Alternatives to ducted air conditioning

Most premium office buildings and large organizations regulate the temperature in their buildings using a ducted air conditioning system. They are very effective and can cater to large spaces, while still being easy to maintain. However, for small businesses trying to set up shop, the cost of a ducted air conditioner may be too much to justify. This article explores the alternative solutions that can be used such a smaller office space.

You may have decided not to purchase a ducted ac, but there are a few things to consider before choosing an alternative. For instance, what operations does your business engage in? Are there a lot of computers, screens or other heat generating equipment, or is there any other reason for the office to be at a constantly cold temperature? Is the office located on the ground floor of a duplex with little air, or at the top of a high-rise building with high amounts of wind? Is the office space large with a handful of people, or small and densely packed? These factors and more must be considered when choosing your cooling alternative.

Window Air Conditioners

Window air conditioners are single cooling units that can be fit into your window or in a hole in the wall. Its advantage is in its simplicity – all you need to do is measure the windowpane you will be using, purchase an appropriately sized unit and have it installed. However, many building owners do not appreciate its use as they consider the installation to be ugly. Therefore, you might have to consult with the building owner before purchasing one for your office.

Split System Air Conditioners

Split system air conditioners, also known as ductless air conditioners, are a blend between ducted and window air conditioners. The split ac is composed of an evaporator which is installed inside and a condensing unit which is installed outside. These cooling systems are great for cooling large portions of an office space, are very quiet in operation and are extremely energy efficient. They are, however, more expensive than the other alternatives listed out and usually come with significant installation costs.

Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners give the benefits of window air conditioners, in that it can be used to cool a single room, but they go beyond that with the advantage of having a plug and use capability. Unlike the other two options which require additional installation (and removal) costs, you can simply place your portable ac in the room you wish to cool and move it out when it is no longer needed. While this type of air conditioner is typically less energy efficient than split acs, its portability makes it great for mini-offices with only a handful of employees.

Standing Fans

If your office is situated in a high-rise building or an airier location where the temperature is relatively mild, you might want to save energy costs and forego air conditioning entirely, choosing instead to go for standing fans. When combined with airy spaces, standing fans can help to circulate air, thereby supplying a more natural and refreshing stream of air. In warmer but still airy spaces, evaporative air fans can be used with water to increase the cool moisture in the air. This alternative is good for airy spaces, but not for small, densely packed office spaces.

For small businesses looking to cool their office spaces, ducted air conditioning may be unnecessary and well out of budget. Fortunately, there are air conditioning alternatives such as fans, split air conditioners, window air conditioners, and a variety of other cooling systems not even mentioned in this guide. Business owners should be clear about their cooling needs and then look for the alternative that suits them best.

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