Air Con in the Office: The Good and the Bad

With our summer being fairly prolonged and enjoyable this year, the chances of offices using their air-con facilities are fairly high. Having a blast of cold air in an otherwise stuffy office can make you feel a whole lot better but have you ever stopped to think of what the effects of using such systems are?

Air-conditioning facilities are enjoyed in many places, from wandering the shops on the high street to being stuck in a traffic jam for what seems like hours – if it’s a little humid and sticky outside, switching the air-con unit on full blast can be extremely tempting. While you may not have control over whether it’s on or not in shops, you do have the ability to say no to it if you work in an office, or better still, if you’re the one that runs the establishment. But why would you say no?

Even with competitively priced business electricity prices from British Gas and other big named providers, air-conditioning can add a substantial cost onto your monthly bills which, in this day and age, can mean the difference between a successful, and a not-so-successful, month. Overheads need to be constantly monitored, especially in some small businesses, which need as much help as they can get to stay afloat. Energy costs are on the rise, so keeping an eye on your consumption can really help to keep costs down. Not only that but you will also be doing something for the environment to, by keeping your carbon footprint under control.

The question is, do we really need air-conditioning in the UK? Can we not just open some windows to let the fresh air circulate, without having to spend a penny? Of course, air conditioning has its strong points but before you reach for the switch, weigh up the pros and cons so that you know exactly what you’re letting yourself, your pocket and the environment in for.

Pros

  • More comfortable when you’re at work, which will likely increase productivity
  • Fabulous during the spring time, because they can help to reduce the level of pollen in the area, which is beneficial for hay fever sufferers
  • Reduced humidity, leading to less of that ‘sticky’ feeling
  • Security advantages (windows and doors being closed means less of a target)
  • Convenience – it’s much easier to cool a room with air-con that in it is to cool it naturally

Cons

  • They can cause respiratory problems if the air filters aren’t cleaned regularly enough. Due to the condensation elements, mould can grow and spores will be released into the office space.
  • Cold air can aggravate muscle and joint pains – not great if you’re already a sufferer
  • If the unit is too cool, it can lead to improper blood circulation.
  • There is a huge effect on the environment, through the release of CFCs.  If you want to be green, the first thing you should consider is cutting out the use of these systems.
  • They are a massive drain on your energy consumption, affecting the price you pay for energy each month.

As the milder weather draws in, chances of needing air-con is slim to none. If you do choose to use it though, make sure you are paying a reasonable price for your energy.

Article written by

work in digital marketing, freelance writer working for various clients.

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