When the realisation of the damage that refrigerants can cause to the atmosphere hit the industry, there was a quick acknowledgement that new ideas and new ways to do things were needed. No longer could air conditioning units and refrigeration equipment use gases that were harmful to the planet. But developments of this nature don’t happen overnight and it has taken time for replacements for the harmful CFCs to be created. One of the first of these is called R32 but what is it and why it is an improvement?
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If you were to go back twenty years, the refrigerant known as R22 would have featured in most air conditioning units as well as having a number of refrigerant applications. Then there was the realisation that our actions could be harming the planet and are depleting the ozone layer that protects the Earth – experts began looking into substances such as R22 and their findings led to a ban. But why was it banned and what happens if you think your system still contains it?
A cleanroom is a room or even a suite of rooms that have a specific purpose that required it to be designed and constructed with fabric and environmental control measures. The idea is that the room can limit the propagation, introduction and maintenance of airborne contamination. Whether you are having a new cleanroom added to your facilities or are upgrading the current ones, one of the most important factors is the ISO rating – so what is this and what rating does your facility need?
The designing of a laser lab is often a job that is undertaken with a variety of different people to ensure all the important elements are covered. From mechanical aspects and the physical design of the room to create the right environmental conditions, it pays to work with experts at every stage of the project. But what are the main considerations when designing and creating a laser lab?
Split air conditioning systems are two separate parts that are connected to each other. There is an outdoor unit and an indoor unit, with the outdoor unit usually situated next to the building and the indoor unit inside but close to the outdoor unit. The outdoor unit consists of a fan condenser and compressor, allowing airflow through a refrigerant line into outdoor air space. The indoor unit consists of a fan and an evaporator and allows airflow to flow to and from the outdoor unit.
Keeping your commercial premises at a regulated temperature can have many benefits for your business. Overly hot environments can hinder your employees’ productivity levels, making your office or business space difficult to work in.
Cleanrooms are specialist rooms used by manufacturing and research operations in order to test or produce products in clean environments where minimal airborne particles are required.
For cleanrooms and environments where precise filtration is vital, HEPA filters are commonly used. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance and they are one of the most efficient filters available, with a 99.7% accuracy at collecting air particles and keeping air quality high.
There could be many possible reasons as to why your air conditioning is blowing out hot air. The issue could be something relatively obvious such as having the controls set to heating or something more complex which would require an air conditioning professional.
Increasing the energy efficiency of your air conditioning unit can help to reduce your annual energy expenditure. This can also help your business become more eco- friendly by running a more efficient air conditioning unit, working to decrease the size of your carbon footprint.
Air filters play an important role in an air conditioning unit, ensuring that your system operates effectively to keep your commercial premises cool. Keeping your filters clean and clear of dirt and dust is a basic maintenance task to keep efficiency levels high and temperatures low. But even with regular cleaning, you may need to change them entirely.
A fully functional and operating air conditioning system will ensure that your property is kept at a temperature that is comfortable.
There are a few different reasons why your air conditioner may freeze, below are the 5 most common reasons that causing freezing.
The Different Components of an Air Conditioning System
An air conditioning system consists of a number of different components. In the same way as any other mechanical system, if any of those parts fail the whole system can fail. An air conditioning system can leak at any time but what causes the system to leak?
Some air conditioning and ventilation providers offer a generic range for their customers, but at Total Environmental Kooling (TEK) we pride ourselves on providing bespoke heating and cooling solutions. We work closely with our customers to ensure that their unique needs are met, whether they are domestic, commercial, industrial, public or private sector customers. Our aim is always to give our customers a system that consistently performs well and is built to last.
Achieving a comfortable temperature at your work premises can be tricky, especially if everyone has different requirements or you need specific temperatures in certain areas. For example, if you run a restaurant, you may want to keep the kitchen area cool but the office and dining room a little warmer.
Since January 2015, it has been illegal in the UK to install new air conditioning units with R22 refrigerant or to renew your R22 refrigerant in existing systems. If your unit was installed before 2004, there’s a good chance the refrigerant is now obsolete and you should replace it as soon as possible. There’s no need to strip out all your existing ductwork, but you will need to upgrade your air conditioning units to ensure that they are completely R22-free.
The energy efficiency of your air conditioning unit affects both the cost of your energy use, and your carbon footprint. More energy efficient units, though initially more expensive, can bring significant savings to your business, and improve the comfort of your offices and facilities.
