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Air Conditioning Information
Commercial Office and Domestic Air Conditioning Systems
Installations - Maintenance Contracts - On-site Repairs - Project Management.
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Micra Air Conditioning Services Ltd offer premium air-conditioning installations.  Full project management and design available, as well as complete installation and support services.

History of Air Conditioning (source: Wikipedia)

In 1820, British scientist and inventor Michael Faraday discovered that compressing and liquefying ammonia could chill air when the liquefied ammonia was allowed to evaporate.  In 1842, Florida physician John Gorrie used compressor technology to create ice, which he used to cool air for his patients in his hospital in Apalachicola, Florida.[7]  He hoped eventually to use his ice-making machine to regulate the temperature of buildings.  He even envisioned centralized air conditioning that could cool entire cities.[8]  Though his prototype leaked and performed irregularly, Gorrie was granted a patent in 1851 for his ice-making machine.  His hopes for its success vanished soon afterwards when his chief financial backer died; Gorrie did not get the money he needed to develop the machine.  According to his biographer Vivian M. Sherlock, he blamed the "Ice King", Frederic Tudor, for his failure, suspecting that Tudor had launched a smear campaign against his invention.  Dr. Gorrie died impoverished in 1855 and the idea of air conditioning faded away for 50 years.

Early commercial applications of air conditioning were manufactured to cool air for industrial processing rather than personal comfort.

Micra Air | Service and Repair | Services we offer | HVAC design | Installation & maintenance contractor |specialising in DX and water chilled air conditioning |All London | Home Counties | Southern England

Sanyo electric VRF air conditioners

Sanyo is well-known for developing unique and useful technologies through research. . Sanyo air conditioners enjoy the tag of a number of “world firsts”.  Sanyo introduced the world’s first heat pump air conditioners and also the heating and cooling GHP VRF.  Sanyo is committed to providing the latest and the most innovative and technically advanced air conditioners to its customers.

Benefits of Sanyo electric VRF air conditioners
  • They require smaller pipe work which lowers material costs
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • High efficiency units
  • Reduction in life cycle costs
With R410A, Sanyo’s new range of air conditioners have a higher operating pressure and lower pressure loss when compared to older refrigerants.  Therefore, smaller pipe sizes can be used that will take up less space and lead to reduced cost in material.

We all use air conditioners, especially during the summer.  Air conditioners provide comfort as they reduce the amount of heat present in the room by providing air.  Have you ever thought how the air conditioners provide cool air in your home, office or building?

Heat pumps and straight air conditioners function properly due to refrigerants.  Refrigerants absorb heat at low temperatures and rejects heat at high temperatures.  There are different types of refrigerants like R22, R134a, R502 and many more.
These refrigerants are hazardous to the ozone layer as they carry high amounts of chlorine.

R410A does not damage the ozone layer.  New air conditioning systems have been specifically designed to use this safe refrigerant.  However, you cannot use this refrigerant in your current system.  You can only use this refrigerant if changes are made to your system.  It is recommended that you buy a new air conditioning system which uses R410A refrigerant.  According to the law, R22 will not be used in new equipment after January 2010. It would only be produced to service existing air conditioning.

You should be aware of the phase out schedule of HCFC when you plan to buy a new air conditioning unit.  The new air conditioning units with non ozone depleting refrigerants will be more effective and reduce your air conditioning bills.

When buying a new air conditioner, insist on an air conditioner that uses non ozone depleting refrigerants.

Posted in HVAC |

Factors to be considered buying central air conditioning

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008
Installation considerations
You should always locate the outdoor unit in a shaded and cool place.  Locate it in such a place where the sound of the unit will not be a problem for your neighbours.  You should install the central air conditioner’s outdoor unit on a frame that is mounted to the house.

Energy efficient considerations

You should select an air conditioner that has high SEER.  The cooling efficiency of the central air conditioner gets affected by the manufacturer’s choices of components and features.  The SEER of an air conditioner can range from a minimum of 10.0 to 17.0 SEER.

