For many people who have had new air conditioning installed this summer, the real test to understand the quality of installation may have been the fact that the system ran well when it was installed even though the weather was quite warm. To find out really how air conditioning will perform for years to come it really has to go through the extremes that the UK whether can have in hand.
Service Group 365 have recently been to a site that has been refitted with new air conditioning only four months ago. We were called in because of the poor heating performance of the systems, and the company we using their air conditioning as their sole heating source so it needed to be right for them. Unfortunately for them, the company who installed the air conditioning had in fact gone into administration so that there were left looking for another company, thankfully one of our other clients recommended us to them.
For the most part, the air conditioning installation wasn’t too bad. the correct units we used along with the right heating and cooling capacities for the given areas and heat load and losses. The problems have arisen however due to the way that the external units have been installed. now, there is no real need to go into the full technicalities and understandings of the operation of air conditioning but here are some basics to follow and I’m sure you’ll be able to see how the problems have occurred.
When an air conditioning unit is blowing cold inside, the external condensing unit blows out warm air. for example if the air outside is 20° C then once it has been through the air-conditioning unit which is calling inside then the external unit will warm that 20°C ambient air by roughly 10° C, making their come off the unit at 30° C. this is absolutely fine and popular air-conditioning makes such as Daikin and Mitsubishi can operate in temperatures exceeding 40° C making them very capable for even the hottest UK temperatures. ( as long as they are installed right) When the indoor unit is blowing out warm air, the external unit blows out cold air. the example is very rough but gives you an idea. If it is 5° C outside and the air conditioning unit is switched heating inside, then the air once it comes out of the external unit can be as cold as -5° C. again this should be absolutely fine, because the manufacturers have allowed for their units to operate comfortably down to external ambience of -20° C and even colder in some cases.
So How is Temperature a Problem
The problems occur with external ambience when there are a number of external condensing units that are within a compound and are situated very close together. Normal running conditions are exceeded very quickly when there are a number of external units mounted within the space which has restricted access to direct airflow outside. It is a compounding effect, all units externally are blowing out cold air, the air cannot circulate properly or is not circulated correctly because of the outdoor units locations and restricted airflow cause each of the units to suck in the already cooled air and dramatically lowering the ambient temperature around the units.
In poorly ventilated areas where external condensing units are situated, it is very common that the air around the units can quickly break the operating temperature parameters that the systems were originally designed for.
Poor installations stand out in extreme weather is whether it is hot or cold. Always make sure that the company you’re using to install your air conditioning is not only qualified and experienced but also knowledgable enough to give you answers if you mention risk of air “short cycling”.