Once you get your backyard workspace up and running what do you do to keep cool when the mercury starts to rise? Check out our 5 top tips for keeping a backyard office cool all summer long!
Feeling hot hot hot!
If you are used to the office 9 to 5 you will know that there is nothing worse than having to hit your targets on hot and sticky days. Summer days sure know how to drag on when you are at your desk.
Getting out of the commuter lifestyle and into your backyard workspace is definitely an improvement, but without the ability to keep the temperature regulated in your garden office you may find yourself struggling with oppressive summertime heat.
Depending on the type of structure you have been permitted to erect on your property, you may be dealing with less than ideal ventilation, and for most people central air conditioning won’t extend to the bottom of the garden. To get through the summer months with some work completed, you will need a great solution for keeping the temperature within your home office comfortable.
Getting summer temperatures down will help your productivity go up.
Keeping cool is a worthwhile investment as it is known to have a tangible impact on workplace productivity.
Thermal comfort has been shown in a range of medical studies to enhance performance and wellbeing at work. A survey of over 4000 US office workers by CareerBuilder found that 22% of workers struggled to concentrate in a ‘too-hot’ environment and a University of Alabama study in 2009 found that hot temperatures could alter cognitive functioning and the completion of basic mental tasks. Along with a drop in productivity, an overheated work environment can have a range of deleterious effects including:
- increased tiredness
- heat cramps
Maintain the optimum temperature for working at home
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the ideal office temperature should lie somewhere between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 24 degrees Celsius), so perhaps this is a good starting point for maintaining a cooler backyard office. To get things under control, consider one of these 5 simple ways of keeping yourself cool, calm, and collected on your daily telecommute.
5. Get things moving with a breezy electric fan
It’s basic, but a good quality fan can be a lifesaver for keeping the sweat down while at work. Though a fan will not lower the temperature in your backyard office, it will get the air moving, and moving air across your skin increases the evaporation of sweat and makes you feel cool.
If you are used to high-caliber HVAC, you may underestimate the airflow that you can achieve with a humble desktop or standing fan. They may be a little noisy but a straight blade fan with strips, winglets and the correct type of shrouding can deliver the high airflow you need to feel refreshed.
Also, running a table fan through a hot afternoon and humid evening will only cost you cents on the dollar. Powering options have diversified in recent years with some great USB powered desktop fans on the market that cool you down while you type. Fans come in a variety of designs so you will be able to find a model that fits in with your office decor.
If you are a fan of the classic retro designs, a statement standing fan will deliver big screen chic to your domain. Powerful tower fans can also cater to more contemporary tastes.
4. Cool down your room with a big-hitting ceiling fan
If your annex home office is in a sunny spot and you know your workspace is definitely going to heat up all summer long, you may want to install a ceiling fan like the Honeywell 52″ fan. Clearly, installing a fan on the ceiling will save you space on the ground or on your desk, making them a good choice if space is tight.
They may seem old-fashioned, but ceiling fans are an efficient method of cooling down space quickly. Ceiling fans work on the premise that hot air rises and favorably disrupts the process by pushing this warm air back down, with cool air moving to replace it. This all adds up to a cooling sensation and welcome air movement depending on the speed setting chosen.
Design is critical for getting the best effect from your ceiling fan. Poor design with flat blades is unlikely to do anything other than spin. Look for the length, angle, and curvature of the blades and also the direction of rotation counts.
If you can’t be bothered to fiddle around with the little pull chain that older ceiling fans carry, there are some excellent wirelessly controlled ceiling fans by specialists like the Hunter Fan Company, who have been building ceiling fans for almost 150 years.
3. Let the water do the work with a powerful swamp cooler
Swamp coolers like the Black and Becker 8000 BTU are also known as evaporative coolers, a much more reassuring name that gives a good explanation of how this cooling solution works! Placed in your backyard office, a swamp box will get to work by cooling the air around you through evaporation.
These cooling machines work on the basis that volumes of water will absorb large amounts of heat energy to evaporate. The swamp box consists of a water tank, a damp pad, and a fan. The fan works to draw your hot room air into the machine and it wafts across the damp pads and evaporates the water that soaks into the pads from the reservoir.
This creates a massive temperature gradient within the unit which provides freshly cooled air to be blown out the back of the machine. Swamp coolers make a great portable alternative to air conditioning. They control humidity, are cheap, and easy to maintain and don’t require the refrigerants that an air-conditioner would.
2. Strap on some ice packs and chill with a cool vest
If your backyard workspace is off-grid and you are looking for ‘low-fi’ methods of cooling down quickly, a cooling vest could be just the solution for you. Yes, you may look a bit like Rambo, but you will feel ice cold, which is ideal in the middle of a summer heatwave.
The premise is simple if not a little unattractive. A waterproof or mesh fabric vest is created with pockets that you can fill with ice packs. The cooling effect is obvious, immediate, and powerful. One of these vests can last hours and they are popular with athletes and chefs as well as others who need to keep cool on the job. To prolong the cooling sensation simply replace the ice packs.
1. Portable AC Units
Predictable, we agree, but a portable air conditioning unit like the Serenelife SLPAC10 is convenient and will do a reliable job of regulating the indoor temperature of your backyard workspace, especially if ventilation is poor. Clearly, if you are building an extension-like garden office complete with amenities, air conditioning may be a consideration as part of your design.
For less extensive builds, a portable unit should suffice and is great because it is not only cheaper but can be moved right to where you need it. A compact air conditioner will be easy to secrete in a smaller space and of course, you won’t lose natural light the way you do with the larger units. Air conditioning does have its downsides.
If it is poorly vented, the hot air exhaust can make things energy inefficient and pricey to run.
It’s a relief to know that you won’t have to bake in a hot and stuffy backyard workspace. Sweating through a Zoom conference is no fun, but with these tried and tested solutions you can stay cool, calm, and collected all summer long.
Now you have summer sorted, how will you keep yourself warm through winter at the desk of your backyard workspace? Read our helpful article on tips and tricks on staying warm in a backyard office.
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