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(USA Today)   You might be spending a bit too much on your cooling costs when your employees have to come to work wearing gloves just to type or working all day under a blanket   (usatoday.com ) divider line
    More: Stupid, Hawaiian shirts, building manager  
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2753 clicks; posted to Business » on 31 Aug 2014 at 2:40 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-08-31 11:17:35 AM  
If you let men and women should share climate control zones you end up with women installing heaters under their desks or wrapping up in blankets.  Segregated offices are the energy efficient future.
 
2014-08-31 01:56:06 PM  
Quit your whining. Try working on a kitchen line sometime. Temperature swings between 40 and 95 degrees on that line depending if the heating/AC was actually working that day.
 
2014-08-31 02:35:30 PM  
Yeah, I used to have employees working with heating pads on their laps, so they could periodically warm their hands to type.  In Florida.  Facilities never was able to fix it.
 
2014-08-31 02:45:48 PM  
Which is why my business environment is "bikini casual". Why yes, I am a large, hairy dude.
 
2014-08-31 03:00:52 PM  
www.toothpastefordinner.com

/oblig
 
2014-08-31 03:04:18 PM  
Since I work in the industry I always ask the following question to the person that is cold: When everyone else is comfortable and you feel cold - are you sitting directly below a ceiling diffuser?

Modern systems often run on variable volume, and when turned down to minimal volume diffusers will "dump" instead of throwing the air 10'-20' across a room (performance varies on CFM, diffuser type and local tuning). When dumping the person sitting directly below the diffuser gets a very local cold draft. Often the person in the next cube (or sometimes 2'-4' feet away) will not notice the draft.

The other standard item that a lot of people do not realize is that cold air has to be pushed out at 55 degrees Fahrenheit (give or take a touch) in order maintain humidity control. AC units will run to continue to discharge cold air throughout the year (even deep winter) in the core sections of a building. If the discharge air temperature of the AC unit is increased to 65 in an attempt to maintain space temperature and match the cooling load in the building, the humidity will rise and the space will get muggy.

Modern cooling systems have a lot more tricks and control to maintain comfort levels but it is not perfect. I guarantee you if you ask twenty people in an office, 2-3 will be too warm, 1-2 are ok but you could turn down the heat, 10-15 are comfortable, 1-2 are ok but you could turn up the heat and 2-3 will be too cold.

First things I look for:
Diffuser location.
Thermostat location. Badly placed thermostats cause no end to HVAC complaints.
 
2014-08-31 03:29:58 PM  
"There's the building technology side, and then the other side is the realization that buildings are human,"

People are people, corporations are people, and now buildings are people too? Is there anything that isn't people?
 
2014-08-31 03:40:27 PM  

ZAZ: If you let men and women should share climate control zones you end up with women installing heaters under their desks or wrapping up in blankets.


This is my office.  It's summer and some of the ladies in the office cover themselves in blankets because they're right under the vents.  Meanwhile the men think it's comfortable.
 
2014-08-31 03:43:33 PM  

TheSelphie: ZAZ: If you let men and women should share climate control zones you end up with women installing heaters under their desks or wrapping up in blankets.

This is my office.  It's summer and some of the ladies in the office cover themselves in blankets because they're right under the vents.  Meanwhile the men think it's comfortable.


Why don't the facilities people put the men under the vents and the women in the sweaty cubes?
 
2014-08-31 03:45:35 PM  
You've read your limit of free articles for this month.

very story. Every feature. Every insight.
Yours for as low as JUST 99¢!
 
2014-08-31 03:47:32 PM  

Slaxl: People are people, corporations are people, and now buildings are people too? Is there anything that isn't people?


I've heard good things about Soylent Green.
 
2014-08-31 03:48:35 PM  
It's better to be too hot than too cold. If you're too hot you can take clothes off... and go to the park and sunbathe. If it's too cold it's probably raining as well, and it's miserable, so you might as well just kill yourself.

I hate winter. Fark everyone who likes being cold.
 
2014-08-31 03:56:48 PM  
It's just the opposite for me during the summer. I'm a computer tech for a school district. During the summer, our energy nazi has the schools shut down the AC. Sure it saves taxpayers money, but trying to work inside a school that hasn't had AC all summer sucks. Their isn't much worse than tearing down labs of dust filled computers while sweating like a pig.

