Statistics show that when the temperature in cities increases, the number of people visiting movie theatres and shopping centres increases by an enormous amount. People want to go somewhere they can spend a lot of time and be in air conditioned comfort, without spending too much by running the AC at home. So commercial air conditioning has become a huge business in Melbourne and around the world.
However, the pressure to keep the air conditioner running and at a perfect (albeit quite cold) temperature is huge. Commercial air conditioning installations can be tens of thousands of dollars, and running them every day adds up over time. But it’s never a crippling amount, it’s just the reality of owning and operating a shopping centre. It means that people rely on you to an even greater extent, and granted for a slightly unexpected reason.
But if you think about it, without commercial heating and air conditioning, shopping centres like my own would lose so many customers, and therefore so much revenue. When people have so much reliance on large-scale commercial buildings for relief from the weather, be it freezing or boiling, the HVAC system needs to be working perfectly, or cause a huge detriment to the finances of the shopping centre and all the shops in it.
So we are always checking our system and getting commercial air conditioning repair people out to make sure everything is constantly in working order. The last thing I want happening is some kind of breakdown or malfunction, not only would it mean terrible losses in income, but the cost of repairs and the damage to my reputation would be huge.
Imagine a shopping centre that couldn’t provide a comfortable atmosphere. It’s like a movie theatre that couldn’t provide popcorn. Just like air conditioning isn’t the whole reason to go to a shopping centre, popcorn isn’t the reason to go to the movies, but it sure brightens up the experience, and becomes one of the key incentives for going in the first place.
It’s part of my job to make sure that the centre is cool, because how well the centre overall does is how I support my life and my family. But what has always worried me is just how much energy we use powering the shopping centre. Between lighting, heating and cooling, advertising and map screens, music overhead, there is power pumping into that place constantly, and I know it can’t be good for the environment.
I’ve got to learn to reconcile this though, because the centre is already as eco-friendly as it can be. I just can’t stop feeling like there’s more I could be doing.