Air Conditioning and "Heat-Pumps" are really taking off over here in NZ. Tell me is Air Con a viable form of heating and cooling, where you come from?. We are starting to have our Open Fires and Coal Heaters banned due to the pollution levels that these things create during the middle of Winter, and not before time I say, you walk outside on a given cold night during the Winter and the smoke from all these Fires, just about suffocate you. What do you guys reckon?. Split-system Air Con is getting so efficient these days, it would be criminal NOT to install it!.
My father and I studied 'heat pumps' years ago. They are simply 'reversible' fridges. I countries like mine (Canada), they would be ideal. The theory is they can turn cold into heat in the winter, an vice versa, in the summer. The original installation cost is the main factor. One system we looked had had underground piping where the temperature doesn't change year round 55F or 15C(?). The heat/cool energy is free. The only cost is the compressor and fan.
Re: Air Conditioning?#138885 10/04/0305:19 AM10/04/0305:19 AM
Pinemarten, Yeah, I have had quite a bit to do with Air Con over the years, in one form or another. Sure the initial cost of installation is a BIG hurdle, but, these units usually pay for themselves in no time flat and with things like 5-10 year warranty's on things like compressors and fan motors, you really can't go wrong. As long as you don't expect too much from an AirCon unit, you should never have any problems with it!. Don't get me wrong, I'm not flying a flag for ANY Air Con companies, I'm just stating things as I see them!.
Re: Air Conditioning?#138886 10/04/0305:48 AM10/04/0305:48 AM
Air con is starting to appear more and more in Ireland. Almost every small retailer that does a refit of their store seems to install the cassette units into the ceilings. It's great for the two weeks in the middle of summer where the temp. goes over 25C but for the rest of the year it's a bit of a waste of time.
The only places it makes sense here are offices / public buildings where you've a lot of people although in those cases the air conditioning system's main purpose is to provide good ventilation you'll usually find that the system's coolers hardly ever fire up as the air coming is is about 10-17C to start with. They do keep the air changing though which is always a good thing.
This summer was exceptionally warm though and a lot of small portable air conditioners appeared all over the place. You could hire them out for a fairly reasonable weekly fee. Just pop a duct out the window plug into a normal 230V 13A outlet and you had a pleasant environment again.
Coal and other smokey fuels were banned in our urban areas quite a few years ago. I can still remember Dublin with a thick blanket of coal smog hanging in the air it was absolutely disgusting and completely unnecessary. There are plenty of alternative solid fuels that don't create smog.
The policy here was to promote natural gas very heavily there was even tax write offs and grants available to install a gas system to replace solid fuel.
Coal and other smokey fuels were banned from the supply end so they're simply not available anywhere in Ireland.
Pressure Jet oil burners often create particulates too if they're not working correctly. Most of our city councils now require that you have oil fired systems regularly serviced and can check the flue gas for excessive particulates as they can be quite a health hazzard. Again, you'll get a grant if you convert a gasoil pressure jet system to natural gas. Quite an easy thing to do too, you just replace the burner moduel (almost always bentone or Danfoss)
You just replace something that looks like this:
with something that looks like this:
(basically the same unit with gas control valves rather than a vaporisor nozzle and oil pump)
A typical unit looks like this
A bit of an industrial looking brute compared to what you tend to find in the UK but they last for decades.
You'll usually find these in a small "boiler house" usually located slightly away from the house in the back garden. It normally has a louver door. It normally contains a few circulation pumps and an expansion vessel/pressure vessel. All very industrial looking. These units make a big rumble hence they're located outside
Modern version of the classic "range" Typical Gas/Oil range. Heats domestic hot water, 20+ radiators and 2 to 4 ovens and a hotplates. http://www.waterfordstanley.com
expected lifespan is about 150 years
[This message has been edited by djk (edited 10-04-2003).]
Re: Air Conditioning?#138887 10/04/0306:15 AM10/04/0306:15 AM
djk, Oddly enough, Danfoss sell Refrigeration and Heat Pump parts over here!. Yeah, the Gas heater is also a big option over here, but the thing that I don't like like about these heaters is the large amount of condensation that they impart into the rooms where they are operating. And also the oxygen depletion factor of these heaters, makes them a tad unsafe for my liking. --- I've serviced the odd Oil-burner, especially the larger ducted type, that are used in a few of our rest-homes here. They run OK, if the on-site handyman doesn't start mucking around with it, they are rather hard to re-calibrate, to get the mixture just right. ---- On the subject of Air Con gear, the Cassette is quite popular here too in Commercial places and the odd large lounge too. I've wired more A/C units than I care to think about, but the majority of them have been Hi-Wall units (with the indoor unit mounted at about 1800mm from floor level). Cheers, Trumpy.
Re: Air Conditioning?#138888 10/04/0307:13 AM10/04/0307:13 AM
A/C is becoming more common in light commercial situations, e.g. offices and small shops, but as far as residential is concerned it's extremely rare here.
As for Ireland, most people could not justify the expense for the two weeks in summer when it might be used, although if we keep getting summers like this year's they might reconsider! As is typical in Britain, I think we're still way behind North America and Scandinavia when it comes to heat pumps. Most (non-technical) people I speak to have never heard of them.
Pollution from coal fires was a big problem in British cities years ago, and led to the various Clean Air Acts of the 1950s/60s.
One of the worst smogs occurred in London in the early 1950s:
My parents remembered this one well, and told stories of people stumbling into shops and pubs asking "Where are we?" because they had gotten completely disoriented, even though they were in areas they knew well.
Paul, Not sure if you aware, but Christchurch (just North of here) is the worst place in NZ for smog, it is (at it's worst) 5 times the WHO limits for Air pollution standards, hence the change in heating methods. Mind you, with the bad Electricity supply security over here(and other places around the world), Air Conditioning is fine, until you have a power cut!.
Re: Air Conditioning?#138890 10/04/0311:47 AM10/04/0311:47 AM
Gas burners operating in a room producing heat directly from a flame is pretty rare here these days. It's actually illegal to install open flue natural gas heaters.
95%+ of heating with gas (or oil) here is via either closed (pressurised) or open (head tank), radiator systems.
Ducted systems appeared in the 60s/70s for a very short while and were so problematic and noisy that most people who had them replaced them with radiators.
As for smog reduction. If you ask anyone in Cork or Dublin they would NEVER go back to allowing smokey coal. Londoners would be the same !
As for heat pumps, they're starting to appear in commerical settings but most domestic users would never have heard of them either.
A lot of people also don't realise how mild the weather in most of the UK and Ireland actually is. It's never really extremely cold and it's never really extremely hot either. The rain however is most definitely not a myth!
Winter tempratures tend to sit at around 8-15C with the odd day where it dips into low single figures.
Summer tends to be like 18-28C with the very odd chance of it hiting 30+.
It's colder in Scotland and possibily northern England. (?) but in comparision to even Northern France the British Isles are very mild!
So air conditioning / heatpumps etc are all a bit unnecessary.
A typical central heating system here would be utterly useless in most of the rest of the world. The pipes would more than likely freeze and it wouldn't produce enough heat.
Bear in mind that until the 1960s most houses here had no insulation and central heating was very much an optional extra.
Re: Air Conditioning?#138891 10/05/0309:24 AM10/05/0309:24 AM