Buying an air conditioning unit is a big decision for your business. This applies whether it is a new unit or a replacement for an existing one. You need to do some research beforehand to ensure you get the right system for your business needs. Here at Total Environment Kooling Ltd (TEK), we walk our customers through a process to help them make a choice and here are the basics we consider.
Type of air conditioning unit
There are lots of big-name air con units available including from brands such as Toshiba, LG, Mitsubishi and Trox. Some offer a wide range of air con types while others specialise in specific setups. So the first thing you need to know is what type of air conditioning will work best.
Split system air conditioning
Split system air con is the most budget-friendly option and is ideal for smaller industrial buildings. They offer heating and cooling to individual rooms so are perfect for everything from shops and cafes to the server rooms.
You can use them in larger spaces or if you have lots of rooms, but you do need an outdoor unit for each indoor unit. The positive of this is that one unit can break down, but the rest will still function as they are all independent.
Multi-split system air conditioning
A multi-split system works in a similar way to a split system, but you can combine a number of units, usually around 9-10 depending on the brand. These are popular for places such as restaurants, offices and shops as they have fewer outdoor units and you can add a variety of indoor units types to the system.
They are more complex than split systems and that means more pipework, so it does cost more. But it can better accommodate a layout with multiple rooms.
VRV air con
VRV or variable refrigerant volume air conditioning is a technology developed by a company called Daikin, for who TEK are authorised installers. These systems are ideal for medium to large industrial spaces, hotels and mixed-use buildings.
Efficient, easy to control and extremely reliable, these are a top choice for industrial air conditioning needs. There are two types of system, heat pump or heat recovery and they can provide heating or cooling at any point. Heat recovery allows heating and cooling of different areas at the same time.
Another, slightly more technical way to decide on the right industrial air con is to look at the size of the space and the power of the air conditioning unit, measured in something called BTU. The BTU or British thermal unit is the amount of heat that is required to raise the temperature of 1 pound (0.45kg) of water by one degree F or 0.56 degrees C.
Each system will have its own BTU and there is a rough guideline of the size of the room and how high the BTU needs to be to accommodate this. A couple of examples include:
- 150 sq. ft room = 5,000 BTU
- 500 sq. ft room = 10,000 BTU
- 1435 sq. ft room = 22,000 BTU
When you work with TEK, we can carry out these calculations to ensure you get the right BTU for the size of the rooms involved.
How efficient is the system?
Energy efficiency is a huge point to consider for several reasons. First, the more efficient a system is, the less power it uses and therefore utility costs are kept down. Another reason is that more energy-efficient means better for the environment and reduces the carbon footprint of the business. Finally, for property owners, the efficiency of all appliances within the business contributes to the building’s overall energy efficiency rating.
It is understandable that the more modern the system, the more efficient it is. This is why businesses often replace their air con while it is still functioning but there is a clear improvement to be made with the efficiency of it.
Systems such as air conditioning zoning also allow better control over the entire system and ensure it is only used when required. It means empty rooms aren’t cooled while busy ones are used in optimum ways. You can create a constant and steady temperature across the building or only cool areas that require it.
Maintenance and guarantee
The final point to consider before choosing your industrial air conditioning system is the maintenance needs and relevant guarantees that come with the system. Many manufacturers will recommend a specific maintenance schedule, and this is often part of the warranty – if you don’t have it done, then the warranty is void.
You want to ensure that you can have the work done in a timely manner and that it is easy to have systems fixed if something goes wrong. By working with TEK, you can be sure we offer air conditioning maintenance for all the units that we install and are here to help if there is a problem.