Office Air Conditioning

8 Winter Maintenance Tips for your Commercial Air Conditioning System

As winter hits, your commercial air conditioning can be just as important during the colder months, as it is the summer months, but you must ensure that it is efficiently maintained to prevent your AC unit from experiencing unwanted issues.

Specifically, within the workplace, getting the air con to a comfortable temperate, although it may cause some disagreements within the office, does have its benefits, more than most people realise especially when it comes to output and performance. But maintaining and cleaning your air con also has its own benefits, which shouldn’t be ignored either.

Check your air filters

The air filters of your commercial air con unit work to catch dust or unwanted particles that pass through your AC unit and in the air.

If you don’t remember to check your air filters, they can fill up with dirt and potentially become blocked due to a build-up of debris, which can prevent air from passing through the unit and prevent it from functioning properly. If this is to occur, it makes your air conditioner work harder and decrease the shelf life of your air filters.

Ensure that your air conditioners’ air filter is checked roughly once a month, and if it is full of dirt, make sure that it is replaced before restarting your AC unit. Air filters can vary in price, but if you’re unsure, speak to our team for help and advice.

Check your thermostat

The thermostat shows you the return air temperature that the air conditioner is trying to achieve. Ensuring a steady temperature is maintained is important as without this, you’ll struggle to find a suitable temperature for your office or workplace and could be stuck with a temperature that’s either too cold, or too warm!

You may be surprised to learn that the temperature in which your office is set can have a significant impact on your workforce and their performance. By not setting a comfortable temperature, studies have shown that employees experience more issues performing cognitive tasks. We recommend offices set the heating temp around 20 degrees and at a medium fan speed and slightly alter to suit as the day goes on.

Additionally, to your employees, turning the temperature to the maximum then switching it on/off can increase your energy bills during the winter months, it is much more efficient to leave the unit running at a lower, more reasonable temp all day.

Repair broken equipment before it’s too late

If your air conditioning unit features broken pieces of equipment, the best thing to do is fix the problem as soon as it is identified.

During winter, naturally your place of work will often need heat throughout the colder months, and if your air conditioning unit has broken parts, your office or workplace could be left in the cold with no heat provided and little time to get it fixed.

You can often tell if there’s an issue with your commercial air con unit, strange noises and smells usually provide good indicators that your air con is experiencing problems. Once you’ve identified the issue, the best thing to do is to get in touch with a technician to repair your commercial AC safely and efficiently.

At Chill Air Conditioning, we offer a repairs and call outs service to repair any issues within commercial air conditioning unit, so please give us a call if your AC is experiencing any problems.

Check your coils

You might have already thought about checking and cleaning your filters, but have you thought about checking your coils too? The evaporator and condenser coils can collect dirt throughout the year, even if the filter is clean and this can reduce airflow and reduce the ability for the coil to absorb heat. This can be made even worse in dirty and dusty environments, so check for a build up of debris and try to ensure that there is adequate airflow around the units.

Make repairs

A broken HVAC system is an inefficient or even ineffective one, so you need to make sure that you stay on top of any repairs that are needed. That means repairing or replacing faulty components and tackling leaks to make sure that your system not only works the way that it should, but also that it remains safe at all times.

Shelter outside AC

The good old British weather can throw plenty of curveballs at us, from unexpected warmth to torrential downpours and Arctic blasts. This means that the outdoor unit of your air conditioning system is put through a lot, and so you might want to consider taking some steps to protect it.

Some commercial air conditioners can be located outside of your building, and whilst that might be great during the summer, it can put your AC unit at risk from the harsh weather conditions that comes with winter.

The best way to keep your outside AC maintained during winter is to ensure that it has suitable air flow around the unit and is not covered or blocked up.

Make sure that it is clean and free from leaves, twigs and other debris that may affect how it works and then see what protection you can offer it from extreme temperatures, wind and rain. This can help to prevent rusting or any exterior damage.

This should also include ensuring that any external pipes have been fully insulated in order to prevent them from freezing.

If the outdoor units are in a cage, make sure nothing has been leant against them or put on top, as this will restrict the performance of the unit and cause possible errors to occur. If the units are on the ground, make sure they are clear from build-up of leaves, plants and potentially snow!

Servicing

There are plenty of things that you can keep an eye on for yourself, but there is no substitute for a professional so make sure that you have an annual service booked. This means that your system will be properly inspected, and any cleaning and repairs will be taken care of.

Not only will this ensure that your system is safe and working properly, but it will also mean that your own maintenance of the system throughout the winter will be much more straightforward.

You can inspect your office AC unit yourself, however, you’re likely to miss issues that a trained engineer might spot, leading to further issues down the line.

Making the most of our air conditioning maintenance service can be beneficial for your workplace as any issues will be found during the inspection and fixed with the reassurance it’s been completed by a professional. Now you can be certain that your air conditioner will be well maintained throughout the winter months.

Be consistent

When the dark clouds gather and our windscreens start frosting over, it can be tempting to give that thermostat another little nudge upwards, but this should be something that you try to resist if you can. Find a temperature that is comfortable for people to work in and then try to maintain consistent with it.

