Engineer fixing an air conditioner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Air conditioners are now widely manufactured, distributed and used, but how do air conditioners work? How air conditioning works is often insufficiently explained. For people trying to diagnose problems with their air conditioning system or explain faults to an engineer, it can be challenging. Although they come in a variety of types, shapes, forms and sizes, most air conditioners have the same foundation. Today we are going to provide some more information on the inner workings of air conditioners: answering ‘’how do air conditioners work?’’. 

How Do Air Conditioners Work: An Overview 

Here at Chillaire, our engineers are always asked the same question: ‘’how do air conditioners work?’’. We use air conditioners constantly, in a variety of settings. Whether you belong to the domestic sector or you work in the commercial or industrial sector, you will, undoubtedly, have used or come across an air conditioner at some point. We often use appliances blindly without much knowledge of their inner workings, or how they provide the end result. Whilst, for the most part, this is fine, it is helpful to have some insider knowledge when an appliance breaks down and you are trying to diagnose or fix the problem. 

The premise of how air conditioning works is simple: cold air is supplied to a room or indoor space by removing heat/ humidity from air within the space. The mechanics inside your air conditioner work to provide a cool environment by capturing unwanted heat and pushing it outside. The air is, essentially, recycled. Continue below where we outline, in greater detail, some air conditioning basics. 

The Air Conditioning Basics 

Now we have an understanding of the purpose of an air conditioner, let us delve a bit deeper into some air conditioning basics. There are two components that make an air conditioner work. You have a specialised gas called a refrigerant, and then you have the mechanical system which is made up of a compressor, a condenser coil, expansion device and an evaporator coil. All of these elements work harmoniously in the background to provide your indoor room or space with cool air. 

Going further, these components all work to convert the refrigerant from gas to liquid and back again. The role of the compressor is to alter the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant. This is then sent to the condenser coil where it is converted to liquid. The gas refrigerant enters the evaporator coil where it, you guessed it, evaporates with the aid of the expansion device. This causes a state change and heat from the room air passing through the evaporator cools the indoor coil in the process. As the fan blows indoor air across this cold coil, heat inside the room or space is absorbed by the refrigerant. Cool air now circulates throughout a space whilst the heated gas returns to the compressor. The excess heat is dispelled outside as the refrigerant returns to its former liquid state. This cycle continues quickly and continuously until the right temperature is reached. 

So for anyone wondering ‘’Do air conditioners take in air from outside?’’, the answer is no. This is not how your air conditioning system is designed. Rather, your system uses its fans to draw in air and disperse it through its inner structure. In essence, it is recycled air that passes through coils which cool it down before redistributing it. However, systems can be designed that bring in fresh air if required. 

Air Conditioning Basics: Benefits of Air Conditioning 

It is important that we have functioning and well maintained air conditioners. A common air conditioning system has a variety of benefits to homeowners and business owners alike. For example, air conditioners help to improve indoor air quality. Some air conditioning systems have dust filters which help to capture dust and pollutants chiefly to ensure the smooth running of the internal mechanics. But these have a positive effect on air quality. Some modern air conditioners even have air purification systems built in. 

Moreover, air conditioners remove moisture and warmth from indoor air which helps to tackle excessive humidity. This is important for helping to combat damp, as well as tackling a number of health problems we are susceptible to in humid environments. 

Lastly, an air conditioner simply creates a more comfortable environment and atmosphere. In the summer or in countries that have a significantly warmer climate, air conditioning becomes extremely valuable. Office or factory workers are also able to carry out their tasks in a comfortable environment thanks to the availability of modern air conditioners. 

How Air Conditioning Works by Chillaire 

We hope any one who arrived at this article asking ‘’how do air conditioners work?’’ now has a better idea of how these systems operate. With a little more knowledge about the individual components, the task of identifying and diagnosing issues is made that bit easier. 

If you are having problems with your air conditioner and are based in the Midlands, we at Chillaire can help. For any client in the industrial or commercial sector, we can maintain, service and repair air conditioners or heat pumps. With years of experience and an expert team who have completed countless jobs, no task is too big, small or complex for us. To contact us today to find out how we can help you, click here

Air Conditioning (AC) maintenance is an aspect of AC systems which should definitely not be neglected. Ever. Many expensive bills can be avoided just by educating consumers on air conditioning systems, the importance of cleaning the filters and ensuring that the airflow is not restricted. Having a fully functional AC system that is well maintained in your home or commercial building is not only beneficial for the environment, but it can save you a lot of money over time. What is also important to note is that regular AC maintenance ensures that your AC system can prolong its life cycle, can continue to be reliable to perform to the highest level possible and improve efficiency levels when utilised. 

As such, this article will talk you through:

  • The importance of air conditioning maintenance
  • How often should you service an AC system 
  • What a AC maintenance check look like
  • The benefits of regularly servicing your AC systems.
  • How you can get your AC serviced today

The Importance Of Air Conditioning Maintenance

Some of you may be wondering what the importance of air conditioning maintenance is. When your air conditioning unit is operating properly and to a high standard, it is likely that you don’t even notice it. Furthermore, when they are serviced correctly, they will remain fully functional for many years which could prove beneficial for you in the future.

