Today, air conditioning is used in almost all of the commercial properties that range from small shops & cafes to the large office buildings and most public spaces.
To catch up with these diverse applications, the air conditioning systems are constructed in ways to have different cooling and heating capacities and these come with various types’ setups and layouts.
There are an infinite number of configurations within each of the categories (yes), but the main types that are widely recognized sets of commercial air conditioning, they are:
Single Split Air Conditioning System.
Multi-Split Air Conditioning System.
VRF Or VRV Air Conditioning System.
All of these use the same basic tech and their indoor units are mostly identical wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted. However, their applications are very different, and this makes it really important to find out the one that is best for you.
Split Air Conditioning System
Single split systems are the most affordable in all of air conditioning systems and they are suitable for use in small commercial buildings as well.
These provide cooling and heating in the individual rooms, and thus it makes them an ideal solution for smaller offices, shops, and café and in some cases, even smaller-sized server rooms.
Split air conditioners can also be used in various combinations to serve for larger spaces and for multiple rooms.
The only downside that one may have with these is that one needs external space is ample to have an outdoor unit for every single indoor unit.
However, there are also advantages to doing it this way.
For the first thing, in most cases it is much cheaper than to go for a central system, and, also the fact that each system is self-contained, in case if one unit breaks down, the other units still remain fully functional.
Even though these are the cheapest type of air conditioning systems available, single split air conditioners are effective and are energy-efficient to great extents.
The versatility that these possess makes them a good choice for all kinds of applications and hence these popular extremely with small-scale businesses.
Multi-Split Air Conditioning System
Multi-splits air conditioners work in exactly the same fashion as the single split units, but, you can connect as many as nine indoor units to just one outdoor unit, depending on the model.
These are most frequently observed to be used in places like the restaurants, medium-sized offices, and surgical units and in shops.
It is always preferred to have fewer units for the outdoors; this is particularly to play an important role if you lack space or if you would want to preserve your building’s outward appearance.
This gives the multi-split air conditioners a distinctive advantage over the single split air conditioners.
Another major selling point of this product is that you aren’t limited to use only one type of indoor unit.
If you would want to, you can have any combination of the wall-mounted and/or ceiling-mounted air conditioning units that too along with the entrance covered with an air curtain.
However, the multi-split air conditioning systems are slightly more complex than its predecessor and thus require more pipework than most of the single splits ACs.
This makes the installation somewhat more expensive and may take longer, particularly if it is only to install a few of the indoor units.
Ultimately, the best of a solution depends on the layout of the building and the capacities of heating and cooling that you require.
VRF Or VRV Air Conditioning Systems
The term VRF stands for variable refrigerant flow, while VRV is abbreviated for variable refrigerant volume.
It might seem to be somewhat confusing, but they mean exactly the same thing.
Daikin originally developed this technology and called it VRV, but then right protected the term for stopping other manufacturers from using it.
This is the very reason why everyone else calls it VRF.
VRF or the VRV air conditioning system is the best solution for medium to large applications, this includes hotels, large offices, retail stores and mixed-use into buildings.
These systems are extremely efficient and reliable in addition to their ease of control.
These are capable of meeting the demands of larger buildings completely for their heating and cooling requirements.
These come with reduced installation times, which minimize disruption.
There are two types of systems in VRF/VRV, one is heat pump and the other is called heat recovery.
The heat pump VRF/VRV systems provide either provide heating or cooling in a building for any given time, making it ideal for plan open areas.
The heat recovery VRF or VRV systems are capable to provide simultaneous heating and/or cooling to different areas at one time, this makes them pitch perfect for buildings that have lots of individual rooms into them.
The air conditioners that are most efficient for commercial purposes, they are designed to recover the waste heat from around the building, and then use it to heat the other rooms and for heating water.
Heat recovery systems are much more flexible, as these have the option to heat one of the room while cooling the other.
To know the roots of something as profound as the air conditioner may help us take that final decision while comparing the air conditioners.
It is worth giving a shot, trust me.
The modern air conditioning systems have emerged from the chemistry advances during the nineteenth century.
The first electrical air conditioning for the large-scale purpose was invented by Willis Carrier in the year 1902.
