According to Roy Morgan research, approximately 4.3 million Australians have temporarily relocated their work space to home since March, a trend that may continue throughout the hot summer months for a substantial proportion of us.
While many workers are used to being comfortable in commercially air conditioned office environments, you may find your at-home workspace may not be ready for the warmer than average temperatures the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting for many parts of the country this summer.
For those with air conditioning already installed, or anyone about to purchase a new system, Kyle Rafter, national product manager at Fujitsu General, has the following tips for keeping cool while working from home, without blowing the budget:
1. Don't set the temperature too low and ensure the mode is changed to cooling.
When the temperature outside is unbearable, it can be very tempting to lower the air conditioning temperature indoors to cool the home faster.
However, this can put unnecessary pressure on the system and can contribute to an increase in energy use.
In summer, ensure the air conditioner mode is changed to cooling, and set the temperature at a recommended 23 degrees to create a comfortable environment while minimising energy consumption.
2. Use timers and start cooling earlier during the morning.
Use programmable timers to start the air conditioner earlier in the day.
At the beginning of the day, the air inside and outside the home is generally cooler. This in turn can assist the air conditioning system to use less energy reaching the set temperature.
Switching the air conditioner on during the hottest part of the day can make the system work much harder, and take longer to cool down the home.
Optimise air conditioner use during the extreme temperatures of summer by cooling the spaces where the home office is set up. Ducted air conditioning systems enable this using zone control, which directs air flow to specified areas within the home.
3. Use Wi-Fi innovations to manage air conditioning systems from smart devices.
Smart technology makes it easy to control an air conditioner from your desk, using a smartphone or tablet, or voice command options when it's available.
Fujitsu General has a suite of Wi-Fi controller options, for those with existing Fujitsu General air conditioning systems up to 10 years old operating a wireless remote control with infrared technology, or those purchasing a new system.
4. Control the areas being cooled to avoid wasting energy.
Optimise your air conditioner use during the extreme temperatures of summer by cooling the spaces where the home office is set up. Ducted air conditioning systems enable this using zone control, which directs air flow to specified areas within the home.
However, if a smaller home or unit has one wall mounted unit installed in the living area, and the home office is set up in another room, consider relocating to the living room on those really hot days.
Also, close doors to rooms not being used during the day to guide the cool air to where it's most needed.
5. Keep the indoor and outdoor units clean.
Dust and debris can build-up on both the indoor and outdoor unit, restricting airflow.
This can cause the system to work harder, leading to higher energy usage and increased running costs. Wipe them down, and clean the indoor unit filters regularly.