However, in contrast, a case study titled ‘Evaluation of Air Conditioning Performance Degradation’ analysed 56 AC cooling systems from years 2012 – 2016, and generally found that they worsened over time. Furthermore, AC degradation most commonly fell by 5% but ranged from -8% to 40%. From this alone, it proves that neglecting to have your AC unit serviced will actually reduce its effectiveness and efficiency. As a result, this could end up costing you significantly on your energy bills or, in the worst case scenario, your AC unit can break which would cost more in the long run when finding a replacement. 

With this in mind it is important to have regular maintenance and servicing as AC engineers can spot any potential problems with your units at the earliest point and ultimately, save you a lot of money and hassle to repair.

How Often Should I Service My Air Conditioner?

Working out how often you should arrange an air conditioning engineer to service your unit may be overwhelming, especially if your unit is working without any known problems. The best way to proceed is to arrange an annual service. Your unit may appear to be in great condition but regular servicing will help you to avoid unexpected breakdowns and plan for the future when the unit begins to show signs of wear and tear.

What Does A Maintenance Check Look Like? 

A planned maintenance visit from our engineers will consist of a full clean, visual inspection and testing of all AC systems in your premises. Any problems picked up during the maintenance visit are reported back to the office at Chillaire where a full report of any issues is then created.

A typical maintenance check will consist of the following:

  • Coil Cleaning
  • Drain Checking
  • Refrigerant Testing and Checking
  • Fin Straightening and Cleaning
  • Airflow Checking
  • Control and Terminal Checks

Benefits Of Air Conditioning Maintenance:

Now that we know the importance of air conditioning maintenance and what a typical service check looks like, we are going to list the major benefits of having your AC unit serviced which can be seen below:

  • Increases energy efficiency

AC units may develop small issues over time and if not identified early, they can escalate to more damaging and costly problems. If this happens to your system, the AC unit will have to work harder to cool your environment, thus impacting its efficiency levels. 

  • Reduced overall repair costs

There is always that chance that your AC unit can go from 100% to 0% in the blink of an eye and this is a situation no one wants to deal with as it can be incredibly costly. As such, regular servicing and maintenance, can manage the need for unexpected repairs or even avoid them altogether. 

  • Improved air quality

Over time, your air conditioning systems can become dirty and build up dust if it is not cleaned correctly and frequently. As more dirt and dust accumulates, your filter will become less effective at purifying the air that passes through it which causes poor air quality. With regular checks of your AC unit, you can ensure that your filter stays clean, and successfully purifies the air which consequently will improve your overall health. 

  • Offers Comfort and Peace of Mind

The final benefit of regular air conditioning maintenance is to offer peace of mind. Aside from leisure activities, work or school, a home is where families spend most of their time. Knowing that your AC unit is clean and circulating good quality will only add to the high satisfaction and comfort  of sitting in your own house without a worry of your AC breaking or causing serious harm to your health.

How You Can Get Your AC Serviced Today 

Now you know the importance of air conditioning maintenance checks, perhaps it is time that you contact us to check whether you have any AC issues in your vicinity. If you require any air conditioning services, browse through our site now or chat to one of our experts on at 0800 092 9898 or email us at service@chillaire.co.uk 

Air Purifiers

Air conditioning and Air purifiers are two different systems which cater for different needs. Whilst air conditioning works to produce cool air at an effective rate, air purifiers central purpose is to improve the quality of air in an environment. However, innovative companies like Panasonic and Daikin are rapidly developing their technology to offer products that are of high quality and even have multiple purposes.

Panasonic nanoe™ X Technology

Panasonic has been continuously developing their technology in order to provide products to help improve people’s health and lifestyles. Due to Covid-19 and the general interest in living a cleaner and healthier life, it’s been necessary for brands, such as Panasonic, to make advanced products that contribute to consumers’ health conscious lifestyles. Thus, Panasonic have taken a naturally occurring process in the form of Hydroxyl radicals and adapted them to help create cleaner indoor environments.

Hydroxyl radicals are molecules that actively combine with other elements to cause a reaction, preventing the growth of contaminants by breaking them down and reducing their negative effects. Panasonic’s nanoe™ X technology has altered this process by adding the Hydroxyl radicals to water to increase its efficiency and lifespan. Not only will the air be safer to breathe, but indoor environments containing furnishings will be cleaned, with the particles being small enough to penetrate through fabric. Panasonic incorporated this technology into purifying devices and other applications, even air conditioning for residential and commercial spaces.

Image by Panasonic via AMP Air

Developed in 2004, Streamer technology is just one of the highly innovative technological advancements Daikin has developed to provide quality products and services for consumers. Recently, they found that the effectiveness of the streamer technology inactivated more than 99.9% of Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). However, further testing may be required as results may differ in actual use in real-life environments or with equipment that incorporates Streamer technology.

Image by Daikin EU

Daikin’s MC55W Streamer Technology Air Purifier

The MC55W Streamer technology air purifier features their patented streamer technology which has many advantageous benefits for this current climate.

The air purifier is fitted with a flash streamer which utilises electrons that combine with one another in order to break down and filter out airborne contaminants. This product is designed to reduce allergy symptoms, which includes dust, odours, pollen, bacteria etc. which can be unsafe and potentially detrimental to one’s health. This particular air purifier would be useful to have as the effects of any airborne allergens would be lowered, providing a more tolerable home or working environment.

Chillaire Limited is an approved D1 dealer with Daikin UK and a registered supplier of Panasonic UK systems.

Call Chillaire Limited today to assist you with your commercial or industrial heating environment or application requirement. From initial site survey, design, supply, installation, warranty and future planned maintenance with 24 hour service.

