Mini-Split Systems - Expert Commentary

Why Commercial Air Conditioning Should Have A Regular Maintenance Plan
Why Commercial Air Conditioning Should Have A Regular Maintenance Plan

Air conditioning has become a huge part of our lives whether we know it or not. Most offices have them so that members of staff can enjoy a regulated working environment without having to shiver or overheat. This often makes the office a nice place to work in and helps staff to stay productive throughout the day, regardless of what is going on with the weather. Commercial air conditioning is something that we often take for granted because we barely realize that it’s there. The only time that we notice it is when it breaks down or it doesn’t function as efficiently as we want it to. Why is it important to regularly maintain an HVAC unit? When an AC unit isn’t looked after in the right way, there can be a number of things that can either go wrong Air conditioning maintenance is something that so many people overlook. This can be for a whole host of reasons, including whether it’s that they are unaware that it needs regular maintenance or they think it’s too costly to take on. These are often the most common reasons that air conditioning units aren’t looked after properly. When an air conditioner unit isn’t looked after in the right way, there can be a number of things that can either go wrong and disable air conditioning or just hinder its ability to do its job. Temperatures With a well looked after, fully functioning commercial air conditioner, you’ll find that the temperatures are very accurate and work as intended. This means that everything within your unit is in top condition and working well. For example, on a hot day, when you set your thermostat to a low temperature, you’ll get exactly that.  Over time you may find that your air conditioning starts to struggle a little. This can be in a few different forms. You may detect that it takes a lot longer for your air conditioning to get up or down to the right temperature. This can be for a whole host of reasons and so keeping it regularly maintained will help to reduce this risk. Cost-effective As mentioned, a poorly maintained air conditioning unit will likely mean that it takes longer to get to the right temperatures or it may not be efficient enough to even reach the temperature you’re after. With that in mind, it can start to cost a lot more to run your HVAC system in this state. Due to the fact that it might take longer to reach your preferred temperature, you could end up paying more as time goes on. If you don’t rectify this problem, you may end up with an air conditioning unit that no longer works enough to be worth running. This will have adverse effects on the working environment and your members of staff. Safety of staff Depending on where you are in the world, heatstroke is also a very dangerous problem One of the biggest concerns for a business owner, the HR department and the individuals themselves, is that the office needs to be suitable to work in. From a health and safety standpoint, employees need to be safe and protected. Often air conditioning maintenance falls under this and is a necessity. Depending on where you are in the world, heatstroke is also a very dangerous problem. Having an inefficient air conditioning unit that can’t keep up with the rising temperatures could potentially put your employees at risk! The same also goes for those in more densely populated cities like London, New York City and even France. The air quality in and around these cities can be awful and so having air conditioning to clean and filter the air before it arrives in your office can make a big difference. Preventative maintenance Preventative maintenance is possibly one of the most important parts of owning any sort of machinery. Whether we’re talking about a car or air conditioning, preventative maintenance is a must. Preventative maintenance is just the act of regular maintenance throughout the lifetime of a product. It often involves changing of parts or fluids, even if they don’t need it in that instant. For example, if you take your car for a service and the engine oil is still sort of okay but will need replacing in 2 months’ time, would you just leave it or get it changed there and then? This type of preventative maintenance is designed to make sure that everything is in top condition and works perfectly all of the time. The biggest problem we face is that people think preventative maintenance isn’t necessary and while, yes your AC system will run without it, it’s likely to cost you so much more in the long run and could end up upsetting your staff too with a drop in temperatures. Employee satisfaction Commercial air conditioning is still a huge part of employee satisfaction Although at the time of writing this, many people are working from home, commercial air conditioning is still a huge part of employee satisfaction. Having an operating office, warehouse, school or indeed home, with air conditioning can help to keep people happy throughout the year. As a business owner, HR or general manager, it’s part of your job to keep employees happy and working in an optimal environment. Without this, employees may start to get fed up with attending an office that’s way too hot to work in. Importance of a regular maintenance plan A regular maintenance plan is going to help you keep your air conditioning system in the best state possible. You‘ll be able to detect faults and malfunctions before they have a direct impact on your commercial air conditioning system and prevent any further damage. Through the utilization of a proper plan, you should find that your system has a longer lifespan than those that don’t and should work more efficiently saving you time, money and the hassle of a broken system. Keeping your staff members happy is also a must and so dedicating some of your budget to air conditioning maintenance might just help you to keep morale and employee satisfaction on the right level.

