Temperature affects our mood. If it is comfortable, we have the energy and the desire to act. If it’s too cold or too hot, we feel worse, and our mood and concentration drop. It is worth keeping this in mind when arranging office space. Temperatures in the office that are out of control increase heating bills and reduce employee productivity. Thermostats help control the temperature in the interiors, which provides people with optimal working conditions. However, it is important which temperature thermostat to choose.
A room thermostat is a device that controls the temperature in rooms. Its purpose is to maintain the so-called set temperature in them, that is, the temperature selected and expected by the user(s). Depending on the model and our heating system, we can connect it directly to the heat source (such as a boiler) or to a control box (in the case of surface heating). The basic division of thermostats is between wired and wireless models. Wired thermostats are sometimes more difficult to install in buildings that are in use. This may require renovation work (routing and masking of wiring), for which there are no plans or budget at the time.
Then with help come wireless thermostats, where the transmitter and receiver communicate with each other by radio. The receiver is mounted at the heating device, so the working range of such thermostats is important, as well as possible architectural barriers that could interfere with the signal, reducing the effectiveness of the control.
Room thermostats can have simple or advanced schedules. Depending on the model, they either keep day and night temperatures or provide different temperatures throughout the day – with selected time intervals as well as days of the week.
In a simpler way, in less advanced devices we can only set the temperature for day and for night, while in more advanced ones we can choose a different temperature for morning, a different one for noon, a different one for night, and then still program on which days of the week what scheme will apply. Because, after all, on weekends we may need different settings than on weekdays.
It is worth mentioning at this point that the most modern temperature thermostats, in addition to accurate control programs, also offer the option of controlling heating over the Internet. To make this possible, you usually need to download and install a mobile application on your smartphone, which will allow you to remotely control the operation of thermostats.
Which temperature thermostat we finally decide on depends primarily on the function of the building and how it is used. That is, it simply depends on our needs and how much we want to invest in the control system.
The precision of room thermostats depends on the heating control algorithms built into them. These are special programs that manage when the heating device is turned on and off. The simplest algorithm is Hysteresis, which works on the basis of the temperature difference between the switching on and off of the heat source.
This mechanism (on/off) is burdened with the risk of error (cycles of overheating and underheating). It will not work for a slow-response system such as underfloor heating. More modern algorithms can calculate heating start and stop times with much greater accuracy to minimize thermal fluctuations and maintain the set temperature: PWM, TPI, ITLC. PWM provides pulse control. It takes into account the operating time of the heating – the thermostat, according to a mathematical formula, calculates how long the heating must turn on to maintain the set temperature. With TPI and ITLC, the situation is similar, but here the program does not work on predetermined formulas. It “learns” the room; how long it takes to reach the set temperature, and how long the temperature is held.
So, when considering which temperature thermostat to choose, we must consider not only its design and type of communication (wired, wireless), but also the control algorithm suitable for our heating system. What is especially important, is the thermostats not only take care of our thermal comfort but also lower energy consumption. An accurate control algorithm is a fulfilled promise of lower heating charges.
Taking all this into account, it is easy to conclude that thermostats with operating schedules that take into account the days of the week will work best in office spaces. Thus, on weekdays it will be possible to program a comfortable temperature between 8:00 and 16:00, while from late afternoon and on weekends the building will be heated economically. An online control will also be useful, allowing you to adjust the temperature of the office on an ad hoc basis, depending on weather or other conditions. What kind of temperature thermostat will provide this? One that we can control from a mobile app. Online control gives convenience and flexibility of decisions. It allows you to make changes in schedules depending on circumstances. And these can surprise even the best schedule.
Office spaces often are renovated, modernized, change decor, arrangement, and owners. For this reason, the thermostats used in them should also be as mobile as possible, that is, wireless. It’s hard to predict how a new manager will want to organize his work space, so it’s better not to choose permanent wiring, which can bring a lot of limitations in this area.
Unless, of course, you are building an office where you don’t expect to change the arrangement of rooms or furniture, and you want stable, permanent wired control.
Zone control does not directly depend on the model of the thermostat. It is more about the method of control itself – individual in each room (separate in each zone). The simplest types of thermostats (for example, with Hysteresis and on the knob) can also provide us with this.
The reason to consider more modern thermostats is that they additionally offer many useful functions. Such as setting the minimum and maximum set temperature, as well as a PIN code lock. This will limit the number of people who have access to settings or service mode.
This makes it easier to keep energy bills in control. Other conveniences of more expensive thermostats include:
Since we know all the possibilities, it is easier to decide what temperature thermostat we need in our office.
It is a mistake to control the temperature of the entire building with only one thermostat, mounted in the so-called representative room, that is, the room where we spend the most time. In a private home this will usually be the living room, but in an office, it is hard to find such a room. This method – popular because it is based on the purchase of only one control device – will not work in the long run, neither in terms of savings, nor in terms of thermal comfort for employees. First of all, because in all rooms, except the one where the thermostat is currently located, the temperature will be random.
We have no control over it. How do we determine who should be warm and who not necessarily? This control scheme is neither efficient, nor pleasant and healthy for those using the building. We won’t adjust the office’s thermal atmosphere to the daily rhythm of work this way. We won’t save money either, because constantly someone frozen will turn up the heating parameters and raise the energy consumption.
This will be achieved only by zone control, allowing you to manage the heat of each room separately. In office spaces, therefore, zone control is a must. You just have to decide which temperature thermostat – which model or models (we don’t have to choose the same one), will best satisfy office needs.