It's not much better during the schools year either.  They won't let the teachers control their room AC so some rooms are fine, others are muggy.  They don't seem to understand that 25-30 exhaling and sweating bags of fluid can overwhelm the system sometimes.

/Of course our energy nazi's office at HQ is nicely air conditioned.
 
2014-08-31 03:58:59 PM  

Slaxl: It's better to be too hot than too cold. If you're too hot you can take clothes off... and go to the park and sunbathe. If it's too cold it's probably raining as well, and it's miserable, so you might as well just kill yourself.

I hate winter. Fark everyone who likes being cold.


Odd rationalization from a Londoner.

/Winnipegger
//Hates winter after the 4th month
 
2014-08-31 04:13:29 PM  
It's a tradeoff. I freely admit I'm (probably) more productive during cold wx months. OTOH, winter sucks. I'll take doing a good job in the summer trying to stay cool with a fan as close as possible over the alternative.

//work in a plant that makes auto parts. AC is not an option in most places in the building.
 
2014-08-31 04:13:49 PM  

Slaxl: It's better to be too hot than too cold. If you're too hot you can take clothes off... and go to the park and sunbathe. If it's too cold it's probably raining as well, and it's miserable, so you might as well just kill yourself.

I hate winter. Fark everyone who likes being cold.


Amen. And it's even worse if you're in a location that gets a lot of snow.

Because you get to wake up extra early to go out in the miserable cold and dark to dig your car out to go to work. And when you get out of work? It's dark again, still miserably cold and you'll need to dig the new snowfall to get your way back in.

Don't want to dig or decide to escape on vacation? Good luck dealing with the permafrost that forms up.

/why do I live here again?
 
2014-08-31 04:16:01 PM  

Slaxl: I hate winter. Fark everyone who likes being cold.


I love you. Sorta.
 
2014-08-31 04:17:32 PM  

Gunther: Slaxl: People are people, corporations are people, and now buildings are people too? Is there anything that isn't people?

I've heard good things about Soylent Green.


No, no, Soylent Green is people. Soylent Red, on the other hand...
 
2014-08-31 04:18:47 PM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: /why do I live here again?


Doesn't say in your profile where you live, but if you're like me the spring and summer make up for the fu*king fall and winter.
 
2014-08-31 04:21:25 PM  
Axiom: Women are always cold. Men are always hot.

Fix that first and the rest will follow.
 
2014-08-31 04:22:09 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Yeah, I used to have employees working with heating pads on their laps, so they could periodically warm their hands to type.  In Florida.  Facilities never was able to fix it.


They were never able to adjust the thermostat up a few degrees?
 
2014-08-31 04:52:48 PM  

Arkanaut: Benevolent Misanthrope: Yeah, I used to have employees working with heating pads on their laps, so they could periodically warm their hands to type.  In Florida.  Facilities never was able to fix it.

They were never able to adjust the thermostat up a few degrees?


The issue was the baffles in the air system.  The University built the building with a state-of-the-art HVAC system, but never bought the software to control it.  So, any time one of the thermostats needed to up the air in any zone, our zone got it.
 
2014-08-31 04:59:36 PM  

Bonzo_1116: TheSelphie: ZAZ: If you let men and women should share climate control zones you end up with women installing heaters under their desks or wrapping up in blankets.

This is my office.  It's summer and some of the ladies in the office cover themselves in blankets because they're right under the vents.  Meanwhile the men think it's comfortable.

Why don't the facilities people put the men under the vents and the women in the sweaty cubes?


No idea.  The office manager is a dude who basically refuses to change the temp and doesn't think it's a problem.  He's great most of the time but he never listens to the women complaining about the thermostat for some reason.
 
2014-08-31 05:29:46 PM  
"The general guideline (often ignored) is to set the AC at 72 degrees."

Good god, 72? That's pretty cold for AC. Maybe I'm just used to the heat living in TX, but in the summer my AC is set around 78-80. That's a decent temp for just sitting around the house. If I'm doing work around the house I might bump it down to 76/77 in the late afternoon when it gets really hot out.

