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Topic Planner: Heating and air conditioning awareness


This topic helps you….. “highlight to staff how they can contribute to reducing the energy used by heating and air conditioning”

If staff have very little control over heating in their office, you need to treat this subject with some caution. You should divide your audience into two:

Staff with control over heating

The message here will be to educate staff on how to adjust their heating, what is a appropriate temperature. This may include one-to-one talks, demonstrations etc.

Staff without control over heating

The message here should focus on how you as a company are controlling heating and air conditioning. This is an ideal way to let staff know why temperature is at a certain setting, how energy can be wasted through heating and if there is anything they can do to reduce this wastage.



Use these resources to help promote heating energy saving:

PosterStaff PresentationEmail RemindersEnergyFact TranslatorHome Energy Heating Tips
Energy awareness posterPreparing the caseEmail remindersEnergy fact translatorcartoon image of a living room with furniture and energy efficient light bulbs
Readymade poster templates for running a campaign Presentation templates helping you build a great presentation to staff about saving energyA template for setting your campaign budget. Simply input your own figures. A selection of themed images you can use in presentations. Guides, information, tips and links on saving energy on heating in the home

Did you know?

  • Heating and hot water costs for commercial and some industrial buildings can account for up to 60% of total energy costs.
  • A door with a 3mm gap will let in as much cold air as a hole in the wall the size of a brick!
  • A typical window left open overnight in winter will waste enough energy to drive a small car over 35 miles.
  • Lowering the temperature of your rooms by 1 degree saves the environment an annual emission of 230 kilos of CO2 and as much as 10% off your bill.
  • The maximum recommended temperature for most buildings is 19ºC. Don’t overheat your building.
  • For heating, it’s usually more efficient to use a lower temperature setting for a longer time. This is cheaper and more comfortable than running heating for short bursts at high temperatures.
  • There is no point overheating water to the point where you have to cool it down before you can use it! Set hot water thermostats to 55-60°C maximum.
  • Electricity consumption in an air-conditioned office is up to 2.5 times greater than in a naturally ventilated office.

Heating energy-saving tips at work

  • Ensure that staff wear appropriate clothing for the weather – warm clothing in winter and lighter clothing in summer.
  • Reduce heating levels if too hot instead of opening doors or windows.
  • Make sure that heating and ventilation is turned off when not required.
  • Make sure that heating and air conditioning are not on at the same time.
  • Keep external doors shut.
  • Keep doors closed between areas of different temperatures and do not leave them wedged open.
  • Ensure that doors and windows are not open when the heating or air conditioning is on.
  • Ensure that goods inwards doors are closed when not in use.
  • Do not block radiators, other heat emitters, ducts or inlets/outlets.
  • Do not obstruct or block thermostats and ensure that they have free circulation of air around them.
  • Do not leave taps dripping or open. Report all dripping taps and other leaks for repair.
  • Switch off electric water heaters at weekends and holidays.
  • If portable electric heaters or fans are used, ensure that they are switched off when not required. In a centrally heated or cooled environment their use is a sign that the system is not working properly.
  • Report any areas that are too cold or too hot and the times it occurs.
  • Do not leave office equipment running unnecessarily especially when air conditioning is on, as this will generate heat.
  • Adjust window blinds in summer to prevent solar heat gain, but try to allow sufficient daylight to enter.
  • Set the air conditioning to come ON at about 25ºC.

Energy saving at home

Visit the power of one heating page for guides, information and links on saving energy on home heating. Distribute free guides and information to staff.

Why not order some guides from SEAI to hand out to staff? You can order or download the following guides (and more) from SEAI:

  • Power of One - An introduction to energy saving
  • Householders, be your own energy manager guide
  • Sustainable energy what it means for you
  • Efficient Home Heating guide - Your Options
  • A Detailed Guide to Insulating Your Home
  • How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
  • Your Guide to Electricity in the Home
  • Top Tips for Household Electricity Saving

Use the power of one heating tips and insulation tips when delivering information on energy saving in the home.

Consider these facts when delivering information on energy saving in the home:

  • The cost of fitting lagging on your hot water cylinder and pipes can be recouped in 2–3 months, saving more than 30% of your heating costs. 
  • A 80mm lagging jacket can save you €2.50 a week and costs about €14 to buy. 
  • 40% of all heat lost in the average home makes its escape thru the attic or walls.
  • Insulating the 50 sq.m. attic space of a typical housecosts around €254 and could save approximately €76 a year, paying for itself in about 3 years.  
  • Re-insulation of a house of 120m2 can save the environment 4,900 kilos of CO2 a year. 
  • Weather seal doors and windows not regularly used. Consider secondary or double glazing.

Heating Myths

FICTION Heat rises
FACTHot air rises. As we learned at school, heat is transmitted through conduction, convection and radiation. Therefore it is important not to block or obstruct radiators or other heat emitters, as this will reduce their effectiveness.
FICTIONBy setting the thermostat a few degrees above the normal setting, the building will heat up quicker.
FACT The building will heat up at the same rate no matter what level the thermostat is set at. By setting it above the normal level, you run the risk of overheating the building.

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