All posts by Thermalair

The golden age of software, creating analytical intelligence for HVAC systems

Mobile data processing and automation technology is changing the way companies control their HVAC systems, but also allowing field engineers to accumulate volumes of data to integrate into their maintenance work processes.

HVAC service software now provides the kind of analytical intelligence that can aid engineers to diagnose any issues or inefficiencies within the system, allowing the engineer to establish an operational landscape of the most complex of systems.

The huge benefit now to businesses that rely so much on their HVAC efficiency is the ability to diagnose quickly any issues within complex HVAC installations, and in some cases fix the issue without going onto site. Speedy diagnosis and fixing of any issues can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line for a business, and many businesses are now requiring this level of HVAC technology as part of their business continuity planning.

Superior intelligence saves energy

Energy Management is now a huge part of industry, so efficiencies and energy saving opportunities are calculated on a daily basis, which is purely down to the intelligence provided via sophisticated applications.

HVAC is a big part of most industrial installations overall energy usage, so the ability to integrate the data drawn via sophisticated monitoring software as part of a greater understanding of the energy used can help businesses establish sometimes significant efficiencies to made within their facility. It can outline where there is energy being wasted, that ordinarily wouldn’t have been detected in the past with aging HVAC systems. Financial payback can be quite substantial in the short and long-term with the right technology, data analysis and those who are able to interpret that data into cost savings.

Energy and Facilities Managers now look at cloud based technology as a must have within any large industry facility. They continually seek greater understanding and knowledge to saving energy, but also by working with onsite engineers they can have greater control over business continuity.

Software Companies working with contractors!

Software certainly isn’t new to the HVAC industry, but today more than ever, the input from contractors’ is crucial in deciding what features should be developed in the future. Seeking the ultimate solution in automation also means greater integration of the diverse range of technology within a factory or industrial environment. A one cloud based application central control system has been on the agenda for homes in the future, so where intelligence can substantially monitor and save energy, this will inevitably creep into our working environment. Energy managers can now detect and isolate energy usage right across the full spectrum of equipment and departments within a facility, so they will want to have the power to establish efficiencies collecting data via smart meters and further integration with systems software for HVAC and indeed other industrial machinery, i.e., wherever energy is being used.

Preventative maintenance knowledge

Cloud based technology has created a new dimension to monitoring all forms of technology and provides an extremely efficient resource for HVAC engineers, with service engineers able to carry out real time monitoring which could lead to a stronger program of preventative maintenance, reducing down time of HVAC systems and saving potential costly loss in production.

Bespoke tailoring of systems

One of the big advantages which is gained from data analysis provided by intelligent software, is the ability to design systems specifically for the space a great deal more accurately.  The analysis of engineering data to determine the energy requirements of the building can be quickly established, with an output of a perfect schematic diagram of the desired HVAC System.

The ‘in the cloud’ technological world is now opening up huge possibilities in all corners of industry. The benefits to businesses that utilise the most advanced HVAC systems with 24-hour monitoring, along with the data that is collected by Energy Managers, and the methods of how intelligent data from a vast array machinery and equipment can be accumulated, analysed and with processes to improve the incumbent infrastructure is the future for managing energy, and large HVAC installations. HVAC is a big contributor to the wider need to save on energy costs, so integration that is already possible, is also inevitable.

 

If your air conditioning unit is proving expensive, here are some simple tips to improve energy efficiency!

If your air conditioning unit is proving expensive, here are some simple tips to improve energy efficiency!

As energy costs start to rise once again, there is a need for businesses to monitor their energy output looking at ways to save energy costs, efficiency of air conditioning systems is one such area businesses can explore to make some savings. Either regular maintenance by air conditioning professionals or some simple tasks and checks you can carry out yourself are all beneficial and create cost saving opportunities.

