10 Features of Eco-Friendly Air Conditioning Systems
Concerned about your carbon footprint? You're not the only one! More and more of us are becoming aware of the dramatic impact our actions have on the world around us. Many industries, therefore, have had to make a conscious effort to come up with more environmentally-friendly products, the air conditioning industry being one of them.
Nowadays there are plenty of eco-friendly air conditioners on the market. Not only do they reduce the burden on the environment, they could reduce the burden on your bank balance too, thanks to lower energy costs. So, they're well worth looking into!
But what exactly makes an air conditioning system eco-friendly?
Modern air conditioning systems contain more than just cooling functions, they also offer air filtration, heating and humidity control. The heating function works by harvesting heat energy from the external air, using the cooling cycle but in reverse. This process requires no electrical or gas burning element, making the systems more energy efficient and reliable. For every, 3kW of heat energy created only 1kW of electricity is used.
No Harmful HCFC Refrigerants
As of 1st January 2015, it was, and still is, illegal to use HCFC refrigerants, such as R22, to service air conditioning units in Europe. Previously, most air conditioners in the UK used such refrigerants. However, they have been banned due to the damage they cause to the ozone layer. Because air conditioners need regular servicing, businesses have been phasing out units that contain HCFC by replacing or converting them.
By law, companies who install, maintain and service air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump equipment must have an F-Gas certificate from REFCOM. The certificate demonstrates that we work to best practices in refrigerant management and comply with all legal requirements. As a REFCOM-accredited contractor we follow a strict set of standards and must ensure that any potential impact on the environment is minimal.
The size of an air conditioning unit matters! If it's too small, it won't be able to cool the given area. Nevertheless, the unit will continue to try and cool the area, all the time wasting electricity, which is clearly no good for your carbon footprint. Furthermore, air conditioning units which are too small can't balance the cooled air that's in its condenser with the humid, expended air it harvests. That's another way incorrectly-sized units don't function correctly. Hence, you need to make sure you get the right size air conditioner for your home or business.
If you want to go green, it's important that your air conditioner has a thermostat which you can programme. To prevent wasted energy, you can programme the thermostat to be switched off when nobody is in the building for instance. So, even if you forget to switch off the air con, it will do it by itself automatically. In the UK, our overall energy consumption is increasing. According to the latest government statistics energy consumption increased by 1.6% in 2016. So, we all need to play our part in making sure we don't waste energy.
Customised Match Systems
Every room or building has its own specific heating or cooling requirements. Energy efficiency is sometimes achieved using separate energy sources for heating and cooling within the air conditioner. But that's not the only function which can be modified to reduce its environmental impact. It is possible to customise the internal components of an air con system, from the thermostat to the coils, depending on the heating and cooling requirements of a specific area. If each component is customised, it means that the system can achieve optimum energy efficiency.
Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
To tackle climate change, the EU introduced regulations under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in 2007, which measure the amount of carbon that buildings produce. According to these regulations, if you have an air conditioner with a capacity over 12kW it needs to be inspected every five years to ensure that it operates efficiently and reliably.
The compressor is usually responsible for using the most electricity. This is because it uses a lot of energy to squeeze out heated vapours and return the air conditioner's refrigerant to its cool state. A two-stage compressor, however, provides the opportunity to make big energy savings as it automatically compresses more on hot days and less on cool days. So, if you have the choice, always opt for an air conditioner with a two-stage compressor.
Air Conditioning Maintenance
To keep your air conditioning system working at its best, it's important to have professionals perform maintenance at least once a year. As long as the system is functioning properly there should be no energy wasted. AC professionals test functions such as the unit's air flow, check for leaks and test refrigerant pressure. They may also be able to recommend ways to improve the energy efficiency of your air conditioning system.
Replacement Air Conditioners
Are you still using an ancient air conditioning unit? You shouldn't be. It's clear that older air conditioning units are not going to meet the environmental and energy efficiency standards which we should all adhere to today. Your best option may be to replace your air conditioning system with a more modern, greener version. Modern units use the most up-to-date technologies to ensure high performance and energy efficiency.
If you're committed to running an eco-friendly business, then you must keep the above features and recommendations in mind. There are many benefits to installing eco-friendly air conditioning. As well as reducing emissions and energy costs, they're an investment in the future. Environmentally-friendly AC systems have longevity and could even increase the value of a property or business. Contact one of our experts today to discover your eco-friendly air conditioning options.