Website: www.chillaire.co.uk

Email Address: sales@chillaire.co.uk / service@chillaire.co.uk

For more information, visit Daikin’s website here.

For more information, visit Panasonic’s website here.

References:

Daikin

Panasonic

Heatpumpsource.co.uk

Powrmatic / Combat / Winterwarm – Gas Fired Warm Air Heating

Why Gas Fired Warm Air Heating for Commercial or Industrial Environments?

Gas fired warm air heating is a cost effective way of heating large spaces such warehouses or distributions centres or showrooms or similar.
The latest gas fired heaters manufactured by Combat / Winterwarm or Powrmatic are modern energy efficient and highly reliable and ideal for commercial / industrial premises and work by forcing warm air around the building. These heaters are most often used in commercial properties and public spaces such as retail outlets, sports halls, distribution centres, warehouse storage facilities, production areas and sports halls and are known to improve energy efficiency when compared to other systems. Additional installation costs are easily absorbed by long-term savings.

Why Use Warm Air Heating Systems?

Warm air heating works by pulling cold air from the building and pushing it across a heat exchanger. The cold air is heated via the fan and re-distributed back into the environment until an ambient temperature is achieved. There are a wide variety of fuels to choose from, such as natural gas, LPG, oil, and biofuels, to operate the system. By combining warm air heating with a sophisticated control system, businesses can easily manage the temperature without overheating or getting too cold.
Warm air heating systems can include roof suspended and floor standing cabinet units, making them an extremely versatile choice for industrial and commercial premises.

Powrmatic and Winterwarm have a unique range of gas fired heater range:

Powrmatic recently introduced its new LNVX energy efficient heater range.

Winterwarm has the XR range with stainless steel heat exchangers.

The Combat Compact range is ideal for smaller buildings that may require less heating, particularly when space is at a minimum. Alternatively, for improved energy efficiency, you may want to consider the Combat ECO Condensing Unit Heaters, which are one of the smallest condensing heaters on the market at present.

Why Combat Heating Solutions?

Combat have been manufacturing heating products for over 40 years and have an extensive knowledge of the commercial and industrial heating sector providing help to find solutions. Combat have a wide range of heating appliances for most applications.

Radiant Heating

What is Radiant Heating?

Radiant heating is a cost-effective, reliable method of heating small to very large indoor areas that require a more even spread of heat. The best way to simply describe how infrared radiant heaters work is to compare it to the most reliable known heater – the Sun. The heat energy from the Sun radiates through space and our atmosphere, striking the Earth’s surface and heating it. It is this warmed surface that then heats the air and raises the air temperature.
Due to the versatility of radiant heaters, they are utilised for large spaces such as factory and warehouse heating.

Why Radiant Heaters?

Radiant heating, unlike fan assisted warm air heaters, does not heat the air. It first heats the people and the objects around it, including the floor, which in turn act as secondary heaters, raising the air temperature. The main benefit of radiant heating is the reduced loss of heated air in areas with opening doors and windows.

Unlike warm air heaters which use excessive energy to heat the building’s atmosphere, once a door has been opened, objects heated by radiant heating will continue to stay warm. For industrial and commercial buildings such as distribution centres or warehouses that often have large doors open to cater for deliveries, radiant heating is the most cost-effective solution for maintaining suitable working temperatures.

Combat Energy Saving Accessories

Combat Heating Solutions understands the importance of energy efficiency in the workplace. Reliable heating systems that can be automatically controlled while reducing energy consumption, is essential for most business owners and landlords. Industrial heating systems work in some of the toughest conditions and are required to adapt quickly to changing circumstances.
That’s why to provide energy saving Combat controls and destratification fans complement their new industrial heater range. Combat energy-saving destratification fans improve the efficiency of the heater by keeping valuable warm air down at working level, thus reducing heat loss through the roof structure. The Energy Efficient NRG Controller maximises fuel efficiency through self-learning optimisation, which could save you money on your energy bills.

Call Chillaire Limited today to assist you with your commercial or industrial heating environment or application requirement. From initial site survey, design, supply, installation, warranty and future planned maintenance with 24 hour service.

Local Chillaire Industrial / Commercial Heating Centres: Rugby: 01788 669164 / Leamington Spa & Warwick: 01926 825681 / Stratford upon Avon: 01789 273289 / Banbury: 01295 207682 / Redditch: 01527 531275 and Leicester: 0116 202 5094

Other Local Offices:

We have offices throughout central England:

Email Address: sales@chillaire.co.uk / service@chillaire.co.uk Website: www.chillaire.co.uk

Modern office building exterior for VRF heat pumpVRF heat pump systems are an increasingly popular option for business premises of all shapes and sizes.

Because no two business premises are the same, specifying a heating system needs to be carefully considered to deliver the best possible comfort and energy efficiency.

Size, heat loss, hours of operation and other building management systems will all be important.

Depending on your type of business you might use different zones, rooms and communal spaces at different times of the day, each with specific heating or cooling requirements.

 

The benefits of VRF heat pump systems

Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) equipment is compact, making it ideal for smaller spaces, and a large area to house your heating and cooling equipment won’t be needed. VRF systems effectively keep your business premises comfortable while using significantly less energy, helping you to keep operating costs down.