Older systems are certainly less efficient in comparison to the more modern energy efficient systems we install nowadays, but all units benefit from regular cleaning and checks. Here are a few tips you can consider to improve the efficiency of your air conditioning and reduce that escalating energy bill…

  • Clean debris from the unit’s housing ensuring there is a sufficiency clearance around it. Leaves, bird feathers and other debris can become lodged which will effect the efficiency of the unit. Also, where the unit is at ground level, bushes and plants should be trimmed back so there is enough clearance for the unit to operate efficiently.
  • Check air filters to check they are clean, as dirty filters slow down the circulation of air. Sometimes filters are beyond cleaning, and this is when you will need the service of a professional to replace damaged or worn out filters. These should at the very least be changed annually.
  • The ventilation flaps or fins are very often bumped or closed if the unit is in proximity of people, and this will restrict proper air flow to the unit. If damaged these would need to be replaced to maximise efficiency.
  • Shading of an exterior unit is important, either by natural means of overhead trees or by installing a cover to block the sun’s heat. Shaded units operate up to 10 percent more efficiently if they are protected from the sun.
  • Set temperature settings or timers to reduce the need or output during night time, or when your building is vacant. A huge amount of energy is wasted because air conditioning units are running through the night, so worth making sure you only use the unit when needed.
  • Improve ventilation – Sometimes better ventilation can reduce the requirements of the unit to work hard in cooling your office or building. Good ventilation is also much more conducive to a better working environment for your teams.
  • Although it is very nice to have the sun bursting through a window, this also creates a great deal of heat, so strategically placed shading can make a huge different to how hard the air conditioning unit needs to work.
  • Badly fitting doors or windows, or even shutting doors to the outside can reduce energy. Just like the air conditioning in your car, shutting exterior openings can greatly reduce how hard your unit has to work, without of course being detrimental to the ventilation your premises requires.

If you find that your air conditioning isn’t working properly, or still eating up energy costs having followed our simple guide, the professional team at Thermalair can advise on the next steps to take, whether that is a full service of the unit, or replacing with a modern efficient air conditioning system. Remember, the latest systems are more geared towards temperature control, so cater for heating and cooling requirements, with further savings to be made on your energy bill.

 

 

 

 

Consultancy is the key to getting the best performance!

At Thermalair we often come across inefficiency in HVAC and refrigeration systems, and sometimes unfortunately due to bad advice the client has received previously. Our initial consultancy service has proven popular, and helps businesses to make the right decisions around HVAC and refrigeration.

Our team at Thermalair are certainly well qualified, and our consultants are perfectly placed to provide the best advice for our clients. Providing initial consultancy can be a simple or a complex task, and this depends on the extent of the infrastructure requirements we are dealing with. However, even the simplest of projects need the right advice from the start, or the client could be missing out on potential bill savings that new efficient technology can provide.

A typical example of this was a recent project we consulted on, which was a large retail warehouse that was running a rather antiquated gas fired warm air heating system. The premises had a very large open glass frontage which created a sun trap in the summer, but required considerable heating throughout the winter. Although the gas fired system was reasonably efficient, it wasn’t conducive to providing a consistent air temperature right across the premises, and also certainly inefficient in regards to running costs. It was also pretty noisy, and costs to run it over a five-month winter period amounted to approximately £4,000, not including any maintenance costs.

Planning and recommendations

It was important to look at the space properly, and look at how we can plan the placement of modern climate control system, which would have a positive impact on cost savings, but also the temperature right across the premises.

Interestingly, the premises used solar panels for electricity, so installing a system that could benefit from the solar input would potentially have a major impact on that £4,000 winter cost. The solar panels were generating a considerable amount of electricity, so to tap into that by installing a modern and efficient climate control system not only gave the company a cheap heating solution from November through to March, it provided air conditioning during the hotter summer months, and was extremely beneficial with the south facing glass frontage. The reduction in running cost was an obvious benefit,  but providing a more comfortable working environment for staff would improve productivity for the company.

We also looked at the payback period, which was approximately three years. So an approximate £10,000 installation created a long-term saving for the client.

This project is typical of our consultancy service, and many of our peers would probably have seen a greater long-term financial benefit to maintaining an old and tired out system. At Thermalair we continually strive to save our customers money first and foremost, and the obvious cost savings with increased energy efficiency is always top of our agenda.