It was the introduction of residential air conditioners in the 1920s that helped enable a great migration to the Sun Belt in the United State of America.
In the year 1758, Benjamin Franklin, along with a chemistry professor at Cambridge University conducted an experiment which was aimed to explore the principle of evaporation, in the sense as a means to rapidly cool an object.
Benjamin confirmed that the evaporation of the highly volatile liquids, like alcohol and ether, could be used to efficiently drive down the temperatures of an object that is past the freezing point of water.
They conducted their experiment with a bulb of a mercury thermometer as the object and with bellows used for speeding up the evaporation.
As the temperature of the thermometer bulb was lowered down to −14 °C while the ambient temperature was at 18 °C, Franklin observed that, just as soon after they passed from the freezing point of water i.e., 0 °C, a thin film of ice was formed on the surface of thermometer’s bulb and the ice mass was about 6 millimetres (1⁄4 in) thick when they finally stopped the experiment upon reaching a temperature of −14 °C.
From this experiment, Franklin concluded that “one may see the possibility to freeze a man to death on a warm day in summer.
In the year 1820, Michael Faraday, an English scientist, and inventor made the discovery that compressing and liquefying of ammonia could chill air when we allow the liquefied ammonia evaporate.
About 20 years later, John Gorrie from Florida invented a compressor technology to create ice that he used to provide with cool air for his patients in his own hospital.
He had hoped to eventually use his machine that makes ice to regulate the temperature of his building.
It is said that he even envisioned centralized air conditioning which could cool entire cities!
Although his prototype had some issues, it leaked and performed irregularly.
In 1851, Gorrie was granted a patent for his ice-making machine, the improved process for the artificial production of ice.
His high hopes for the success of his models to succeed vanished soon once after when his chief financial backer died.
Gorrie tried, but couldn’t sum up the money he needed for developing the machine. According to the biographer, Mr Vivian M. Sherlock, Gorrie blamed the Ice King for his failure, suspecting that the Tudor had launched some kind of smear campaign against his own invention. Dr Gorrie died impoverished in the year 1855, and with him, the very idea of air conditioning went away for at least 50 years.
The first mechanical ice-making machine began its operation in the year 1851.
It runs on the banks of the Barwon River in Geelong (Australia), at Rocky Point.
The first ever commercial ice-making machine was followed in the year 1853, and he was given a patent for the ether vapour compression refrigeration system, granted in the year 1855.
His novel system made use of a compressor to force through the refrigeration gas from passing it through a condenser, where first it was cooled down and then liquefied.
The newly liquefied gas was then circulated through a channel of the refrigeration coils and then vaporized again, thus, cooling down the surrounding systems.
This machine used a flywheel and has the capacity to produce 3 thousand kilograms of ice every day.
Folks, this was where it all started.
You can read more about this on Wikipedia and other sources on the internet if so curiosity leads you.
In this article, let us now get back to the modern day.
What Is Right?
Efficient planning and selecting the right equipment for heating, air conditioning and ventilation can save a lot of money that’s spent on the electricity bill for its energy consumption. Let us take an example and move with that, let’s talk about the hotels in India.
The hotels in India are one of those sectors that are realizing the importance more rapidly than other industries, of installing the right HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems in place.
This is very important to save on their electricity bills for the energy spend. Although HVAC systems are not new in India, the very arrival of the latest equipment and technologies in the market has enabled hoteliers to make again for optimum result out of their HVAC systems, thus they can save as much as 15-20% of the costs of energy, without compromising on the comfort of the guests.
The experts in the energy consumption department say that there can’t be a single set rule for all hotels.
They say that as different hotels need different planning that based on their demography, designing of the building, materials used for the building, weather and level of occupancy that they expect.
It is so that since India has a varied geographical distribution, multiple climate zones and many seasons, there is nothing as such, as a copy paste solution that is true for all the hotels.
Each hotel building requires to be analyzed separately for effective energy saving and to increase efficiency by designing their specific opportunities.
The more efficient HVAC designs are yet to catch up with the Indian subcontinent, and there’s a lot that depends on the capability and interest of the designer.
This is critical.
