Buying an AC Unit

Air conditioning is becoming a common feature in offices and shops, leading to the increase of AC units sought after for homes.

What comes into question is which air conditioner should be bought. There are a number of factors that come into play with choosing the right AC Unit – there are essentially two main types of air conditioners available; single-unit models that are portable and will need to be vented through a window or door, and split-unit models that are permanently fixed to a wall.

Single-unit model

A single-unit or portable air conditioner, will often be easier to install, be a fairly cheap fix for cooling your home and allows the hot air to vent out through a hose, allowing it to be moved from room to room.
However, there are disadvantages that can become apparent such as venting the hose through an open window could potentially pose a security risk; portable air conditioners are not as effective at cooling compared to split-unit models – they will quickly get hot and leak heat back into the room; some models can be heavy, so ensure your chosen unit isn’t too heavy for you to lift comfortably and that the hand-holds are easy to grip.

Split-unit model

The advantages of acquiring a split-unit air conditioner come as follows: ideal for a room that often becomes too hot, a secure way of air conditioning your home – no need to leave windows open, quieter and more efficient that single-unit models, along with being more powerful than a single unit.
Among advantages come disadvantages such as the cost, it will be a larger amount than a single-unit model and a split-unit model will need to be mounted on an outside wall and may require a professional to install it.

Please visit our website for further information about AC Units and more!

Your AC unit

Central AC units are effective at cooling a home efficiently, providing that much-needed relief from that stuffy heat, come Spring/Summer time.

Although, your AC unit will only work well if the parts are kept clean and in a functional condition.
You will need to perform routine maintenance on your air conditioner so to keep the operating sufficiently.

Dirty filters will rob air flow and decrease the unit’s performance. Along with dirty filters, another energy waster is a dirty condenser coil.
If your AC unit is outside, it will likely collect the dirt the wind is blowing, thus the condenser coil becoming dirty which will not allow the sufficient airflow through the coil, therefore the refrigerant won’t be cooled as quickly, leading to a low efficiency.

Fan blades on the condenser fan or the squirrel cage fan inside that are damaged or unclean will eventually begin to vibrate and restrict the air flow.
Damaged or bent blades are what causes the vibration and will shorten the life of your motor. Build up of dirt and grime on the fan blades can also cause the vibration and restrict the air flow.

To see to these issues, your initial step would be to turn off the power to the AC unit and the outside condenser. You can then proceed to pick apart the condenser for a thorough clean.
To clean the coils, use a hose with a spray attachment and rinse.
When cleaning a blower fan, it is advised to call a professional to handle the job as they will be skilled in this area and have more expertise about the maintenance.

BMS Aircon are HVAC specialists, one of the top Air Conditioning Companies across Midlands and UK, leading provider of all types of air conditioning. Based near Leicester, BMS provide services across the entire country in places such as Birmingham, Nottingham, Northampton, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Derby.

Things to know about air conditioning

During the warmer months, many homes will have air conditioning. However, air conditioning can be a necessity as well as a luxury.

What is air conditioning?

The first functional air conditioning was made in 1908, it made a promise to:

– Maintain a suitable humidity in all parts of a building
– Release the air from excessive humidity during certain seasons
– Supply a constant and appropriate supply of ventilation
– Remove micro-organisms from the air, along with dust, soot and other foreign bodies
– Cool a room depending on certain seasons
– Heat up rooms in winter

How it works

What an air conditioner does; moves the heat from your home to the outside, thus cooling the home.
They actually blow cool air into the home by pulling out the heat from that air, the air is actually cooled by blowing it over a cold set of pipes that are called evaporator coils.

This process is powered by a motor that runs in the compressor of your AC unit.

Maintaining the system

Filters should be changed in your air conditioning unit regularly so to keep the filter clean and the air that is blown out clean also, this may prevent any illnesses that could be caused by owing dirt and dust into the air which would then be breathed in.

To clean the system, a brush can be used on the obstructions and coils, however depending on the system, this may have to be done by a professional.

If your AC unit isn’t producing as much cold air as it would regularly, there may be a problem with the airflow or could indicate a refrigerant charge – this would need servicing.

Increasing your energy efficiency

One fo the biggest improvements for energy efficiency is sealing leaky ducts, as well as replacing dirty filters, cleaning the coils and maintaining the right charge and airflow.

Check if your outdoor condenser is blocked by any foliage or leaves that may be affecting its performance inside of your house.

Ventilation

The former points have focused mainly on cooling, whereas ventilation is probably one of the most important things an air conditioning unit can do.
Ventilation is needed to remove all of the contaminants that are generated indoors and may possibly lead to health conditions.

