Earth Notes: On Office Comfort and Energy Efficiency

Sweating it out or shivering 9 to 5? Small business and home office tips: get comfortable, save money, cut carbon!
fan

Keep a lid on sweats and chills outside the boardroom...

In winter don't be tempted to turn equipment on just to thaw the office. Using your building's dedicated heating system will be cheaper. It should work better too. Not everyone realises it, but electricity and heat are both forms of energy. Use the right one for the right job!

There are simple things that you can do to save money and keep your cool. Especially in summer, use equipment efficiently and turn off gadgets that you don't need. It will save the pennies and keep you comfortable.

Many of us will have seen passive-aggressive thermostat battles in the office. Someone wants to wear a level of clothing more appropriate for the beach, demands the heat be turned up, and forces the rest to swelter. Or comes in dressed for the Arctic, forcing the rest to shiver while the air-con is cranked to max. Everyone will be much more comfortable with seasonally appropriate clothing and a light hand on the air-con. That's the sort of battle management should resolve. Save money and tempers all round!

Winter

Stop your fingers freezing to the desk...

You know what makes building managers cry? Electric space heaters plugged in under desks. For a start, they might overload circuits only meant for computers. Think of low-power 'UPS' circuits meant to stay running though a power cut. Yes, I've seen it happen. But they are also a fire-hazard and inefficient. Try and find another solution. Maybe as simple as a raised footrest if the floor is cold!

Summer

Some ideas to beat the office heat...