Air-conditioning, Indoor Air Quality and Energy Conservation

Summer –Sizzling Hot!
The onset of summer brings with it fears of discomfort. The high temperatures can only be high as 24 0C or so. This is very much mild compared to that is experienced in some parts of Europe such as Italy where it can be as high as 300C. Air conditioning is essential when the temperatures are high.

Cause of discomfort in summer
In the UK and Ireland rather than the temperature it may be the humidity which will trouble you. However what scares millions of allergic inhabitants of these countries is hay fever caused by swarms of pollen affecting Indoor Air Quality.

Humidity and Indoor Air Quality
Compared to the dry winter (i.e. low humidity, normally given in kg/kg of dry air) high summer humidity do not make the perspiration evaporate fast making you really uncomfortable. When you run an air conditioner, the moisture in the air condenses on the cooling coil (evaporator) which subsequently drains away. This manages your room humidity and maintains adequate levels under normal circumstances. An air conditioner is one machine in your home which gobbles up kilowatts of electricity as perhaps no other.

Air Filters and Indoor Air Quality
Air is drawn and filtered before it passes through the evaporator. But the standard air filters are good for filtering large particulates such as dust, pet dander, human hair etc. but pollen, smoke, minute dust particles, large (and minute) viruses easily flow through it! These filters are hopelessly inefficient in performing this particular task.

What are your options?
Air conditioning as we know it today was first invented in the late twenties of the last century but gained popularity only in the mid fifties. With the improvements in the living standards and the trend towards having totally sealed dwellings, to day it has become an essential contributor to human comfort and health.

Generally in the countries and regions where the summer is pronounced, approximately 29% of the annual energy usage is due to air conditioning. Traditionally over the centuries where space heating has been the only requirement for human comfort in a house, the additional cost of air conditioning too has been piled upon.

It is obvious most of the average house owners can ill afford all of the following in their homes;
• Space Heating
• Space Cooling
• Humidity control
• Good Indoor air quality with High Efficiency filtration against health hazards (e.g. pollen, bacteria, large viruses etc.)

And most importantly, how much these systems can save, avoid waste, and cost less overall in your home.
Fortunate for you, today you will find modern air to air domestic Heat Pumps with HEPA filters providing you a very economic and sustainable solution.

Air to Air Heat Pumps in Homes
A heat pump is an air conditioner incorporating a conventional refrigeration circuit including the refrigerant compressor. Under normal air conditioning during hot seasons (or in environs) it draws the room heat load and expels it to outdoors. In the colder seasons which prevail during most parts of an year in, for example in Ireland or UK the heat pump will reverse the process by using a 4 way valve, where by thermal energy from warmer out doors is brought in to your home and released in the space to be heated. This requires little electrical energy though .The efficiency is in the region of 40 to 70% over an year. This avoids your need to buy an expensive full capacity heating system for your home while summer cooling, dehumidification and energy optimization (by way of free out door thermal energy) is too taken care of.

What of the indoor air quality?
Today the hi-tech microprocessor controlled split system domestic Heat Pumps are equipped with high efficiency triple action filters (HEPA) which are capable of reaching filtering efficiencies of 99.9% in an enclosed space. The composite filters in a typical case would incorporate nano silver coated filters and activated carbon filters. These would effectively remove all hay fever causing pollen, bacteria and large viruses. The breathable oxygen would be obtained through the minimum infiltration and door openings. It is well known that a blocked air filter would reduce the current consumed. Unfortunately this would not provide you a saving as the Heat Pump has to run longer to maintain the pre set comfort conditions. Therefore it may be well to remember filter cleaning and also good maintenance of evaporator and condenser coils would mean lowered energy bills.

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