You should also consider the fact that hot air rises, and so you might find that higher floors are naturally warmer than the ground floor. Reception or loading areas can also be much colder as doors are opened and closed regularly, allowing the cold air in. Zoned hating can help with this, as you can increase the heat in areas that need it most and reduce it in spots which are naturally warmer.

This can help to reduce the workload on your system, ensuring it stays efficient and working properly for much longer, and can also produce a considerable cost saving when it comes to your energy bills.

Contact us

Maintaining your commercial air conditioning unit is crucial and can be extremely costly if not monitored regularly and carefully. If your workplace is looking for commercial air conditioning services, please get in touch with our team today!

boiler

A Guide to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme

In a world where we are trying to reduce the energy that we use, it stands to reason that heating our homes is one of the biggest ways in which we consume fossil fuels. The Government has therefore brought in a new Boiler Upgrade Scheme to try and lure people away from their current fossil fuel powered boilers to more energy efficient systems. This can help to reduce the amount we are spending on heating our homes whilst also doing our bit for the environment.

What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?

As part of the Government’s target of reaching zero emissions by 2050, a Boiler Upgrade Scheme has been announced to encourage homeowners to make the switch to low carbon sources of heat for their homes. This could mean changing from a fossil fuel boiler to an air source heat pump, which will both help to combat rising energy prices as well as acting as a much greener alternative.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme offers a £5,000 voucher towards the purchase and installation of an air source heat pump or a £6,000 voucher towards the purchase and installation of a ground source heat pump.

These vouchers are applied for by an MCS accredited organisation which will be redeemable once the installation has been completed and certified, although this does mean that you will be required to pay the full cost upfront before you can receive the voucher.

Boiler Upgrade Scheme Eligibility

The focus of the scheme is to encourage existing properties to upgrade to a heat pump instead of replacing one fossil fuel boiler with another, however, self-build properties are also included. To qualify for the upgrade, your property and heat pump must be privately owned and replacing a fossil fuel system such as a gas boiler or a direct electric system.

The heat pump must be able to provide all the heating and hot water that the property requires, and therefore cannot be supported by another boiler or oil filled system, although localised sources such as plug-in heaters or wood burning stoves are permitted.

You must make sure that the heat pump you select is eligible for the scheme. It must therefore be MCS approved and able to achieve a minimum Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 2.8. You will also need a valid EPC that is less than 10 years old if the heat pump is for an existing home, whilst new builds will need a planning application reference.

There should also be no history of previous energy grants such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) or the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding.

With an air source heat pump typically costing between £10,000 to £12,000 and a ground source heat pump requiring a budget of £15,000 to £20,000, it has been considered too costly by many to make the change from a traditional system. It is hoped that this new Government incentive can make these more efficient and environmentally friendly systems achievable for many more homeowners to install.

Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about the Boiler Upgrade Scheme or enquire about having air conditioning or an air source heat pump installed, please contact our team today who will make sure you get the information you need.

air con

Wall Mounted vs Ducted air conditioning: Which one should you buy?

Now that summers here, making sure you choose the best air conditioning system for your home can save you from those hot and uncomfortable nights. Wall mounted and ducted systems are some of the most popular for many people and they both offer a wide range of unique benefits, but which one should you buy?

What is wall mounted air conditioning?

Wall mounted air conditioning uses two different units, one on the inside of your home, and the other on the outside connected by copper pipes. Wall mounted air conditioning pulls the hot air from your room, cools it in the condenser with a refrigerant and then it is forced back into the room through the vents.

What are the benefits to Wall mounted air conditioning?

Wall mounted systems are well known as one of the most cost-efficient units on the market, with affordable running costs and lower installation prices. Many wall mounted systems have energy saving options, so you can save money on your monthly energy bills.

Traditional systems require labour-intensive installation and penetration through the walls of your home, but wall mounted systems are very easy to install compared to these systems, all you need is wall fittings and tubing to connect both units.  Because wall mounted units don’t take long to install, installation costs tend to be the cheapest compared to the other options.

If you’re looking for a system that won’t take up much room in your home, wall units usually have a sleek and small design and are mounted higher up on the wall to avoid taking up valuable floor space. As wall mounted systems sit higher up, there’s less risk of furniture blocking the cool air from circulating the room.

What is ducted air conditioning?

Ducted air conditioning units are fully concealed systems, often hidden in suspended or false ceilings or even under the floor. Ducted air conditioners expel the cool air through vents placed in the walls, ceiling or floor of the room and are connected through a system of ducts that circulate air throughout your building creating a consistent temperature throughout.

What are the benefits of Ducted air conditioning?

The main benefit to ducted air conditioning is the ability to control the temperature an entire building with just the touch of a button. Ducted air conditioning also gives you the option to have different temperatures in each room with zoning controls which most other systems can’t do.

Many people opt for ducted systems due to their concealment. Instead of having a bulky unit taking up space and clashing with your furniture, the concealed unit maintains the aesthetic of your home while keeping you cool.

If you’re looking for a quieter system, then installing ducted air conditioning to your home could be beneficial. Ducted air conditioning units emit minimal noise from the main unit and the vents themselves, so you won’t be disturbed day or night.

