Summer or winter, building occupants complain that it's "too cold" or it's "too hot." Year after year, those are the top complaints.
Now, with facility managers adjusting thermostats to cut energy use and costs, those complaints are likely to maintain their preeminence.
According to a survey from the International Facility Management Assn., 94% of HVAC complaints are "too cold," and 91% "too hot." Complaints about air quality (25%), drafts (21%), noise (16%) and dryness (9%), trail far behind, says the survey, "Temperature Wars, Savings vs. Comfort."
Sometimes, building managers must feel they can't satisfy anyone. Summer HVAC complaints are fairly evenly split66% that it's too hot, 58% that it's too cold.
But managers try. Ninety percent of survey respondents say they spot-check temperature, humidity and airflow in the area where the complaint was made. Many (87%) validate that the HVAC system is working correctly and 75% adjust thermostats to provide more comfort.
Other facility managers aren't as responsive. More than a third (35%) encourage occupants to wear layered clothing. Some resort to psychology.
"We sometimes say we'll make an adjustment, but don't," says one respondent, adding, "This actually seems to work."