Fact or Fiction, Air Conditioning Is Sexist?

Heating and Air Conditioning

It may be warm outside but in offices up and down the country, women are frozen stiff while men enjoy the air con.. With over 10 Years commercial & residential experience, in all kinds of areas, London, Sussex, Surrey and Kent, with the odd fun trip up north if I had to choose, who complained the most Women or Men, I would be untruthful if I said men. The telegraph unveiled a story in July 2015 which stated: “Women feel the cold more than men” Given my 10 years experience, women 9 times out of 10 take the blame for the complaints (Sorry) I am no medical genius on body temperatures, but perhaps there is an outcome from the complaints, which tend to be from the females. Is there a something we are missing as engineers?

I have dealt with Facilities Managers on the topic and experienced it myself as one. The main issue being Defrost explanation. During cold spells A/c will go into a defrost cycle. 5 minutes without heat is hardly life threatening, but it goes more noticed by the women. Perhaps the ladies in our offices are the complainers, but they certainty aren’t wrong. My organisation takes around 10 complaints a year, which results in adjusting defrost setting on Air Conditioning units. There is a happy medium in the industry, and at times a reactive call, a smiley face and a good catch up solves the issue.

What and how does defrost work?

Technically, when the outdoor coil on the condensor recognises a build up of ice (usually a -5 degree sensor reading) picks this up. The indoor unit will the stop heating. The 4 way reversing valve will then switch over and direct all hot high pressure high temperature refrigerant into the condensor coil. The indoor fan will run, slowly with the coil having a small amount of cold refrigerant through it, however the fan speed will be at a low speed which will make it unnoticeable. Most people (ladies in some case) notice the lack of heat and immediately assume a fault. This isn’t the case, in many modern units, a “blinking light” or control icon could show defrost. Cycles can last up to 15 minutes although on some larger VRF systems, frequency and duration can be adjusted. Sorry to be a technical bore, but this singe piece of information could save you a call out charge.