In the winter I keep the heat around 68 and dress in warm clothes.
 
2014-08-31 05:39:18 PM  

TheSelphie: Bonzo_1116: TheSelphie: ZAZ: If you let men and women should share climate control zones you end up with women installing heaters under their desks or wrapping up in blankets.

This is my office.  It's summer and some of the ladies in the office cover themselves in blankets because they're right under the vents.  Meanwhile the men think it's comfortable.

Why don't the facilities people put the men under the vents and the women in the sweaty cubes?

No idea.  The office manager is a dude who basically refuses to change the temp and doesn't think it's a problem.  He's great most of the time but he never listens to the women complaining about the thermostat for some reason.


I had the same problem once.  I called our maintenance people and they put in some kind of foam that limited the amount of air that would come out of that particular vent.  There are also these things:

www.1800ceiling.com

that can be used to divert the air.
 
2014-08-31 06:02:00 PM  
I live, according to the link I put here, the hottest city in the U.S. if you average it out. Am sitting in my cold A/C right now (wall unit for a one-bedroom place). But at work we can't get it right. Either it's too cold or the A/C company is there trying to fix stuff. Gotta admit, though, it initially feels good walking into the office even if being outside for just a little while.

http://www.theeagle.com/brazos_life/weather_whys/weather-whys-hottes t- u-s-cities/article_f5fcf028-2e1c-11e4-a646-001a4bcf887a.html
 
2014-08-31 06:20:15 PM  
If I can type and process experimental medicines in a near-freezing refrigerated room, I think you guys should be able to handle doing office work at 72F.
 
2014-08-31 06:26:13 PM  
Nowhere does it mention how difficult it is to type with boxing gloves on.
 
2014-08-31 06:28:24 PM  

Whatthefark: It's just the opposite for me during the summer. I'm a computer tech for a school district. During the summer, our energy nazi has the schools shut down the AC. Sure it saves taxpayers money, but trying to work inside a school that hasn't had AC all summer sucks. Their isn't much worse than tearing down labs of dust filled computers while sweating like a pig.

It's not much better during the schools year either.  They won't let the teachers control their room AC so some rooms are fine, others are muggy.  They don't seem to understand that 25-30 exhaling and sweating bags of fluid can overwhelm the system sometimes.

/Of course our energy nazi's office at HQ is nicely air conditioned.


See, I work for a school district at the district office, and it's unbearably hot in our building except January and February.  Granted, this is the middle of Florida we're talking about, but our floor seems to be the only one with this issue.  It seems to stem from the fact that our floor, in addition to IT, also houses Finance, Risk Management, Benefits, and Purchasing.  They insist on keeping it warmer for all of the women that come dressed in thin-layered clothing and revealing attire.  So while they sit in the middle of the building and shiver in their 78-degree cubes, the rest of our programming staff is sweltering in 84+.

My opinion is fark the people who don't like it cold in an office.  Remember, it's a lot easier (and pleasing on the eyes) for you to put clothes on than it is for me to take clothes off.  I should not have a $2000 computer subjected to 80+ temps just because you don't like having cold fingertips.  Suck it up and deal with it.
 
2014-08-31 06:52:39 PM  
I have a huge desk fan that helps. Oklahoma in summer is pretty unbearable. I like it cold though.
 
2014-08-31 07:48:58 PM  
I still get complaints from the ladies in our office, even where the temperature is set to 76 degrees. It doesn't matter if they aren't sitting anywhere near the registers; they don't believe me that the temp is set to that high - even if I use a thermal imager to prove the surface temperatures are at least that high, or even with placement of 0.1 degree sensitivity thermometers.

Meanwhile, in the same offices, most of the men are pitting out their suits.
 
2014-08-31 08:11:44 PM  

John Buck 41: MusicMakeMyHeadPound: /why do I live here again?

Doesn't say in your profile where you live, but if you're like me the spring and summer make up for the fu*king fall and winter.


Albany, NY.  We don't really get a spring, but autumn is orgasmically gorgeous and yeah - the summer is totally worth it.