Sizing considerations

The cooling load should be determined by a qualified air conditioner contractor.  You should select an air conditioner that meets the cooling load of your room.  If you select an over sized unit, it could result in shorter operating cycles that will remove humidity and can make the environment unpleasant.

Operational considerations

You should use your central air conditioner when ventilation is inadequate, to ensure comfortable living conditions.  You should set the thermostat on 22 to 25° C.

Sound considerations

Select an air conditioner unit that has an outdoor sound rating of 7.6 B or lower.  The lower the sound, the better the unit.

For selecting the best air conditioning unit for your room, you can contact a professional air conditioning installation company to help you out.

Posted in HVAC |

New air conditioners are more efficient than older units
Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
Offices require air conditioning round the clock, 24 hours a day.  If the offices have old air conditioners, it will cost a lot more to operate them. You can cut down your energy bills to a great extent by replacing your old air conditioning unit with a new, more energy efficient one.

There are many high efficiency central air conditioners available these days.  All these air conditioners are of superior quality and earth friendly i.e. ozone safe.  If you install new air conditioners you will be able to save almost 50 percent of electricity when compared to older air conditioners.  The reason behind this is that the newer air conditioners have a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) as high as 21.  The outdoor condenser and the compressor of the air conditioner make little noise when compared to older air conditioners.

The payback period from savings in electricity bills depends upon the climate and efficiency of your home.  If your house has old windows, little insulation and leaky ductwork and it is not energy efficient then the saving made from the installation of the newer air conditioner would be a faster return on the investment.  By installing a newer air conditioner you will not only benefit the environment but also yourself.

The cost of the new air conditioner can be covered within a very short time through savings on your energy bills.

Posted in HVAC |

Costs of air conditioning refrigerants heat up

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
CFCs were fervently used in the air conditioning industry.  However, they are now being phased out of production as they leak into the air and rise to the stratosphere, resulting in depletion the earth’s ozone layer.

The CFC phase out has proved to be one of the most expensive environmental measure till date.  Owners that use air conditioning and refrigeration equipments have to replace their equipment prematurely or modify it in order to use the new refrigerants introduced as an alternative to ozone depleting CFC’s.  CFC systems can be continued to be used.  However, their cost is gradually increasing and will be unavailable at any price in few years.

The systems that were introduced with non CFC refrigerants were inferior as compared to CFC systems.  The CFC free systems were not tested and were not adequately designed by the manufacturers as the phase out occurred so quickly.  Therefore, the new non CFC systems had more frequent breakdowns, high operating costs and shorter lives.

Many challenges were faced by customers who own car and truck air conditioners that used CFC 12 as refrigerant.  CFC 12 did not cost much and while compared to the new refrigerant.  Now CFC 12 has become very expensive to use. Within 3-4 years the costs are expected to rise even further.  However, with the developments in technology and new research, the costs would lower down eventually.

Posted in HVAC |
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER)
Monday, August 4th, 2008
The efficiency of the air conditioners is rated by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER).  The higher the SEER of the air conditioning unit the more energy efficient it is.  The SEER rating is the British thermal unit of the cooling output during its usage annually divided by the total electricity consumption in watt-hours. The SEER of an air conditioner is related to its COP (co-efficient of the performance).  SEER is calculated from the whole range of external temperatures.  Nowadays, systems below a SEER rating of 9 are rarely used as they are deemed to be inefficient.

The size of the air conditioner is often given as tons of cooling.  By multiplying the tons of the cooling by 12,000, you can convert it to BTU/h.  There is a common belief that SEER rating system applies to heating systems also. However, this belief is entirely wrong.  The SEER ratings are only applicable for air conditioning units.

Air conditioners and heat pumps work similarly.  The heat is transferred and pumped from a cooler heat source to a warmer heat sink.  Heat pumps and Air conditioners operate most effectively at the temperature of around 50 to 55 °F. When the heat source temperature falls below 40 °F a balance point is reached.  After reaching the balance point, the system is not able to pull any more heat from the heat source.