The European Union’s carbon reduction plan sets stringent targets, both for energy efficiency and environmental impact. The Energy related Products (ErP) Directive has been introduced, to support the achievement of these targets, and specifies minimum efficiency requirements which must be integrated into energy-using products.
Being thoroughly prepared for an air conditioning system service visit, in addition to minimising the impact of the visit on your working day, ensures that the service engineer can carry out a thorough assessment of the air conditioning system. Here we consider the best practices you can follow to ensure that you are thoroughly prepared ahead of your air conditioning service visit.
With global warming becoming an increasing threat to the environment, the UN have banned harmful chemicals found in air conditioning, refrigerators and aerosol sprays.
There is no universal formula that can determine what is the best temperature for all commercial premises. Instead, the answer to this question will depend on a tailored approach that takes into account a property’s individual requirements. For instance, commercial premises where physical activity levels are high should have lower temperatures than more static work environments.
If your air conditioning begins to make an unusual noise, it could be a sign that your unit is faulty, may need cleaning or replacing. Analysing the type of sound can indicate what exactly is wrong with your AC system so that you can notify your maintenance team and resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
Older systems of air conditioning units in your office or work environment are wasteful in their energy usage, which can cause an increase in your energy bills as well as cause potential harm to the environment. Newer technologies and systems are developed with energy efficiency at the forefront, utilising new ways of keeping your office cool while remaining cost-effective and reducing wasted energy.
Traditional air conditioning systems regulate temperature by using a compressor, which sometimes works at maximum capacity and at other times is switched off completely. The basic purpose of an air conditioner inverter is to control the speed of the compressor motor to help regulate the conditioned-space temperature. This means that the power is automatically adjusted to suit your requirements rather than offering more or less cooling at various times.
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly air conditioning unit for your commercial or industrial premises, zoning could be the most eco-conscious system. Zoning is best used for larger spaces with differing temperature requirements and purposes within the building that can cause a large difference in temperature. Rather than heating or cooling the whole premises to the same temperature, zoning allows for a different temperature to be achieved between parts of the building for a more comfortable temperature for the occupants.
Air conditioning systems often come with a warranty, but certain courses of action could invalidate your agreement. It’s important that you understand the conditions so you don’t risk voiding your warranty, which could have costly implications. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of your policy carefully and read through the following pitfalls if you want to keep your warranty in place.
Heat pumps are designed to extract heat from outside sources and then pump it into the property, in both residential and commercial settings. Doing so uses less electrical energy than converting electricity into heat. And during the summer months, the cycle can even be reversed so that the unit acts as an air conditioning system.
For commercial buildings and offices lacking indoor and outdoor space in city environments such as Bristol and London, it can be difficult to work an air conditioning unit into the system. Air conditioning units traditionally require a large amount of outdoor space that, when situated on the front of the building, can look unsightly.
A professional air-conditioning service is always the best option when it comes to maintaining an effective system. However, there are ways to improve the condition of your air conditioning unit yourself. Following the steps below could help to keep your unit working as efficiently as possible, until it’s time to get it serviced by the professionals – however it is important to check whether your unit is still within its manufacturer’s warranty period, as servicing by an unauthorised/qualified contractor can invalidate this warranty.
Various studies have been undertaken to ascertain what the best temperature for a commercial premises might be. The minimum recommended temperature is 13oC in commercial premises where physical activity levels are high, while a minimum for more static work environments should be 16oC. Maximum levels are hard to set as conditions can vary dramatically, for example in a busy factory or a bakery, but having a commercial property that is too hot can be as, or even more, detrimental to staff than cold conditions.
An overly warm office building in the summer can be both uncomfortable and distracting, making it difficult for employees to concentrate. Providing a cool environment is really important and will allow employees to complete their working day without feeling too hot and bothered, and wanting to end the day early.
Energy Performance Certificates indicate the energy rating of a rental property, whether that’s commercial or residential. From 2018, commercial landlords must have a MEPS, or Minimum Energy Performance Standard, of at least band E. This means, if your commercial premises is not already band E or above, you will need to improve the energy efficiency of your air conditioning, heating and ventilation.
Whether you’d like to install air conditioning in your office building, commercial premises or industrial warehouse, choosing the correct installer is vital. By spending the time to find the right installer for your company, you will ensure a cost-effective and efficient air conditioning system that will stand the test of time.
