Air Conditioning Systems

Although common in many offices and shops, air conditioning is becoming increasingly popular in homes throughout the UK. An air conditioning system allows you to control the temperature of your space, making it cooler and more comfortable. They are especially useful during hot summers when stuffy houses can become very unpleasant. An air conditioning system can give you a good night's sleep and enjoy the indoors during the day, even as temperatures sour outside.

About Air Conditioning Systems

There are two main types of air conditioning systems installed in UK homes. The first is single unit models. These systems are portable and are typically mounted through a window or door, which is necessary to vent air released from the air conditioner. These units are generally affordable way to cool your home and are easy to install. Since hot air is vented using a hose, you can move the unit to different rooms depending on your cooling needs.

The other common type of air conditioning system is split unit models. These are permanently fixed to a wall. They are more effective at cooling when compared with single unit models since they are more powerful and they do not leak heat back into the room. Split unit air conditioners are perfect for heating a single room that you use often and that gets very hot. Since it does not need to be mounted to a window or door nor does it use a hose that leads through an open window or door, this type of air conditioning is more secure. They tend to be more expensive than single units and are permanently mounted on an outside wall, so they typically require professional installation.

Choosing an Air Conditioning System

The type and size of the air conditioner you choose will depend on your cooling needs. Air conditioning systems are generally rated in terms of British thermal unit or BTU output. The higher the BTU output, the more efficiently the system will cool a room or home. A system with a high cooling capacity will also cool a space quicker. Some models have additional controls to reduce energy use and improve performance. Common controls and options include sleep and night modes that reduce the noise of the air conditioner, timer options that automatically turn the machine on and off, and remote controls that allow you to adjust settings without walking to the machine.

Inspecting Air Conditioning Systems

All air conditioning systems must be inspected every five years to make sure it is energy efficient. Inspections must be carried out by an accredited energy assessor ( The inspection includes a visual assessment of the system and an examination of the air conditioning equipment and controls. A report is then provided by the assessor with details on the current efficiency of the equipment and suggestions on how to improve efficiency. It will also identify any faults and suggestion actions. Failure to have your system inspected will result in a fine.

Choosing the Right Contractor

F gases or fluorinated gases are used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances. Although they do not damage the ozone layer, they are greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Having air conditioning systems regularly inspected insures that air conditioners are efficient and not causing harm to the environment. To ensure F gases are controlled and regulated, air conditioning inspectors must be trained and qualified to handle them. Any service and maintenance work on refrigeration systems with F gases such air conditioning systems must be undertaken by engineers with an F Gas qualification. This includes work related to installation, commissioning, servicing, maintenance and testing systems that are covered by F Gas Regulations.

Most technicians hold a diploma or certificate in air conditioning from City & Guilds or EAL. They may also have additional accreditation from a trade or industry association, such as the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB). The ACRIB operates a safe refrigerant handling certification scheme as part of the Engineering Services SkillCard initiative. Being accredited by the ACRIB ensures that the air conditioning installer complies with all UK government and European Union requirements and regulations governing the handling of F gas refrigerants. Technicians should also be certified with a Competent Person Scheme such as BESCA, Blue Flame Certification, Centsure, NAPIT or Stroma.

When choosing a contractor, ask for proof of their qualifications in air conditioning installation and servicing. Also, ask for evidence of membership and accreditation with a trade or industry group like the ACRIB. You should also get at least three quotes from different contractors and check their references to assess value for money.