BMS Aircon are HVAC specialists, one of the top Air Conditioning Companies across Midlands and UK, leading provider of all types of air conditioning. Based near Leicester, BMS provide services across the entire country in places such as Birmingham, Nottingham, Northampton, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Derby.

Air Conditioning: Is it bad for you?

A speculation about air conditioning and the health risks it may propose has been circulating the scene.

Depending on cases, these speculations can be true, however, this all relies on the type of AC unit you have and how it is being maintained.
Is it being regularly cleaned?
Is it suitable for the room/area it is occupying?

Questions have arisen regarding the effect air conditioning can cause on a person’s health and whether anything can be done about it…

Is air conditioning really bad for your health?

Health problems have had a direct link to air conditioning and ventilation units in the past, however these problems have yet to be a cause of the systems themselves.

The most common problem can be ignored is the maintenance of the AC which will lead to health problems. If the unit is not cleaned frequently, you will be growing mould and other micro-organisms, from this, allergies, irritation and asthma can occur.

These health risks can be prevented is there is a little maintenance done to ensure your system is free of mould. In a clean environment, maintenance should only need to be carried out every six to twelve months.

Can air conditioning cause ‘sick building syndrome’?

It’s commonplace for air conditioning to be blamed for causing ‘sick building syndrome’ (SBS).
Although, there is little agreement that SBS is a valid condition as there is no cause that supposedly prompts the illness.

The syndrome has, in the past, been linked to computer monitors, arrangement of seating, and even the lighting in an office.
Listed symptoms include ears, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, struggling to concentrate and fatigue.

SBS has been linked with air conditioning because AC unit’s dry out the air, thus irritating the eyes and sinuses.
The cooling of the air has proven to have a drying effect, which is why it is important to review the humidity in an office environment, if this is where the problems are being experienced.
Bear in mind that a well-designed AC should maintain adequate humidity levels, if not, there could be an issue.

Another factor that could play a part in affecting a person’s health is the frequent change of temperature.
Recommendations by the NHS have been provided on the prevention of SBS, regardless of its legitimacy:

– Windows should be opened if it’s too hot, but not when an air conditioner is being used
– Organise the workload to prevent stress
– Take a regular screen break for 5 – 10 minutes per time
– Eat healthily and generally improve fitness

Employers have also been recommended to:

– Survey their employees to find common issues
– Check the office cleanliness
– Check the condition of filters
– Monitor the operation of fresh air systems
– Stick to plans

Is there a possibility air conditioning can be good for you?

The information above is all well informed, following through with the maintenance of your AC unit can prove to have benefits for your health.
Air conditioning increases the comfort level in activities and ventilation will be the provider of clean air.

It’s often said that fresh air is the best air, which isn’t an untrue statement as fresh air does have its benefits, but consider this, working in a largely populated city with air pollutants circling the outside air, opening a window can’t be all that good for a person’s health. It also increases the risk of irritating people with allergies as dust and airborne spores will enter the room/building.

Air conditioners can come with a selection of filters already fitted, some may filter bacteria and pollen, others catching and reducing dust particles in the air or reducing odours etc.
Whichever type, the air quality should improve rather than cause illness.

Air conditioning may be a factor in causing some health risks however it is highly unlikely.

BMS Aircon are HVAC specialists, one of the top Air Conditioning Companies across Midlands and UK, leading provider of all types of air conditioning. Based near Leicester, BMS provide services across the entire country in places such as Birmingham, Nottingham, Northampton, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Derby.

Things to know about Air Conditioning

Like many mechanical systems, AC needs some TLC for it run smoothly and essentially last longer!

Filter changing

If the filter in your AC is dirty, the device will not be working as efficiently as it should be.
By installing a new filter once each month during the cooling season for the central units and window units, or wash them if they can be washed.
Another way of checking if the filter is working at its best is by checking the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which ranges from one to twelve for home AC units – the higher the number, the better the filtration.

Fixing air leaks

It is possible for ducts to lose up to 30% of airflow through leaks, and in regards to a window AC, these are quite difficult to seal.
A way of discovering where the leaks are is by using the old ‘smoke trick’.
For window units, you could light a stick of incense and hold it alongside where the unit and the window frame meet, for a central AC, hold it near the duct connections, and if the smoke blows around – you have a leak.

To repair ductwork, an option is using foil tape to seal the smaller gaps, and for the larger gaps, duct mastic.
In regards to a window AC unit, foam should be stuffed between the device and window frame, then proceeded with a seal of tape.