A VRF system can identify the requirements for each zone of your building to deliver precise amounts of refrigerant to each air handling unit, eliminating troublesome cold or hot spots. They provide more consistent comfort within your office building or commercial space, ensuring you have happier, healthier, and more productive employees.

 

VRF heat pumps

VRF systems can serve multiple zones in your building, responding to differing heating and cooling requirements.

In contrast to conventional air or water HVAC systems, VRF systems manage the amount of refrigerant sent to each zone according to your settings and outside conditions. They will efficiently deliver refrigerant in exact amounts where it is needed.

Multiple indoor units can operate at the same time in heating or cooling modes while connected to a single outdoor unit. Ductless heat pumps (DHP) units can be integrated into a larger VRF system.

 

Types of VRF system

There are two system formats; two-pipe and three-pipe systems. In two-pipe systems all the zones will be either cooling or heating. When the indoor units are in cooling mode, they act as evaporators; when they are in the heating mode, they act as condensers.

Alternatively, VRF systems with heat recovery (VRF-HR) use a three-pipe design so that some zones can be cooled while others are heated. This allows surplus heat within the system to be used, rather than being wasted. While the initial costs of three-pipe systems are higher, thermal control across building zones and overall efficiency are improved.

 

How VRF systems work

Daikin developed variable refrigerant technology, known as variable refrigerant volume (VRV), in the 1980s. The approach automatically adapts refrigerant temperature to provide the most comfortable conditions, increasing seasonal efficiency by up to 28%, compared to other solutions. Other systems based on this approach are commonly known as VRF.

The refrigerant flows through pipes between an outdoor unit and indoor units that condition and recirculate indoor air. Variable speed fans modulate the indoor and outdoor units. Heat recovery between zones reuses energy efficiently for heating, cooling, and hot water.

Smaller sized systems are available for residential and small commercial buildings, while large configurations of up to several hundred tons can be installed for high-rise buildings. They can include sophisticated controls for demand response, operations, and maintenance alerts.

 

Energy savings

Compared with conventional air-to-air heat pumps, advanced variable-speed heat pump systems can typically provide energy savings of 20% and can adjust to seasonal conditions to improve efficiency further. They offer better efficiencies, heat recovery, and can reduce or eliminate duct losses.

Because VRF systems are designed to supply the precise amount of refrigerant to each air handler they minimise energy waste. The system runs less frequently and at a lower capacity, while still maintaining comfortable temperatures. Because VRF systems can also capture heat as part of the cooling process, this can be reused in other parts of your building to save energy.

 

Chillaire – a national heating, ventilation and air conditioning partner

Centrally located in Nuneaton, and with offices around the UK, Chillaire is a trusted partner for design, installation and maintenance of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

You can contract us through our website www.chillaire.co.uk or email us at sales@chillaire.co.uk.

You can call any one of our local offices:

Nuneaton & Warwickshire Office: Unit 1 Veasey Close, Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate, Nuneaton, CV11 6RT. Telephone: 024 7632 0300

Coventry & West Midlands Office: 16 Lythalls Lane, Holbrooks, Coventry, West Midlands, CV6 6FG. Telephone: 024 7624 9440

Leicester & Leicestershire Office: 3rd Floor, St George’s House, 6 St George’s Way, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 1QZ. Telephone: 0116 202 5094

Redditch & Alcester & Worcestershire Office: Minerva Mill Innovation Centre, Station Road, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5EH. Telephone: 01527 531275

Northampton & Northamptonshire Office: Moulton Park Business Centre, Redhouse Road, Moulton Park, Northamptonshire, NN3 6AQ. Telephone: 01604 269540

Kettering, Corby & Northants Area Office: 10A Silver Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 0BN. Telephone: 01536 386046

Growing demand for industrial, commercial and domestic HVAC installations has created new career opportunities for air conditioning and gas heating engineers at the specialist HVAC design, installation and maintenance company, Chillaire, based in Nuneaton.

These interesting and rewarding roles are for experienced HVAC engineers but are also expected to attract interest from candidates working in other industry sectors whose skills are suitable for a career in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

Immediate engineer vacancies:

Senior Multi-skilled Engineer – Air Conditioning & Heating

Service Engineer – Air conditioning

Here are just some of the reasons why HVAC engineering is an excellent career choice.

Build on your existing engineering skills 

Candidates from a wide range of backgrounds have opportunities to apply their skills to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) sector. It offers a chance to acquire knowledge related to this expanding area and provides interesting career paths. The HVAC sector requires a broad range of roles for technicians, engineers, installers, fleet managers, project managers and sales professionals, as well as logistics and customer service expertise.

 

New uses for your engineering skills

The drive for improved energy efficiency and greater awareness about the environmental impact of refrigerants mean that there are exciting technical developments in the modern HVAC sector.

People with mechanical and electronic engineering skills as well as expertise in wireless components, sophisticated software and digitally integrated systems are all in demand. In addition, there are also opportunities for professionals with an understanding of planning, sales, project management, networking and repair.

 

Career opportunities in the HVAC sector

Even if you start as a technician, there are excellent career paths for skilled engineers. The founders of many successful HVAC manufacturing businesses in the UK and overseas started out working on installations before moving on to project management, sales and product development roles.

 

Growing demand for HVAC installations

Demand is being driven by expansion in the construction sector and in the wider economy along with new building control and environmental performance regulations. Innovations in energy efficiency and quality are also creating demand for new systems that are more cost-effective to run.

