Pratley & Partners

Why natural airflow outstrips air conditioning

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Natural ventilation delivers value for money ventilation within a work space. Natural ventilation is much more efficient than forced air conditioning. It is cheaper than running air conditioning; the cooling and heating of an internal space can cost as much as 45 percent of the total energy usage of a work environment.

Given the issues of 2020 and the spread of COVID 19, a much healthier option of heating, cooling and ventilating work spaces is required if we are to get people back to work without increasing the risk of spreading the virus. Air conditioning merely circulates the air within the space, and the build-up of allergens and ‘bugs’ in the air is exacerbated. Over time, this build may well affect the health of the stakeholders who use the space.

Size doesn’t matter

It doesn’t matter if the workspace is a sizeable workshop where several pieces of heavy machinery are being operated, or an office space where the only hardware is, in the main, computers, laptops and printers.

You can make use of vent windows at ground level or at floor level to allow air in to the interior of the building. However, the air will not flow naturally unless you have windows or vents which can be opened at both a lower level and a higher level. The upper vents might be skylights, or windows which are located on an upper story of the building, but should be easy to open and close as and when required.

Opening high level windows or vents can be an issue if they are not easily accessible. However, if remote window openers – electric window controls or manual window controls – are installed, opening difficult to reach vents and windows becomes – well – a breeze. Electric window openers can be connected to thermostatic controls, so the windows and vents can be left on autopilot. Opening and closing controlled by thermostat will maintain a balanced temperature within the space, as well as allowing a natural, healthy flow of air within it.

Passive resistance

By introducing a passive heating and cooling strategy, backed up by modern window controls and thermostatic regulation, natural ventilation captures and creates breezes will cut energy costs quite dramatically, Additionally, by taking advantage of changing atmospheric temperatures and interior ambient temperature, the chances are the window will need their open and close positions changing hardly at all, such will be the balanced flow of air through the interior space.

Instead of setting a thermostat which controls a heating or cooling system, better to have it set to open and close windows and vents and let natural changes in air pressure, both outside and inside do the work.

Give our team a call today to find out more about how utilising natural air flow in combination with manual, electric and thermostat controlled window openers can benefit your business. In so doing, you could slash your energy costs AND make a huge contribution to fighting a virus which thrives in unventilated spaces and poses a real health threat to us all.

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