thanks to natural lighting from the outside. Even the most energy efficient light bulbs give off some heat, not to mention you are wasting money lighting up your already lit spaces.
Unplug or completely shut off all computers and other electronic devices that are not in current use. In terms of energy savings, this should be done overnight or during closing hours anyway. Leaving laptops to charge overnight is a waste of energy.
Running kitchen appliances contribute to the total heat of a space too. Appliances such as dishwashers can be used at the end of the day. Throughout the day, encourage employees to wash dishes by hand.
How cool and hot beverages help us beat the heat
This last set of tips does not apply directly to business energy consumption, but we felt it is worth mentioning nonetheless.
The simple answer to staying cool and hydrated during hot summer days is to drink water – constantly! Our bodies need to stay adequately hydrated to regulate our temperatures. Without proper hydration, our bodies cannot produce sweat, our natural cooling system.
You can encourage your workforce to stay hydrated by providing both drinking water sources and vessels. Give employees reusable water bottles emblazoned with your company logo or colours for them to imbibe delicious filtered water. This will cut out plastic bottle use for water altogether. Employees will then need a source for their H20. You can consider installing filters on tap water faucets, or place actual water coolers around the office so your employees can also enjoy informal conversations around them.
Hot morning beverages are staples in a workplace. A hot cup of joe is a necessity in the mornings – even on hot summer mornings. Believe it or not, you can keep your workforce caffeinated and cooled during the hot summer days with hot beverages.
Drinking something hot initiates our bodies’ cooling mechanism — the aforementioned sweat. Your body temperature will rise initially before you start to sweat, cooling you down. It is important to note that you should be in a dry environment for this to work properly. Sweat needs to be able to evaporate off your skin in order to effectively cool you down.
If you have coffee connoisseurs in your office, consider purchasing coffee makers for your kitchens. You do not need to install large and expensive coffee machines seen in restaurants or cafes, nor do you need to hire full-time baristas. Pod-based coffee machines are easy to use and maintain. The coffee pods used to make coffees in these machines are recyclable. These pods can be recycled or returned to their respective outlets and redeemed for additional coffee purchases.
For your tea enthusiasts, an option like cold peppermint tea is great to have on stock. The natural menthol in the tea stimulates cold receptors on the body.
Cool off your next business energy contract with Business Energy Quotes
The above tips should help you save money on your current business energy contract and, at the same time, keep your workforce cooled and refreshed.
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