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Usability of Air Conditioning

Usability of Air Conditioning

Usability of Air Conditioning

In a typical day sitting at my desk on the Web Development floor I'll come in, take off my coat and drape it over the back of my chair. A bit later on I might get a bit warm and roll up my sleeves. Then the arctic wind starts up and I have to put my coat back on. A couple of hours later it's tropical again and I'm down to a T-shirt. It's still unclear whether this is caused by people fiddling with the controls, a faulty thermostat or gremlins. But these discussions in the internal forums got me thinking...

Whoever set the aircon to 21degrees on the cool setting please leave it alone. It's like a fridge in here now.

And someone else chimes in with...

As I'm sat directly under an aircon unit I can tell you that for half the day the air is quite warm and comfortable, then for the second half it really plummets - getting quite drafty. It does this each day. Is this how it is supposed to operate?

Then, on another day...

Another plea from the arctic conditions against the backwall. Please don't set the aircon to any extremes of temperature if you're a bit hot or cold. It shouldn't be necessary to set the unit to 'heat' or 'cool' or any temperature outside of 23-24'C.

'Heat' or 'Cool'?! Why does an air conditioning unit have settings for 'Heat' and 'Cool'? Surely that's implicit in the temperature setting. What does it even mean if the current temperature is 23 degrees and you set the aircon to "cool to 30 degrees"? Or "heat to 10 degrees"?

Having three units switched off and one set to 30' on heat isn't going to work. You can't make localised changes by switching units off with extreme differences between them.

Well, that makes sense but in that case, why give the different units independent controls? In the end it was decided...

If you haven't been trained in using the Air Con ... then please ask Pete or me and we'll gladly help.

If that means I can spend a whole day without alternately sweating and freezing then I'll gladly abide by the rule but I just don't understand why operating an aircon unit should require training. All it needs is two buttons: one with the label "Make the room warmer" and the other "Make the room cooler". Update: here's a photo of the control panel, courtesy of Kelly!

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