MOST COMMON TENANT COMPLAINTS
When an HVAC system works, building occupants don’t even know it’s there—no news is good news. The bad news is, in a recent survey done by the International Facility Management Association, too cold and too hot ranked first and second of top 10 office complaints.
For many years, IFMA has conducted surveys of its facility management members to find out the top office complaints among employees. Common grievances offered include high noise levels, indoor air quality, limited space and unusual odors. However, complaints of the temperature being too hot or too cold always top the list, often alternating from year to year.
Research has shown that improvement to thermal comfort issues often results in higher tenant satisfaction scores, so building owners and operators take these concerns seriously.
Specific findings from the 2009 study include the following:
- The most common HVAC complaints are “too hot” (94 percent) and “too cold” (91 percent).
- The next most common HVAC complaints are bad IAQ (25 percent), “too drafty” (21 percent) and “too noisy” (16 percent).
- Building occupants respond to thermal issues in various ways: by using personal fans, changing clothes, using personal heaters, and even by using stand-alone AC units, blankets, and wading pools under their desks (!).
- Facility pros respond to occupant complaints in various ways as well: by checking temperatures and adjusting thermostats accordingly (or sometimes just telling the building occupants that adjustments have been made); moving occupants or encouraging them to wear different clothes; taking votes among them; or taking other actions. One respondent said, “We sometimes say we’ll make an adjustment, but don’t. This actually seems to work.”
- Quoting straight from the IFMA’s press release: “Energy efficiency is of prime importance to facility professionals, with the vast majority of respondents saying they utilize a number of energy saving techniques.
- 77 percent say that they have updated or replaced an HVAC system or components;
- 73 percent have verified that their building automation system is working as designed/li>
- 52 percent have installed more efficient light fixtures to reflect less heat.
- Common responses also include modifying ductwork (27 percent), installing new window shades (24 percent) and adding window film to improve thermal properties (24 percent).”
May we just suggest an additional “best practice” to add to that fine list of energy-efficient practices? Conduct regular and preventive maintenance on your HVAC system!
Call AAA Energy Service to discuss how we can help!
“Building Efficiency … it’s what we do”