To have effective planning to place an HVAC system begins at the very designing stage of any building.
Many companies could be listed, such as LEED-certified engineers, who are trained to help select what is the right system.
You’ll have to look at various aspects such as the type and size or a number of chillers being used, the cooling towers and even the AHUs (Air Handling Units) that’ll be required.
To gain the optimum result out of their HVAC systems, hoteliers pay close attention to three separate aspects – the designing, accurate equipment installation and the optimum usage.
Having the right building design also helps in the optimization of the HVAC system.
Today, there is an immediate need in hotels to harbour the best practices for a great IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) in both the new building design and as well as the renovation of their existing facilities.
Anyhow, the key has always remained the same. Attention has to be focused on the four deciding elements of ventilation, pressurization, filtration, and maintenance
So what do the energy experts suggest?
They say that efforts have made for minimizing the use of glasses for the outer structure that has direct exposure to the sunlight, which produces excessive heat and could be easily avoided with proper planning.
Even so, if the glasses are to be used, you know, we understand that the beauty of the building is equally important, they shall be put in such a way that creates a vacuum in between of the two layers of the glasses and thus, this would help in deflecting the heat away.
Many hotels use a sandwich or as the DG glasses to reduce solar heat.
Architects also insist on using sun films on the glasses for the heat deflection.
Energy consumption just can’t be viewed in isolation to the other aspects.
An efficiently insulated envelope and a good solar conscious design can reduce the energy consumption by the installed HVAC considerably.
Lighting is yet another factor, it also contributes directly to HVAC load and thus, even a well-designed building that has adequate daylight and has controlled lighting systems may reduce the installation and the running energy costs marginally.
The load on an HVAC system should be minimized anyhow, and this could also be done by taking some of the prominent energy-saving measures such as making appropriate insulation of heating and cooling lines for minimizing the heat gains or losses; the use of false ceilings and certain air curtains shall optimize the effective space required for air conditioning; the usage of roof cooling, efficient lighting and roof reflectance.
The selection of high-efficiency in HVAC units is the most important task and chillers come first in that aspect as they account for the maximum of electricity consumption.
Although these high-efficiency HVAC units are more expensive than the average ones, to make a higher initial payment can be recovered within a couple of years through increased energy savings, in numbers, as little as two to five years.
Many are now replacing their Vapor Absorber Machine (VAM) into the centrifugal chillers and screw chillers that are run by electricity and give better performance for the big hotels. Although the gas-run VAM is cost-effective, it is preferred to use electric centrifugal or screw chillers as they give instant cooling.
Huge sums could be managed to be saved through various such energy conserving measures.
Today, there are a number of innovative products available in the market that are gaining fast acceptance in the Indian regions due to their merits of high energy efficiency features. Some of the big players in the Indian market that has of the best energy efficient products include Johnson Controls, Carrier, Trane and DRI besides others.
They offer exceptional energy efficient products for an HVAC system that is highly successful worldwide.
It is perhaps good news for the corporate buildings and hotels that are being constructed at this stage, they can opt for the demand controlled ventilation (DCV), it is a product that conducts a real-time measurement of the amounts of carbon dioxide that is in the air at a given time and hence it increases the amount of freshly ventilated air that is brought into a building based on the that real-time measurement.
This technique not only increases the guest/employee comfort but also reduces utility costs at large.
Many products like the energy efficiency and ozone-safe, the Evergreen 23XRV variable speed with water-cooled screw chiller, this gives the flexibility to reduce load efficiency when the facilities are in limited use.
At the time when the hoteliers are looking to cut down their cost, asking them for upgradation to higher technologies may not sound as feasible to many, obvious as this would add much to their cost.
Well, when it comes to the environment, many helping hands come at par.
There are projects such as the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI). Carrier has signed a memorandum of understanding with the CCI to provide private building owners with access to financing terms to retrofit the existing buildings with more energy-efficient systems.
Sadly, that’s only for the buildings in the C-40 cities. The C-40 is a group of the world’s largest cities that are committed to tackling climate change.
In India, only Delhi and Mumbai are a part of the group.
In other cities, it is even so more important to take a well-informed decision, thus we can’t stop until we know everything.
