5 ways to keep your office cool and energy costs down

It’s getting hot in here!

With summer turning up the heat, keeping the office cool and comfortable is essential for maintaining productivity.

Here are our top tips for keeping the office cool, your staff happy and your energy costs down this summer.

1. Keep the heat out

Stopping the heat getting in the first place is much easier and cheaper than trying to cool down a hot building. If you can shade windows do, and do it early.  Investing in good quality external blinds or good quality drapes will save money in the long run. Keep external doors closed where possible and, unless there’s a cool breeze, keep windows closed.

2. Let the cooler air in at night

If you can, try and let the heat out of your office once the sun goes down. Opening windows to let the cooler night air in will naturally cool the office down. And it will stop your office feeling like a sauna first thing in the morning.

3. Turn up your air-con setting

The temptation on a hot day is to turn the air-conditioning setting to ‘arctic’ but try and resist. Most office air conditioning is set to 22.5oC which according, to Sustainability Victoria Chief Executive Officer Stan Krpan, is too cold for loose summer attire. Mr Krpan recommends increasing the temperature by 1.5oC as this will “reduce energy consumption by up to 18% over the summer period while maintaining a good level of comfort in the office”.

4. Turn off unnecessary electronics at the switch

Computers, printers and anything electrical generate a substantial amount of heat. And on a really hot day, this extra heat can make a big difference. So look around your office and ask yourself what you can do without today.  Do you really need all printers and computers turned on? Switch off what you can and again do it early.

5. Look after your staff

It’s hard to be productive in a hot office, so do what you can to make it easier. Relax the dress code and let staff wear clothing that will help keep them cool.  Invest in some decent floor fans that will help to keep the air circulating. Make sure you have plenty of cool water available. And, if possible, let staff work from home. This way they can stay cool at home and avoid a potentially horrendous commute to and from the office.