Ducted air conditioning tends to be more expensive up front, but it can save you money in the long run. Ducted air conditioning systems are often more energy efficient than many other air conditioning units and can help you lower your monthly energy bills.

Which air conditioning is best for you?

Finding the perfect unit can be difficult but both wall mounted, and ducted air conditioning systems have a wide range of benefits for a range of of buildings like home offices, bedrooms, retail, and offices. Depending on your requirements, these powerful units can keep your building cool throughout the hot summer months and save you money compared to other traditional units.

Contact us

If you’re interested in learning more about how wall mounted or ducted air conditioning systems can help you cool your home this summer, please contact our team today who will make sure you get the information you need.

air source heat pump

Air Source Heat Pumps: A Cheaper Option to Gas Boilers?

Air source heat pumps have been known to be a more expensive heating option to install in your home, but not anymore. The new government grant will allow households to update their old and expensive gas boiler systems for more than half of the price.

Energy prices

Following Ofgem’s price cap announcement, energy prices are now at a record high with many UK households looking for new and cheaper ways to heat and power their homes. Because of this, renewable heating technologies are becoming a more competitive and valuable option.

Air source heat pumps have been known to be the more efficient way to keep your family warm as they use 3 to 4 times less energy, have lower monthly costs and last a lot longer than other heating options but they have previously had one downside, the installation cost.

The average price to install an air source heat pump was £10,500 but the government is now providing a new grant to help people save money on installation costs. The new grant is for £5,000 and is awarded to people who have sufficiently insulated homes. The 5% VAT has also been cut creating a new installation price of £4,975.

Since 2020, many companies have started to offer dedicated and discounted heat pump tariffs to reward households that choose to use renewable energy over fossil fuels. With these tariffs coming more common and more people switching over to greener energy, overall energy prices are likely to go down.

Lifetime value

Installing an air source heat pump in your home could save you money in more places than just the installation cost. They are confidently cheaper to run than their gas boiler counterparts, saving families £60-£110 per year on their energy bills and even last 10-15 years longer so you won’t have to keep paying for new installations.

Maintaining your heating system can get expensive with call out fees, repairs, and annual check-ups. However, air source heat pumps don’t require regular maintenance aside from annual servicing. Unless something is wrong with your pump and it needs repairs, your system can run effectively without intervention.

Compared to their combustion-based counter parts, air source heat pumps come with lower risk. Gas boilers can leak if not properly maintained which could cause harm to you or your family whereas air source heat pumps use the warmth from the air outside.

Saving money in other ways

Air source heat pumps are more versatile than their name suggests, not only can they heat your home, but they can also cool it down for the summer months. Running both air conditioning and heating your water with a gas boiler could cost your household more than necessary. Having an air source heat pump that has a COP above 0.7 allows you to effectively cool your home during the summer and further saving your energy bills.

Contact us

If you are looking for ways to save money on your energy bills and would like to know more about how an air source heat pump can help you, please contact our team and we’ll find the best option for your household.

air con install

Government Announces 0% VAT on Domestic Heat Pump & Air Conditioning Installations

With energy prices continuing to go through the roof, we are all looking for ways to save money on our consumption when we heat or cool our homes. Many are also looking to use less energy to be greener and do their bit to save the planet.

That is why heat pumps and air conditioning units have become so popular lately, and the Government’s decision to make VAT on the installation of these units is proving to be great news both for the consumer and the environment, as they are now a much more accessible option.

What does this mean?

It has been announced that until 31st March 2027 there will be a zero rate of VAT applied to the installation of certain energy saving materials in residential accommodation throughout Great Britain.

This is the case whether the installation is grant funded or privately paid for and includes the price of the goods themselves. After 2027, it is proposed that the rate will revert to 5%. In Northern Ireland, the qualification can be slightly different, so it is important to check this.

The reduced rate of VAT applies to energy saving materials which include ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps to name just a few of the items on the approved list. As most air conditioning units are air source heat pumps, these have also been included.

What does this include?

The Government have specified that the cost of all the goods in the installation should be considered. That means that when an air source heat pump is installed, new larger radiators and pipes will need to be fitted as well since the pump operates at a lower temperature than a traditional gas boiler. It is therefore reasonable to consider that this is a single job for a single price, and these are considered ancillary to the installation of the heat pump.

The recent heatwave has left many people wondering how they can cool their homes to keep them safe and comfortable during ever increasing temperatures. With climate changing meaning that our summers are set to only get hotter, the inclusion of air conditioning units in many buildings and residential accommodation is now becoming more popular.

It is therefore good to see that the installation of many of these units will also be covered by the Government’s reduced VAT rate.

Making improvements to homes which save energy can be a costly business at times and this has proved to be a barrier for many who have wanted to do it. This move by the Government will mean that a far larger number of homes can now make the move to add an air source heat pump and feel the benefit of lower bills and a reduced carbon footprint.

This is something that applies to the retrofitting of units, as well as including them in new dwellings, to ensure as many homes as possible can benefit from this.

Get in Touch

Interested in installing air conditioning or an air source heat pump at your home or commercial premises? Contact our team today to discuss your requirements.