Let’s move to understand things better.
There are certain humidity control systems help us to provide ample ventilation with properly filtered and conditioned outdoor air.
It works to monitor, and hence controls the amount of moisture content that is in the air as per the need of the building.
The biggest challenge, perhaps, that the building owners face is to maintain a high and consistent level of comfort for the people inside.
And then, energy efficiency is the second-highest challenge that most owners face.
The Johnson Controls’ heat pump has been yet another energy efficient product that is a reverse cycle chiller which meets both the heating and the cooling needs of any large-sized building.
Using heat pumps consumes approximately 1/3rd of the energy consumed by the boiler for heating applications.
Most of the companies find energy efficiency as a very important subject and thus the technologies such as the variable speed drives (VSD) or the centrifugal chillers supported by the energy modelling data are gaining ready acceptance rapidly in India.
The Treated Fresh Air Units (TFA) that are incorporating energy recovery devices are the ones that provide many answers themselves to the challenges faced by the designers today.
These are not only to meet the need of energy efficiencies, but they’re also better IAQ.
The TFAs are typically used for the treatment or preconditioning ventilation of air i.e. fresh air as well as achieving acceptable IAQ, energy efficiency, humidity control and in the process, this reduces the building envelope.
Building Automation System and HVAC software are also widely used by hoteliers as they play a crucial role in gaining optimum efficiency out of the HVAC system.
The Building Automation Systems help us to do scheduling and the temperature control of rooms specifically in accordance with our needs.
This can contribute significantly to energy saving.
Indian investors are becoming more conscious of their own environmental footprint and they are choosing equipment and systems that offer superior energy.
Companies are willing to make additional investments in the energy-efficient systems.
A ‘green movement’ has emerged within this country.
Indians are extremely intelligent in these regards; we are always willing to invest money if we’re provided with assured return on our investments.
Investing in energy efficient system does not only project a good “Green” image, but it also gives us payback on the investments in a couple of years.
What Do We Want?
Now let’s look for the thing that we’ll have to deal with very directly.
The most preferred choice for offices is the Central Air Conditioning Systems.
There are many reasons for that let us now understand what we actually need. If you are in the market for a central air conditioner, breathe a sigh of relief.
Today’s central air conditioning units are much more effective, durable and environmentally friendly than they were ever before.
The initial investment is admittedly steep, but only if you like a cool and comfortable environment around, a central air conditioner can help you with that, to enjoy your home even on the fire hot summer days.
Another benefit of central air conditioners is that you don’t need to tolerate the extreme differences in the temperatures between the rooms when you have as such as a window air conditioning unit.
If you like varying degrees of coolness in different parts of your house/office, you might want to check a portable air conditioner for efficient and affordable alternatives to a central unit.
There are various factors that affect the efficiency of central air conditioning units – the installation is perhaps the most important part, then the existing ductwork comes the size of your home/office and many more, and we’ll discuss them in plenty in this article ahead.
But some air conditioning units are designed so awesomely smart that they do well almost all the settings.
The best of central air conditioners help control humidity and the heat, and these are much more environmentally friendly now than they used to be in the past.
Some Alternatives To A Home Air Conditioner
If so, you live in a dry climate, you might want to consider the swamp coolers that cool air by adding moisture.
This is quite the opposite of air conditioners that cool air by removing moisture.
The swamp coolers are generally less expensive, especially as they do not require an installation of extra things like ducting.
Anyhow, there are some drawbacks to swamp coolers.
Firstly, they are much less effective than the central air conditioning units when it comes to cooling of your house or office, plus you need to check them frequently to ensure that the water supply is adequate.
Moreover, you might not want a swamp cooler if there is someone in your family has asthma as these devices blow microbes from the outdoors.
Third, the added humidity many times produce mould.
Another alternative to the central air conditioner units are the heat pumps.
While central air conditioners provide only cooling, heat pumps can cool in the summer and then they reverse themselves to heat during the winters.
In the hotter months, there is no difference basically between a heat pump and air conditioner – both are supposed to cool the air inside your home, although air conditioners are known for being better at cooling in the climates with extreme heat.