Insulation

Ducts that are situated in warm attics or crawl spaces must be wrapped in order to keep the air inside cool.
Spray foam, batt insulation or rigid foam insulation can all be used.
Batt and rigid insulation should be sealed with foil tape, and for tight spaces, a wrap similar to Reflectix will offer some degree of insulation.

Help it out

You can extend the life of your AC by helping it out a little as well!
Keep blinds and shades down during the day, and maybe consider running the AC in conjunction with floor or ceiling fans in order to circulate cool air effectively.

Don’t close rooms

Refrain from closing off interior doors as this can cause the central AC systems to wobble off balance, resulting in less airflow in the entire house.
Try and keep the doors slightly ajar instead.

BMS Aircon are HVAC specialists, one of the top Air Conditioning Companies across Midlands and UK, leading provider of all types of air conditioning. Based near Leicester, BMS provide services across the entire country in places such as Birmingham, Nottingham, Northampton, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Derby.

How can I maintain my AC unit in Autumn?

What can you do to ensure the health of your AC unit in Autumn?

As the cooler weather comes to great us, it’s no surprise that the AC unit in your home, office or work place will get a well deserved break. After you’re done using your AC unit for some time, it’s a good idea to prepare for winter in order to minimise any potential damages. By doing regular maintenance of your air con, you’ll be doing yourself a favour: regular fixes of the unit will extend its life and boost its efficiency output. Not treating your AC the right way can cause considerable costs to your pocket, so in this blog, we’ll give some priceless tips on how you can prepare your air conditioning unit for winter.

Maintaining the AC filters

The most important part of your air conditioning is one of the most simple; the cleaning and replacement of filters. Doing this will ensure that the unit is running at 100% efficiency, as it allows the unit to operate in a clean, clear state. Having a dirty filters that’s causing blockages in your AC unit prevents sufficient airflow through the system, which will decrease the system’s overall level of efficiency. Like many things, if normal airflow becomes blocked, air that passes through the filter can carry dirt with it, which can cause damages the heat-absorbing ability of the unit. You should look to clean or replace (if necessary) the filters on your AC unit every couple of months throughout the cold weather.

Keeping the AC coils clear

It’s not unusual for both the condenser and evaporator coils on the AC to gather a considerable amount of dirt in the time they’re used. Using a clean filter will prevent your evaporator coil from getting dirty too quickly. Overtime, it’s normal for the coil to pick up dirt and this will insulate the coil, reducing airflow and minimising its ability to absorb heat in a proper manner. You can avoid this issue by checking your evaporator coil at least once a year.

Cleaning away the debris

In order to keep the AC unit flowing in a proper manner, you should attempt to keep dirt and debris away from your condenser unit. Potenital sources of blockages can be falling leaves, lawn mower debris and dryer vents. Try to keep the area around of the coil clean, simply by removing all debris and overgrown foliage.

Prepare for the winter

During the autumn months, you should try to completely remove and store away your portable AC unit or securely cover your AC unit in order to minimise damage. If you have an AC unit outside, you should try to cover it, as this will protect it from any debris and weathering perils that winter brings.

Use all of these handy tips to maintain and ensure the continued health of your air conditioning unit!

For more on AC installation, care and more, please visit our website.

BMS Aircon are HVAC specialists, one of the top Air Conditioning Companies across Midlands and UK, leading provider of all types of air conditioning. Based near Leicester, BMS provide services across the entire country in places such as Birmingham, Nottingham, Northampton, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Derby.

How to prepare your air conditioning unit for winter

Air conditioning is one of the most necessary parts of your home that you want to keep using in the hot summer months, but what about when winter slowly approaches? What should you do to keep you air conditioning unit safe in the cold months?

Find out what to do and how to manage your unit in winter!

First things first…

Your air conditioning has served you well all summer. It’s kept you cool when the sun outside blares, so how can you take of it in winter?

The first thing to do is to cut the power going into the unit. There should be the power circuit close to the unit, so open and flip the switch from on to off. Doing this will prevent the unit from turn on in a somewhat warm winters day, so water can’t flow into the unit and potentially freeze it!

Keeping it fresh…

Just like all things, your air conditioning unit is bound to get dirty in the months it’s being used. The days of hot weather bring out all kind of bugs and dirt, so be sure to give it a good clean when you’re heading into the winter months! You can use a hose to do this part, removing bird droppings, bugs, dust and dirt from inside your unit. You should have an access panel to the inside of the air con, so be sure to remove any leaves and other debris that could potentially block up your system.

Insulating pipes…

Did you know that you can actually keep your unit warm in the cold! Covering any exposed pipes with foam covers can protect them against the potentially freezing temperatures! You can use duct tape to keep them covers in place.

