Air Conditioning Systems
Why Air Conditioning?
Air conditioning is sometimes demonised for how it has replaced ‘fresh’ air in our home and working environment, but one aspect detractors maybe fail to realise or admit is that air pollution levels – particularly in urban areas – mean there’s nothing very fresh about the air around us.
When installed and maintained correctly, air conditioning is very effective at filtering microorganisms, soot, dust, and other small particles from the air, while reducing exposure to allergens such as pollen, mould, and animal dander.
Air conditioning also maintains the temperature and humidity of the air at consistent levels that promote mental alertness and physical comfort at all times of the year and regardless of extreme weather.
Air Conditioning Systems and Types
Choosing the best air conditioning system for your environment is important, and at Aura AC we can help you find the one that will best meet your needs. The vast majority of air conditioning systems feature a heat pump to provide air heating during the cooler months and with sophisticated control systems, they can maintain the temperature to within 1-2 degrees of the programmed setting. Heating from an air conditioning system provides a very efficient, effective, and reliable form of heating which can be used as the main heating system or as a back-up in the event of a breakdown.
Single Split Systems
Single split air conditioners feature one fan coil internal unit (FCU) and a matched condenser unit usually* located outside the building, with small copper pipes circulating refrigerant between the two units. A compressor driving the system is located in the outdoor condenser unit leaving the inside unit smaller, lighter and quieter.
- Traditionally the condenser unit is mounted externally, although for conservation areas, listed building, lack of an external location, etc, etc, etc there are a number of alternative options that can be employed, and at Aura, we specialise in overcoming these types of challenges, please contact us to discuss your requirements and let us help you in finding a solution that works for you.
Multi-split systems comprise of a single condensing unit connecting to a number of indoor FCUs and are designed to save on the amount of external space required offering a more compact and discreet installation. Each indoor unit can be operated independently and have individual temperature and fan speed set points, although the system can only function in heating or cooling at any one time.
Twin, Tripple, and Quad Split Systems
Twin, Tripple, and Quad Split Systems are similar to Multi-Split Systems in that they only have one condenser unit connecting to a number of indoor FCUs although all the connected indoor FCUs operate together. An example of where these systems might be utilised is in an open plan office area where the size or layout of the space dictates the need of several indoor FCUs, but there is a lack of external space for condensers or a reduction in the number of condensers is preferred.
VRV or VRF Air Conditioning Systems
Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) or Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) air conditioning is a system that features a single condenser feeding multiple indoor units. Unlike a multi-split system, it can serve a greater quantity of indoor units and offer much greater distances between the indoor units and the outdoor condenser unit. Variable volume or flow means the degree of cooling and heating can be individually set for each unit. Because the system operates according to variable needs, the energy costs of a VRV or VRF system are considerably lower than other large-volume systems.
Heat Recovery VRV or VRF Air Conditioning Systems
Heat Recovery VRV or VRF systems have all the criteria of the standard systems, but with the ability for individual indoor FCUs to simultaneously heat and cool. Efficiency is further enhanced if an area in the building requires cooling while another requires heating as heat extracted to cool one area can be used to heat another.
All of the above systems can utilise a wide variety of indoor FCUs:
Wall Mounted Units
The indoor unit is fitted with louvers to allow the air to enter the room at a fixed angle or to oscillate up and down and from side to side, and as with the temperature and airflow settings, these can be adjusted from a remote control. Some units also feature pre-programming, allowing the user to preselect the settings for various times of the day.
All split units feature a coarse filter that protects the unit from large particles. Additional filters and air purifiers can be incorporated that will remove fine dust and pollen, tobacco smoke and odours, or chemical pollutants.
One of the most obvious advantages of a wall-mounted split system is that it can be easily retrofitted. It also takes up no floor space and is usually the most cost-effective option.
Cassette air conditioning systems – also sometimes known as cartridge air conditioners – are primarily used in office environments where they are integrated within a suspended ceiling grid. Designed to be unobtrusive, the unit will generally be the exact size of one ceiling tile or larger units fitting comfortably within a square of four. The bulk of the unit will be out of sight above the ceiling grid with the only parts visible being the decorative facing and the louvres, which are angled to split the airflow in four directions for even coverage
Cassette systems offer better air distribution and are ideally suited to a lay-in ceiling grid office environment.
Ceiling Mounted Systems
Large areas such as open-plan offices are unlikely to be suited to wall-mounted systems and if the space doesn’t have a suspended ceiling, or if there is insufficient height above the suspended ceiling for a cassette system, a ceiling-mounted system may be the answer.
With a ceiling-mounted system, the unit is unable to draw in air horizontally from the ceiling void. Instead, this is lifted vertically from directly underneath the unit and discharged sideways from the perimeter of the unit, avoiding unpleasant blasts of air directly down onto the room’s occupants.
The design of a ceiling-mounted system means that more of the unit is visible than with a cassette system but on the other hand, no major structural alterations are needed to provide effective, efficient overhead air conditioning.
Ducted Air Conditioning Systems
A ducted air conditioning system features a single FCU supplying air to multiple ducts that direct the air to individual diffusers. These systems can offer the neatest and quietest installation along with the best airflow distribution. Diffusers can be supplied in a number of different styles to suit every taste or environment, or the system can be designed to circulate air through shadow gaps and hidden apertures to provide a virtually invisible air conditioning solution.
Packaged Air Conditioning Systems
A packaged air conditioning system utilises a large external air handing unit connected to a system of ductwork carrying air to the designated space. These systems are ideal for large auditoriums and are cost-effective in comparison to individual units.
They can also be used to serve whole buildings, but generally, the temperature control is poor in these types of installation.