Cleanrooms require exact specifications and precise measurements in order to be effective for each industry. With tailored dimensions for optimal cleanliness, humidity, temperature and air flow, they can be personalised to their exact purpose. Hardwall and softwall cleanrooms are part of the outer design of the cleanroom and choosing which type will depend on your requirements and purposes.
TEK’s health and safety procedures have been recognised by Safecontractor, earning them an Accreditation from the renowned organisation. At TEK, we have long prided ourselves on our high standards of health and safety as contractors, and now we have the official Accreditation to confirm it.
Seasonal efficiency measures the true energy efficiency of heating and cooling systems. It gives you a realistic indication of the energy efficiency and environmental impact of your systems. This new method of rating energy efficiency is driven by the EU’s Energy Related Products (ErP) directive, which specifies the minimum eco-design requirements manufacturers must integrate into their energy-using products.
Your air conditioning unit, whether for an office block, shopping centre or factory, will most likely be used frequently in the upcoming summer. A breakdown during the summer period can have adverse effects on the comfort levels for staff and customers which is why it’s so important to get your air conditioning system serviced regularly.
Air conditioning is vital for many businesses to provide a comfortable, legally compliant working environment, however it can be quite energy intensive to run. Fortunately, intelligent design and planning can make your air conditioning system much more energy efficient without sacrificing comfort. This means you can cut your energy use and save money on your bills while still providing a good working environment for your staff and customers.
In working environments, air quality is really important to keep employees both safe and healthy. It has become a necessity to reduce energy wastage and improve energy efficiency, while keeping the air quality high for indoor occupants.
As D1+ Approved Installers of Daikin Air Conditioning systems, TEK are able to offer 5 year extended warranties on all Daikin systems as standard. This allows us to offer better value for money to our customers and ensures any Daikin system installed by TEK will continue to function properly for years to come.
BREEAM, or the Building Research Establishment Environment Assessment Methodology, is the industry method for assessing sustainability in projects and non-domestic buildings. It aims to aid project managers, investors, owners and occupiers to be more knowledgeable about their environmental impact and to make effective use of resources.
To maintain a functioning clean room at the specific conditions that it needs, regular maintenance is required. Whether it’s an ISO Class 9 room or an ISO Class 1 room, scheduled maintenance offers the opportunity to test the conditions so the clean room can remain effective to industry standards. It also allows time to check the equipment and filters, for a much more efficient clean room system.
Climate control can be really beneficial for improving energy efficiency in your work environment. By improving energy efficiency, you can reduce your carbon footprint and save money for your business.
TEK have recently been awarded D1+ Approved Installer status by market-leaders Daikin Air Conditioning. As one of the best known brands in air conditioning, Daikin’s endorsement is something we’re very proud of here at TEK, especially as it now allows us to offer an even better service for our customers.
Having your air conditioning properly tested and maintained on a regular basis is very important as it helps to keep it running effectively. This saves you money in the short term by ensuring that your system operates at peak efficiency, so isn’t wasting energy. It also saves money in the long term by preventing breakdowns which can be costly to repair.
One of the key elements of designing and maintaining an effective clean room is airflow. Any particulate matter in the air of your clean room needs to be caught by filters, removing the risk of potential contamination.
When designing any clean room environment, air pressure must not be overlooked. Creating air pressure gradients between different areas is one of the most effective ways to control the flow of contaminants throughout a building.
For your air conditioning units, it’s sensible to be aware of the most common faults. By actively looking for these faults and diagnosing them in advance, you can avoid a major A/C unit breakage and save yourself money on repair costs.
For an effective clean room in a commercial or industrial facility, there are 4 key elements to be considered throughout the design process. These must be tailored to your specific requirements in order to design a clean room that fits your exact needs.
Air conditioning units need to be regularly maintained in order to function efficiently. One problem that can occur is low refrigerant, which can then cause many other problems and disruptions within the air conditioning system. Looking out for the signs of low refrigerant will ensure that your air conditioning remains efficient and effective.
From the start of 2015 it has been illegal to top up any system with R22 gas. Although you can still legally operate a system that already contains R22, the gas will become depleted over time and eventually the system will lose efficiency or stop working altogether.
A good functioning clean room is vital in certain working environments to ensure that the space is kept carefully controlled. Quality is of the upmost importance, with a low level of pollutant particles and a tightly regulated temperature and humidity.
Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology is increasingly popular for air conditioning applications. The technology works by adding an air conditioning inverter to the compressor driving refrigerant around the system. The rate of refrigerant flow around the system can then be varied, providing more or less cooling as required. You may be familiar with this technology under the name Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) which is a trademarked name belonging to leading manufacturer Daikin.
When it comes to good quality air conditioning for commercial or industrial properties, regular maintenance is really important. By maintaining and servicing your air conditioning, issues and faults can be avoided for optimal performance.
Heat recovery technology can not only save you money and help cut your carbon footprint, it can also improve the air quality in your workplace creating a better environment for your employees. This technology is commonly used in kitchens, offices, factories, manufacturing and industrial plants and is rapidly becoming standard in most larger installations.
A close control room is designed to provide a strictly controlled environment for processes involved in research and manufacturing that can be compromised by variations in temperature and humidity. There are three main classes of close control room, each of which provides a different level of regulation over the conditions within. Which class of control room you need will depend on the exact processes undertaken within your organisations.
Since the beginning of 2015 it has been illegal to replace the R22 refrigerant used in older air conditioning systems. This is because R22 contains hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) which contribute to ozone depletion in the atmosphere causing serious environmental issues.
Air conditioning is essential for many modern workplaces, but can use a lot of energy, making it relatively expensive to run. An inverter allows you to reduce the amount of energy your system uses and cut your bills without sacrificing comfort.
The basic process of evaporative cooling has actually been in use for thousands of years, although modern technology has now allowed us to bring the idea right up-to-date. The underlying principle is that by passing warm air over a medium containing liquid water you can reduce the temperature of the air by taking heat energy from it and using it to evaporate the water.
Quality control is vital for many industries and organisations, particularly high-end manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and research labs. A clean room guarantees your processes will be free from contamination, but only if it works to acceptable tolerances. There are several steps to achieving an effective clean room, all of which need to work in unison.
In the past, many air conditioning systems relied on hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants which we now know are responsible for depleting ozone in the atmosphere. This led to a weakening of the ozone layer which provides vital protection from harmful solar radiation. As a result, HCFC refrigerants such as the once standard R22 have been banned, meaning that older systems running on these refrigerants can no longer be topped up.
The quality of the air we breathe can have a massive impact both on our comfort and our health. With most of us now spending the vast majority of our lives indoors, adequately controlling our air quality is more important than ever.
If you are in the process of setting up a business that requires a strictly controlled environment for manufacturing, research or any other purposes you have no doubt come across the terms clean room and close control room. Unfortunately these terms are not always used accurately, so many people are confused by the difference between the two. At Total Environmental Kooling we install both clean rooms and close control rooms so decided to put together this guide to help people understand the difference.
For both high tech manufacturers and testing and calibration laboratories, being able to produce precise and accurate test data is vital for establishing competence. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) are both non-governmental organisations which work to improve standards of safety, reliability and quality for products and services. The ISO/IEC 17025 standard is a joint effort by both organisations, first issued in 1999, to establish a standard for calibration and testing laboratories.
The goal of any clean room is create a carefully controlled environment to allow highly sensitive processes to be carried out without the risk of contamination. As well as maintaining optimal temperature and humidity levels, it is also vitally important to filter out any dust or other pollutant particles in the air. The most effective way to achieve this is with High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filtration.
Just like in the home, what temperature to set the thermostat in a workplace to can be a contentious issue. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states that employers must provide a “reasonable” temperature for their employees. The Health and Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice suggests a minimum temperature of 16°C is appropriate (or 13°C for workers carrying out strenuous manual labour).
But is there an ideal temperature to aim for? Although you’re unlikely to get absolutely everyone to agree, there is research that suggests that changing the temperature in your workplace can make your workers more efficient by increasing their productivity.
With a change in the law in January 2015, not everyone is fully aware of the new regulations regarding use of R22 refrigerant in air conditioning systems. If you’ve recently discovered that your air conditioning system is still using R22 refrigerant, then you may be confused about what you need to do.
For many businesses controlling humidity can be just as important as maintaining an optimal temperature. Humidity can affect a variety of manufacturing process as well as testing and storage, so understanding how humidity may affect your business and what you can do about it is crucial.
For some businesses, air conditioning may be an added luxury to their workplace and not thought of as a priority. This means that should a fault occur, fixing it may not be at the top of your lists of priorities. Despite the belief that office air conditioning is a luxury, a faulty system could actually be incredibly disruptive to a workplace.