Smart Technology Brings Zone Comfort To Today’s Connected Homes
Smart Technology Brings Zone Comfort To Today’s Connected Homes

Many of us are spending more time at home. Given that work and home lives are becoming more intertwined, it makes sense to create a “comfort zone” in the place where people spend the most time. I am speaking about the benefits of zoned HVAC comfort control through duct-free split systems.  Imagine offering your customers the ability to cool their bedroom at night without having to cool the whole house. Maybe they want to cool their home gym to 68 degrees while leaving the playroom at 76 degrees. Duct-free systems offer the ability to individually set preferred comfort settings for each individual zone or room in the home. Control the temperature, humidity and even the volume and direction of airflow, all according to personal preference.  Imagine offering your customers the ability to cool their bedroom at night without having to cool the whole house Pandemic trends During the pandemic, one trend we are seeing is more consumers adding duct-free systems to spare rooms to function as a home office or the conversion of a garage for a home theater or as a social-distanced gathering place for family and friends. There are many options today to meet all of these needs and more. LG offers a variety of stylish, duct-free indoor units ranging from a smoked glass mirror finish to traditional white. You can offer your customers the ability to customize their space with the Art Cool Gallery, a unit that looks like a picture hanging on the wall, allowing them to add their own artwork or photographs. With so many options, there is no reason not to have the comfort you deserve. Each unit is powered by an energy efficient inverter with heat pump technology – some offering up to 28 SEER. The SEER calculates air conditioning and heat pump cooling efficiency. The higher the number, the less you will spend on energy costs. These systems – many of which are ENERGY STAR® certified – are built with cost-savings in mind, so whether it is low installation costs or reduced lifetime costs, your customers will be surprised to see the money they will save with duct-free HVAC technology. app technology  “Smart” indoor units from LG come equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities and on some other models, this function can easily be added using a separate module. This allows control via the included wireless controller or from a smartphone. The free app for both iOS and Android is called LG ThinQ®. This is where we have a unique advantage over the competition. The app is the same communication platform used with LG home appliances and TVs. When a homeowner presses the “away mode” it will set all of the indoor HVAC units to their predetermined temperature, and at the same time other smart appliances in the home - refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer - will be set to a low energy consumption mode. Imagine the savings! The app also allows the control of HVAC modes (Heating, Cooling, Dehumidification, Auto Changeover, or Fan Only), temperature, airflow direction/vane movement (up, down, side to side), fan speed and of course power (on/off).  Users can control one or several units and each can be set up for group control. For instance, a parent might want to control all of the zones in the house, but only give children control of their room. Duct-free units give everyone their own personal level of comfort. There is also the option of installing these units in rooms that are typically warmer in the summer months or difficult to keep cool as temperatures rise. A connected home LG units can also be voice-controlled when paired with Amazon Alexa or Google Home For a more connected home, any of the LG units can also be voice-controlled when paired with Amazon Alexa or Google Home. This offers the convenience and freedom to use simple commands to set a desired temperature in various areas, such as: “Alexa, set the master bedroom to 70 degrees,” or “Alexa, set the office to heating.” So how does it work? The inverter compressor can adjust the speed of the compressor in 1 hertz level increments to match the load. This allows the outdoor condenser to operate at the minimum-required hertz level to meet the load and achieves a desirable energy efficiency at lower sound levels. The indoor unit also maintains greater cooling and wicks the moisture from the air to provide lower humidity levels. The reward is monthly energy savings on utility bills. These duct-free systems allow homeowners to efficiently make the most of all available spaces.