The difference is visible in the cold months.
Heat pumps are not as much able to handle extremely cold temperatures as air conditioners.
If you live in a region where it gets very cold, you’d still want to use a furnace in the winter season, so even if you have a heat pump, that’s detracting from one of the main advantages of the heat pumps – their ability to both cool and heat.
Heat pumps are the solid alternatives for milder climates, though.
Central Air Conditioners
While researching for the best central air conditioners, we looked very closely at energy efficiency as it affects the entire house/office, costs plenty initially that represents a substantial share that you’ll have to pay for each energy bill every summer.
Better energy efficiency equals lower costs and a somewhat smaller carbon footprint.
The central air conditioning systems are supposed to be rated, in accordance to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio.
This is also known as a SEER.
The SEER number measures how much cooling the system puts out against the energy it consumes.
We sorted the units with higher SEER numbers available.
Most of the older models have a SEER rating of 5 or else 6, but the newer units now get easily into the 20s.
In addition to this, we looked for the Energy Star certification from the Department of Energy that is, in fact, a positive sign that shall save you a lot of money over the life of your air conditioning unit.
Many central air conditioning units now allow to control your home/office temperature remotely, that can also improve the unit’s efficiency.
As you have the ability to set and adjust temperatures remotely, there is no harm if you forget to turn off the AC when you leave the house or your office, or if the weather suddenly turns around to be colder.
Most of the modern air conditioners also integrate very easily with associated products from of own manufacturers or with some other programmable thermostats.
In addition to the efficiency, we looked for the HVAC systems that run quietly.
As these units are located on the outside your home or office, you would want a product that will neither bother you nor your neighbours.
The air conditioning units have a drastic range in the noise levels, so you’ll have to look for one that makes sense of the surroundings.
The quietest units in the lineup that we’ve made have a sound rating of fewer than sixty decibels; this is as comparable to the sound levels of conversation in some restaurant.
The features that help to reduce noise include some well-designed fan blades, proper insulation for the compressor, same for the pan base, and the variable speed settings for the fan.
Most of the air conditioner models come in various sizes.
The optimal size for your home shall depend on the square footage and the climate of the place you live.
Typically, larger the unit, square footage it is supposed to cool.
But be careful, buying the right size for the circumstances will impact the air conditioners’ effectiveness, be sure that you talk with some contractor about what must work the best.
What are the Advantages of Central Air Conditioners?
Central air conditioning systems offer many advantages over conventional AC systems.
Undoubtedly, the central air is one of the most effective and efficient ways to circulate the cool air throughout the house or office in comparison to window air conditioner systems.
However, the central air conditioners can offer one major benefit that individual window units just cannot claim: these systems can improve the indoor air quality.
Centralized units send the cool air directly through the air ducts or the vents that are located in each room.
Each room can be cooled at once instead of cooling just one room.
The ambient air is pulled in the air handler unit from all the rooms through return-air ducts.
System filters, air that passes through it, removing the airborne particles, like lint or allergens, like dust, pollen or pet dander.
The filtered air is then re-routed back to the various rooms via one separate ductwork system.
These systems have the power to trap even the most microscopic pollutants.
It is obvious that more expensive filters can capture, the more pollutants and increase the air quality in the home/office.
Having to constantly clean and cool is a major benefit with the central air conditioners.
But the advantages do not end there.
Following are other advantages that the central air conditioners have over the window air conditioning systems.
Indoor noise is barely detectable.
The condenser, fan and the compressor are located in an outdoor unit, instead of in a nearby window.
Thus, the central air conditioners make less noise.
It’s inconspicuous and does not affect the view from outside or within the home since the working parts of the central air conditioner are located outside of the home/office.
The central AC systems do not take up any inside space in the house and they keep the home looking modern and updated.
The central air conditioners are easy to operate.
There is a single zone or multiple zones, systems are conveniently controlled by a simple console that is being programmed to run at certain times and certain temperatures.
It is possible for the specialized central air conditioners to operate in a reversed cycle (aka – Heat Pump), to not only cool the air but also to pump out hot air.
The same central air system that can heat and cool the home/office, all in one user-friendly unit, the upfront costs of the central air conditioners could be intimidating, but at the end, the payoff is all worth the expense.
