Air conditioning technology has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past couple of decades, making cooling and heating systems more affordable than ever. Air conditioning systems are no longer only for upmarket hotels or expensive highrise offices. While large, expensive systems are still available, modest offices and even residential homes can now enjoy having control over their climate with affordable systems available from a range of brands.
Air conditioners come in all shapes and sizes, making the question of which system to pick a difficult to answer. Speaking to a professional installer is always recommended, however, below are some points to consider in the mean time.
Older units typically are less energy-efficient than newer models. For large concessions requiring multiple AC (air conditioning) units, small differences in efficiency can make a large difference to electricity bills. In the UK, energy efficiency ratings for electrical units and appliances range from grades G to A, with A being the most efficient. Not only will a more efficient unit waste less energy and lower your bills, its environmental impact will be less – an important consideration at a time when the environmental impact of businesses is being closely scrutinised.
For offices, but perhaps not so much for industrial buildings or warehouses, the noise generated by air conditioning units will be an important factor to consider. All the major components of an AC system generate noise, in particular the compressors and heat exchangers. The noise levels generated will be closely related to the efficiency of the unit – the more energy used in the cooling process the more noise it is going to be produce. Noise can be a severe nuisance and disturbance in an office environment, distracting employees from their work and making concentration more difficult.
Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) or Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems are a new development in refrigeration technology. VRV / VRF systems are a must have for buildings requiring heavy-duty cooling and heating. These systems accurately adjust the amount of cooling or heating required and because of this accuracy that they are very efficient and reliable, particularly compared to older systems. For many, VRV / VRF systems are the most suitable type of air conditioning to consider.
Cooling / Heating
Some think of air conditioning as only capable of cooling, but many modern systems are just as capable of heating, making for a more comfortable environment. When combined with a full control system, it is able to accurately set and forget the temperature for an office, keeping a consistent temperature year-round.
These points are a good place to start considering your next AC system. For more in-depth advice, contact your local reputable air conditioning engineer.