How to Manage Hot and Cold Spots in Your Office
Maintaining consistent indoor temperatures in your office is an important factor toward employee comfort and productivity. If the office area is too hot or too cold, employees will be unhappy, uncomfortable and distracted. The following information will help you understand why hot and cold spots occur and what you can do to eliminate them if they develop in your office.
Causes of Hot and Cold Spots
Thermostat issues: If the thermostat is malfunctioning, it won’t be able to take proper readings of indoor temperatures and as a result, it will be unable to keep the area consistently warm or cool. The physical placement of thermostats can also contribute to the production of hot and cold spots. For example, if the thermostat is mounted in an area where it receives direct sunlight, the temperature readings it takes will always be higher than the actual temperature of the area around it.
Outside influences: Outside environmental influences such as seasonal temperature extremes could contribute to hot and cold spots in an office. More consistent environmental influences could also be responsible for hot and cold spots. For example, a section of the building that receives more sunlight than another section will typically be warmer than other areas.
Ductwork problems: The ductwork is the network of large pipes that carries warm and cool air from the HVAC equipment to areas inside your office. If the ductwork is blocked at a vent, that warm or cool air will not be able to exit the ducts and change the temperature inside your office. The same is true if there is damage to the ductworks, such as broken seals or loose sections, that allows conditioned air to leak out of the ducts before it can reach your office environment.
HVAC equipment problems: Inconsistent heating and cooling can indicate a problem with your HVAC equipment. In many cases, a preventive maintenance visit or a repair can solve the problem. In more extreme cases, hot and cold spots could indicate that the HVAC system needs to be replaced. Consult with your local trusted HVAC professional for expert advice on what to do.
Solutions to Hot and Cold Spots
Replace or relocate thermostats: If the office thermostat isn’t working properly, the best solution is replacement. This could give you the opportunity to install an energy-efficient programmable model, or to install multiple thermostats to help take more consistent temperature readings. If the thermostat is in direct sunlight or a consistently shaded area, move it to a spot where the readings it takes will be more accurate.
Repair ductwork: Have your HVAC system’s ductwork inspected and, if necessary, repaired. Make sure all sections fit tightly together and that there aren’t any leaks or damaged or missing sections. Ensure every connection is sealed with mastic, a specialized sealant for ductwork, or with metal tape. Make sure that registers and vents are not blocked and that airflow isn’t impeded by furniture, boxes, equipment or other objects.
Call for maintenance: Call your HVAC professional for preventive maintenance or repair for your heating and cooling system. This may be all that is necessary to ensure the equipment is working properly and producing consistent temperatures. Regular preventive maintenance will also extend the life of your HVAC equipment.
Install ceiling fans: In either summer or winter, ceiling fans can improve air circulation and boost the performance of your HVAC system. In winter, direct the airflow upward to help move and redistribute warm air that has risen toward the ceiling. In summer, keep the airflow moving downward to provide direct cooling and to disperse cooler air in the lower portion of the room.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about plumbing, HVACR, fire protection and alarm systems in mechanical, commercial and residential settings. For more information on managing and resolving hot and cold spots in your office, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website.