 

Job satisfaction

Many people working in the HVAC sector report high levels of job satisfaction. If you enjoy taking personal responsibility, solving customer problems and working with them to design solutions, then this is an ideal career for you.

Adaptability and creativity are often needed to find the best products or systems for a customer’s needs. Continuing innovation in product design and development means that the HVAC sector is changing all the time, making it an exciting career choice.

 

Senior Multi-skilled Engineer – Air Conditioning & Heating

Basic salary: From £35,000 dependent on qualifications and experience, plus overtime, out of hours standby duty fee and annual bonus.

Installations in offices, warehouses, production areas, retail leisure and plantrooms, will include:

  • split type and VRV/VRF air conditioning systems
  • chillers
  • rooftop units
  • ventilation air handling units
  • boilers
  • gas fired warm air units
  • radiant tube heating
  • air control panels.

Go back

Service Engineer – Air conditioning

Basic salary: From £30,000 dependent on qualifications and experience, plus overtime, out of hours standby duty fee and annual bonus.

Installations in offices, warehouses, production areas, retail leisure and plantrooms, will include:

  • split type and VRV/VRF air conditioning systems
  • chillers
  • rooftop units
  • ventilation air handling units
  • air control panels.

Go back

Engineering roles at Chillaire 

Your final salary and overall employment package will depend your personal strengths, experience, knowledge and qualifications.

Chillaire will provide a van, fuel card, mobile phone, uniform, personal protective equipment and all your tools, except hand tools.

Ideal candidates will have experience working on a range of commercial HVAC equipment, including air handlers, chiller units, chilled water plant, air conditioning split systems, air conditioning close control systems, and rooftop package units.

Applicants for the role of Multi-skilled Engineer should also have experience of working on boilers, gas fired warm air heaters and radiant tube heaters.

Roles will include service work, repair work and, on occasions, commissioning heating, air conditioning and ventilation plant.

 

Working environment 

At Chillaire our normal working week is 8am to 5pm from Monday to Friday and we operate an out-of-hours call out rota. Each of our engineers is on call for one in every four weeks.

We pay an extra £100 per week every time you are on call, plus overtime if you are called out, with a minimum of three hours for each call out.

Overtime is paid as follows:

Chillaire overtime rates

Annual leave is 26 days plus all Bank Holidays and a 1-week shutdown at Christmas.

You will work in the Midlands, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire and, on occasions, surrounding counties and other parts of England.

Candidates must be based in the South Coventry area, South Leicester, Rugby, Daventry, Kettering, Northampton or Milton Keynes.

 

Chillaire – your national heating, ventilation and air conditioning partner

Centrally located in Nuneaton, and with offices around the UK, Chillaire is a trusted partner for design, installation and maintenance of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

 

You can contract us through our website www.chillaire.co.uk or email us at sales@chillaire.co.uk.

 

You can also call any one of our local offices:

Nuneaton & Warwickshire Office: Unit 1 Veasey Close, Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate, Nuneaton, CV11 6RT. Telephone: 024 7632 0300

Coventry & West Midlands Office: 16 Lythalls Lane, Holbrooks, Coventry, West Midlands, CV6 6FG. Telephone: 024 7624 9440

Leicester & Leicestershire Office: 3rd Floor, St George’s House, 6 St George’s Way, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 1QZ. Telephone: 0116 202 5094

Redditch & Alcester & Worcestershire Office: Minerva Mill Innovation Centre, Station Road, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5EH. Telephone: 01527 531275

Northampton & Northamptonshire Office: Moulton Park Business Centre, Redhouse Road, Moulton Park, Northamptonshire, NN3 6AQ. Telephone: 01604 269540

Kettering, Corby & Northants Area Office: 10A Silver Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 0BN. Telephone: 01536 386046

Depending on construction and layout, there are several things to think about if you want your factory heating to beFactory heating in large empty factory space effective and efficient.

If your specifications aren’t properly prepared the result can be poor heat distribution throughout the space, high costs and an adverse carbon footprint.

Factory heating options

Radiant and warm air and heating are your two main factory heating options.

Radiant heaters warm surfaces directly rather than the air, quickly increasing the local temperatures. However, they need to be directly overhead to be effective, so they aren’t good for high areas or where there are obstructions, although they can be a good choice for spaces that are open to outside air, such as loading bays.

In many cases warm air heating will be more efficient, especially if you have high ceilings. It draws air across a heat exchanger to increase its temperature and the warmed air is distributed throughout the space using fans. The heaters must be distributed evenly throughout the space to maintain consistent temperatures.

Warm air heat source options

Your choices of heat source for warm air factory heating are:

  • Direct fired gas or oil – the burners will be inside the body of the heater. Modern condensing versions are available that operate in the same way as condensing boilers to deliver very high energy efficiency.
  • Indirect fired hot water – the hot water is piped to the heater from a central boiler or electric element.

Heater location

Warm air heaters can be suspended from the roof, mounted on a wall or can stand on the floor.

Although floor-standing models will use some of your floor space they will be easier to access for maintenance. Floor standing air rotation heaters using large, efficient axial fans can move large volumes of air through the space at relatively low temperatures.

Heat distribution

If it has been well designed, your heating system will distribute warm air throughout your space with very little variation in temperature from one area to another. To achieve this your heaters must be in the right positions to minimise ‘cold spots’.

