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The right systems for commercial environments

Developing the right air conditioning solution for commercial practices is about a lot more than simply heating and cooling.

The first consideration when developing air conditioning solutions for small business and professional environments is obviously the role of temperature control in creating a comfortable working environment.

However, it is vital not to overlook the importance of other factors, from performance benefits such as air purification humidification and dehumidification, to aesthetic desirables such as low noise operation and good looks.

Today’s design-savvy business owner is looking for a more professional image than a noisy white box in the corner of the room. With space at a premium, they require a sleek, stylish solution that adds to, rather than detracts from, the internal decor.

There is also health and wellbeing of employees and colleagues to consider. Humidity levels, ventilation and air purification are all important to the overall quality of indoor air. By removing air borne allergens and bacteria, air purification and humidification can improve the breathing comfort of both allergy and asthma sufferers.

The relationship between heating, cooling and humidity is vital as most people feel comfortable at 45 per cent relative humidity. This is because humidity levels much higher or lower than this affect people’s ability to sweat - but its relationship to the temperature is also a factor in determining comfort levels.

Optimum ventilation is another important consideration. Today’s highly efficient insulation levels can result in indoor air being even more polluted than outdoor air.

The good news is that the latest smaller-scale air conditioning systems are more than capable of providing all of these air quality factors and not just temperature control. It is possible to combine comfort cooling, heating and fresh air ventilation in one system, as well as humidification and air purification.

As the demand for air conditioning continues to rise among small businesses, so does the sophistication of that demand. No longer is it sufficient for manufacturers to simply supply heating and cooling systems - air conditioning is required to be sleek and stylish, quiet and efficient, and provide all the functions demanded by today’s business owner.

John Durbin is engineering department manager at Daikin UK