Ben Bartle-Ross of Mitsubishi Electric looks at what R32 systems mean for air conditioning installers.
R32 systems are now available in the UK and, if the experience we’ve had with our MSZ-LN units is anything to go by, then they will become common very quickly – especially with businesses who want the stylish new designs, or corporations that want to demonstrate their adoption of aircon with a lower GWP.
By the time you read this, the referendum to remain or leave the European Union will almost be upon us and, whilst I am not here to persuade you one way or the other, I think there is no doubt that whatever the result, it is likely to have an impact of some sort on our industry.
On the one hand, you can argue that our industry suffers from too much red tape and perhaps leaving the union will free us all from bureaucracy – or will it simply take us back to a more unregulated, less safe industry?
According to a recent survey by The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) 70% of homeowners could not name a renewable heat source.
Yet other work done by the HomeServe Alliance found that one in three see intelligent controls as the future for managing heating bills and the same percentage believe that smart homes will help drive down energy bills in the coming years.
What I find interesting about this is not the lack of awareness of the potential cost savings that heat pumps can offer in the residential market – let alone the commercial one. It is the fact that intelligent controls for a home’s heating system are registering as cost saving in the public psyche.
So why mention this in a column focusing on the commercial air conditioning sector?
We all know that the controls available for today’s air conditioning systems offer far more potential than most building operators understand or use, whether through lack of training or time.
Yet effective use of whatever control system is in place offers an immediate option for saving energy and therefore costs.
Whether that is simply planning the scheduling more effectively to suit a building’s requirements, or limiting the upper and lower limits of a set temperature, taking effective control of the controller is the quickest and best way of reducing energy bills.
As a trainer of air conditioning and heat pump engineers, I realise that it is not always possible to remember everything taught on that course you attended last year, or to carry bulky manuals to every site.
That’s why I have just started producing short videos that can be watched on smart phones to highlight the simple things that can be done to programme controllers properly and effectively to maximise efficiency.
The first series focuses on our own PAR31 controller and more are planned, but the basic principles should apply to anyone’s system.
So, whether you are handing over a new system to a building operator, or helping maintain an existing system, make sure you understand how to get the best out of it and your customers will thank you for it.
Ben Bartle-Ross is a Trainer at Mitsubishi Electric. Find four short PAR31 videos on the company’s dedicated YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/mitsubishielectric2
These days almost everyone has a smartphone of some description and most manufacturers are aware of this and are developing Apps that aim to help engineers answer queries or get the information they need at their fingertips whilst they are out in ‘the field’, working on live projects.
By Ben Bartle-Ross, Technical Trainer, Mitsubishi Electric
At the time of writing, Britain has just had its hottest July day on record and this has to be good news for the air conditioning industry, which seems to naturally grow every time a scorching British summer makes people think seriously of the merits of air conditioning.
By Ben Bartle-Ross, technical trainer at Mitsubishi Electric
Hopefully everyone in the industry has work coming out of their ears and cannot find enough hours in the day to cope with demand.
But we all know what a fickle mistress the British weather is and for those whose air conditioning business is constantly reliant on the vagaries of the seasons, is there a way of ensuring more consistent business throughout the year?