Published on November 8th, 2012 | by Guest Contributor1
Finding the Right Climate Balance at Work
Any business owner wants to keep their overheads low, and with energy costs being so much of an enterprise’s budget these days, keeping the electricity bills down surely must be a priority. Simple measures such as timed or motion-controlled lighting and low-energy bulbs will help you along your way, but can only get you so far. By a long way, the major part of energy expenditure will come from heating your premises – and this really is something that no business can go without.
Heating as a matter of human comfort
Although health and safety legislation primarily covers the permissible maximum temperatures – mainly aimed at manufacturing or processing facilities – there are clear guidelines laid down concerning minimum temperatures at work. A work space should not be less than 16°C, or 13°C where much physical labour is carried out. Properly heated offices are a must, from a staff welfare point of view alone. Cold employees are miserable, less productive and prone to sickness – nobody likes to spend the day shivering.
Heating efficiently as a matter of environmental responsibility
So a responsible management will take staff needs into account while trying to keep bills down, but responsible management also wishes to minimise something else – their business’s impact on the environment. Here, a truly energy-efficient approach reaps a triple award: workplace temperatures remain sufficiently cosy, energy costs are kept low and the enterprise’s carbon footprint is also kept as small as possible.
The problems with office heating infrastructure
If your workplace is in an older building, or temporary accommodation, then it is likely that there will be no heating system at all, or an antiquated system, full of rumbles and groans, that makes a lousy job of heating your environment while running up massive bills and causing the release of untold amounts of carbon dioxide. If you have the spare cash, then fitting an all-singing, all-dancing state-of-the-art heating system – complete with smart meters, ground source air pumps and underfloor heating – is the most energy-efficient option, but way out of the budgetary range of most SMEs. Fortunately, there are other choices.
Flexible heating solutions
Many offices do not require heating all the year round, or in every room. In such cases, installing or upgrading a complete heating infrastructure is simply not cost effective, or especially environmentally friendly. A good heater hire company will work with the client to provide modern, energy-efficient heating units only for those areas that need to be kept warm. These units also have the advantage of only needing to be hired when temperatures require it, thus preventing unnecessary energy usage – and associated costs – at unsuitable times of the year.
Conversely, offices should rely on good ventilation rather than air conditioning to keep things cool when the weather is hot. Aircon is a massive energy drain and most definitely an environmental no-no.