Central air conditioners are becoming the building standard now.
These systems provide homeowners with many and many years of comfort.
As a major bonus, the central air conditioners add value to your home/office.
This means that when it comes to resale, a central air system would be a huge selling feature.
What Else Is Important In Choosing A Central Air Conditioner?
As we’ve already talked about it many times earlier, proper installation could dramatically impact how effectively air conditioning units operate, so it is always worth researching who is going to be doing the work.
This is not as such for some do-it-yourself project, although it is possible to buy the air conditioners in wholesale.
There are the necessary EPA certifications to be considered because of refrigerant used.
The installation involves some of the rewirings and anchoring of the unit to a concrete pad.
Always look for a person who specifically is licensed to do the installation.
Dimensions & Design
The best air conditioning systems are robust devices. As they can sit outside for year-round, it is highly important to get an AC that can withstand all the kinds of weathers.
The best air conditioning units afford us easy access to air filters, the coils and some other areas of the unit.
We also looked for the central air conditioners which are compact so they don’t mar the attractiveness of the yard.
Warranties & Support
The best HVAC systems are made by a few of the most reputable companies who back their products with good customer service.
We would prefer that the manufacturers who provide clear and helpful information online as well as multiple ways to be there to contact the company if so problems arise.
You also deserve some substantial warranty for the compressor of the device and the other parts since you are paying for a major appliance which is intended to enhance some comfort and value of your home for the years to come.
Let’s Look At The Major Brands That Sell In India
Carrier holds the proud record for producing some incredible air conditioners.
Anyway, they are equally popular as well in terms of manufacturing refrigerators.
It was founded in the year 1915 as a separate, independent brand and since then its popularity spread in the whole wide world within no time at all.
Carrier air-conditioning systems and refrigeration solutions have improved the world around us through their engineered innovation and environmental stewardship.
Panasonic is a Japanese multinational electronics corporation.
If you are in the market for a ductless or the split air conditioner, Panasonic is a brand you’re likely to come across.
BLUE STAR AIR CONDITIONERS:
Blue Star is India’s leading AC Company that provides split, inverter & window ACs.
Blue Star’s range of star rated from 1 ton, 1.5 ton & 2 ton of the split Air conditioners.
Elegant and stylish, as they are, the split air conditioner solutions shall enhance the grace of your home/office and offer perfect cooling.
HITACHI AIR CONDITIONER:
Hitachi is one multinational company the headquarters of which is located in Tokyo, Japan.
Home Air Conditioners provides a variety of the window and the split room air conditioners with a stylish and sophisticated design that efficiently, stylishly whether it’s hot or cool of the home.
Hitachi manufactures a huge range of commercial and domestic air conditioners.
ACs are Daikin’s speciality.
The Daikin Split System Air Conditioners are ideal for air conditioning one room or a specific area of a home or office.
Daikin’s split and the multi-split type AC systems offer superior performance, much better energy-efficiency, and comfort in stylish solution.
MITSUBISHI AIR CONDITIONER:
Mitsubishi Electric manufactures a wide range of the easiest and the powerful with features to catch in plus air purifying filter, it is the easiest to clean, excellent energy efficiency and has a very fast cooling system.
SAMSUNG AIR CONDITIONER:
Samsung ACs allows you to have clean and comfortable air all the time.
A Samsung split system AC can cool your home/office in this summer and warm in winters.
Voltas, it is India’s leading room AC brand.
Voltas is a part of the TATA Enterprises and is one of the largest suppliers of split air conditioners and the window ACs.
Whirlpool India is one of the leading brands in split air conditioners (AC), experience the best cooling performance with Whirlpool.
These are energy efficient & structured with smart sensors.
LG AIR CONDITIONER:
LG Corporation, formerly known as Lucky Goldstar is a company from South Korea.
It is a multinational conglomerate corporation. LG is famous for its split and the Window Units, Portable ACs or many other products of LG.
Make sure that contact your nearest provider or make some genuine efforts before spending your hard earned money, small things can make a huge difference and that too for long terms when it is about air conditioners. Have a cool day!