Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Future of Air Conditioning

With the whole world being concerned about sustainability and getting more environmentally friendly, the air conditioning industry tries to develop new designs and technologies that would bring us a step closer towards making air conditioners more effective while having less impact on the environment.

Needless to say, it’s not an easy task to find the right balance. There are a few features every technician must consider: effectiveness, energy consumption, ecology, technology, affordability and design. When one of these factors is omitted, the air conditioner most likely won’t be successful on the market. ac1

Although the revolutionary technology is still in its infancy, there are some interesting concepts that deserve attention. For example, the futuristic looking tree-shaped air conditioning system. Its idea is quite simple yet effective. Basically it uses the ground heat and the Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) system. The natural looking branches control the direction of airflow, spreading the filtered clean air within a wider range than with traditional air conditioners.

The next design is called “Fresco Di Lana” and it was developed by Laura Boffi. This air conditioning curtain is made from wool, which filters hot air and cools it as it enters the house. The water pump next to it keeps the curtain wet when desired, which supports its next function: an indoor vertical garden. It is meant to provide the perfect environmental conditions not only for you but also for plants you can grow in the ‘pockets’ of the wool.

ac2One of the most futuristic designs was introduced in China and named Habitat 2020. This completely sustainable housing suggests dumping the old materials used for houses, and substituting them for highly sensitive skins that act as membranes between the outside and inside environment. So how will the air conditioning work in this case? Simply put, the outside air will enter the skin, travel through its numerous funnels, where it will be cooled, filtered and then evenly spread into the room. Moreover, the skin is also supposed to emit clean and CO2-free air from the building.

Last but not least is the simple design and compelling of H2O air conditioner that ended 3rd on the annual Panasonic Award. Who said that air conditioning can’t be a nice accessory for your house?

Sara Cox Gets Hot and Bothered with Lack of BBC Air Con

It’s that time of year when temperatures plummet and our office air conditioners go from cool to heat, but not in the BBC Radio 1 studio which houses some of the country’s best known presenters and DJs.

Sara Cox - Hot and Bothered

The likes of Chris Moyles, Fearne Cotton, Jo Whiley and Vernon Kay spend hours of their working days down in the basement studio which can get pretty warm, to say the least, and so it’s no surprise that an air conditioning unit sits proudly on the wall.

However, much to Sara Cox’s dismay, the thing isn’t working! Standing in for Moyles on the famous breakfast show this morning, Cox bemoaned her body temperature after consuming one too many hot drinks.

“You know when you’ve had too much hot stuff and it leaves you with hot blood? I think that’s what’s happened here! I’ve had three mugs of tea and some steaming hot porridge and now I’m sweating cobs. And the air conditioning is broken!”

The BBC Radio 1 studios are located in the basement of Yalding House (near to BBC Broadcasting House) which is on Great Portland Street in central London.

Should they require a bit of air conditioning maintenance, we’d be only too happy to help!

Air conditioning ‘increases productivity’ in the workplace

Scientists have agreed that the temperature and humidity at the workplace has a direct impact on the productivity of employees.
If the room is too hot, employees are more likely to feel sleepy and their concentration level drops dramatically. On the other hand, very low temperature leads to illnesses and complaints. In order to keep your employees awake and focused longer, the room should be cooled to the temperature around 20 or 21 degrees.

However, not every air conditioner meets the basic requirements and may be unsuitable for the office with regards to the size or functions. As employers are responsible for the health of their staff, it is important for them to choose the air conditioning carefully.

As we specialise in air conditioning maintenance and portable air conditioning, here are some valuable tips on how to choose the right air conditioner for your office.

Type
Portable, fitted, cooler, fan; there are many types you can pick from. The important thing you need to consider is how, where and for how long you want to use it. If you need a temporary cooling system, you can just hire one for a limited period and save money.

Size
Contrary to the common belief, bigger is not necessarily better. Oversized air conditioning unit may consume more energy than it actually needs, which will reflect on your next bill. Nevertheless, if the unit is too small it will not be able to cool the room properly. The best thing to do is to seek an advice of a specialist.

Maintenance
A lot of people neglect the maintenance and thus considerably shorten the air conditioning’s lifespan, not talking about increasing its consumption of energy. Professional maintenance not only saves you money but also makes sure the unit works well for longer period of time.

Movies spread the ventilation duct phenomenon

Imagine you were trapped in a small room with locked doors and no windows, what would you do? If you were in a movie you would just head for the ventilation duct, remove it with the tip of your fingernail, smoothly slide in the spacious vent that would accommodate a truck, and easily sort your way out of the ventilation ‘labyrinth’. After a few minutes and no sweat, you are out, neatly groomed and free to go wherever you want!

