This week has brought some soaring temperatures and we feel the heat most when there are rapid changes in temperature. It’s important that when we reach the office we’re all feeling comfortable.
Some tips for keeping cool in the heat:
Close windows when the AC is on. If it’s warmer outside than the AC setting then opening windows is likely to increase temperatures overall. While there might be a cooling effect from the moving air next to the window, opening windows will counteract the AC and is likely to increase temperatures overall. Open windows and AC are not friends.
Close blinds to avoid direct sunlight entering the building. Direct sunlight into a space will cause increases in temperatures. By lowering blinds, this will reflect some of this heat and reduce any increases. Lowering blinds when out of the office will reduce the ‘thermal momentum’ of a space and help reduce daytime temperatures and the strain on cooling systems. This is particularly true if windows are on an east or west elevations as the sun penetrates further into spaces when the sun is low at the beginning and end of the day.
Open windows overnight if temperatures are likely to drop below 18 degrees. Security is obviously an issue on this one but if it’s possible to leave windows open overnight and temperatures are likely to drop below 18 degrees then this will help break the thermal momentum of the space. Just remember to close the windows again before the AC comes on.
Use a desk fan. While a fan won’t reduce the temperature of the air, the air movement will have a cooling effect. These are particularly effective for people who feel the heat more than others. Mini USB fans are great for these situations.
Open windows and turn off the AC when the outdoor temperature is less than the indoor temperature. This allows hot indoor air to be removed from the space and also introduce air movement which has a cooling effect. With the AC off, the flow of outdoor air is managing the temperature so colleagues will need to have more of a role in managing this as wind speeds and noise etc will dictate how effective this might be.
While it’s important to keep the space around us cool, during hot spells hydration is also key. Our bodies sweat more in hot weather, so it’s really important to restock lost water levels and drink plenty of water. Eating foods with high water content such as strawberries, cucumber, courgette, lettuce, celery and melon can also help you stay hydrated.