Destratification for your factory heating

In high-roofed buildings warm air will rise, known as thermal stratification. The Carbon Trust estimates energy consumption in industrial buildings with warm air heating can be reduced by 20% with the correct use of destratification fans. To achieve energy savings through destratification you will need the right system design and the most appropriate products.

You can install suspended fans that re-circulate warm air from the roof area back down to floor level. Alternatively, air rotation heating can draw in cooler air at a low level and rotate it to the higher levels where it will mix with the warmer air. This develops an airflow pattern, displacing the high-level hot air and returning it to floor level to provide automatic destratification.

Heating control

Energy efficiency depends on your choice of factory heating plant, how you control it, and how different areas are used.

Timing controls are also useful to heat areas before people start work and to turn heating off at the end of the day. The pre-heating period can be combined with seasonal compensation when outdoor temperatures are low.

In areas that are infrequently used it will be worthwhile making them into specific zones in your heating system so that you don’t waste energy. Temperature sensors can also be used to automatically adjust heating to maintain the right temperature.

Full building management systems (BMSs) can optimise timing and temperature to improve the overall efficiency of your heating system.

Energy use

Heating is a significant cost for your business, and you could be spending 30% more than you need to, so monitoring your energy consumption is important.

Each heating appliance in your factory has a gas consumption rate, measured in cubic metres per hour. Different gas meter models (for example U6, U10, U16, U25) provide a certain volume of gas. If your heating system design exceeds the maximum capacity of your gas meter, you will probably need to install a new meter and possibly upgrade your gas supply to make sure the system works properly.

You will need to know how many cubic metres of gas are used per hour (Standard Cubic Metres per Hour or SCMH) when demand is at its highest and whether your supply is low or high pressure. If you’re unsure about the pressure of your gas supply, a Gas Transporter 1 (GT1) test by the network owner can be requested.

Summary – Factory construction, layout and use will be different for each business, so it’s important that your heating is tailored to your needs to provide the best performance and value for money.

 

Chillaire – your national heating, ventilation and air conditioning partner

Centrally located in Nuneaton, and with offices around the UK, Chillaire is a trusted partner for design, installation and maintenance of factory heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

You can contract us through our website www.chillaire.co.uk or email us at sales@chillaire.co.uk.

You can call any one of our local offices:

 

Nuneaton & Warwickshire Office: Unit 1 Veasey Close, Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate, Nuneaton, CV11 6RT. Telephone: 024 7632 0300

Coventry & West Midlands Office: 16 Lythalls Lane, Holbrooks, Coventry, West Midlands, CV6 6FG. Telephone: 024 7624 9440

Leicester & Leicestershire Office: 3rd Floor, St George’s House, 6 St George’s Way, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 1QZ. Telephone: 0116 202 5094

Redditch & Alcester & Worcestershire Office: Minerva Mill Innovation Centre, Station Road, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5EH. Telephone: 01527 531275

Northampton & Northamptonshire Office: Moulton Park Business Centre, Redhouse Road, Moulton Park, Northamptonshire, NN3 6AQ. Telephone: 01604 269540

Kettering, Corby & Northants Area Office: 10A Silver Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 0BN. Telephone: 01536 386046

 

Air conditioning and HVAC systems have a number of jobs. Heating systems increase the indoor temperature and compensate for heat losses. On the other hand, many spaces gain heat from the sun, people and equipment. This makes them uncomfortable, so cooling is also needed. Ventilation systems supply air to an inside space and remove polluted air.

Rooftop air conditioning ducting

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems come in many different sizes and perform all sorts of functions. Some large systems are included in a building’s central services. They were probably designed with the building’s original plans and installed during construction. Others might provide heating through boilers and radiators, offering only limited ventilation or cooling in some parts of the building, such as meeting rooms.

Three systems or one?

Although we might think of heating, ventilation and air conditioning as separate services for a building, there are benefits of looking at HVAC as a single solution.

In fact, the relationships between these services and with the building itself are important. Looking at them together helps to control the environment more effectively and to manage energy use and costs. For example, if the systems are run separately a lot of energy could be wasted by heating one part of the building and cooling another part.

Energy consumption

HVAC can account a large part of the energy costs associated with using a building. Even small adjustments can make a big difference to the indoor environment and save money at the same time.

Through optimisation, annual energy savings of 30% or more can be achieved and system’s performance can be improved. There are also opportunities to make energy savings at the design stage, with accurate calculations, a whole-system approach and the correct equipment specifications.

There are five important things to consider when looking at HVAC energy use.

  1. The building’s design, layout and use – all of these will affect internal temperatures and humidity.
  2. The type of indoor conditions you need – more extreme temperatures, greater precision and better air quality all require extra energy.
  3. Internal heat sources – lighting, equipment and people all add to the indoor temperature.
  4. The efficiency of the HVAC system – a well-designed system will provide exactly the right amount of heating, cooling and moisture control in the right places at the right times.
  5. Operating controls – effective controls should allow accurate control so that the system only operates when it’s needed.

Saving energy

There are a number of steps you can take to minimise energy consumption of any system, while maintaining your indoor conditions.

Reducing the need – although we can’t always be involved in a building’s design, carefully specifying the HVAC system can have a big impact on energy use. This can include options to use ‘free energy’ such as solar power for heating, cooling and ventilation to make significant energy and cost savings. Natural ventilation uses airflow through doors and windows and allows rising hot air to be replaced.

Some systems can operate in ‘mixed mode’, using natural ventilation for heating and cooling where possible, and mechanical systems when needed.

