Saving energy in the office – at the perfect temperature
In an era of rising energy costs, growing awareness of climate protection and conservation of resources, energy management is becoming an increasingly important theme for companies. In this context, heating and air conditioning certainly rank amongst the main cost drivers, alongside electricity for office equipment and lighting. Yet the potential for savings is enormous.
Small and medium-sized companies frequently baulk at the costs of the investments needed here, especially if it means structural changes to premises that are not purpose-built. However, it is often possible to cut energy consumption with minimum resources. According to the German Energy Agency (dena) you can save energy significantly just by setting the ventilation, heating or cooling level to suit the actual requirement.
Saving energy: determining the correct room temperature
Everyone has their own personal perception of cold and heat. So men are often too hot in the office, while women sit at their computers and freeze. The upshot of this is that people are constantly turning the heating up and down or opening the windows. Neither of these is remotely conducive to efficient energy management. The fact is that every time a room is heated up, more energy is used. A temperature somewhere in the middle, at which as many people as possible can work comfortably, is a good compromise for a start. In offices this will be around 20 – 22 degrees. Usually this can be achieved by setting the radiator thermostats to medium. In communal areas, staff kitchens, hallways or toilets the temperature can be even lower than that.
Saving energy: maintaining the ideal temperature
An electronic heating controller is a good idea for maintaining the selected temperature. Its clock can be programmed to different times. This enables the temperature to be lowered, for instance during the night or at weekends, when the offices are empty. Depending on the building architecture, energy savings of between 3 and 16 per cent can be made if a night economy mode is used.* But it must not become too cold – because if you allow the temperature to fall too low the rooms will have to heat up again, using considerably more energy. While the heating is on, the doors and windows should be kept shut with a good seal if possible so that the hot air cannot escape from the office. Correct ventilation is also a key factor, so that as little heat as possible is lost whilst allowing plenty of fresh air into the room. Ventilating for brief periods with the window fully open is the quickest way to exchange stale air for fresh without cooling the walls down.
* Source: Peters, Aribert. Nutzlose Nachtabsenkung. Energiedepesche. 2012, 2/2012 (Pointless night-time temperature reduction. Energy dispatches)
Saving energy: using the air conditioning efficiently
Air conditioning systems are very energy-intensive, but in many offices you just couldn’t do without them. Huge savings can be achieved simply by using them correctly. While the air conditioning is on, windows and doors should always be closed. The right temperature setting is absolutely critical: extreme settings use unnecessary energy and at the same time increase the risk of employees feeling too cold. Variance by just a few degrees from the outside temperatures is often enough to improve working conditions. Furthermore regular maintenance of climate control systems contributes to energy-efficient operation, as this means it is possible to control cooling output and energy consumption. It’s usually a good idea to back up the cooling with additional measures – such as fitting sunshades to the windows, switching off unnecessary heat sources, or allowing employees to work flexible hours during a heatwave.
Saving energy: with the Klöber Klimastuhl
Our Klöber Klimastuhl also has a positive influence on energy consumption at work and helps to save heating and energy costs. Because the temperature is transferred directly to the body, using the heating and ventilation function in the task chair is significantly more efficient than controlling the room temperature. Each individual team member reaches their own personal comfort temperature much more quickly, whilst the room temperature can be kept at a medium level. Every single degree has a real energy-saving effect. For example, if the room temperature is lowered by just one degree during the heating period, this reduces the heating costs by 6 per cent. In summer, for every degree by which the air conditioning is turned up, around 4 per cent is saved in electrical energy.* Of course these statistics depend on the architecture of the building, but they show quite clearly the savings potential that can be achieved.
* Sources: e.V., Die Verbraucher Initiative. Wärme effizient und sparsam nutzen. Info 2002, Nr. 58. /
L. Eisenmann, B. Grießmann. Effiziente Kühlung von Serveranlagen und Telekommunikations-Anlagen. Heidelberg: Stadt Heidelberg, Amt für Umweltschutz, Energie und Gesundheitsförderung, 2005. (The Consumer Initiative. Using heat efficiently and economically. Info 2002, No. 58. / L. Eisenmann, B. Grießmann. Efficient cooling of servers and telecommunication equipment. Heidelberg: Stadt Heidelberg, Office for Environmental Protection, Energy and. Health Promotion, 2005.)