Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to pop open the windows at work? It sure would be nice to let a breath of fresh air waft through the office and along the rows of cubicles. Vista, California is actually not a bad place to try this. With daytime temps averaging between 68 and 84 degrees, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a balmy breeze.
Higher insulation requirements implemented in the 1970s and a simultaneous reduction in ventilation standards are closely linked to the current epidemic of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). Unacceptably high levels of pollutants accumulate in many office buildings causing headaches, allergic reactions, fatigue, and lots of other problems.
You need to balance your energy costs against the health and comfort of your workers. Cutting the A/C on moderate days in favor of open windows is one way to reduce your electric bill. Continue running the system on ‘fan only’ mode to increase air circulation and reduce the incidence of SBS symptoms. It’s a win/win situation.
How to Make This Work
Directing outside airflow into your office space effectively has a lot to do with how you arrange the furniture. Keep areas around windows clear of obstructions. Angle the open side of each cubicle slightly toward the incoming breeze. Once employees get used to natural variations in temperature throughout the day, they will enjoy not having to breathe stale air all the time.
To keep things from getting out of hand when the wind picks up, add paperweights to your office cubicles. Vista does have some high pollution days, so keep an eye on the forecast. Close the windows when there is an ozone alert. Finally, install sturdy screens so your open windows don’t create a safety or security hazard.