Changing behaviour – the way we use a building can also make a difference. It’s not just the air temperature that affects how we feel. Solar radiation, humidity, and air speed are important too. Of course, what we do, and what we wear are also relevant.

When the heating, ventilation or air conditioning systems are in use, up to one third of the energy use and costs can be saved by reducing the amount of outside air coming in to the building. It’s always better to adjust the system than to open a door or window.

Understanding the controls – HVAC controls can be easily set to create a comfortable environment. There are four main types of control:

  • time controls so that systems only operate when and where a building is in use
  • temperature controls to maintain the environment within set limits
  • motion sensors to give even more accurate control in busy and less frequently used areas.
  • real time air quality monitoring to respond to changing conditions.

Regular maintenance – this does much more than replace worn elements of the system. It’s essential to maximise efficiency, to reduce energy waste and to avoid breakdowns.

HVAC components must be kept free of dirt and obstructions to operate efficiently.

The overall system should be serviced annually either by a maintenance technician or a professional contractor. In the meantime, regular routine checks of filters and pipework will help to identify performance issues and potential problems at an early stage. Pressure gauges are helpful to highlight when replacement filters are needed.

Upgrades – older HVAC systems might be reaching the end of their operational Iife as the refrigerants they use are no longer available. Some systems have been altered to operate with new replacement refrigerants, but reliability can become an issue over time. If you are considering upgrading or refurbishing your HVAC system, there are opportunities for energy savings.

Expert advice is essential when you commission a new HVAC system or replace and old one. By making sure that you use the most efficient equipment and that the system is professionally designed to meet your requirements you can be confident that it will efficient and cost effective.

 

Chillaire – a national heating, ventilation and air conditioning partner

Centrally located in Nuneaton, and with offices around the UK, Chillaire is a trusted partner for design, installation and maintenance of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

You can contract us through our website www.chillaire.co.uk or email us at sales@chillaire.co.uk.

You can call any one of our local offices:

Nuneaton & Warwickshire Office: Unit 1 Veasey Close, Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate, Nuneaton, CV11 6RT. Telephone: 024 7632 0300

Coventry & West Midlands Office: 16 Lythalls Lane, Holbrooks, Coventry, West Midlands, CV6 6FG. Telephone: 024 7624 9440

Leicester & Leicestershire Office: 3rd Floor, St George’s House, 6 St George’s Way, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 1QZ. Telephone: 0116 202 5094

Redditch & Alcester & Worcestershire Office: Minerva Mill Innovation Centre, Station Road, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5EH. Telephone: 01527 531275

Northampton & Northamptonshire Office: Moulton Park Business Centre, Redhouse Road, Moulton Park, Northamptonshire, NN3 6AQ. Telephone: 01604 269540

Kettering, Corby & Northants Area Office: 10A Silver Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 0BN. Telephone: 01536 386046

Emissions from medium combustion plants with orange sky

In December 2018 the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) came into effect, which will still apply in the UK when we leave the EU.

The MCPD sets out emission limit values (ELVs) of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (S02) and dust produced by an individual combustion plant like a boiler with a thermal input equal to or greater than 1 MW and less than 50MW.

New Medium Combustion Plants (MCPs) with individual inputs over 1 MW can’t now operate unless they comply with the ELVs, are properly registered and have a permit.

The deadline to register existing MCPs is still four or more years away, but planning to avoid last­minute issues and delays will be essential.

 

Context – Energy-related Products

MCPD is another step in the European Energy-related Products (ErP) drive to improve the efficiency and performance of heating and hot water products. Its goals include making users aware of the energy efficiency of their appliances, reducing carbon emissions, improving the overall efficiency of housing stock, and helping homeowners to reduce their energy bills.

The ErP Directive and Building Regulations Part L are both based on the output of a boiler. MCPD is different and will be used by specifiers, installers, building owners and facilities managers to make sure they are looking at the right things when boilers are installed or reviewed.

 

Boiler considerations

For example, if a plant room has two separate boilers, each with an input of 576kW, Building Regulations Part L would apply rather than MCPD. If a single boiler, such as a modular boiler, with an input of 1056kW was installed in the same plant room, MCPD would apply.

New MCP plants that have been installed and become operational since December 2018 must be registered and have a permit to operate. For recent installations, evidence will be needed that they were operational before that date, otherwise they will be regarded as new.

MCPs that have been substantially refurbished, repaired or altered in a way that changes their ELV, such as conversion from oil to natural gas for example, could be regarded as new.

Large projects with long periods between installation and when the system is commissioned are likely to be required to meet the ELV standards.

 

MCPD regulators

There will be five regulators across the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland:

  • The Environment Agency in England
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • Northern Ireland Environment Agency
  • Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland.

 

MCPD registration and permit deadlines

Regulators say that applications for permits for new MCPs should be made at least three months in advance of operation, or four months in Scotland. If these timescales aren’t met it’s possible that installations will have to stand idle until a permit is issued.

Existing MCPs won’t need to be registered or meet ELVs immediately. If they have an input above 5MW and below 50MW, they will need a permit by January 2024 and must meet the required ELVs by January 2025. Those with an input between 1 MW and 5MW must have a permit by January 2029 and be compliant with ELVs by 2030.

 

Existing MCP installations

Building owners, facilities managers and maintenance contractors should make auditing their assets a priority. As the deadlines approach permits could take much longer to be processed.

