It’s getting HOT in here
But keep all your clothes on Nelly!
Well, I hope your commercial interior design & fitout has survived summer. Given it’s now autumn, I’m looking forward to things cooling down and my bike seat not scalding my backside. And given I’m out and about trawling our hip and happening commercial interior design & fitout projects, a cool breeze would be a very welcome change…when you’re ready send it my way, thanks.
Seriously though, Perth can be very warm yet somehow I think we have adapted to the intense heat better than others. Perhaps it’s our approach to commercial interior design & fitout that is more attuned to providing an interior space that will support us through the seasonal months.
So, how does your commercial interior work for you when it’s really hot? Does your air conditioning work well? You may think this is a silly question but it’s astounding how many clients we take briefs from who mention there are problems with their air conditioning. With this in mind, I thought it might come in handy to talk generally about AC in general and how we might be able to make you more comfortable. And in particular, share some of the most common complaints that we hear and the best ways possible to annihilate them.
My commercial interior design & fitout is hot and cold – what’s going on?
Well, there could be a few factors creating this. My first sound piece of advice is that humans can run at different temperatures and you need to understand that you won’t be able to please everyone, every day. My second words of wisdom are to find out if those who are suffering the temperature extremes are actually fiddling with the thermostats in order to be more comfortable. If they are, they need to stop, because this can create more problems than expected.
You need to ensure that the AC system is properly balanced with sufficient cooling, fresh air and extraction. An AC technician or contractor needs to do this, because you can’t.
I know it’s an extra cost but it’s money well spent, especially when you consider that an uncomfortable working environment will cost you much more at the end of the day.
Also, take the time to check where the temperature extremes may be occurring. If it is close to a window, you might need to install light filter blinds. And if it’s in a room with a lot of people, you may have to install a supplementary unit to cope with the load – or plan your work space to be more functional.
We don’t want to waste money on air conditioning our commercial interior design & fitout
Okay…but you still want to be comfortable, right? And are you considering EVERYONE who could be affected by this? The right temperature for a commercial interior should be between 21-24 degrees. This takes into consideration the optimal running temperature for a working environment. An important thing to bear in mind is that running your air conditioning not only provides cooling and heating, it also provides the required intake of fresh air. If you turn off the AC because you feel comfortable and think it’s saving money to do so, you instantly alter the interior temperature and stop fresh air entering the space.
Your commercial interior design & fitout needs balanced air conditioning to function properly.
I kind of like fresh air myself. I also don’t like waiting for a space to cool down once the AC is turned on again because I’m now hot. And I don’t see the point in having a hot and suffocating interior because you think you should be thrifty! Leave your AC running with the correct settings and then everyone should be happy. And keep in mind it is a total myth that you are saving dollars by turning the AC on and off throughout the day. It actually costs more because the units need to start from scratch each time they are turned on, no matter what the temperature is.
Each time we have a meeting, we melt!
Well, the room you are holding the meeting within, no matter how large or small it may be, is not adequately air conditioned to cope with an influx of people. It might work great when there are four to six people in the space but add any more than that and little beads of sweat start appearing on your top lip.
What you need is a supplementary system that can provide additional support to your existing AC system. These can come in the form of a stand-alone split system or they can also be integrated within the existing plant. Whoever maintains your air conditioning should be able to advise the best solution for you. Alternatively, your building or facilities manager may also be a font-of-knowledge in this area, having dealt with various AC issues within their building.
And keep in mind there is a reason you should consult a design and fitout professional when it comes to creating a new commercial interior design & fitout for your business. They understand and will advise accordingly so that your new interior is a comfortable, conditioned space.
So, enough of the complaining! Let’s turn down the heat, get comfy and get our brains around some simple AC do’s and don’ts that could come in handy next time you have to consider your own commercial interior design & fitout.
To Do or not to Do!
Do 1 – Do improve your commercial interior insulation. Your building can leak warm or cool air in many ways and the best way to stop this and give your air conditioner a fighting chance to regulate temperatures, is to improve insulation in your walls and ceilings.
Do 2 – Schedule the thermostat. Every building has a routine, with people coming and going at particular times. For this reason you can make savings by setting your thermostat to reflect when people will be around. Schedule your AC to turn on when people are generally arriving and to turn off when they leave.
Do 3 – Have your system serviced regularly. Though it can seem like an additional expense, you will save money in the long run by having maintenance carried out regularly. A thorough check can also improve the efficiency of your unit, which will ultimately lower your bills.
Don’t, don’t, just don’t!
Don’t 1 – Leave windows and doors open. If you’re heating or cooling your room then you need to allow the system to do its job. Any outside influence on the core room temperature could see the system over compensating or, worse still, not have any kind of impact at all. This wastes money and makes trying to achieve thermal comfort via air conditioning a futile effort.
Don’t 2 – Assume your existing system is going to suit any commercial interior changes you make. It is commonly thought that if you have a ceiling vent within a room that the room will be comfortably air conditioned. Odds are it won’t be. Depending on the type of AC system you have, you may not have fresh air entering the space and the single outlet may not be adequate. If you make changes to walls within your commercial interior space, you should have a professional review the operation of your existing air conditioning system, make any adjustments required and carry out a full air balance to ensure optimal operation.
Don’t 3 – Use outdated equipment. As with anything in life, if you’re using old or damaged equipment, you can’t expect the best results. At best you’ll be spending more money to run an inefficient unit – if it even works at all. You’re also more likely to experience periodic breakdowns which will be more expensive than updating your system.
So, even though I finish on a don’t, I hope that the information in today’s blog helps in some way. You may even like to read more about AC and your interior on our website by clicking here. Being cool as I am doesn’t necessarily mean I want to be cold in the middle of winter – if you get what I mean. AC is one of those hidden costs that hit every commercial interior. And like me, you can’t live without it.