If you've recently rented or leased office space in a historic building, you may find yourself (and your staff) suffering through stifling afternoons as your building's outdated air conditioner struggles to keep up with the heat. In other cases, your building may lack modern air conditioning entirely, leaving you with few options if your lease agreement prevents you from making permanent or structural modifications to your working space..What can you do to provide instant relief without violating your lease agreement? Read on to learn more about your temporary air conditioning options for a historic building.
Portable air conditioner
For situations in which you don't want to deal with the noise or eyesore qualities of a window unit air conditioner, a portable air conditioner may be a good option. These air conditioners operate using a condenser just like window air conditioners, but vent through a thin hose that can be placed in an inconspicuous corner of the window, rather than through the entire lower half of the window. These air conditioners can also be moved from room to room to accommodate your needs throughout the workday. Although you can make your portable air conditioner a more permanent part of your office by drilling a hole into the exterior wall for your exhaust hose to vent, you'll want to first check with your landlord to ensure doing so won't place you in jeopardy of breaching the lease agreement.
Ductless mini split
Another air conditioner that will require only the placement of an exterior condensing unit and no additional ductwork is a ductless mini split. These air conditioners are similar to the models used for homes with central air conditioning, but utilize a vent with inconspicuous piping that can run along the floorboards or ceiling rather than within the walls. You'll be able to place this vent into just about any room in your business, hooking up multiple vents if you need to cool a larger office area. When your lease ends, you'll be able to have your ductless mini-split seamlessly removed and moved to your new office or even sold rather than incurring fees or penalties for modifying your office space.
In drier climates, an evaporative cooler (often referred to as a "swamp cooler") can be an energy-efficient option. These air conditioners operate on the principle of evaporation, helping cool the air through an invisible mist rather than through a condenser pump that removes heat from the air. Swamp coolers can also improve the relative humidity of a room, ideal for desert climates. Because swamp coolers mist water into a room, they don't require any special ductwork or installation -- in fact, you can make a primitive and low-tech swamp cooler with nothing more than a fan trained across a bucket of ice-cold water.
Contact a local commercial air conditioning company for more help.