Posted in HVAC |
Get to know about the new refrigerants before you purchase an air conditioner or heat pump

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008
Installing new units
After the new EC regulation, new systems have been specifically designed to use refrigerants like R410A. Heat pumps have been designed for this purpose.  With the change in production process, testing and training procedures were also changed.  While servicing and repair, consumers should be aware if the technician is trained and uses the right technique while replacing the refrigerant.

Servicing your system

If the refrigerants are handled properly or responsibly i.e. by recovering, reclaiming, recycling and by reducing leaks then it minimises the risk of ozone depletion and global warming.  Impact on the environment with harmful refrigerants can be reduced with proper servicing of a home air conditioner using R410A or another refrigerant.  Homeowners should select reputable dealers that use environment safe refrigerants.

Purchasing a new system

Homeowners should buy new energy efficient systems in order to save costs and to protect the environment.  If your air conditioner is 10 years old, you will definitely save on your cooling costs by replacing it.  Every year you can save about 10% to 40% on your heating and cooling costs by replacing your old system with a new one.

Posted in HVAC |
Know more about HCFCs and CFCs
Friday, August 1st, 2008
CFCs and HCFCs

The production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) was curbed by the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty in many developed countries on December31, 1995.  The use of CFCs will be stopped by many developed nations like the UK and Canada.  HCFCs are ozone depleting substances and will also be phased out over the next 20 years.  The most common blend of HCFC is R22 which is widely used in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry.

CFCs converted to HCFCs

Many commercial air conditioning units that used to work on CFCs are now being converted to HCFCs.  Equipment that used CFCs are also being converted to HCFCs.  Most of the commercial and residential refrigeration equipment still operates on R22.  By January 1, 2010 HCFC (R22) will not be manufactured or imported in any developed nation.


Equipment owners have to change their current HCFC systems to other alternatives that are being offered in the market.  It plays a very important role if you consider HCFC units with a life cycle of 10 – 30 years.  Therefore, customers should be aware about the phase out schedule of HCFC and other alternatives that are available when they plan to buy air conditioning units.

Air conditioning: Setting the right temperature

With the onset of summer every year, the temperatures rise higher and can become unbearable.  The best way to deal with this problem is to use an air conditioner.  However, a sudden change in temperature can be harmful to you body.

Air conditioners provide comfort by cooling down the air inside a room to a lower temperature.  The air inside an air conditioned room is cooler than the outside air.  If you enter an air conditioned room directly after walking under the sun, your body does get affected due to the sudden change in temperature

Ideally the difference between the outdoor and indoor temperature should be around eight degrees.  You should avoid staying more than two hours in an air conditioned room.  It is suggested that you keep the temperature of your room at a fixed level as this helps in saving your electric bills.

Replacing your air conditioner’s compressor

Air conditioning has become a necessity these days due to increasing temperatures and increased stress levels both at home and at work.  Air conditioners provide you with the comfort that you need after a day of hard work.

It is important to have your air conditioner working properly.  The quality of an air conditioner is very much dependent on the air compressor inside the unit.  The life of an air conditioning unit also depends on the air compressor of the unit.  If the air compressor is not working properly, you should either get it repaired or replace it.

You should take the help of a professional air conditioning repair company to get your air compressor repaired or replaced.  If you use a faulty air compressor, you might not get the desired performance from your air conditioner or the air conditioner might stop functioning completely.

New companies, new products and ever-changing market shifts are all revealed by BSRIA’s latest survey of the UK air-conditioning market. David Garwood has the details.

More . . .
Airedale’s LogiCool packaged chillers can provide DX cooling to computer-room air conditioners and direct rack-cooling systems.  They maximise the benefits of free cooling.

