Your Guide to Air Conditioning
An air conditioning system can keep your customers and staff happy by providing cool air throughout the year.
Air conditioning systems can be a cost-effective solution that can also help reduce the risk of illness.
We help you decide on the best type of air conditioning system for your business, how it benefits your business, and how it can reduce coronavirus.
What exactly is air conditioning?
Air conditioning is a type of heating, ventiliation, air conditioning (HVAC) system that provides cool air.
Most AC units will have heating functions as well as cooling. The heating functions use a heat pump system that reverses the refrigeration cycle to heat the area.
Using an AC system for heating means using less energy and less carbon emissions which is more environmentally friendly, so it should be considered for heating too.
While air conditioning units may provide both hot and cold air, air conditioning usually refers to cool air.
Is air conditioning expensive to run?
It can cost around 44p per hour for an average of 4 hours 18 minutes during day and 4 hours 48 mins at night, according to Uswitch.
HVAC systems are the most efficient and environmentally friendly way of providing cooling to commercial buildings in a cost-effective way.
You can take other measures to create an efficient and eco-friendly system, such as ensure there is sufficient insulation, use renewable energy sources such as solar panels, and smart tools to switch off or decrease lighting, heating, and cooling when they’re not needed.
Types of air conditioning
There are three types of air conditioning systems which are suitable for different premises.
- AC or heating window units
This type of AC system is a small unit that sits inside windowsills and has a vent to the outside. They start at a few hundred pounds, making them the least expensive. Their compactness and budget-friendly factors make them good for smaller businesses.
- Central air unit or air handling unit (AHU)
These units are used for cooling and heating large areas. They are professionally designed and installed and ventilate outdoors.
- Mid split system
Similar to central air units, but they use refrigeration pipework, so they are a ductless system. No ducts overhead mean a sleeker appearance. They can also be more cost-effective than a central air unit.
Why air conditioning is necessary
Air conditioning can be required by law in workplaces, but it can also ensure employees or customers are kept comfortable and safe from germs.
Legislation states that employers in the UK need to ensure fresh or purified air is in the workplace to maintain oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.
If carbon dioxide levels are higher than they should be, it can lead to headaches and other health issues, and lower productivity. Air conditioning systems circulate air to provide oxygen which is healthier for staff and customers.
Controlling the temperature in your premises is also important as again there is legislation that the temperature should range from at least 13-16 degrees Celsius, depending on the environment.
Air conditioning can also remove pollutants such as damp and allergens from the air, improving the air quality. Indoor air pollution can be nearly 3.5 times higher than outdoor air and can cause possible respiratory issues, especially in construction or manufacturing settings where there may be a lot of dust and debris in the air.
How to maintain air conditioning systems
Air conditioning systems don’t require a lot of maintenance. You can check it yourself to ensure it is completely sealed and the filters are clean.
Your system should also be serviced regularly by a qualified engineer.
How often does air conditioning need to be serviced?
A service of your air conditioner should be carried out at least once a year, but it will also depend on how much it is used and if you are in an urban or rural area.
An HVAC engineer will service it and carry out a refrigeration gas leak test, along with applying oil to parts, a system test, air flow level test, checking the thermostat, and electrical connections.
A service on a regular basis is affordable and will improve the life of your system by reducing wear and tear, so you will get more for your investment.
A service ensures your system is energy efficient which helps to reduce energy costs.
You also want to avoid sudden breakdowns which will not go down well with staff or customers. A service can prevent this by keeping the system in order and completing repairs before they cause the system to breakdown.
Air conditioning units and UV filters
Filters can be placed in your air conditioning units to reduce airborne transmission of aerosols which can spread germs.
Ultraviolet (UV) filters work by killing airborne pollutants as they go through the HVAC system.
How effective are air purifiers against coronavirus?
It depends on what type of air conditioning system you have.
Some systems such as split air conditoners that are wall hung recirculate the air which isn’t good for reducing airborne irritants.
But any other type of air conditioner which brings in fresh air will help against coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) stated maintained systems can reduce the spread of covid.
How to choose the right air conditioning engineer
When looking for an HVAC technician, choose one with experience in air conditioning systems.
They should also be Gas Safe and NICEIC (electrical regulator) approved.
Top tips for maintaining your air conditioning system
While it doesn’t take a lot of maintenance, there are some things you can do to ensure your air conditioner is working at its best. You can:
- Check the filters to ensure they are clean and not clogged
- Make sure seals are working and that no air is escaping
- Always ensure there is sufficient air flow around it
- Regularly service your system.
Air conditioning is an essential for most businesses and can improve employees and customers health while being cost-effective.
For more information about air conditioning systems, contact us for advice on the best system for your business.