What is the best office heating temperature?
According to OSHA, an office’s heating temperature should be between 68 and 76 degrees. This range eliminates most comfort and health problems from being too hot or cold. However, it’s a recommendation rather than a regulation. There’s no hard-and-fast rule.
Office heating temperatures have become a hotly debated topic over the last few years.
Ultimately, everyone is affected when it’s unreasonably hot or cold in the office.
Finding the Right Temperature For Your Office
We can’t promise a perfect solution, let alone in a single blog post. Part of the problem is that various people in your office will prefer the climate to be different than what others want.
But, we can help you understand why this particular temperature range is ideal. And, we can offer some ways to help regulate it so more people feel comfortable and remain healthy in your office.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions or want to use your HVAC system to make people feel more comfortable, give Bovio a call.
We’ve worked with commercial clients in Cherry Hill, Sicklerville, and many other towns in South Jersey.
Why is 68 to 76 degrees an ideal office temperature?
Keeping the office heating temperature between 68 and 76 degrees keeps the climate in a range where people are comfortable, healthy, and productive.
First, there are problems when the office is too hot. The excess humidity that often comes with a warmer temperature can trigger asthma symptoms and other respiratory problems.
Meanwhile, it’s easier to for mold and other organisms to cultivate when it’s warmer.
On the other end of the spectrum, people experience physical reactions that impact their productivity when it’s too cold.
Your muscles tense up when you’re cold. It’s even more severe when your body gets a shock going from warm temperatures outside into an unusually cold office.
When this happens, it’s literally harder to work.
Productivity When It’s Too Cold
A Cornell University study found that employees in an office at 68 degrees type at their keyboards 54 percent of the time. And, they had a 25-percent error rate.
At 77 degrees, however, they could type 100 percent of the time with only a ten percent error rate.
Financially speaking, the study concluded that keeping an office comfortably warm can save employees $2 per worker per hour in productivity.
And, of course, this is all before considering the psychological impacts: Uncomfortable People won’t be as productive, or happy.
That means they’re less friendly, which means less teamwork.
A Group Effort
With all this in mind, ensuring the temperature stays within this range is an essential first step toward keeping employees happy and healthy while increasing productivity.
We’ll get into some ways to keep the temperature under control in a moment.
Next, take the temperature, so to speak, of your employees. Do more people prefer things on the colder or warmer side?
It may not be possible to satisfy everyone. But, at the least, getting people involved in the decision-making process can make your employees feel confident that their opinions matter.
What are the best ways to control office heating temperatures?
Three excellent HVAC tools to control the office heating temperature in an office are:
- Energy Audit
- Smart Thermostats
- Ductless Heating and Cooling
These involve different costs and levels of commitment. So, we’ll start with the least expensive and easiest to implement. Then, we’ll work our way up.
An energy audit identifies places and ways in which thermal energy (heat) escapes from your building. Think drafts, cold spots, and other heating and cooling problems.
When you’re trying to control the temperature in your office, you want to eliminate these problems. Otherwise, you’ll have trouble regulating the climate.
With an energy audit, an HVAC professional uses sophisticated tools and calculations to identify the exact points where heat is escaping from the building.
It takes a few hours. And, at the end of it, you’ll get a full report with a checklist of things you can do to improve your energy usage.
Using smart thermostats won’t make your office warmer or colder on their own. But, they’ll help you regulate the climate much better.
These newer devices are much more accurate than older models. That helps keep things in check.
And, there are more ways to monitor the temperature. You can check in on thermostat readings from just about anywhere on a tablet, laptop or smart device.
You can also make changes no matter where you are using an app. This way, you can keep tabs on whether anyone’s fiddling with the settings when they shouldn’t be — and you can fix it.
You’ll also get alerts if the temperature suddenly changes drastically. Usually, that’s because there’s a problem somewhere.
The faster you can get address it, the more comfortable you can keep your office.
Ductless Heating and Cooling
Ductless heating and cooling is a big investment. But, if you’re due to replace an aging HVAC system, it’s absolutely worth considering.
First off, it’s more energy efficient than forced-air systems. The heat pumps use much less energy to provide warmth or air conditioning. And, there’s virtually no leakage, unlike with ductwork.
But in terms of an office, you have the advantage of separate air handlers throughout the space. Each one has a thermostat on it. And, they all work independently of each other.
Now, you can change the temperature for one part of the office if those workers prefer their environment warmer or colder than their colleagues.
And, in big buildings, you can finally get even temperatures throughout a floor.
If you’re in a large building, especially one with a lot of windows, the side with the sun shining on it will be significantly warmer than other areas.
With individual thermostats, you can even out that difference.
You’ll read elsewhere about ways people stay warm at work: Brining in sweaters and blankets, or using heated mouse pads and chairs.
But, if you want to fix the temperature overall, you need to start with your HVAC system. If you’re unsure of where to start or what to do, give Bovio a call. We’re happy to put our decades of experience with commercial spaces to use, helping you make your office as comfortable as possible.