Find out more about our consultancy service!

The temperature is dropping, are you HVAC ready?

winter-is-comingWe are now unfortunately seeing the last of British summer time, and the statutory Boots and M&S TV advertisements will be upon us soon. Temperatures are dipping and the night is setting in before many of us have left the office or factory.

It’s the time when Thermalair get very busy with the servicing of HVAC systems. Your HVAC environment will need to be ready with changing temperatures, and very often it is the time where system problems are highlighted, or that tired equipment starts to break down.

If your system isn’t ready for the cold weather, it is important to note that the average demand for heating within a commercial building is 33% of energy consumption, so inefficiency can be costly throughout the duration of a winter season, with a direct and negative impact on your bottom line.

So how to prepare your HVAC system for winter, and what to consider…

 

Replacement – Any system that is older than 10 years will have certainly lost efficiency, even if it has been regularly serviced. We have seen efficiency on older systems drop to as much as half the originally stated manufacturers efficiency statistics, or to put it another way, the cost to run the system almost doubles. Before spending on your existing system consider the cost to replace and the payback period relative to modern systems that are a great deal more energy efficient than those installed over 10 years ago. The latest and most advanced technology includes remote monitoring, so we can inform you when there is an issue with your HVAC system.

Servicing and filter replacement – If you decide to keep your existing system, being prepared means a good overhaul or service of the existing system. Changing filters, calibrating thermostats and a full inspection and service is required to make sure it is running as efficient as it should be. With many moving parts, and the cost of an inefficient heating system, you can easily realise the financial rewards of regular maintenance.

Programmable Thermostats – Many older systems don’t have this type of technology, and could be a very worthwhile investment for your HVAC system. It provides the opportunity to program and regulate temperature throughout the day, and across your premises. This can provide a potential cost saving of up to 75%, for what in most circumstances is a relatively cost effective installation.

HVAC Maintenance Agreements – At Thermalair we can put in place a maintenance agreement which ultimately saves cost by running your system at peak performance. This also provides peace of mind knowing that your HVAC system is less likely to break down, and if it does have a problem our Maintenance Agreement customers get priority call out to resolve any system problems quickly, therefore limiting the impact on your business.

Preventive maintenance is always the best course of action with heating systems, and we strongly advice that systems are checked at the very least on an annual basis, and the Autumn is perfect time, preparing your business for the winter months. Protecting your capital investment and adhering to business continuity plans is important for most businesses, whether you have a relatively small office environment or a large industrial premises with a complex HVAC installation.

If you would like to talk to us about your HVAC systems in regards to replacement, servicing or preventive maintenance utilising our efficient maintenance agreements, contact us today!

Can your company benefit from the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) Scheme?

What if we told you that you could install or upgrade HVAC and refrigeration equipment and offset 100% of the cost of those assets against your company’s taxable profits in a single tax year.

 

ECA coverWhat is the ECA Scheme & how does it work?

 

The ECA scheme, run by the Carbon Trust on behalf of the Government, allows businesses to invest in more efficient and energy saving plant or machinery that meets the specifications set out for qualifying equipment on the Energy Technology List (ETL).

Businesses can claim an ECA not only on the cost of qualifying equipment, but on the transportation of it to site and any direct installation costs.

ECAs (as with other capital allowances) are claimed in a business’s tax return and you will need to keep records of the purchase of any plant and machinery, including energy-saving equipment.

 

 

energy-saving-tax-efficiency

Reducing future expense

 

Business owners are often tempted to purchase equipment with the lowest initial outlay which can prove a false economy in many cases. Choosing to install equipment covered under the ECA can provide a cash flow boost to company and therefore is an added incentive to invest in energy-efficient equipment which usually carries a price premium.

Upgrading to, or installing, qualifying plant and machinery will reduce your business’s future operating costs too with improved energy efficiency resulting in lower energy bills most importantly. It will also help to fulfil your company’s Corporate Social Responsibilities in reducing carbon emissions.

What technologies qualify?

 

The following technologies are specified in the ETL (please note that the list is regularly reviewed and qualifying technologies can be added or removed.