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HVAC Industry Manufacturers To Introduce Six Latest Products For The Heat Pump Market
HVAC Industry Manufacturers To Introduce Six Latest Products For The Heat Pump Market

Manufacturers continue to make improvements in heat-pump technology, including higher efficiencies, contractor-friendly designs, and innovative extras like two-stage compressors that allow them to run at lower speeds and cut down energy use and homeowners’ bills. Below is a sampling of six of the latest products to hit the heat pump market. Nortek Global HVAC introduced the W-Series of air conditioning and heat pump equipment for residential and light commercial applications, completing its redesign of Gibson®, NuTone®, and Frigidaire® branded 1.5- to 5-ton, single-phase air conditioning units and heat pumps. The redesign offers contractors a ‘good-better-best’ strategy (the premium F-Series, the mid-range E-Series, and the economically-priced W-Series) to accommodate varying consumer price ranges. Coil-Protecting wire guard The W-Series heat pump is available in 14- and 16-SEER models. Standard features include Copeland scroll compressors and a liquid line filter-drier for field installation in an accessible position to facilitate easy periodic change-outs. It also has a coil-protecting wire guard that adds cabinet structural integrity and holds a plastic mesh in place to safeguard against hail and accidental contact damage, plus an anti-corrosive polymer drain pan with more drainage holes to eliminate potential standing water. On the unit’s exterior cabinet, above the refrigerant access port, is a weather-proof QR code called ‘Charge Me’ that can be scanned to access Nortek’s charge assist tool. “The new W-series of heat pumps recently introduced by Gibson, Frigidaire, and NuTone features a high-tech way to charge,” said Dave Garvin, product manager, Nortek Global HVAC. Variable Speed Heat Pump Rheem’s next generation Prestige® heat pump harnesses the power of the new EcoNet Smart Thermostat “The proprietary website helps account for subcooling, fixed orifices, thermostatic expansion valves, ambient temperature at time of charging, lineset length, and other variables that can trip up contractors when charging any heat pump brand.” The Rheem® Prestige® Series EcoNet®-Enabled Variable Speed Heat Pump features a contractor-friendly design, which means expanded valve space and triple service access, for fast and easy install and repairs. Corner-service access allows optimal access to internal components, while individual louver panels speed coil cleaning and cabinet reassembly. Plus, Rheem’s next generation Prestige® heat pump harnesses the power of the new EcoNet Smart Thermostat, which provides control, monitoring, and one-touch alert capability. Proper installation and reduced time “Rheem’s Prestige Heat Pump powered by our EcoNet Smart Thermostat keeps contractors in control,” said Ryan Teschner, product manager for Rheem Mfg. “From real-time alerts and system notifications to a charge mode capability, which allows for proper installation and reduced time on the job, Rheem’s heat pump increases job site efficiencies and reduces labor costs for contractors.” The hybrid electric Voltex® from A. O. Smith has an energy factor (efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day) of 2.3, and is Energy Star® qualified. “Heat pump water heaters use electricity to pull heat from the surrounding air rather than generating their own heat,” said Brandon Stepanek, national field marketing manager at A. O. Smith. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions Carrier’s Hybrid Heat systems automatically switch between electric and gas heating “This means that they can be a logical choice for dedicated green home builders interested in enhancing energy efficiency. Because a heat pump water heater uses energy efficiently, it can save customers up to 10 percent on energy bills, which adds up to thousands of dollars over the life of the water heater,” he continued. “The significant reduction in electricity use also has a direct effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” Carrier’s Performance™ Series heat pumps offer a range of efficiencies that start at 14 SEER and reach 17.5 SEER and up to 9.5 HSPF. Combining a gas furnace, an electric heat pump, and a compatible thermostat, Carrier’s Hybrid Heat systems automatically switch between electric and gas heating to optimize the efficiency of each fuel source, helping defend homeowners against utility cost fluctuations. They have Energy Star designation. Carrier indoor furnace “Our microtube coil technology saves space and provides lasting comfort with its corrosion-resistant construction,” the company stated. “In addition, some models include innovative extras, like a two-speed compressor for added benefits like higher efficiency and even, consistent comfort. When installed with a custom-matched Carrier indoor furnace or fan coil and a Côr® Wi-Fi® thermostat, our two-stage heat pumps can operate on low stage up to 80 percent of the time to keep airflow and temperatures even and consistent while adding humidity control during cooling operation.” Heating operation is rated down to minus 5˚F outdoor temperature Fujitsu General America Inc. recently debuted the RGLX Series, three medium-static pressure ducted indoor units for the single-zone Halcyon mini split line. They have sufficient static pressure to heat or cool a whole house. Heating operation is rated down to minus 5˚F outdoor temperature. The 12,000-, 18,000-, and 24,000-Btuh models are Energy Star qualified. V-Shaped heat exchanger Units are available in seven sizes ranging from 12,000 to 48,000 Btuh, with efficiency ratings up to 21.3 SEER. The evaporators are slim enough to fit most ceiling spaces, making them ideal for hidden installations, while the condensing units can be installed below a window or in a narrow space. The new models can be installed in applications that require static pressure up to 0.80 inches of water column and offer maximum piping lengths of up to 246 feet. A built-in drain pump with 33.5 feet of vertical lift comes standard. “The combination of the V-shaped heat exchanger, air stabilizer, and the energy-efficient DC fan motor results in high efficiency and quiet operation,” Fujitsu wrote in the product specs. Customized indoor comfort The Goodman GSZC18 Heat Pump features the next-generation Copeland Scroll™ two-stage compressor coupled with Goodman’s ComfortBridge® communicating technology to deliver up to 19 SEER and 10 HSPF performance. ComfortBridge ‘off-the-wall’ technology gives contractors more installation options and intelligent controls. It works with any thermostat, including single-stage ones. ComfortBridge constantly gathers data, making automatic adjustments for peak performance ComfortBridge constantly gathers data, making automatic adjustments for peak performance, using the minimum energy needed for consistent, customized indoor comfort. A companion CoolCloud™ app connects technicians wirelessly via Bluetooth to ComfortBridge. Advanced ComfortAlert™ Diagnostics constantly monitor the system, reducing failures and pinpointing trouble spots. “Our 18-SEER heat pumps provide high-efficiency, energy-saving indoor comfort with the ease of installation as compared to less sophisticated products,” said Cory Gottfredson, senior product manager, Outdoor Split Systems for Goodman. Compressor crankcase heater “We have incorporated ComfortBridge technology to optimize installation while allowing homeowners to use any thermostat. This truly enhances both operation and installation, freeing contractors from hassles and leaving money in the hands of homeowners where it belongs.” The scroll compressor inside the GSZC18 is designed with fewer moving parts, and the high-efficiency, two-speed electronically commutated condenser fan motor with advanced fan design provides quiet airflow. Other features include SmartShift® technology with short-cycle protection, a bi-flow liquid-line filter-drier, suction line accumulator, high- and low-pressure switches, coil and ambient temperature sensors, a transformer, compressor crankcase heater, high-capacity muffler, and a color-coded terminal strip for non-communicating set-up.

