As summer temperatures continue to climb in Houston, local businesses will have to reconcile energy bills, worker productivity, and customer comfort. There are no one-size-fits-all Houston commercial HVAC settings applicable to every situation, but there are some helpful guidelines that will help you determine the best temperature for your facilities.
Let the People Decide
Compelling arguments exist for setting the thermostat at 72, 76, and even 80 degrees. Cooler temperatures promote greater productivity while very warm temperatures can make employees feel sluggish or even sleepy. At the other end, warmer temperatures require less cooling, which can minimize utility bills and offset productivity losses.
However, a happy medium exists somewhere in the middle, but it is different for every business. The best way to pinpoint your business’s ideal temperature is to call together a staff meeting and talk it out. If a clear majority feel that the air is too warm or too cold, you can adjust the thermostat accordingly. Also consider encouraging employees to dress in layers — if they feel too warm, they can remove some articles of clothing, and vice versa.
Exceptions to This Rule
Not every business can follow these guidelines. For example, Houston healthcare facilities services, grocery stores, and other businesses might require temperatures to be up to 10 degrees cooler to inhibit the spread of bacteria or for other health and safety reasons. Even within these more stringent guidelines, there is some wiggle room. You can utilize a programmable thermostat to save energy at night, or you can install system zoning to cool some spaces more than others.
With an average relative humidity of 78 percent, Houston is one of the most humid cities in the United States. It is true that that moisture helps regulate outdoor temperatures and prevent temperatures from swinging too wildly during the day, but indoor humidity can make workers and customers feel sticky. Humidity levels above 50 percent make the air feel warmer than it actually is.
Dropping the indoor relative humidity by 10 to 20 percent with a properly serviced Houston commercial HVAC system will let you keep temperatures 2 to 3 degrees warmer without impacting occupant comfort. Drier air is also cheaper to cool — you are only cooling the air instead of the air and all of its moisture. If humidity is a constant problem, consider these steps before adjusting the thermostat:
- Have your HVAC system serviced.
- Ensure bathrooms and kitchens are properly ventilated.
- Install a dehumidifier to bring humidity levels down.
Follow these Houston building maintenance services tips, and you will save money while increasing worker morale and productivity. Want to learn about other energy-saving strategies? Contact us at 281-469-2140.