 Currently included are:

  • Air-to-air energy recovery.
  • Automatic monitoring and targeting (AMT) equipment.
  • Boiler equipment.
  • Combined heat and power (CHP).
  • Compressed air equipment.
  • Heat pumps.
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.
  • High speed hand air dryers.
  • Motors and drives.
  • Pipework insulation.
  • Radiant and warm air heaters.
  • Refrigeration equipment.
  • Solar thermal systems.
  • Uninterruptible power supplies.

This is great news for our customers that wish to install or upgrade equipment.

To talk to our team about whether your business can benefit from the scheme, please call us today on 01787 888659.

For more information on the ECA and qualifying technologies and equipment view the…

Carbon Trust’s document here

Acclaim Accreditation: The Health & Safety Assessment Scheme for Constructionline Members

Acclaim Accreditation is a new health and safety assessment scheme provided by Capita Property and Infrastructure, exclusive to Constructionline members. The scheme enables contractors, sub-contractors and material suppliers to get their health & safety processes assessed as a part of their Constructionline membership.

Acclaim Accreditation is a member of ‘Safety Schemes In Procurement’ (SSIP), which is an umbrella organisation for stage 1 health and safety assessment schemes. SSIP is recognised by a large and growing number of buyers within the construction industry. This gives us, as suppliers, the freedom to choose the scheme that suits us – eliminating the need to collect multiple accreditations to appease different buyers.
Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) was developed to:

  • Act as an umbrella body, which is recognised by a large and growing number of buyers
  • Give confidence to buyers that we’ve been successfully assessed to the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 and SSIP core criteria
  • Reduce duplication

Summary of the benefits of this health and safety scheme

Simple

The Acclaim Accreditation questionnaire contains just twelve questions and doesn’t require us to duplicate any information already provided as part of our Constructionline membership.

Credible

Built on the principles of Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP), the Acclaim Accreditation assessment is undertaken by the experts at Capita Property and Infrastructure, who are a leading health and safety consultancy firm within construction. They even provide us with their assessor’s comments, assuring a fair and transparent assessment process for all.

Most importantly, by us having joined the Acclaim Accreditation scheme, you can rest assured that we have met stage one health and safety requirements.  Choosing Acclaim Accreditation also means that we are streamlining our processes and reducing unnecessary administration costs in applying for health and safety assessments through multiple agencies.

 

 

Thermalair approved for Constructionline membership

We’re very excited to tell you that Thermalair have been awarded Constructionline membership which means we are now a certified member of the UK’s largest procurement and supply chain management service for the construction industry!

Constructionline has over 25,000 contractors, consultants and material suppliers that benefit from the scheme but the process to gain certification has involved a number of thorough and rigorous checks on our own processes and systems.  As certified members we can now prove to potential clients that we are fit to carry out any contract needing our services.

Our website, brochures, stationery and even our vans can now carry the logo as a mark of our accreditation and achievement!

Over 8,000 buyers from over 2,500 public and private sector buying organisations use Constructionline to find new suppliers. Our certification opens the door to these buyers who can now view our profile.

To learn more about Constructionline, visit their website.

If you would like to talk to our experienced team about your upcoming contract, please call us today on 01787 888659.

 

Thermalair gains Ref-com Elite status

We are extremely proud to announce that Thermalair have been accredited with Ref-com Elite status.

This means Thermalair can demonstrate the very best practices in refrigeration management.

Being Ref-com Elite accredited means that we:

  • Can competently install, commission, de-commission and maintain systems containing refrigerant
  • We are a higher tier waste licence carriers
  • Handle refrigerants safely
  • Are fully compliant with all current legal duties
  • Operate auditable procedures for the proper control of refrigerants and can account for all refrigerants used and recovered
  • Use appropriate, purpose-designed refrigerant equipment
  • Perform refrigerant transactions with minimum emissions and are environmentally aware
  • Our company details are registered on the public database of Ref-com certificated businesses

To read more about our full range of refrigeration services, please visit our website. To speak to our experienced team about your refrigeration equipment or requirements, please call us on 01787 888659.