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Air Conditioning and Your Workplace

How AC Affects Men and Women

air conditioning work

In the past several days, there has been a lot of talk about air conditioning and how it affects women and men differently in the workplace. According to a study in the journal Nature Climate Change, many offices are setting their thermostat temperatures based on a male’s metabolism.

Back in the 1960s, employers were encouraged to base their office temperature on the comfort of a middle-aged man who weighed around 150 pounds. This was because in these days, most of the workforce was male. Today, however, there are many females in the workforce and many of them are now coping with too much air conditioning.

Because male bodies tend to have higher metabolic rates than female bodies, they burn energy faster and need a colder temperature to stay comfortable. In fact, men prefer a home kept at around 72 degrees while women prefer a home kept at around 77 degrees.

So is it a good or bad thing to keep an office building at a lower temperature? You may think that a cold workplace means you could stay awake and focused easier, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Studies have shown that productivity actually decreases when you’re cold and you’re likely to make more mistakes. So in that case, employers could not only benefit from more productive workers if they turned the thermostat up, but they could also save money on their energy bills (around 1% per degree).

The same goes for homeowners – if you want to reduce your energy bill and be more productive, turn your thermostat up a few degrees. Since the average male prefers 72 degrees and the average female prefers 77, a good meeting place might be 74 or 75 degrees.

Tell us – is your workplace a cold place to work? And if so, are you female?