Should I replace our heating system with Air Conditioning?

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Heating systems will be put to work over the coming months, so now is a good time to evaluate your equipment’s overall performance and health. Facilities managers who oversee large operations should be ticking the boxes on their maintenance checklists to ensure any nasty surprises with regard to their heating equipment are avoided. Remember, an underperforming heating system may turn up the heat on your budget in the end.

AC and gas heating equipment each have unique qualities that should be taken into account to ensure their upkeep and peak performance. If your system has reached the end of its life, you may consider the various new options available in the market. In this blog we’ll take a closer look at the choice between gas and AC –based heating.

Gas Heating Systems

Gas heating systems have a very long history in the UK, and are the most used throughout the country. Gas is a very efficient fuel source that provides a good energy return, with modern boilers’ efficiency rates consistently improving. There are however, a few things about gas heating systems that FMs should take into account.

  • Gas Prices: The cost of running a gas heating system is reliant on the overall cost of gas imports. Dependence on gas is typically higher in winter, which could drive higher prices over that period. Ensure that your system runs optimally to utilise energy efficiently and reduce your overall cost. Although boilers typically only reach around 90% efficiency, the lower price of gas compensates for this and makes it affordable.
  • Gas Leaks: Gas leaks may pose the most dangerous risk if not tested at regular intervals. Leakage prevention in gas systems come as part of a maintenance schedule, so ensure that you have your equipment tested and your CP12 certificate re-issued as prescribed by the Gas Safety Act.
  • Gas Outage: Unplanned gas outages may cause a disruption in supply. This may leave those reliant on gas for heating in an uncomfortable position. FMs would do well to safe guard against outages and always ensure that a contingency is in place.

Air Conditioning Equipment

Air conditioning systems have made considerable improvements with regard to energy efficiency, and in-roads in environmental friendliness. In fact, the end of 2014 sees the completion of the phasing out plan to eliminate the use of hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), of which R22 is the most commonly used. FMs need to ensure that AC systems that rely on R22 gas are replaced by January 2015, or recognise the risk of larger maintenance costs, as it will no longer be possible to obtain R22 after this date.

Older air conditioning systems tend to consume much more energy and rely on gasses that are not conducive to a healthier environment. Keeping an old AC system in place could turn out to be an expensive investment over the longer term.

Although there are considerations on both sides, AC and gas heating systems have evolved to much more efficient levels than in the past. If you’re in the market for new equipment, be sure to assess your requirements and consult your contractor to find out how you can get the solution that suits you best.