Action, adventure, horror or a comedy movie; all follow the same pattern of easy-to-do air duct escapes where the villain is utterly surprised by the foxiness of his hostages that just shimmy free through that oh so ambiguous air vent. You would have thought they’d have figured it out by now…

It seems so effortless and ingeniously simple. Want to get out of prison? Use the vent! Do you need to spy on somebody? Use the vent! Looking for a perfect hideout from your mother-in-law? Use the vent! However, how many times have you read in newspapers about someone escaping from a prison via a ventilation vent?

Ok, so there is just one real life incident when prisoners got out of Alcatraz by using the vent duct. Although it’s more of an exception that proves the rule, the scriptwriters hang to it like to the Holy Grail. It may be just their laziness or lack of creativity that forces our typical movie heroes to throw themselves into the strangely clean, shiny air vent over and over again.

Let’s have a look at the most famous vent scenes…

Die Hard

Who wouldn’t adore the superhuman strength of Bruce Willis in Die Hard, when he climbs up and fits his muscular body into a narrow ventilation vent polished better than a mirror in a luxury hotel suit? Although he gets really dirty in the end, which just adds to the American hero character.

Red Dwarf

Take for example the Red Dwarf. One whole episode (Duct Soup) takes place in ventilation ducts when the whole crew has to crawl through them in order to reach the engine room. Although some fans were pleased to see Kochanski, the attractive heroine, suggestively wiggling her way out of the endless corridors, it still was far from being realistic.

Mission Impossible

It’s true that Tom Cruise is a tiny man so the chances of him squeezing into the air ducts are slightly higher. Anyway, he does more impossible throughout the movie so the ventilation trick just blends in.
Fifth Element

Bruce Willis passes his air vent hobby with Milla Jovovich, the beautiful fairly dressed leading actress, who gracefully jumps to the ceiling duct just before the villain pierces it with loads of bullets.

Resident Evil

Surprise, surprise, Milla has taken a liking to hiding in vents! Anyway, it is a similar case as with Kochanski: good-looking girl sweating and crawling in a tiny space guarantees that majority of men audience will be glued to their TV sets. Nobody really minds that it’s not realistic at all.

Men in Black II

Air ducts have a real importance here as the alien worms used them to get to the power control of MIB headquarters. Sneaky, isn’t it?

So it looks like air vents have dominated the movie industry. Whether you mind it or not, there is one lesson you should take out of this: do not ever try to duplicate some scenes from these movies, you may kill or seriously hurt yourself (or somebody else). Why? Usually, real air ducts are much smaller than those in movies and are not designed to carry a weight of an average human body. So, even if you managed to stuff yourself into one (I would love to see that), you would probably end up falling down together with the whole air vent. So much for a silent escape…

Drop us a comment if you think we’ve missed off a Hollywood blockbuster that love a bit of air vent action…

How to save energy and money

How to save energy and money

save-money1In the previous post, we highlighted some main points why using the air conditioning is good for you. Now, we bring you several suggestions how to use it while saving your money and the energy at the same time.

Choose your air conditioner carefully

Not every air conditioner is the same. When you decide to buy one you should consider what size and type you actually need. A bigger unit is not necessarily the better, depends on how large the area you want to cool is. The basic rule to remember is that an average air conditioner needs 20 Btu for cooling each square foot.

Simple maintenance can boost effectiveness

Don’t worry; you don’t have to have any special technical skills to do that. If you just check the filter once in a while and change when it’s too dusty, you can save up to 15% of your energy consumption.  Also, make sure nothing blocks the vents and they are clean without any unnecessary dust on them. For any other problems, our air conditioning maintenance can always help you.

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Isolate, isolate, isolate!
Again, simple yet effective. Close all that can be closed: windows, doors, draw drapes, storm windows, blinders, and fireplace dumpers etc. It helps the air conditioner to work much faster and thus it consumes less energy.

What else can help?

If you have fans do not be afraid to use them.  Although they cannot replace air conditioners they may help to speed up the process which results in less energy consumption.  Plus, by using passive cooling techniques, such as ventilation or shading, you can be sure that the number on your next energy bill will be considerably lower.

We hope that these tips will help to save both the energy and your money. If you need more information all you have to do is to head right to Airconco.com. Whether you need one or 1,000 air conditioners delivered in just hours to your offices, shop, school or hotel – call us for a worry-free, competitive, tax-efficient and friendly service.