Beat the heat: Business of temperature control in the UAE
Summer is on. As one of the hottest places on Earth, UAE and other Middle East countries have been relying on artificial cooling to make the summer season bearable. This dependence on air conditioning, however, is like a double-edged sword with both boon and bane effects. While it is true that air conditioning system makes a more comfortable home or workplace and thus yields to machine and manpower productivity, the use of air conditioners is accounted for the estimated 70 per cent of all power consumption in the UAE.
Apart from the energy and environmental expenses, hidden health costs comes into play especially if the air conditioning units are not properly maintained or serviced. This could lead to bacterial and fungal contamination of the integral parts of your AC such as air filters, coils and ducts and may be considered as health hazards. In this issue, Snag & Inspect will discuss the basics and specifics of your air conditioners, its twofold effects from the advantages down to the environmental, energy and health costs it begets. In addition, Snag & Inspect will talk about handy tips in maximizing the full potential of your air conditioning system without compromising your budget for energy bills, these are simple how to’s on keeping your summer cool and green.
Air conditioning: A culture of “coolth”
Beating the heat on summer season in the UAE becomes possible with the aid of “coolth” or artificially cooled air but more often than not along comes high energy costs and health risks.
There are different types of AC systems commonly used in the country such as:
Split AC – commonly used in villas or low-rise apartment buildings. This type consists of both an outdoor and indoor component that work together to produce the needed cooled air. The outdoor units produce the cooling while the indoor unit converts this cooling into cold air for distribution to where it is needed. In Dubai, majority of the ACs are split units.
Chilled Water – also referred to as district cooling. High-rise apartment blocks and other villa developments like Green Community and Jumeirah Islands in Dubai use this system. A central provider for all properties supplies the cooling and distributed to each property through a pipe to provide a constant flow of chilled water. An indoor heat exchanger is required to convert the chilled water into cool air.
Package AC – commonly used to chill large spaces within a larger low-rise building like shopping malls and hotels. This system requires only one location on the roof of the building.
Air conditioners need to be serviced and maintained comprehensively and regularly as this would save property owners not just the money and savings from costly energy bills but more importantly from the health expense that it may entail.
Property owners have done their share in the upkeep of their air conditioners notwithstanding the contributed efforts from their servicing and maintenance companies. They have gotten more firm on securing their health and comfort by ensuring that their AC units are in tip-top shape through the help of third party inspection companies who conduct special inspections such as mould and moisture investigation and other defect inspections associated with air conditioning systems.
Mould & Moisture investigation is one of the staple special investigations that Snag & Inspect offers. Rise of mould complaints in both domestic and commercial properties is not surprising given the current climate in the country. Property owners complain on mould growth in their AC devices which could spread everywhere in their properties, contaminating the indoor air quality and could trigger allergic reactions or asthma and other respiratory problems among the residents. This is a serious health risk especially for the children.
Moisture or condensation allows mould growth in AC units. Even if the mould is cleaned, it is bound to re-occur if the moisture problem was not treated or removed. In order to treat this, a thorough inspection identifying the cause(s) is necessary. It is important that property owners undertake the recommendations made by a third party inspection company in rectifying moisture problems.
The business of keeping air conditioners in perfect condition is crucial in this country. An efficient AC unit does not only mean reduced energy costs but more importantly, a healthy home.