Winter's a pain though
 
2014-08-31 08:29:21 PM  
Years ago when I was at this one office the lady that ran the facilities dept was a little looney toons and would go around from cubes and offices taking out any heaters, coffee makers or unauthorized electrical devices. Then she would read me the riot act for not reporting these people. I just played dumb because it wasnt my job to care or tell her about a senior partner that had one in their office. Always wished she would get nutty enough to pull it out of a senior partners office.
 
2014-08-31 08:43:06 PM  

ZAZ: If you let men and women should share climate control zones you end up with women installing heaters under their desks or wrapping up in blankets.  Segregated offices are the energy efficient future.


Station the women in the offices with untinted windows and put the guys in the inner core, this way the women are toasty and the guys stay cool
 
2014-08-31 08:49:25 PM  

ReapTheChaos: "The general guideline (often ignored) is to set the AC at 72 degrees."

Good god, 72? That's pretty cold for AC. Maybe I'm just used to the heat living in TX, but in the summer my AC is set around 78-80. That's a decent temp for just sitting around the house. If I'm doing work around the house I might bump it down to 76/77 in the late afternoon when it gets really hot out.

In the winter I keep the heat around 68 and dress in warm clothes.


I keep the house at 68 in the summer

Try to turn the heat of in winter, wife does not like that

Why yes,I do pay a lot in electricity. Most of it is due to the well
 
2014-08-31 08:51:17 PM  

TheSelphie: ZAZ: If you let men and women should share climate control zones you end up with women installing heaters under their desks or wrapping up in blankets.

This is my office.  It's summer and some of the ladies in the office cover themselves in blankets because they're right under the vents.  Meanwhile the men think it's comfortable.


It seems to be psychological in my office.

They're bundled up in blankets in the winter, even though the temperature is always set to 74 year round.
 
2014-08-31 09:46:35 PM  
I wear a thin jacket all year round because it's so cold.

But it's a highrise.  There's lots of windows.  People sitting near windows (where the sun comes in) roast.  Since the AC vents are right near the windows, people sitting near windows where there isn't sun freeze.  People sitting too far from the registers are too warm.

Etc.

Surely we could figure out a way to design an office building to cool/warm it more cohesively and then people who like it warmer can dress heavier and people who like it cooler can just dress lighter.
 
2014-08-31 10:00:49 PM  
If it's over 78 in my office I'm going to be sweating.  If that's what you want to sit near, fine, but I don't want to sit near me when I'm sweating like that.  I doubt anyone else does.

So, yeah, I don't have to deal with a warm office much.
 
2014-08-31 10:07:05 PM  
CSB
In 2005 I went through manager training for my then employer. It was an office in a store that had just had a wall put up. It was also where they decided would be smart to install 5 workstations. Right under the climate controls for the room. With CRT monitors. The room was a constant 51 degrees. In the summer. So we come in wearing short sleeves, hauling several layers over our arms because we needed the damn things to not suffer hypothermia.
 
2014-08-31 10:07:52 PM  

ArkAngel: Quit your whining. Try working on a kitchen line sometime. Temperature swings between 40 and 95 degrees on that line depending if the heating/AC was actually working that day.


95? I take it you weren't the grill chef. 120 baby.
 
2014-08-31 10:33:30 PM  
Well yeah if I wore a skirt, sandals and a short sleeve blouse to work I might think 75 degrees is "freezing" too.
 
2014-08-31 10:37:31 PM  
dilbert.com

dilbert.com
 
2014-08-31 10:41:26 PM  
dilbert.com

dilbert.com
 
2014-08-31 10:49:02 PM  
I work on a multi-building company "campus".  It consists of 2 six floor buildings, 2 three floor buildings and a central area that has two floors of conference rooms, the main reception area and offices for visiting executives.

I work in one of the three story buildings, on the ground floor.  The ground floor consists of a large conference/meeting room, the production room and studio for the company's audio/video team, the office for the video team (four people), my 40'x40' office (usually occupied by 3-5 people) and the lobby.  The rest of the building is empty.  The environmental controls are set as if the building were fully occupied and a meeting was going on in the big conference center.

