For this month’s column, I’d like to ask two direct questions and would welcome your thoughts and answers either by writing to the editor, or by emailing me directly.
I’ve been asked by my marketing colleagues whether videos would help me in my role as a trainer, whether that is for air conditioning or for heat pumps.
Whilst I believe that videos can be a very useful learning tool, I still believe in a hands-on approach so I’d really appreciate your thoughts on the matter.
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