Direct rack-cooling solution for high-density servers
Published: June 2007
Airedale’s LogiCool range of packaged chillers for computer suites and server rooms can be matched with direct rack-cooling solutions from leading rack producers and also linked to airside cooling systems from Airedale and other manufacturers.

More . . . Contributing to the ease of installation of Dunham Bush Concierge fan-coil units for hotel rooms is a painted access panel that becomes part of the ceiling.

Dunham Bush enhances fan-coil range
Published: June 2007
Recent enhancements to Dunham Bush’s extensive range of fan-coil units include the launch of the Concierge unit for hotel rooms and the introduction of EC motor options for the Panther, Leopard, Puma and Jaguar series.

More . . .

Among design features to increase the energy efficiency of Carrier Aquaforce chillers is the use of micro-channel heat exchangers.

The role of chillers in reducing a building’s carbon footprint
Published: June 2007
Andrew Keogh explores how chiller technology is taking on the energy efficiency challenge.

This highly portable device from EDC International enables faults with inverter drives and compressors in chillers to be identified.

Fault finder for inverter-controlled chillers
Published: June 2007
Using EDC International’s Inverter Phase Check modules makes it possible to determine whether problems with inverter-controlled chillers are due to the compressor or the inverter.

Air conditioning in a world of climate change
Published: June 2007
Helping the Hilton Hotel that is part of the 171 m-high Beetham tower in Manchester meet the carbon-emission requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations is a Daikin water-cooled VRV installation.  Air conditioning for 285 bedrooms, reception, restaurants, meeting rooms etc. is provided by 25 water-cooled VRV condensing units serving 328 fan-coil units.

The energy used by air conditioning is often seen as contributing to the carbon-dioxide emissions that cause global warming.  However, comfort cooling and reduced emissions can go together, as John Durbin explains.

According to the Carbon Trust, buildings account for about 40% of the total carbon emissions in the UK.  As a result of rising energy costs, coupled with Government legislation to reduce carbon emissions, a greater demand has been placed on businesses to be more energy efficient.  With increasing pressure mounting on industry to improve equipment efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions, systems such as Daikin’s VRV technology for air conditioning [called VRF by other suppliers] was launched into the European market place to address some of the global concerns.

Increasing the scope of VRF Air Conditioning systems
Until the year 2000, all VRV/VRF systems had been air cooled.  However with the introduction of water-cooled systems, the potential for applications was extended.  Water-cooled systems are ideally suited to really tall buildings as there are no restrictions on the lengths of water pipework — unlike refrigerant pipework.  There is also the potential of utilising existing water pipework when replacing a chilled-water system.

The main difference between a water-cooled VRV/VRF system is that the external air-cooled units are replaced by indoor units incorporating plate heat exchangers.  These indoor units are quite small and can be located anywhere in the building.

Such water-cooled systems are not intended to replace air-cooled systems but to be used where air-cooled systems are not suitable, with water from an external cooling tower, dry cooler or boiler piped to the heat exchanger.  On the other side of this heat exchanger, refrigerant is piped to each indoor unit.  The system is designed to offer the best freedom in the design and installation process.

Depending on whether the building requires heating or cooling, the indoor unit is supplied with water at temperatures between 10 and 45°C from a cooling tower/dry cooler and, where necessary, a boiler.

Daikin’s water-cooled VRV system is available in two systems: 2-pipe, heat pump and 3-pipe heat-recovery system.

In the heat-pump system, all indoor units work off the same refrigerant circuit, so they all operate in heating or cooling mode.

The 3-pipe heat-recovery system can simultaneously deliver heating or cooling to the units it serves.  This enables the user to zone sections of the buildings depending on the needs of each conditioned zone.

In commercial buildings, the demand for heating and cooling can vary throughout the day, depending on the number and occupation of workers within a space.  Heating and cooling demand also affected by solar gain, and large areas of glazing can cause large fluctuations in temperature.

Micra Air Services offer a range of solutions to satisfy corporate customers and those seeking small low budget office / home installations.


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