Check it regularly…

Remember to give you air conditioning unit the once over on occasion, just to make sure that any covers you’ve placed over the unit are still secure. This will keep snow, ice and other debris off your unit, making it ready for reuse when needed!

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Air conditioning has health benefits for the office

What health benefits can air conditioning give to your employees?

As a business owner and employer, it’s your responsibility to provide a clean, comfortable (and most importantly) health environment for your employees to work. Having ineffective air conditioning in your office can cause illness in your employees simply by the chemicals and germs getting circulated around the office.

All of these are avoidable by simply installing or upgrading your existing office air conditioning unit. Doing this could improve the health of your workforce, which will results in fewer sick days, happier staff and potential increase productivity in employees.

When a person feels too hot or too cold, their body uses energy trying to regulate their temperature. This takes energy away from other tasks, such as cognitive functions. If the office air conditioning is too hot or too cold, employees don’t function at optimal capacity and are at greater risk of developing colds, flu, headaches, allergies and other health problems.

An example of air conditioning in the office
An example of air conditioning in the office

When someone feels either too hot or too cold, their body uses up energy in order to regulate the overall temperature of their body. This energy is taken away from other parts of the body, so the person is left feeling tired from the extra energy burn. Given that the air conditioning in the office is too hot or cold, employees won’t function at an optimal level. This increases the amount of risk of employees developing the following:

  • Flu
  • Headaches
  • Colds
  • Allergies

As well as boosting employee health, a good air conditioning system has a number of benefits:

Office air conditioning regulates the temperature so it’s at a comfortable level. Employees in the office will no longer need to wrap up in summer and sweat in the wintertime.

In environments that use pollutants such as chemicals, office air conditioning units can actually remove the harmful air particles, boosting employee health.

An increase in productivity and a decrease in sick days means happier employees as they benefit from healthier, cleaner air.

Air conditioning in the office can prevent the spread of germs and bugs, resulting in boosts for your employees.

BMS Aircon are HVAC specialists, one of the top Air Conditioning Companies across Midlands and UK, leading provider of all types of air conditioning. Based near Leicester, BMS provide services across the entire country in places such as Birmingham, Nottingham, Northampton, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Derby.

What’s the best time of year to install Air Conditioning?

Air conditioning is installed thousands, if not millions, times a year, but when’s the best time to get it installed?

A question we always seem to encounter from those who are curious about installing air conditioning: What’s the best time of year to install air conditioning? Weirdly, the best time of year to get your home kitted out with A/C is winter! You’re more likely to get a better price on your air conditioner in the cold weather, as the slower season means that contractors have a lot of time to install in-between their repair service.

air conditioning Leicester

The Basics of Air Conditioning

What’s the basic of air conditioning? The meaning for air conditioning is simply what is sounds like: conditioned air. This means that the air has been cooled down and cooled down air has a lot of its humidity removed. The lower levels of humidity in conditioned air supply our bodies with the ability of perspiration much more effectively, which in turn allows us to cool down faster and more effectively. Many people believe that air conditioners actually produce cold air, when in fact they actually remove the heat from the air and push it to another place. In air conditioning units, an evaporator coil is responsible for removing any heat found in the air. When air flows through it, the heat is released elsewhere by a coil that condenses the air. In some split systems, the condensing coil is located on the exterior of the home, which allows for the dispossession of hot air more effectively.

Cooling your home

Having central air conditioning installed in your home may give a major benefit to your home cooling system. With the weather currently heating up and causing problems for people across Britain, so having a central cooling system in your home is vital. Central air conditioners are often more economical compared to having multiple units throughout your home, as having a unit work from one central position is way more energy efficient. Also, it eliminates the task of having to remove window units in the colder seasons. If your home is lucky enough to already have a central air heating system, having the remainder of the system installed is an easy job – as most of the air unit is already in place. If your home has a radiant or baseboard system, then you will need a higher level of A/C installation.

What are the costs of air conditioning?

Simply put, the price of air conditioning will change depending on who fits it and offers the service. The fitting of an older home can actually be a difficult task. If you’re not interested in taking out a central air system, you may consider the possibility of installing a number of fixed wall units which can reside in various rooms throughout the house. The wall units in question actually work a lot like window units, yet the need to install and remove these each season is eliminated, which makes this form of air conditioning a much more efficient service.

You should remember that you can change the design of your project in order to match the needs of your home, as this may also lead to more cost effective forms of air conditioning. Another good alternative to air conditioning are ceiling fans, as they are way more cost effective. Homes that are super insulated encounter lower levels of cooling requirements, so keep this in mind if your home is such a build.

