Air Conditioning For Business: Light Commercial & Office Solutions
Air conditioning for business requirements differs greatly from home or industrial applications.
Light commercial air conditioning systems, as needed for office blocks, home offices or smaller retail spaces, need to be fit for purpose. It’s not enough to cool a space by blasting a stream of cold air into it.
No, there are several factors that come into play when considering an aircon for your business. Let’s explore some of these to assist you in making the very best choice.
Air Conditioning For Business: Factors to Consider
We’ve all heard of false economy, and never has that been such an important factor as to when we are choosing the right aircon system. Businesses both big and small need to consider the long-term aspects.
A cheap and cheerful system may be fine… for a while. But what are the implications?
Cost-Effective Air Conditioning Systems
Yes, price is certainly a factor when purchasing a larger aircon unit for your business.
However, the energy-efficiency of your choice of product is something that should be carefully weighed.
Consider the following example. Mater Hospital in Queensland, Australia, required an upgraded HVAC system. Granted, this client certainly did not fall into the ‘light commercial’ category, but the point is clear.
“The Carrier Evergreen® 23XRV water-cooled screw chillers chosen for the hospital offer superior efficiency and performance, coupled with low operating costs. Several possible chiller configurations were modelled before a final option was chosen. Both McClintock Engineering and we at Carrier decided the series counterflow arrangement best met Mater’s needs. Early monitoring was highly encouraging, suggesting the new units use around 14 percent less energy, while still reducing demand by an incredible 46 percent.
“These reductions mean considerable cost savings for the hospital – as much as AUS$13.9m over the anticipated 25-year lifespan of the chillers. The hospital also benefits from an estimated additional saving via a 28 percent reduction in maintenance costs. This is because of the high reliability, and ease of servicing, of the Evergreen 23XRV chiller.”
Your energy usage may not be anywhere close to that of the Mater Hospital, but money saved is always going to be a good thing for any business.
Choosing a trusted manufacturer who is looking after the planet as well as saving your business money is certainly a check in the right box
Creating the Ideal Working Environment
Legislation aside for a moment, we have very good reason to create a healthy working environment for our staff.
Getting the temperature right in an office can often feel like an unfortunate game of Russian Roulette where someone is bound to lose. No, the outcome may not be as serious, but the perpetual fight over the air conditioning remote can get a tad boring.
Erratic temperature zones (hot and cold spots) are commonplace if the incorrect aircon unit has been installed, if the ducting is insufficient or the zones have not been set up correctly.
Add to this the fact that men and women feel temperature differently, with women preferring it significantly warmer than their male colleagues, and you may have an AC war on your hands.
Air conditioning for business needs to factor in these issues.
You will likely need:
- Zone control for various areas
- Remote controls which are simple easy to use
- The correct sized aircon for the space
- To have factored in windows (which will let the sun in and increase the ambient temperature) and doors (which will let the cold air out if left open)
- The ability to enjoy a comfortable and consistent temperature no matter what is going on outside
- Excellent air quality to keep your team fresh
An office temperature that is too warm tends to make people sleepy and lethargic. Too cold, and staff members start making mistakes. Too much humidity – for any of us – equals a sweaty, uncomfortable and often irritable team.
Highlighting this point, an article from Climate Design has this to say;
“Overheated offices can and will affect your employee’s productivity. A recent study found that those who worked in offices without properly working AC wasted over an hour a day due to the heat. The time that your employees waste is money that you waste. Air conditioners keep your employees working harder, saving you money and making your business more efficient.”
The same article added;
“Not only will your employees work harder with AC, but they will also work smarter. It has been proven that those working in offices without air conditioning make more mistakes, have shorter concentration spans and have a harder time solving complex problems. You want your employees to be sharp and on task while at work. This is almost impossible when they are overheated.”
You’ll be thrilled to know that the Toshiba range of light commercial/business air conditioning systems have you covered. All our aircon units for business use are easily programmable and simple to use.
Maintenance of Your Air Conditioning Units
While it may ‘not be your job,’ regular maintenance of the office aircon is a must. Toshiba have made sure that this essential process can happen with the least amount of disruption to your team.
Consider the features of the Toshiba Compact Cassette design:
- Slim-line dimensions make this cassette suitable for the most demanding installations where ceiling height restrictions apply.
- Easy maintenance: long-life filter, access to corner pockets is easy, enabling convenient installation and adjustment for perfect ceiling fitting.
- Less than 30mm panel depth allowing for sleek and unobtrusive application.
- New louvre design to ensure ultimate comfort.
Indeed, easy access to the air conditioning unit makes it easy to maintain. Of course, the importance of a clean, well-functioning aircon cannot be understated.
A key piece from Energy.gov says, “An air conditioner’s filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service. Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.”
It adds, “When your air conditioner needs more than regular maintenance, hire a professional service technician. A well-trained technician will find and fix problems in your air conditioning system.
The technician should:
- Check for the correct amount of refrigerant
- Test for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector
- Capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system, instead of illegally releasing it to the atmosphere
- Check for and seal duct leakage in central systems
- Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
- Verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure that the heating system and cooling system cannot operate simultaneously
- Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary
- Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear
- Check the accuracy of the thermostat.
The considerations are numerous, we understand. So how do you know if you’ve made the right choice of office aircon?
Air conditioning for business is not a choice quickly made. No, a good deal of research must go into finding the right product, from the right manufacturer. And it’s with this in mind that we’d like to encourage you to call the team at Toshiba – we know how to keep you cool.
Light Commercial Air Conditioning Products
Our light commercial air conditioners offer solutions for light commercial & large building applications, delivering top performance and energy efficiency.