Sustainable Heating & Ventilation Solutions
It has been estimated that the non–domestic sector will benefit from continued growth of around 3–4 per cent until up until 2010.
With the UK’s weather arguably more unpredictable than ever, heating and ventilation products are in huge demand, offering an effective way to cope with the changeable climate. However, with the price of fuel having rocketed during the past year, this can be expensive, making it increasingly important to ensure the most efficient products are used to achieve savings, where possible.
High Demand For Heating & Ventilation Products
With one day often drastically different to the next we are continually turning to heating and cooling products to ensure indoor and outdoor comfort amid the changeable climate. As a result, demand for heating and ventilation products has increased dramatically over the last few years resulting in an explosion of new products. It has been estimated that the non–domestic sector will benefit from continued growth of around 3–4 per cent until up until 2010¹.
Renewable Solutions Offer Energy & Cost Efficiency
However, the combined impact of government regulations and directives, soaring gas and electricity prices, and increased budget constraints for the public sector, mean careful consideration must be given to the specification of these products. It is increasingly important to look past the initial outlay required when investing in the newest renewable solutions in order to achieve both energy and cost efficiency.
Many manufacturers have developed highly advanced and intelligent heating and cooling products which can help to achieve this dual aim of reducing energy and cutting costs.
Air Source Heat Pumps
One such solution is heat pump technology and one of the most popular types is the air source heat pump. An air source heat pump uses the outside air as a heat source or heat sink to heat or cool an interior space. Often favoured for their flexibility and compactness, these pumps are generally sited outside of a property and can be floor or wall mounted, without the need for any extensive installation preparation, and are similar in the size to an air conditioning unit. Used to warm water for radiators or underfloor heating systems, or to warm the air in the indoor environment, these systems utilise approximately 25–35 per cent of the electricity of a standard electrically heating system for the same amount of heating, significantly reducing utility bills.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Conversely popular, ground source heat pumps can also be used to power radiators or underfloor heating. These systems employ pipes buried outside a building to extract heat from the ground, where the temperature is constant, meaning it can be used throughout the year — even in the middle of winter. Used widely in school applications where they can be easily located under the playground surface, these systems can not only make a huge contribution to reducing carbon emissions but also cut payback periods by 35–40 per cent through fuel savings.
Low Wattage Products
The public sector can also benefit from making more energy efficient ventilation choices. Low Wattage products are especially popular, as apart from efficiently improving the indoor environment, they also offer up to 80 per cent energy savings — a welcome additional benefit with soaring energy bills looking set to stay.
Heat Recovery Systems
Another method of improving energy efficiency is to consider using the ‘waste’ heat produced by a heat recovery system. Growing in popularity, heat recovery systems extract air from within the various rooms of a building through a heat exchanger with the most common use being space heating. The system then supplies fresh air through the same heat exchanger with up to 95 per cent of the heat, which would be otherwise lost, being transferred. As a result, the air is carefully filtered and condensation eliminated, greatly improving the quality of the indoor environment while minimising energy costs and reducing greenhouse emissions.
As the dual issues of sustainability and cost continue to dominate the public sector, authorities can no longer afford to simply go for the cheapest heating or cooling solution, as this is not necessarily the most cost effective or energy efficient method. The changeable weather patterns we regularly experience shows no sign of stopping, so it is important to make the most of the newest cooling and heating solutions available, so as to prevent energy from being wasted and energy bills increasing unnecessarily.