Air conditioning is often an afterthought in business, as it is often not thought of as a necessity unless you’re a company that is dependent on a controlled climate. In fact, air conditioning and temperature are important to all working environments, as comfortable working temperatures create a more productive workplace and can even help prevent common machinery such as computers from overheating and malfunctioning.
Bristol has now begun its year as the European Green Capital for 2015. The first UK city to be given the award, Bristol is being recognised for its efforts to become more environmentally friendly. This is a fantastic boost for the city’s green aspirations and a welcome encouragement for local businesses to do more to reduce their carbon footprint.
Heating zones are areas of a building that have differing heating requirements. Recognising and treating these zones as separate to each other is key to having the most efficient climate control system.
On the 1st January 2015, it became illegal to service climate control and air conditioning systems with the hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) R22. This includes reclaimed and recycled R22, and prohibits maintenance that involves interfering with the refrigerant circuits. The introduction of the complete R22 ban replaces the ban on using virgin R22 in 2010, and is compliant with the UN’s Montreal Protocol.
If your commercial building’s air conditioning is due for replacement or isn’t performing as well as it should, then getting an efficient new system is a clear priority. If your building is medium-large in size, then a VRV/VRF system is probably the best you could choose.
Regular servicing of any specialist room – clean rooms, CMM, thermal, or any other – is essential to maintain the very specific conditions that are required.The technical aspect of maintaining a specialist controlled room is a little different than with a normal air conditioning unit, but in terms of working out an appropriate maintenance schedule, the requirements are surprisingly similar. However as with all kinds of industrial equipment, the exact use and type of industry must be taken into account.
Employee comfort is essential for a happy and productive workplace, so it is important that businesses are aware of what they must do in regards to room temperature. Employees feeling too hot or too cold can seem like an insignificant issue, but over a prolonged period of time can lead to some serious problems, from low productivity to poor employee health.
Now the colder weather is setting in, most businesses will find themselves having to turn their heating systems on to keep their workers comfortable. Unfortunately heating uses a lot of energy, which is bad both for your budget and the environment (thanks to the all the carbon dioxide produced in the process of generating the energy). So, if you want to reduce your expenditure and your carbon footprint, it might be time to look at ways of making your climate control systems more efficient.
You probably know that getting maintenance on your air conditioning systems is vital to keeping them healthy and efficient. Repairs, replacements, and increased bills due to the impaired efficiency of your unit will all cost you more than any investment in maintenance. It also avoids your warrantee being voided in the event of a breakdown, which could lead to a large, unexpected bill. However, the question of how often these works should be carried out is a little harder to answer.
With legal changes coming into effect in January 2015, some businesses may be concerned with if, or when, they should be replacing their climate control systems. Though some businesses may be able to wait until the last minute to replace their units, there are plenty of industries and companies that would suffer from leaving their units alone and waiting for a fault, or leak, to occur.
The comfort benefits of air conditioning are obvious, but if the unit is efficient and properly looked after then there are also advantages for the health of everyone in your office. The increased control over the temperature and air quality mean that many seasonal conditions can be minimised or removed altogether.
Whilst installing an air conditioning unit is a given for a business trying to improve their workspaces, there are some things to consider prior to having a unit installed. Businesses looking to have air conditioning systems installed throughout their buildings and workplaces should consider the following.
Topping up your air conditioning systems with HCFCs will be illegal from January 2015, and while you can still run your old AC using this refrigerant, the environmental impact of this gas means that you may decide to replace it sooner rather than later.
Have a look at the story behind the ban to help you understand exactly what laws and protocols you’re going to need to comply with, but also to help you decide whether you really want to continue running your system on your old R22 or have it safely and responsibly replaced.
If your office or commercial building has an old air conditioning system, it may run on R22 refrigerant. We talk a bit more about the legalities of R22 in our FAQ page but, in brief, after January 2015 you won’t be able to use R22 of any kind.
Your can leave your system running as it is, which is not recommended in most cases as you cannot replace the R22 if your system has an issue. Your two other options are to replace the system entirely, or to convert your existing system so it can run on an alternative refrigerant. Here are some of the things you should weigh up when considering whether you should leave, convert or replace your old air conditioning.
In most modern office buildings, air conditioning (AC) is essential for creating a comfortable working environment. But if you want to minimise your costs and carbon footprint it’s vital to keep your system in good working order. Here are some of the top reasons why.