Rheem Launches ProTerra Electric Water Heater That Qualifies For The Highest Level Of Energy Rebates
Rheem Launches ProTerra Electric Water Heater That Qualifies For The Highest Level Of Energy Rebates

Rheem, a renowned global manufacturer of HVAC and water heating solutions, recently unveiled the industry's most efficient hybrid electric water heater. Named ProTerra for its unmatched efficiencies, this ENERGY STAR certified water heater from Rheem is over 400 percent more efficient compared to any standard electric tank-type water heater in market and is more eco-friendly than ever at up to 4.0 UEF. "Rheem is committed to developing cutting-edge products that benefit end-users and our environment," said Ankur Maheshwari, Senior Product Manager, Rheem. "Our top-of-the-line ProTerra water heater can save homeowners money upon purchase in the form of a $300 federal tax credit, and because the system requires minimal power to operate, its carbon footprint is the lowest in its class." adjust water temperatures The ProTerra's compact design makes it a perfect tank replacement for even the home's smallest spaces. The system is available in the widest selection of gallon sizes in its category – 40, 50, 65, 80 – to support various hot water needs, and the ProTerra with LeakGuard model is now the industry's only hybrid water heater with built in leak detection and auto shutoff that limits water loss from the tank to no more than 20 ounces. LeakGuard protects the home against water damage, providing peace of mind for end-users. This all-new hybrid water heater also has Rheem's exclusive EcoNet Wifi technology built in. Once connected through the EcoNet mobile app, users can monitor the system from any location, adjust water temperatures for controlled comfort and receive maintenance alerts to ensure the system continues to run smoothly without interruption. detailed system diagnostics Plumbers can access detailed system diagnostics through Rheem's Contractor App Additionally, through the EcoNet mobile app, users can access Rheem's Hot Water Availability feature which indicates how much hot water is available in the tank, preventing any cold shower surprises. Other advanced features include scheduling around peak electricity rates, an energy usage tracker to manage consumption without sacrificing comfort and five operating modes to balance between energy usage and hot water availability. Plumbers can access detailed system diagnostics through Rheem's Contractor App, which shortens service visits and improves credibility in the field. The ProTerra has all serviceable components on the front of the unit, which also saves plumbers valuable time on a jobsite. Another benefit to plumbers is the unit's zero clearance requirement on the sides. This makes earthquakes straps easy to install, providing an extra benefit in California where earthquake straps are code. efficient water heater "Our ProTerra hybrid water heater is not only the most efficient water heater available; it is also NEEA Tier 4 certified and comes with CTA 2045 adaptor with full Demand Response capability out of the box," said Scott Cohen, Senior Manager, Rheem. "This level of product efficiency is Rheem's ongoing priority when developing new innovations and supports the company's 'Greater Degree of Good' sustainability initiative which includes reducing GHG emissions by 50 percent." The ProTerra qualifies for the highest level of energy rebates, will save homeowners up to nearly $500 in annual energy costs1 and will pay for itself within two years2. For more information on utility rebates, the local utility provider can be contacted or the website can be visited.

