How to ensure your air conditioning is using as little energy as possible

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How to ensure your air conditioning is using as little energy as possible

Air conditioning energy efficiency

Last month saw the official UK measure of inflation hit 3% – the highest it’s been since 2012.  It reflects rising prices for goods and services in the UK. Of course, we all see this directly when we receive bills for energy at home and at work.

In your business the impact is more than just a higher amount of cash leaving your account to pay the higher bills – unless you can control your costs effectively or increase your sales or margins to cover it, it’ll mean lower profits and all the consequences that can bring.

So making certain your air conditioning system is using the minimum amount of electricity while still creating a welcoming, warm and efficient environment for customers, visitors and staff is becoming ever more important.

 

Here’s how to ensure the energy consumption of your air conditioning system is as low as possible – so your power bills are too:

1. Design for energy efficiency

As the broadcasting saying goes, “Proper Pre-Planning Prevents Pretty Poor Performance.” Getting the system you need for minimum energy consumption starts at the planning stage.
Careful specification of a new air conditioning system will help ensure it meets the building’s requirements while being both efficient and cost-effective. You need to prioritise energy efficiency in the design and installation stages from the beginning.
This starts with ensuring the systems you use have been chosen to best match your exact needs. When new air conditioning is proposed, the efficiency of each component needs to be considered – not just in isolation but also in relation to how it will work with the other parts that make up the whole system. We can use our experience to do that for you.
Working with a supplier independent of the unit manufacturers and fully qualified in the relevant specialist skills will ensure they can recommend and install the system right for you and your customers that will sip power rather than guzzle it.
When choosing between a range of system tenders, you should consider:

  • Is it as simple as possible? You need to ensure operators can understand how the system should be controlled for maximum energy-efficiency.
  • Has zoning been considered? A good scheme should take into account areas needing different environmental conditions and ones where people are present for different lengths of time.
  • Has maintenance been considered? Does the proposal ensure there’s adequate access and space to carry out regular maintenance?
  • Does it represent best value? Assess the whole-life costs of the equipment specified to determine which offers best value for money.

2. Most efficient systems = lower cost long-term

The Carbon Trust, which advises businesses and public sector organisations on their opportunities to create a sustainable, low-carbon world, advises: “When specifying new air conditioning systems, it pays to buy the most efficient equipment possible. Day-to-day running costs may quickly outweigh any additional installation costs and so installing a more efficient system will ultimately be less expensive to run.” We couldn’t agree more.

 

3. Commission well for best results

The Carbon Trust says: “To ensure a building operates correctly and meets the design requirements, the specification needs to include a commitment to properly documented and independently-verified commissioning and testing.” Again, we agree wholeheartedly as doing this properly is part of our culture.
The air conditioning units need to be placed according to best practice laid down by the Scottish Government in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directives and installed by experienced professionals to the highest standards.
The goal is to set up and test the equipment and controls to make sure they work together as designed. Results from this should be included in the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) manuals and log book. The building should be revisited for system fine-tuning at a different time of year.

 

4. Implement and maintain good system controls

It’s all very well commissioning the Rolls-Royce of energy-efficient air conditioning systems, but if you don’t have a thorough control system to ensure it’s understood and operated properly by staff, it won’t remain at peak efficiency for long.
We can advise you on best practice and provide all the relevant documentation.

 

5. Proper maintenance helps cut energy costs

Finally, The Carbon Trust advises: “Develop a maintenance plan to ensure the system continues to run efficiently once installed.”
Investing in planned preventative maintenance with a few easy and routine procedures allows you to keep your units at peak performance as well as get the maximum amount of comfort.

The environmental and financial benefit from this is they will also work more energy-efficiently. Without top-notch professional maintenance, they lose 5% of their overall efficiency every year. But with investment in a scheduled maintenance plan from a professional servicing company systems operating at optimum efficiency can cut your monthly energy costs by up to 25%.

Proper maintenance can also double the life of the average heating and cooling system and greatly reduce or eliminate many of the health risks associated with poor air quality – such as respiratory ailments, sinus problems and particulate-related allergies like house dust.

So there you are – five simple steps to maximum air conditioning benefits for the minimum power bills.

SmartAir Solutions is an experienced independent air conditioning and refrigeration specialist servicing the industrial, commercial and marine sectors across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Dundee. For more information please contact us directly.