Air Conditioning Overview
Air conditioning generally refers to the cooling (or heating) of a room or vehicle. Often referred to as 'aircon' or AC, air conditioning units are used to maintain a given temperature within a specific area. Covering both domestic and commercial air conditioning, we aim to meet your air cooling and ventilation needs....more
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Air Conditioning Systems
Air Conditioning systems are installed usually due to a requirement to create comfortable living or working conditions. The Air Conditioning industry has never been large in the UK in comparison with warmer countries elsewhere in the world. The onset of global warming however seems likely to completely transform the market for air conditioning in the UK.
In recent years the air conditioning industry has made huge advances in the technology it employs and the industry would argue that their products are now highly efficient in their use of energy.
Domestic Air Conditioning
A typical domestic air conditioning system comprises of wall mounted units in each room with a small compressor unit mounted externally. The two components are then linked with a pair of thin copper pipes which provide for the flow and return of refrigerant gas. A 240v electric supply then drives the fan unit in the room and the external compressor. Typically a remote control (like a TV remote) is then used to control the system for on/off, temperature and fan speeds.
The internal wall mounted unit is alternatively referred to as a wall inverter unit or high-wall inverter. The advent of inverter technology has transformed the efficiency of air conditioning. Its general application is in digitally controlling the capacity and fan speed of the system to match it precisely to the temperature to be maintained or achieved.
Whilst most people holidaying on the continent have heard air conditioning units constantly battering noisily away this is no longer the case with modern units. Current units are so quiet that in a residential neighbourhood it is unlikely that noise would be an issue whatsoever, providing the unit manufacturer and siting were given careful consideration.
As summer temperatures continue to increase during the next decade it seems likely that many households will seek to install some form of air conditioning. There is good logic in equipping perhaps a main living room or master bedroom in the first instance.
Air conditioning systems have the ability to effectively be 'run in reverse', thereby also acting as a heat pump. This is an extremely efficient use of electricity in providing domestic heating by provision of warm blow air.
As a guideline the cost indication would be that a single wall inverter unit and compressor can be supplied and fitted at under £2000 +vat.
Commercial Air Conditioning.
Commercial air conditioning comes in both centrally driven systems and local systems. Traditionally offices tended to have a central cooling and heating fan unit whereby the temperature controlled air is distributed throughout the building by a system of ceiling or floor ducts. A series of ventilation grills and baffles are balanced to ensue an even air distribution throughout the building.
However, modern technology allows many inverter units to be run off a single compressor and this is an alternative method of providing air conditioning to commercial premises. Technological advances allow long refrigerant pipe runs of up to 170m and the small diameter pipes which are now used result in less volume of refrigerant gas. Efficiency is further improved by VRF (variable refrigerant flow) techniques. The gases used within air conditioning systems are some of the most harmful to the environment hence the opportunity to reduce the volume of those gases is to be welcomed.
If inverter units are used in commercial buildings, these are often ceiling cassettes which come in a variety of specifications (1, 2 and 4 way cassettes). Perimeter areas and corridor areas often use air conditioning console units. Wall mounted inverter units are common throughout commercial buildings and are now becoming increasingly used in hotels. The attraction of these units is the opportunity for residents to control inverter output temperatures locally and very accurately.
Most commercial air conditioning installations have state-of-the-art control equipment often centrally based but with local sensing. Computer based control units are now available that integrate functions such as temperature control, lighting, alarms and fire protection functions.