Eurovent Middle East Announces New Board And Fee Structure At Annual Meeting
Eurovent Middle East Announces New Board And Fee Structure At Annual Meeting

During the Annual Meeting, members of the association for the region’s HVACR manufacturers elected Mr Brian Suggitt, Managing Director, Systemair UAE, as President supported by Mr Tariq Al Ghussein, CEO of local company Taqeef as Vice-President. Thanks to continuous growth in previous years, the member gathering saw the approval of lower membership fee structures for its members, which ensures the longevity of the Association for the years ahead. The new Board further consists of Mr Asim Ansari (Export Sales Manager, Airedale), Mr Dani Elamana (Technical Director, Camfil Middle East), Mr Rafael van Eijcken (General Manager, Baltimore Aircoil Middle East), Mr Frank Taaning Grundholm (VP - Global HVACR Sales, ABB), Mr Iyad Al Jurdy (Senior Manager, LG Electronics), Mr Srinivasan Rangan (Director of Marketing and Product Management, Rheem MEA), Mr Naveen Sivakumar (Head of Marketing and Business Development, Danfoss) and Mr David Jacobs (VP and Managing Director EMEA, Baltimore Aircoil) as Born Board member elected by the Eurovent Association. Making a difference by driving change I am excited to see so much energy and enthusiasm in the new board" Eurovent Middle East has seen considerable growth and development since its inception and saw an unprecedented number of technical meetings in 2019. The industry body was active on multiple regulatory issues, supporting authorities with combined feedback from the industry, and its members with clarifications and the resolution of potential regulatory obstacles to free trade. In his third consecutive term steering the Association, Mr Suggitt has introduced a special theme for this year, “Making a difference by driving change.” The evolution of the group has been a remarkable example of the power of co-creation, as the newly elected President shares, “I am excited to see so much energy and enthusiasm in the new board.” Power of co-creation and cooperation “The development of the association from the beginning to now underlines the power of co-creation and cooperation. What we have achieved so far may not be immediately noticeable but would have never been able without the contributions and dedication of our members. We are competitors in the field, but what the field looks like is our common concern.” This should also encourage additional companies to consider a membership" Mr Tariq Al Ghussein, newly elected Vice-President adds, “People begin to gradually understand the benefits and opportunities an association provides. Having been in the board for over a year now and seeing the work, which was done, assures me that the path we’ve followed is the right one. I can only emphasise again that the region needs much more cooperation among the industry and its various partners, be it government entities, consultants or contractors.” Reduced membership fees Speaking on the reduced membership fees and other changes, Mr Markus Lattner, Managing Director of Eurovent Middle East explains, “It was initially planned to lower the fees when we reached a certain threshold of revenues. The growth in membership since the beginning allows us to make this step earlier than intended and thus easier for our members in an economically more difficult time.” “This should also encourage additional companies to consider a membership. Further steps include extending our reach into Egypt and Pakistan and publishing dedicated technical recommendations to provide guidance on key technologies. The acclaimed HVACR Leadership Workshops will be continued with Building Retrofit, Cold Chain and Data Centre Cooling events over the next three months.”

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