While modern condensing pressure jet boilers combined with up-to-date burners should meet MCPD standards, older style pressure jet boilers and burners might not be capable of achieving the necessary ELVs. Testing will highlight any issues and will, in any case, be required for registration.

Existing MCPs that don’t meet the emission targets might need to be replaced or be rectified ahead of the deadlines, requiring additional equipment or new components, so budget proposals and business cases are likely to be needed.

 

Chillaire – a national heating, ventilation and air conditioning partner

Centrally located in Nuneaton, and with offices around the UK, Chillaire is a trusted partner for design, installation and maintenance of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

You can contract us through our website www.chillaire.co.uk or email us at sales@chillaire.co.uk.

You can call any one of our local offices:

Nuneaton & Warwickshire Office: Unit 1 Veasey Close, Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate, Nuneaton, CV11 6RT. Telephone: 024 7632 0300

Coventry & West Midlands Office: 16 Lythalls Lane, Holbrooks, Coventry, West Midlands, CV6 6FG. Telephone: 024 7624 9440

Leicester & Leicestershire Office: 3rd Floor, St George’s House, 6 St George’s Way, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 1QZ. Telephone: 0116 202 5094

Redditch & Alcester & Worcestershire Office: Minerva Mill Innovation Centre, Station Road, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5EH. Telephone: 01527 531275

Northampton & Northamptonshire Office: Moulton Park Business Centre, Redhouse Road, Moulton Park, Northamptonshire, NN3 6AQ. Telephone: 01604 269540

Kettering, Corby & Northants Area Office: 10A Silver Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 0BN. Telephone: 01536 386046

Sunlight through autumn leavesThe use of heat interface units (HIUs) and centralised plant is becoming popular for blocks of flats, apartments, or even larger schemes.

As energy efficiency standards become more stringent, effective heating and cooling in modern properties will become a priority.

Industry experts say HIUs are going to be an important part of the UK’s low carbon economy.

 

 

What are district and community systems?

‘District’ systems provide services through a network of pipes from a central source to several buildings, which could include houses, flats or apartments, offices, schools, shops, and community centres.

Community and communal systems are similar, but on a smaller scale, perhaps serving a single block of apartments.

Why are HIUs used?

Centralisation helps developers to meet demanding energy-efficiency targets for new buildings, either using traditional fuels or low-carbon and renewable technologies. A controller monitors and regulates use to optimise performance, working with the room thermostat.

Without an HIU temperature control, metering and billing can cause problems, because usage can’t be monitored.

HIUs allow councils and landlords operating multi-tenanted buildings to remotely monitor use and accurately charge users. Metering can also encourage occupants to reduce their energy consumption.

Where are HIUs installed?

Many HIUs are small enough to fit into a kitchen cupboard, for example, or and can be installed in the dividing walls or in easily accessible ‘landlord’ spaces.

They can be installed at first-fix and only connected when the property is handed over, and can be easily inspected and maintained, making them a practical solution. There’s less need for gas distribution pipework which also saves costs.

Energy-efficiency and HIUs

Parliamentary committees on Climate Change and Science & Technology both say that decarbonisation of heat is our single biggest challenge and argue that wider use of HIUs is the key.

Specialists have highlighted that HIU performance is critical to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of heat networks but it is often overlooked.

The government’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department funded a research project that identified poor performance of HIUs was one of the key causes of the gap between design and actual performance.

HIUs will also make it more practical to use low carbon or renewable technologies such as biomass, solar water heating or combined heat and power (CHP) in multi-occupancy schemes.

A new test standard for HIUs

Typically, assessing a building’s heat network performance focusses on the energy centre and pipework rather than performance within a building, sometimes resulting in a poor experience for users.

A new UK Test Standard for HIUs has been developed by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and is now being adopted by HIU manufacturers and heat network developers.

What difference will a new HIU test standard make?

Previously it was difficult to assess the relative performance of HIUs. This meant that heat network designers couldn’t make informed decisions.

The BESA standard was developed on behalf of consumers, which means the new test places a heavy emphasis on the experience of end users.

The BESA Standard has also increased research and development that is now leading to improved HIU performance and safety.

 

Chillaire – a national heating, ventilation and air conditioning partner

Centrally located in Nuneaton, and with offices around the UK, Chillaire is a trusted partner for design, installation and maintenance of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

 

You can contract us through our website www.chillaire.co.uk or email us at sales@chillaire.co.uk.

You can call any one of our local offices:

Nuneaton & Warwickshire Office: Unit 1 Veasey Close, Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate, Nuneaton, CV11 6RT. Telephone: 024 7632 0300

Coventry & West Midlands Office: 16 Lythalls Lane, Holbrooks, Coventry, West Midlands, CV6 6FG. Telephone: 024 7624 9440

Leicester & Leicestershire Office: 3rd Floor, St George’s House, 6 St George’s Way, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 1QZ. Telephone: 0116 202 5094

Redditch & Alcester & Worcestershire Office: Minerva Mill Innovation Centre, Station Road, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5EH. Telephone: 01527 531275

Northampton & Northamptonshire Office: Moulton Park Business Centre, Redhouse Road, Moulton Park, Northamptonshire, NN3 6AQ. Telephone: 01604 269540

Kettering, Corby & Northants Area Office: 10A Silver Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 0BN. Telephone: 01536 386046

Chillaire
Air Conditioning - Heating - Ventilation