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How to Keep an Office Cool Without Relying on Air Conditioning – A Guide to the Most Effective Shading Solutions.

Nothing is worse than feeling hot and bothered when a busy working day is underway. This is also backed by science, with high heat levels directly correlating diminishing cognitive abilities. With hot offices reducing brain power by around 50%, it is clear that reducing heat gain in corporate spaces is of paramount importance.

Air conditioning and electric fans are often used to keep inside temperatures comfortable, but they can significantly increase business costs, especially during prolonged hot spells. Lots of windows provide plenty of natural light, but can also increase the internal temperature and consequently the load on the building’s air conditioning system.

Therefore, effective shading solutions are the best forms of eliminating heat build-up.

At Kensington Systems, we offer a range of commercial blinds, curtains, and shades that can offer excellent heat reduction. If you want to know which options are ideal for your business, keep reading.

How does Heat Gain in Offices Happen?

Many offices have large windows to increase the levels of natural light. Natural light is very beneficial to humans and is proven to positively affect employee energy levels, productivity, mood and general wellbeing.

However, sunlight coming through the windows (especially in summer) is also transmitting heat as well as light into the room. And once the heat is inside, there is no way for it to escape if outdoor ventilation is limited.

This can cause the internal temperature inside a building to rise. Heat generated from technology including computers, printers and other electronics also contributes to this. And of course, heat is generated from human bodies.

Why Is It Important To Reduce Heat Gain in Buildings?

Energy efficiency is something that everyone is currently striving for due to the mounting costs that are being asked for in return for utility usage. Lessening heat gain is essential for several reasons:

  • If your office space is kept cooler by passive shading, you will pay less for energy as there will be less need for cooling devices like fans and air-conditioning.
  • Excessive heat gain can also result in other building maintenance needs, such as re-decoration or air-flow maintenance due to increased load on air conditioning systems.
  • Reducing energy consumption also has a positive impact on the environment
  • As already mentioned, employees benefit from a cool and comfortable space to work in.

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How Can You Reduce Solar Gain in Offices?

The most effective way to keep offices as cool as possible (without cranking up the air con) is with the right window covering solutions.

External Blinds or Brise Soleil

The best form of treatment is prevention. Like homes in hot climates often have shutters which are closed during peak daylight hours, external blinds work in the same way to stop the heat entering the building.

Our solutions are also motorised, making it simple to control them via an app or switch

External blinds are also a great solution as they still allow light to flow through the window, maintaining natural light levels inside. They also look good and are ideal for large coverings or high-rise buildings, as they can be controlled with one central device.

Brise soleil are horizontal or vertical metal blades installed outside the building and work similar to external blinds to control the amount of sunlight and heat that enters a building. The main difference is that brise soleil are fixed and cannot be adjusted like blinds. Please note not all buildings may be suitable for brise soleil.

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Internal Blinds

Whilst internal vertical blinds and commercial roller blinds are not the most effective tool, they do also work to reduce heat exposure. They can reduce a certain amount of UV rays and can be used easily by employees to control light levels and temperature.

For maximum heat reflection, choose a fabric with a metallised backing. This allows the blind to reflect a lot of the heat travelling through the window back towards the outside, helping to keep the office naturally cool.

Find out more about choosing roller blinds for your office.

Solar Reflective Window Film

Solar film can be added directly to your windows for extra heat reduction. Film is a good solution if window blinds are not feasible for any reason, and it does not block or alter the view out of the window.

Solar film is effective in reducing heat and glare, but be aware that once installed, solar film may restrict light levels and darken the office. Unlike blinds, it can’t be changed or adjusted to suit weather conditions or reduced light levels in winter.


Awnings and canopies also offer a way to improve usable space without adding more heat into the equation. They allow staff to have protection from the elements when outside and also provide shade when installed outside office windows, helping to reduce overall heat levels inside. These are ideal for ground floor offices but may not be suitable for all commercial premises.

Choose Heat Reducing Solutions from Kensington Systems

Reducing heat levels in buildings is not just a nice to have, but an essential for the following reasons:

  • Keeping employees cool and productive
  • Reducing energy consumption and running costs
  • Minimising your company’s impact on the environment

If keeping your teams cool and your energy bills low is a priority for you, contact us today to book in a free consultation with our team.

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