Air conditioning isn’t something reserved just for countries with year-long Summers. Here in the UK, they also offer a host of benefits. Especially in commercial environments, air conditioning units help to create a comfortable and more enjoyable place to work throughout the day. And maintaining the comfort of your employees is vital to seeing productivity. Used for both cooling and heating, these impressive machines can make the difference between encouraging people to sit at their desks all day or driving them outside for impromptu ‘rest breaks’. This guide will cover everything you need to know about buying a commercial air conditioning unit that works.
If you’ve never brought an air conditioner before, it may come as a surprise that there are a number of different types. Each one fits the needs of a different location or requirement. So, understanding them will help you determine the best option for your business.
- Single-Unit, Window-Type
These easy-to-install units are commonly chosen by homeowners. They are a low-cost choice and have relatively low running costs. Here, the hot air is vented out of the machine through a hose fitted in the back. This makes them entirely portable and quick to implement if a room becomes uncomfortable. However, single-unit air conditioners tend to not perform as well as other alternatives. They also have a tendency to overheat when used for extended periods of time and can let off this heat back into the room. When used, the hose needs to be passed through a window which, as a result, must be left open. And, some brands are quite heavy, making them awkward to carry.
- Split-Unit, Wall-Type
If there is a specific room in your building that gets too hot, a split-type air conditioner is a good choice. They can be fitted on walls to minimise floor bulk, don’t require ventilation through an open window, and are more powerful, efficient and quieter than single-unit options. However, they do carry an additional cost for all these benefits. And, they must be properly installed by a skilled professional to one of the external walls on your property.
Not all air conditioning units are the same. In order to achieve the perfect temperature, you’ll need to take into account room size. Different machines serve different square meters and you need to ensure yours isn’t overworking with little result. The power an AC unit exudes is recorded in BTU’s or British Thermal Units. It is the measure of energy with 1 BTU equal to the amount of energy used to raise the temperature of 1lb of water by 1°F. BTU is the accepted method of measuring the power emitted by an air conditioning unit and is one of the deciding factors in whether it will adequately cool your home.
A simple way to determine what BTU your room requires is – The dimension of your room (in feet) x 5.
This will give you a rough BTU to work off of. But also consider other factors that may impact how effective air conditioning could be. These include things like:
- Appliances in the room that generate their own heat (computers or large-scale electrical machines, for example).
- The number of windows in a room – Glass releases a lot of heat so it may mean you need more units to compensate.
- Direct sunlight – This can also increase the temperature in a room.
Also, remember that the higher the BTU, the more an AC machine will cost to run. These are all factors to consider when choosing the right corporate model for your business.
There are a number of other things you should look out for when choosing an air conditioning unit for your corporate environment. Some of these include:
- Mode settings – Many machines don’t just cool a room down. Some can cool, dehumidify, fan or heat a room. Equally, some have the option to adjust the fan speed to create the perfect environment.
- Timer – Many machines can be programmed to automatically switch on or off. This helps reduce your energy costs and reserves the cooling power for times in the day when it’s needed the most.
- Adjustment Thermostat – Office temperature is something that is widely contested across all industries. An AC unit with an adjustable thermostat will maintain a constant and optimum temperature throughout the day. It will switch on to cool or heat as needed, without additional interference.
- Sleep Mode – Normally used during the night, sleep mode can also benefit meeting rooms and quiet spaces. It will reduce noise levels and adjust the room to a comfortable, sleeping temperature.
The costs of running an air conditioning unit vary drastically depending on a number of the above factors. On average, a 1kW single unit costs approximately 8p per hour. Increase this to 12kW spread across split-unit machines, and this could increase to around 50p per hour. If you use your machine wisely, programming it to turn on at optimal times and ensuring it doesn’t overrun, it will be a viable choice in any commercial setting.
Choosing the right AC unit will transform your corporate environment, make employees happier and offer a host of benefits. Here at Controlled Climate, we have over 25 years of experience trading both air conditioning units and heat pump systems. If you’re considering a corporate solution to internal temperature issues, get in contact today and let us help.