In my office, 40% find the temperature comfortable.  Of the remaining 60%, two of us go outside every hour to warm up.  I tend to get odd looks in the company cafe for my general work attire - a long sleeved dress shirt over a cotton knit turtleneck, paired with heavy denim pants.  In August.  In Texas.
 
2014-08-31 10:53:41 PM  
Maybe 63 - the temperature in Ledbetter's office

63?  That ain't right.  I love to crank the AC in summer, but right now mine is set at 72.  I think it's more that I want cool air blowing on me than just having it be cooler inside.  I bought a fan, but that farking thing is loud and even at the low setting it blows too hard in too small of an area.

I also hate having to cool the whole farking house when I spend 90% of my time in one room.  And the room is upstairs so the downstairs gets really chilly sometimes.  One of my neighbors bought a window unit despite having central air just like I do.  I'm not sure if they're crazy or really smart.

Would the cost of a window AC offset the energy savings of cooling the whole house as opposed to cooling one room?  I have no idea.  I'm not even sure there would be much energy saving in doing that.

It doesn't matter.  in a few months, I'll be biatching about how cold it is.
 
2014-08-31 11:01:31 PM  
Don't let the chicks in the office have any access to the HVAC controls or it will be farking havoc in the workplace.

There should be a UN Resolution regarding this.
 
2014-08-31 11:10:26 PM  

gfid: Maybe 63 - the temperature in Ledbetter's office

63?  That ain't right.  I love to crank the AC in summer, but right now mine is set at 72.  I think it's more that I want cool air blowing on me than just having it be cooler inside.  I bought a fan, but that farking thing is loud and even at the low setting it blows too hard in too small of an area.

I also hate having to cool the whole farking house when I spend 90% of my time in one room.  And the room is upstairs so the downstairs gets really chilly sometimes.  One of my neighbors bought a window unit despite having central air just like I do.  I'm not sure if they're crazy or really smart.

Would the cost of a window AC offset the energy savings of cooling the whole house as opposed to cooling one room?  I have no idea.  I'm not even sure there would be much energy saving in doing that.

It doesn't matter.  in a few months, I'll be biatching about how cold it is.


We looked at this because the house we just bought has the attic remodeled into a master bedroom. So the existing AC unit is probably undersized at this point.

Anyhow window units can be really energy efficient, and if they keep your main unit from running an extra 2 or 3 hours a day they pay for themselves in a month or two.
 
2014-08-31 11:14:42 PM  

baorao: gfid: Maybe 63 - the temperature in Ledbetter's office

63?  That ain't right.  I love to crank the AC in summer, but right now mine is set at 72.  I think it's more that I want cool air blowing on me than just having it be cooler inside.  I bought a fan, but that farking thing is loud and even at the low setting it blows too hard in too small of an area.

I also hate having to cool the whole farking house when I spend 90% of my time in one room.  And the room is upstairs so the downstairs gets really chilly sometimes.  One of my neighbors bought a window unit despite having central air just like I do.  I'm not sure if they're crazy or really smart.

Would the cost of a window AC offset the energy savings of cooling the whole house as opposed to cooling one room?  I have no idea.  I'm not even sure there would be much energy saving in doing that.

It doesn't matter.  in a few months, I'll be biatching about how cold it is.

We looked at this because the house we just bought has the attic remodeled into a master bedroom. So the existing AC unit is probably undersized at this point.

Anyhow window units can be really energy efficient, and if they keep your main unit from running an extra 2 or 3 hours a day they pay for themselves in a month or two.


In our case this was spending about $120 for a unit capable of cooling 350 Sq ft. YMMV.
 
2014-09-01 12:20:28 AM  
The 5000 btu ones commonly sold are usually around 500 watts or less, so they use a kilowatt  hour every two hours. Around my area, that is 4 cents an hour. Pretty reasonable.
 
2014-09-01 12:42:51 AM  
As someone currently working swaddled in a scarf/shawl, I'm getting a kick.

It seems to be the easist way of dealing with the AC wars. Plus, it's kind of nice to have something soft to wrap yourself up in. I totally understand why some little kids get so attached to their blankets.

/// Yes, I'm 39 and have a binky. Get over it.
 
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