What are the Benefits of Air Conditioning in the Workplace?

You might not consider air conditioning as a business priority in the UK’s climate. But as our weather becomes increasingly unpredictable, and average temperatures rise, there’s a growing need for greater control of our indoor working environments.

It’s not just an issue of temperature either - buildings are becoming more airtight in line with regulations, raising concerns over adequate ventilation. An air conditioning system can solve both these issues, and bring a host of additional benefits in the process. 

6 Key Benefits of Workplace AC

1. Boosted Productivity

The temperature of a working environment can have a significant effect on output. We’re not just referring to physical labour here, where excessive heat can be highly detrimental (not to mention dangerous), but office spaces too.

A hot, stuffy environment can lead to a lack of concentration, lethargy and irritability, all conducive to low productivity. This is compounded by poor ventilation. Fresh air brings more of the oxygen our brains and bodies need to stay energised - without it, our performance levels suffer.

By installing office air conditioning you create comfortable conditions and ensure a constant supply of fresh air drawn in from outdoors. Staff remain focused and alert, and your business benefits as a result.

2. Improved Air Quality

Filters in AC systems work to purify the air by removing allergens, dust, bacteria and other pollutants. This is especially beneficial for those that suffer from respiratory problems or allergies, and also helps prevent the spread of those workplace coughs and colds.

With airborne viruses an issue of increasing concern, adequate ventilation and air purification are top priorities for many business owners. With air conditioning installed, you look after the health and wellbeing of staff by improving the quality of the air they breathe. And if your premises welcomes customers, you look after their wellbeing too.

3. Year Round Climate Control

When we think of office air conditioning, or indeed AC installed in any setting, we typically think of its cooling properties. However, most modern units are actually air source heat pumps, capable of maintaining optimum workplace temperatures, no matter the weather. 

As well as heating and cooling, AC systems also reduce humidity levels, giving full climate control. Removing excess moisture from the air not only improves working conditions - it helps with property maintenance too, preventing damp, condensation and mould. 

4. Less Noise Pollution (and Increased Security)

In a building without AC installed, throwing open windows and doors is the only solution in the hot summer months. Whilst this might pull in a slight breeze, it can also bring disruption from road traffic and any other external sources of noise pollution. By contrast, air conditioning systems are all but silent, operating unobtrusively. 

They also help mitigate security risks. If those windows and doors are left open by mistake, your property and its contents are left vulnerable. With air conditioning, there’s no need to open them in the first place.

5. Better Energy Efficiency

Improvements in technology and a focus on sustainable performance mean air conditioning systems are more energy efficient than ever before, leading to substantial gains for your business. 

For example, a heat recovery VRF system can recover up to 90% of otherwise wasted heat, redistributing it where needed indoors. What this means is reduced energy consumption, costs and carbon footprint. Of course, it’s important to choose the right air conditioning for your business to ensure maximum benefit in terms of efficiency. 

6. Protection of Critical Equipment

It’s not just staff and customers that benefit from a controlled climate - your business assets do too. Critical equipment used on a daily basis generates a lot of heat and can become damaged or fail if heat and humidity are left unchecked. 

The potential consequences here are costly. It’s not just the repair or replacement of equipment, but also the loss of productivity you need to account for. The right AC system acts as a preventative measure. 

Does a Business Have to Have Air Conditioning?

In short, no. Whilst the law requires that any indoor working environment must be kept at a ‘reasonable’ temperature, it does not specify exact minimum and maximum requirements (although 16℃ is given as guidance for minimum temperature, 13℃ in cases where physical work is being undertaken). The legal requirements for workplace ventilation state that an adequate supply of fresh air must be ensured, but this can be sourced through either natural or mechanical ventilation. 

However, though business owners are not legally obliged to do so, the advantages of having the right air conditioning system installed are many - from improved staff wellbeing and productivity to cost saving efficiencies. With that in mind, air conditioning should be seen as a sensible investment in the future of your business.

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