In the UK, we love nothing more than talking about the weather, as it is inevitably coupled with a chance of showers and a chill in the air, whatever the season might be. It is for this reason that air conditioning has not been considered essential in many British homes and businesses until now, as we tend to be more concerned with our heating systems instead.
However, in recent times, the benefits of having air conditioning are starting to be understood, and demand is now understandably soaring.
The COVID-19 pandemic has played in big part in how we think about the air that is around us, and the use of air conditioning as not just an office coolant but also an air filtration system has been realised. It has led many businesses to think about how they look after the air in their spaces, particularly when there are a lot of people in the area, and air conditioning is seeming to be the answer.
Summer air conditioning
We all know that global warming is taking effect, and one of the most noticeable ways that we can see this is the soaring temperatures in the usually disappointing British summertime. There are now regular reports of new highs being reached each year, with temperatures often peaking around the 30-degree Celsius mark. Even when the clouds gather, the temperatures are now stuffy and substantial, making it very difficult to work comfortably during the day.
We are all used to pressing the air conditioning button in our cars, and yet we often still don’t believe that it is necessary in businesses and offices where lots of people are crammed together, often for hours on end.
Currently, only 0.5% of homes in the UK have air conditioning units installed whilst radiators remain standard, and it is believed that employee productivity can fall by as much as 3.6% for every degree over 22-degrees Celsius that the temperature reaches.
That is why businesses are now seeing the very real benefits, and even before the pandemic, the number of air conditioning units being installed was on the rise.
COVID-19 and air conditioning
We have all known that coughs and colds are transmitted through particles in the air, but most of us have been prepared to ignore this and carry on, until the COVID-19 pandemic took its grip on the world. That was when more businesses started to think seriously about how many viruses, and not just COVID, were transmitted through the air, and what their responsibility was to make sure that employees, customers and visitors were breathing in good quality air.
Due to the way that most HVAC systems work, they not only help to cool the air, but to improve the quality of it as well. By removing and filtering the air in the room, they are helping to not only make it more comfortable, but healthier too, and the benefits of this for an employer are obvious.
Not only can they reduce illnesses and therefore sick time amongst the staff, they are also better placed to entice employees back from remote working by offering a safer and cleaner working environment. This has meant that many air conditioning suppliers have now seen a surge in demand from employers wanting to ensure the safety of their staff and their visitors.
The benefits of air conditioning
Heavy air temperatures are bound to have an effect on employees, whether they are active or sat behind a desk. The warmth can make them lethargic, and it has been found to have an impact on inspiration, stress levels and creativity. Opening a window usually only lets in more warm air, not to mention pollen and pollution, whilst fans simply serve to circulate the warm air that is already in the room and causes people to need to weigh down every piece of paper in the vicinity.
Air conditioning doesn’t just reduce the temperature, it can reduce the humidity as well, which can be one of the biggest things to really weigh heavily on people’s moods and cognitive function. It can also lead to damp conditions, which in turn can create mould and dust mites.
An air conditioning system is the ideal way to help control temperatures in any workspace and make them much more comfortable to work in. The temperature can be set according to the needs of the business and in the winter, it can still help to maintain a good working atmosphere.
Office air conditioning is a great tool in the battle to improve air quality, filtering not just germs and viruses but pollen, dust and pollution as well. In addition to this, it can also help to deal with odours and fumes from dirty air of cleaning chemicals.
It means staff and customers are breathing in good, clean air that helps to protect them and keep them productive. This can be beneficial for asthma sufferers and those with hayfever as well as the general health of anyone in the workspace.
Air conditioning has also been found to reduce the invasion of insects such as mosquitoes, ants and flies. Not only is this due to the fact that you can now keep the windows shut, but also because you are creating less of the warm and damp atmospheres that they tend to seek out.
It is worth remembering that if you want your air conditioning unit to continue to provide these benefits, it will need regular servicing and maintenance in order to keep its efficiency in all areas. Whilst they will require more energy to run, this is likely to be offset by the increase in productivity by those who are benefitting from it the most.
There have been massive surges in the demand for air conditioning installation in recent years, and it is easy to see why. They offer some practical benefits, especially in busy spaces, and can give employers peace of mind that they are doing all they can to protect their staff and give them a comfortable and productive working atmosphere.