New ducts

If your home is one that lacks a central forced air heating system, A/C can still be installed, it is just going to entail more work and expense. These costs will vary by the configuration of your home. Single story homes can be readily equipped from the attic, basement or crawlspace if present. Multi-story homes may need more complex ductwork to span the different levels or have redundant systems installed to be served from multiple areas. Obviously the more intrusive the work the greater the cost. The backs of closets often provide a “chase” that is used for running ductwork from a basement to a second floor. A large portion of the expense of these installations comes from new air-handling systems that are already present in existing forced air-heating systems.

Given that your home is lacking a central air heating system, air conditioning can be installed, it’s just necessary that more work and higher expenses will have to be taken. The costs on how much this will take depends on the configuration of how your home has its layout. Homes that have one story can have an A/C unit installed through the loft or basement, given one is present. Given that the home has two stories, a much more difficult system is required for install. The more intrusive the work needs to be on your home, the greater the cost. A large portion of these expenses will come from the installation process that gives your home a whole new world in the form of air conditioning.

 

For more on air conditioning, please visit our website.

A Brief History behind Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning: A History

Willis Haviland Carrier was the brains behind the modern concept of air conditioning but before his invention became a reality, many came forward with the idea of a machine that served the purpose of cooling, though changes in the design were tinkered differently to Carrier’s design. So we can mark the anniversary of Carrier’s fantastic invention, we’re going to take a brief look back at the long story – and history – of air conditioning.

1758: Benjamin Franklin and Cambridge University professor John Hadley discovered that the evaporation of alcohol and other liquids evaporate faster than water and in turn they can cool down an object enough to freeze the water.

1820: It was a case of dé ja vu for inventor Michael Faraday who made the same discovery as Franklin and Hadley some 62 years later in England. This was achieved through the compression and liquidity of ammonia.

1830s: Dr. John Gorrie makes a huge breakthrough in the case of air conditioning but it comes to no avail. Whilst working at a Florida hospital, Dr. Gorrie created an ice-making machine that uses the compression to make buckets of ice, then blowing air over them. He patented the idea in 1851, with the dream of cooling buildings throughout the world. Lack in financial backing was to blame for the failure of his invention and the world would have to wait much, much longer for A/C.

1881: President James Garfield is shot by an assassin on July 2 in 1881, so naval engineers built a makeshift cooling unit in order to keep him cool and comfortable simultaneously. The device is a simple design, with water-soaked cloth filling the inside whilst a fan blows hot air overhead, keeping cool air much closer to the ground. The good news behind the project is that the device can achieve lower room temperatures of up to 20F, but unfortunately President Garfield still dies. Oh and the machine used a massive half-million pounds of ice in just TWO months.

1902: Willis Carrier invented the ‘Apparatus for Treating Air’ at a time where he was working for the Sackett-Wilhelms Litographing and Publishing company in New York. The machine is designed to blow air over cold coils, which can control both room temperature and humidity. The device keeps paper from wrinkling as well as aligning the ink where it’s supposed to be. After discovering that other factories want to use the cooling technology, Carrier establishes the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America.

1906: Stuart Cramer creates a ventilating device that gives the ability to add water vapour to the air in textile factories. The humidity makes yarn easier to spin and reduces the chance of breakages. Cramer is the first person to call this process “air conditioning.”

1914: Air conditioning came to the home for the first time in history. The unit is installed in Minneapolis, inside the mansion of Charles Gates. The air conditioning unit is approximately 7 feet high, 6 feet wide and 20 feet long. It’s a great possibility that the unit went unused because no one actually ever lived inside the house.

1931:  H.H. Schultz and J.Q. Sherman are responsible for inventing an individual room air conditioner which sits on your window ledge. This design is common place in apartment buildings ever since. The units are available for purchase and are purchased by those who are least likely to experience a hectic, sweaty life – the rich. A large cooling system would cost between $10,000-$50,000, which is equivalent to $120,000 to $600,000 in today’s money!

1939: Packard invents the first air-conditioned car, which allows a relaxing ride for those inside. Dashboard controls for the onboard A/C would come later. For now, given the passenger would get chilly, the driver would have to stop the engine, open the hood and disconnect a compressor belt.

1942: The US builds its first power plant, named a “summer peaking” plant. It’s built to handle the ever growing electrical load that air conditioning demands.

1950s: After World War II, the economic boom finally happens as residential air conditioning becomes available to many. Over 1 million units are sold in 1953 alone.

1970s:  The window units of air conditioning lose points as central air comes along. The units consist of a three main components: condenser, coils and a fan. Air gets drawn in, passed over the coils and then blasted through the ventilation system.

So, what do you think of our look into the history of air conditioning? Tell us in the comments below!

For more on air conditioning, please visit our website.