Winter is here, turn off the boilers and turn on the air conditioning!
Waking up to a morning a frosty grass and ice on the car window screens certainly lets you know that the winter is here. In all its glitz and glamour the frosty mornings bring, the whitened mornings means only one thing is certain, every building you go in could be very cold unless they have some sort of heating.
Traditionally, buildings have been heated using gas powered or fossil fuel boilers. The boilers would then heat a circuit of water, then this would pass around the building and through pipes and a number of wall mounted radiators. The radiators and then get hot to touch and these would then begin to warm each of the rooms that they were situated in. Radiators are something that we have come to rely on during these cold winter months but are they really the best solution? Is there another option to provide even more comfort, while improving efficiency and lowering running costs?
The simple answer is yes! A modern air conditioning system has included within them the provision to heat as well as cool. The heating provided from a “heat pump” is far more controllable and far more efficient than any other type of heating currently available.
By comparison, if you think when you turn your heating on at home or in the office, all the radiators need to warm up before any heat starts emanating from them for you to gain any benefit. In most cases, people are heating a number of rooms that they have no intention of going into during the cold snap. Perhaps they may just need a kitchen and living room or main office area warming up during the daytime, and their bedroom and maybe the bathroom heated during the night-time. Traditional boiler type heating systems simply do not allow this type of controllability, therefore there are a number of rooms being heated unnecessarily and thus costing you money.
Air conditioning systems on the other hand, usually have an individual unit per room. Each unit has the ability to be controlled by an infrared controller, much like the type you use to control your TV. You will be a set the exact correct temperature that you require to ensure that you remain exactly at the right temperature all day long. This is another limitation with boiler type heating systems, it’s very difficult to find a “happy medium” and you can find that you’re yo-yoing with the temperature thermostat in frustration. Too warm one minute, too cold the next.
The advancements that air conditioning systems have over traditional boilers really have an exponential list of benefits and another major factor that must be considered, the fact that heat pumps or air conditioning systems generally run on electricity rather than any other type of fossil fuel, which we all know are running in short supply. Thankfully, electricity can be made or manufactured so to speak and therefore anything running, electrically, certainly has the edge as far as the environment is concerned.
So, if you are thinking of heating an area remember you have options. Traditional boilers still have their place in the market, however if you are looking for extreme comfort, controllability, energy efficiency and above all an aesthetically pleasing air-conditioning unit rather than a bulky metal contraption strapped to the wall then there is a solution for you.
10 years from now, “heat pumps” (air conditioning systems) will be the norm for all new builds and new installations, our children’s children will not have any living experience of how buildings used to be heated with boilers.