FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
My system has a 3-year warranty - Why do I need a maintenance contract?
Air conditioning systems require regular maintenance to ensure safety and optimum operational efficiency. Warranties are only applicable if the system or equipment is regularly maintained by an approved organisation, normally at least once a year. To simply explain, relate this to a car which like air conditioning has many rotating and wearing parts, your warranty will not be honoured if you don’t have regular servicing (maintenance). There are also regulatory requirements to consider. Under EU legislation 842/2006, if your air conditioning system contains more than 3kg of refrigerant gas, you have to get the system leak checked at least once per year too. Air Improve do this as part of their servicing contract.
Do refrigerants harm the ozone layer?
Some do and others do not, however it is a very complex issue and needs more space than we have here. There is an article in our articles section by Ben Rogers, titled ‘Regulation, Gas & You’ which goes into slightly more detail. However, in principle all refrigerants handled by competent companies and technicians will never be released to the atmosphere so will not deplete the ozone layer. Because accidents happen, alternative refrigerants are being developed all the time, but it is important to note that refrigerants are not a major problem as many other contaminates cause global warming problems. Primary problems are caused by burning fossil fuels, e.g. petrol diesel, oil etc.
Can I catch Legionella from my air conditioning?
It is highly unlikely. You are more likely to catch it from a shower head in a hotel room that has not been used for a long time. But, Legionella can be caught from the aerosol spray of infected cooling towers of larger, older and poorly maintained air conditioning systems. For further information on Legionella, please see our case studies section.
I have been told that air conditioning spreads viruses and bacteria - Does it?
No more than you do or any ventilation system does for airborne viruses and bacteria. Many people are susceptible to dryness sometimes caused when an air conditioning system is badly designed or maintained and the relative humidity is reduced too much. It’s a fact that basically coughs and sneezes spread diseases, but some people will blame anything for their ills rather than understand the facts.
Please explain the difference between air conditioning, comfort cooling and close control?
Air conditioning covers many things but is mainly, heating, cooling, ventilation, fresh air, filtration and control of humidity. Comfort cooling mainly relates to provision of just cooling to improve comfort. Close control air conditioning is really as the name implies, temperature, humidity and air cleanliness are closely controlled and often to fine tolerances if necessary.
The fuse keeps blowing on my air conditioning - Why?
It could be that there is a problem with the compressor and we would advise you to contact us for further assistance. It could also be that a fuse or circuit breaker has recently been replaced but the wrong replacement (smaller rating) has been fitted. Check, but only if you are qualified to work on electrical systems, if not, then again, give us a call 01962 841366 (Winchester) or 01752 769000 (Plymouth).
The air conditioning is running but is not cooling or heating?
Many reasons, the simplest being that you may have inadvertently set it to fan only operation. Unfortunately it may also indicate a serious fault, Check your operating instructions but if you have no luck, give us a call on 01962 841366 (Winchester) or 01752 769000 (Plymouth).
I have lost my operating instructions - Can I get another copy?
Quite possibly, contact Air Improve and we may be able to send you copies or at least advise you how to proceed. Feel free to call us on 01962 841 366 (Winchester) or 01752 769000 (Plymouth).
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is a machine that by reversing its refrigeration cycle can provide heating instead of cooling. Because a heat pump uses a refrigerant it can upgrade the heat in air at even -15C to a usable heat source to heat buildings. Difficult to understand perhaps but imagine a domestic fridge or freezer, reverse its cycle and that black grille on the back will be very cold whilst inside will be very hot. Heat pumps can extract heat from air and water and are nearly always used to both heat and cool a building very efficiently and economically.
What is VRV or VRF?
VRV is a system developed and designed by Daikin Industries and means “variable refrigerant volume”. Daikin protected the term VRV so other manufacturers use the term VRF “variable refrigerant flow”. In principle they both work the same and are extremely efficient, reliable, energy saving ways to heat and cool all types of buildings with minimum installation time or disruption. The volume or flow rate of refrigerant is accurately matched to the required heating or cooling loads thereby saving energy and providing more accurate control. In short, they are probably the best systems currently available for mid to large applications.
What does an inverter do?
An electrical inverter is used to vary the frequency of the power supply from a normal UK 50Hz enabling fine step speed control of motors (compressors) this in turn varies the quantity of refrigerant delivered and hence variable cooling or heating capacity. Essentially, an inverter is a power speed control. Rather than throwing a lot of power into the system when it is switched on and the room cooling down or heating up suddenly, an inverter will slowly build up the power meaning you can comfortably cool or heat the room gradually.
My air conditioning is not working - What can I do?
One of the most common causes of failure is that some one has switched off the power supply. Every air conditioning system will have a switch (or maybe even two) called an Isolator. This switch cuts off all power to the system. Often used when working on the system or for example if there was a fire in the building. The common place for these switches to be placed is by the condenser, often located outside. For this reason, it can be common for people to turn the switches off. So check that fuses circuit breakers and the isolators are all OK and working. Another common cause is blocked air filters. Check they are clean and are regularly kept clean. Ideally you should have the system serviced at least once a year which will help toward ensuring that the filters always remain free from debris. It also helps to refer to the manufacturers operating instructions as well. If all else fails and you are still having a problem, contact us on 01962 841366 (Winchester) or 01752 769000 (Plymouth) and one of our engineers will assist you.
What is COP?
COP stands for Coefficient of Performance. It is the ratio between the power input and power output. For example a modern heat pump will provide 3.5kw of heat for 1kw of electrical power input. Therefore the COP is expressed as 3.5.
What is EER?
Energy efficiency ratio is used to express the relative efficiency of a heating or cooling device by dividing the heat output by the power input. The higher the ratio compared to others, the better the system is.
What is Energy Labelling?
Energy labelling is a new way of allowing consumers to easily compare and rate the efficiency of air conditioners and systems, similar to that used for domestic appliances such as fridge’s and washing machines etc.
The air conditioning is running but the airflow is much lower than I remember?
Have you had your air filter cleaned recently? – This is a common cause of the air flow not running to full efficiency and one of the main components of servicing the air conditioning is cleaning these filters. Contact us on 01962 841366 (Winchester) or 01752 769000 (Plymouth) to arrange a service visit.