Air conditioning is typically referred to as a cooling system. The actual term as the name suggests refers to conditioning of the air such as filtering / heating and cooling to maintain set temperatures. Ventilation is referred to as ventilating a space, providing fresh air and removing stale air. The two can be combined however; do not take for granted that either system will perform both operations...
This is a very common question with a simple answer. A sealed system (as most refrigeration and air conditioning systems are) does not need topping up, unless it has a leak. Current regulations are in place to minimise leaks from any system containing ozone depleting or gases with global warming potentials. If it's leaking it needs repairing, never accept the excuse of topping up, this is now illegal.
There has never been a reported case of illness relating directly to an air conditioning system, however, premises can suffer from lack of ventilation. In modern well-sealed buildings this can cause a theoretical term known as "Sick Building Syndrome". Sick Building Syndrome has been related to poor ventilation, build up of dust / mildew spores and poor ventilation. The heavy use of multiple electronic appliances and ozone-producing photocopiers are also linked.
From January 2010 it has been illegal to use virgin HCFC refrigerants. This does not mean that your systems should be immediately ripped out. It will however be illegal for any person to recharge a system with virgin HCFC refrigerants from this date. Consideration must be given to alternatives in the near future. See R22 Phase out for more details.
In most circumstances, a single or twin split application can be installed in two days, with minimum disruption.
Yearly preventative maintenance is a wise thing to do. Properly maintaining your system will save you money on your energy bills and will help your system perform at peak efficiency. A properly maintained system also lasts longer which is important due to the expense of replacement. During a preventive maintenance, certain parts that can cause trouble when dirty, are cleaned to keep the system running smoothly and efficiently. An air conditioning maintenance service also includes inspection of your system so problems can be discovered before serious damage occurs and you find yourself without air conditioning in the middle of summer or winter when you need it the most.
Heating and Air Conditioning equipment should be serviced at least once a year. The best scenario is to have the heating system checked in the autumn and the air conditioning checked in the spring. Oil-fired equipment should definitely be cleaned and serviced annually.
Annual servicing includes cleaning the system, checking for any problems or potential problems and adjusting for peak efficiency.The benefits include:
Heat pump units also allow the cooling cycle to be reversed. A heat pump extracts "free" heat from the outdoor air, even on the coldest days when the outside temperature may fall as low as -10°C, and transfers the heat indoors. Heat pump units therefore avoid the need for a boiler and allow you to cool and heat with the same unit, resulting in cost and energy savings throughout the year. A simple principle developed to perfection, air conditioning works like your refrigerator which removes heat continuously from the cabinet and discharges it into the kitchen. You can feel this "free" heat by touching the coil on the back of your refrigerator.
In summer, the heat pump extracts heat from the warm air in your home and pumps it outside - and your home stays comfortable & cool. In winter, the reverse happens. Natural heat in the outdoor air, even when it's freezing, is extracted and moved indoors - giving you wonderful warmth when you need it. This comfort costs less: three kilowatts of heat for each kilowatt of electricity used! Heat pumps are up to three times more economical than conventional gas fired or electric central-heating systems. Even in bitter cold snaps you will save money. Installation costs are lower too. With just one system, for cooling in summer and heating in winter, you save on equipment outlay.
Yes. There are a number of different ways of doing this but they have to be designed into the system from the start.
Variable Refrigerant Volume and Variable Refrigerant Flow systems are where large number of indoor units can run from one large outdoor unit. This is done with one set of pipes picking up all the indoor units then running them back to the outdoor unit. (usually used in commercial applications)
The inverter is an electronic device that changes the frequency of the electricity supplied to the compressor. This gives it speed control linked to output requirements. Using an interior also allowed the compressor to 'soft start' that eliminates start up surge and allows it to run at slower speeds instead of stopping and starting. This greatly increases the life expectancy of the system. Inverter driven systems are around 30% more efficient than conventional equipment.