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Frequently Asked Questions

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Heating and Air Conditioning equipment should be serviced at least once a year. The best scenario is to have the heating system checked in the Autumn and the air conditioning checked in the Spring. Why should I have my equipment serviced? Annual servicing includes cleaning the system, checking for any problems or potential problems and adjusting for Peak efficiency. The benefits include:
  • Increased dependability.
  • Find potential problems and fix them quickly.
  • Provide maximum efficiency which lowers energy costs.
  • Prolongs the life-span of the equipment.
  • Maintains safe and healthy operation.
  • Can help to protect the environment.
  • Drastically reduces the chance of a break-down which usually happens at night or on weekends when repair rates are higher.
   
A quick and easy rule of thumb to use for sizing an air conditioner for a room or house is the square foot method. This formula is used only for a quick approximation and is based on certain guidelines regarding insulation R values, shading, ceiling height, construction materials, windows, doors, purpose of use and occupancy. In layman's terms, 400 square feet of residential living space in a desert climate requires 1 ton of cooling capacity based on adequate insulation, 8' ceiling height and tight windows and doors. To calculate your requirement using this method divide your total square footage of living space by 400. The resulting answer is the number in tons of air conditioning capacity required.
Air conditioning systems work by moving heat from inside your premises to the outside. In a central air conditioning system air is drawn into the ductwork system through the return air system. Installed in the return air ductwork is an evaporator coil. This coil is connected to the condensor, the unit that is outside your home, by copper tubing. The refrigerant is then pumped from the condenser to the evaporator coil. As the refrigerant passes through the inside of the evaporator coil, warm air from inside your home passes over the outside of the coil. Because the refrigerant is cooler than the warm air, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the air. The refrigerant is then sent outside to the condenser unit. When the warmed refrigerant is in the condenser unit it is compressed by the compressor; the compression of the refrigerant causes it to boil. As the refrigerant boils it gives off the heat it picked up from inside your home. The refrigerant is then passed through the coil in the condenser unit where it gets cooled again and is ready to go back inside to pick up more heat from your home. As this whole process is going on, the temperature and relative humidity in your premises are both lowered. The relative humidity level drops because cooler air cannot hold as much moisture. As the air cools, it gives up some moisture and it gets collected in the base of the evaporator coil and is then drained away.
CHP is a form of distributed generation, which is located at or near the energy-consuming facility, whereas conventional generation takes place in large centrally-located power plants. CHP’s higher efficiency comes from recovering the heat normally lost in power generation or industrial processes to provide heating or cooling on site, or to generate additional electricity. CHP’s inherent higher efficiency and elimination of transmission and distribution losses from the central power plant results in reduced primary energy use and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Every CHP application involves the recovery of otherwise-wasted thermal energy to produce useful thermal energy or electricity. CHP can be configured either as a topping or bottoming cycle. In a typical topping cycle system, fuel is combusted in a prime mover such as a gas turbine or reciprocating engine to generate electricity. Energy normally lost in the prime mover’s hot exhaust and cooling systems is instead recovered to provide heat for industrial processes (such as petroleum refining or food processing), hot water (e.g., for laundry or dishwashing), or for space heating, cooling, and dehumidification. In a bottoming cycle system, also referred to as “waste heat recovery,” fuel is combusted to provide thermal input to a furnace or other industrial process and heat rejected from the process is then used for electricity production.
Combined heat and power (CHP) is an efficient and clean approach to generating electric power and useful thermal energy from a single fuel source. CHP is used either to replace or supplement conventional separate heat and power (SHP). Instead of purchasing electricity from the local utility and burning fuel in an on-site furnace or boiler to produce thermal energy, an industrial or commercial facility can use CHP to provide both energy services in one energy-efficient step.
A weather compensated system monitors the outdoor temperature, as well as the flow and return lines on the heating side at all times. As the outdoor temperature changes the heat pump will automatically compensate for this and adjusts so that the indoor temperature stays nice and comfortable.
Planning permission is normally not required, but please make sure you always check with your local authority and planning department. This is especially important if you live in a listed building or a conservation area.
Solar can be fitted in almost any property. But keep in mind that the the solar collectors must be faced South, South-East or South-West. Shading must be avoided. Collectors can be fitted on the room, on the ground or on the facade of a building.
Underfloor heating is the best match for a heat pump system. The low temperature requirements for an underfloor heating system are perfectly matched by the heat pump. But there are also special low temperature radiators available for areas where you can not install underfloor heating. For older properties where there is no opportunity to install underfloor heating at all, you can use a high-temperature heat pump and they can accommodate more traditional steel radiators.
Yes,  that is possible. Underfloor heating is the best match for a heat pump system but it is not always possible to install underfloor heating through the whole of the property. Please make sure that you install special low temperature radiators in your new-build project, Kereen can advise you what is exactly required. For older properties where there is no opportunity to install underfloor heating at all, you can use a high-temperature heat pump and they can accommodate more traditional steel radiators.
It is very important that your underfloor heating system is professionally installed and that high-quality components are used. After that you only have to be careful when you drill in floor areas that have pipes underneath in order not to damage the pipes. But otherwise the chances of leakages is very, very small.
Underfloor heating systems will take a while to heat up when they are switched ion for the first time. It will require 1 hour per inch of concrete to reach full heat. For most normal floors this means that it will take approx. 3 hours. In normal running situations it will take 20-30 minutes warm up. Weather compensation  will assist you to eliminate heat up times as the heat pump automatically adjust the system for you when temperatures change outside.
Number of people in household 2-3 = panels of 3-4 sq.m. + cylinder 150-200L Number of people in household 4-5 = panels of 4-6 sq.m. + cylinder 200-300L Number of people in household 6-7 = panels of 6-8 sq.m. + cylinder 300-400L
A solar system will not require any maintenance, under normal circumstance.
Yes, solar systems work in Ireland, even on hazy or overcast days. The average Kw per sq.m. in Ireland is 1,000-1,200Kw per year (depending on where you are in Ireland).
Solar heating involves the direct conversion of light into heat. A solar heating system normally consists of a solar collector, a regulating unit with pump and a well-insulated hot water tank. The solar collector, or solar panel, converts the sunlight it receives into heat. This heat is generated through the absorption of the sun's rays by a dark colour-coated absorber, which is connected to a piping system.The heat transfer fluid in the piping system absorbs the heat and is pumped to the hot water tank, where the heat is transferred to the water by a heat exchanger.
An air to water heat pump is usually placed outside at the side or back of a property, and takes heat from the air and boosts it to a higher temperature using a heat pump. A heat pump works a bit like a refrigerator in reverse. The process consists of an evaporator, a compressor and a condenser. It absorbs heat from the outside air and the heat pump compressor then increases the temperature of that heat further to create useful heat. This heat is then used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems or even warm air convectors and hot water in your home.  The pump needs electricity to run, but the idea is that it uses far less electrical energy than the heat it produces.
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends mainly on the state of your property (insulation!) and the required heat (how warm do you want it to be!). After a quick assessment Kereen is able to do a simulation for your property which indicates how much savings can be made.