Soon temperature at ‘icy offices’ to be capped at 24 degrees

When you walk into a bank or any office with centralised cooling, you will instantly feel a sharp chill. Your body will eventually adjust to the change in temperature around you. But, working in colder rooms for long period of time can take a toll on your health

Soon temperature at ‘icy offices’ to be capped at 24 degrees
Image used for representational purposes only

Now, the power ministry is considering making the default temperature setting for air conditioners at 24 degrees Celsius.

Power Minister R K Singh, during a meeting on Friday, said the mandate will benefit consumers, both from a health and financial point of view.

The ministry’s suggestion comes based on recommendations in a study conducted by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). Its report suggests temperature settings to be in the range of 24 to 26 degree Celsius.

Power Minister R.K Singh stated, “Every one degree increase in the air-conditioner temperature setting results in saving of 6 per cent of electricity consumed.”

He added, “Normal human body temperature is approximately 36-37 degree Celsius, but large number of commercial establishments, hotels and offices maintain temperature around 18-21 degree Celsius. This is not only uncomfortable but is actually unhealthy.”

Singh further stated, “Setting the temperature in the range of 18-21 degree Celsius compels people to wear warm clothing or use blankets; therefore, this is actually wastage of energy.”

After gathering public feedback around six months later, the Ministry of Power may consider making the optimum temperature levels mandatory. Some countries like Japan have put in place regulation to keep the default AC temperature at 28 degree Celsius

Doctors from Mumbai offered their take on the health aspect involved in this move undertaken by the Power Ministry.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Pradeep Bhosale, an orthopaedic and joint replacement surgeon from Nanavati Hospital, said, “It is good to keep the air-conditioning at 21 degree Celsius, but, in a city like Mumbai, there is a lot of moisture in the air. If the office temperature is not comfortable, it might take a toll on your productivity.”

“Maintaining the temperature setting at 24 degrees is a comfortable option. The human body temperature is regulated at 37 degrees Celcuis. When the AC is turned on, our body temperature drops down. If we don’t have adequate calories to burn, then we might lose weight. Muscle pain and shivering are common complaints due to the freezing cold,” said Dr Rajan Walavalkar, an orthopaedic surgeon at Sri Laxminarayan Clinic, Mumbai.