Some older offices come with air conditioning systems that have seen extended use and aren’t as efficient as newer models. Those workplaces have to use these devices to cool things down without wasting power or running up the electricity bill.
Manufacturers are reportedly investing in ways to make air conditioners more energy-friendly by a process called “Desiccant-Enhanced Evaporative Air-Conditioning” or DEVAP. In an interview with VOX, author Salvatore Basil described the environmental impact that this could have over time.
“If this is able to come into the marketplace, you’ll be looking at a machine that could cool air for possibly an energy savings of up to 90 percent,” he said. “That is great. This would work in a very low humidity environment.”
In the meantime, many buildings are likely working with more traditional “evaporative coolers.” If you can’t afford to upgrade to a new system just yet, here are some budget-friendly environmental office solutions that will keep employees from overheating:
- Work with your windows: Where are the natural sources of heat and light in your office? Salvatore says that the invention of air conditioning led to more buildings with windows that don’t open but still let in light. Know your building’s window placement and work around it.
- Try an alternate method: The same tricks many people use at home to cool themselves off without AC also lend themselves to an office setting. Try installing smaller electric fans, keeping the fridge stocked with icy beverages or even propping open a door or window if you can.
- Think long-term: WPTZ reports that 78 degrees is the lowest temperature recommended by Energy Star for home cooling. That might not be best for you, but whatever temperature you pick, stay consistent: this will make it easier to plan a budget and figure out average cost.