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How To Keep Your Workplace Cool

The options for cooling in the workplace.

The UK may be renowned for its weather (albeit for all the wrong reasons!) but for those few precious weeks when the sun beats down and the mercury rises, there’s no denying it’s a wonderful place to be – unless you’re at work of course!

The reality is that very few UK workplaces are equipped to deal with scorching summer temperatures because installing full air conditioning systems is cost prohibitive for many organisations that only require it for a short period. Plus, although they have improved greatly in recent years, air conditioning systems can be expensive to run, especially when you consider that many commercial systems operate even when there’s nobody in the room.

However, there are plenty of products available to keep buildings and employees cool without causing those in charge of the purse strings to break a sweat.

Portable fans are the quickest, easiest and cheapest way of creating a welcome breeze in a particular area. They come in all shapes and sizes and most offer oscillating features and various speed settings.

If the thought of paperwork blowing all over makes you hot under the collar then mobile air conditioning units and air coolers are both good options. These can be wheeled out as and when required and stored away again during the cooler months.

Air conditioning units work by filtering hot air through a frozen coil and they remove humidity from the air, which immediately makes a room feel less sticky and more comfortable. Most of these require a ventilation point, via a hose leading out of the room, which allows the heat to escape. The key figure to look for when buying a portable air conditioning unit is its British Thermal Unit (BTU), which indicates how powerful the machine is.

Air coolers work by blowing hot air over cold, evaporating water. Generally, the bigger the water tank, the longer the machine can run for and most also come with an airflow rating which indicates how much air it can process per hour. These products are generally better for the environment than air conditioning units, because they don’t use refrigerants. The fact they don’t require a hose also means they can be positioned anywhere. However, they generally work best in well ventilated areas because they can increase humidity levels.

In areas and rooms where humidity is a big problem, a dehumidifier can make it more comfortable, without alternating the temperature. Most of these come with a maximum extraction figure, which indicates how many litres of water a day the machine is capable of removing from the atmosphere.

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