frequently asked questions
What is a heat pump?
What is VRV or VRF?
What does an inverter do?
My air conditioning is not working – What can I do?
What is COP?
What is EER?
What is Energy Labelling?
My system has a warranty – Why do I need a maintenance contract?
Do refrigerants harm the ozone layer?
Can I catch legionella from my air conditioning?
I have been told that air conditioning spreads viruses and bacteria – Does it?
Please explain the difference between air conditioning, comfort cooling and close control?
The fuse keeps blowing on my air conditioning – Why?
The air conditioning is running but is not cooling/heating?
The air conditioning is running but the airflow is much lower than I remember?
I have lost my operating instructions – Can I get another copy?
A heat pump is a machine that by reversing it’s refrigeration cycle can provide heating in stead of cooling. Because a heat pump uses a refrigerant it can upgrade the heat in air at even -15ºC to a usable heat source to heat buildings. Difficult to understand perhaps but imagine a domestic fridge or freezer, reverse its cycle and that black grille on the back will be very cold whilst inside will be very hot.
Heat pumps can extract heat from air and water and are nearly always used to both heat and cool a building very efficiently and economically.
VRV is a system developed and designed by Daikin Industries and means “variable refrigerant volume”. Daikin protected the term VRV so other manufacturers use the term VRF “variable refrigerant flow”. In principle they both work the same and are extremely efficient, reliable, energy saving ways to heat and cool all types of buildings with minimum installation time or disruption.
The volume or flow rate of refrigerant is accurately matched to the required heating or cooling loads thereby saving energy and providing more accurate control.
In short, they are probably the best systems currently available for mid to large applications.
An electrical inverter is used to vary the frequency of the power supply from a normal UK 50Hz enabling fine step speed control of motors (compressors) this in turn varies the quantity of refrigerant delivered and hence variable cooling or heating capacity.
One of the most common causes of failure is that some one has switched off the power supply. So check that fuses circuit breakers and isolators are all OK and working.
Another common cause is blocked air filters, so check they are clean and are regularly kept clean. It helps to refer to the manufacturers operating instructions as well.
If all else fails and you are still having a problem, contact our service department.
Coefficient of Performance, which is the ratio between the power input and power output. For example a modern heat pump will provide 3kw of heat for 1kw of electrical power input. Therefore the COP is expressed as 3 – 1.
Energy efficiency ratio is used to express the relative efficiency of a heating or cooling device by dividing the heat output by the power input. The higher the ratio compared to others, the better the system is.
Energy labelling is a new way of allowing consumers to easily compare and rate the efficiency of air conditioners and systems, similar to that used for domestic appliances such as fridge’s and washing machines etc.
Air conditioning and building services systems require regular maintenance to ensure safety and optimum operational efficiency. Warranties are only applicable if the system or equipment is regularly maintained by an approved organisation.
To simply explain, relate this to a car which like air conditioning has many rotating and wearing parts, your warranty will not be honoured if you don’t have regular servicing (maintenance).
Some do and others do not, however it is a very complex issue and needs more space than we have here. In principle all refrigerants handled by competent companies and technicians will never be released to the atmosphere so will not deplete the ozone layer. Because accidents happen, alternative refrigerants are being developed all the time, but it is important to note that refrigerants are not a major problem as many other contaminates cause global warming problems. Primary problems are caused by burning fossil fuels, e.g. petrol diesel, oil etc.
It is highly unlikely, you are more likely to catch it from a shower head in a hotel room that has not been used for a long time. But, legionella can be caught from the aerosol spray of infected cooling towers of larger, older and poorly maintained air conditioning systems.
No more than you do or any ventilation system does for airborne viruses and bacteria. Many people are susceptible to dryness sometimes caused when an air conditioning system is badly designed or maintained and the relative humidity is reduced too much. It’s a fact that basically coughs and sneezes spread diseases, but some people will blame anything for their ills rather than understand the facts.
Air conditioning covers many things but is mainly, heating, cooling, ventilation, fresh air, filtration and control of humidity.
Comfort cooling mainly relates to provision of just cooling to improve comfort.
Close control air conditioning is really as the name implies, both temperature, humidity and air cleanliness are closely controlled and often to fine tolerances if necessary.
It could be that there is a problem with the compressor and you are advised to contact us for further assistance. It could also be that a fuse or circuit breaker has recently been replaced but the wrong replacement (smaller rating) has been fitted. Check, but only if you are qualified to work on electrical systems.
Many reasons, the simplest being that you may have inadvertently set it to fan only operation. Unfortunately it may also indicate a serious fault, Check your operating instructions but if no luck, give our service department a call.
Have you cleaned your air filter? – The most important user maintenance is to keep those air filters clean.
Quite possibly, contact those nice people at Comfort and they may be able to send you copies or at least advise you how to proceed.