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Telephone: 0845 2020 233
Ambient is actively involved in the design, installation and commissioning of specialist industrial and commercial HVAC systems.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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There is no definitive answer to this question and is the topic of much recent, interesting debate. Research from the University of Maastricht reveals that the temperature settings within UK buildings tends to be set to suit men rather than women and is a result of engineers still using guidance produced by ASHRAE back in the 1960s which was as a result of research conducted based upon the resting metabolic rate of 40 year old men. The resting metabolic rate of the typical 40 year old man nonetheless, is around 30% faster than a woman’s and as a result, while men may feel perfectly comfortable in an office, a lot of women are freezing particularly during the summer months. In support of these findings, research carried out at the University of Utah in 1998, found that although women actually have a higher core temperature than men (36.6°C vs 36.3°C) their hands were consistently colder, while men registered an average hand temperature of 32.2°C, the average hand temperature of women was only 30.7°C. While men may be comfortable in a workplace, the majority of women are likely to need conditions nearly 4 degrees warmer.
In addition to differing metabolic rates between men and women, the human metabolic rate also lowers with increasing age and can result in a call for higher office temperatures for an older workforce. Configuration of work environments also plays an important factor in maintaining ‘ideal’ temperatures for workers – open plan offices are a real headache and are highly unlikely to provide a comfortable temperature for everybody.
In addition to the dilemma of setting temperatures to suit staff, it is also noted that very few employers actually measure temperature properly, nor do they consider indoor air quality, humidity or anything related to the air conditioning and/or ventilation.
In truth, the service that the HVAC industry provides is taken for granted because it is intangible. If we succeed in providing the right service, people are entirely unaware because they are ‘comfortable’, they can’t see it, smell it or hear it and so don’t value it. It is only when the service is not working correctly that people become aware, get it right and nobody notices.
There is a strict legal requirement under F-Gas Regulation for record keeping, designed to ensure that a log is available on site for all equipment containing refrigerant. This must include a log sheet for each applicable F-Gas asset, and also record all mandatory leak tests carried out, whether any leaks have been identified and remedial works required, with records of all refrigerant added or taken out of, the plant. Records should be maintained by your Service and Maintenance Contractor and held on site for at least five years. This is designed to ensure there is a continuous log of F-Gas related work, giving inspecting authorities a complete history to ensure compliance.
It is now widely recognised that refrigerants can have a destructive effect on the earth’s atmosphere with CFCs, the most destructive gases, being removed from the marketplace. F-Gas Regulations were introduced in 2007 as a way of limiting damage caused by replacement F-Gas refrigerants, measures which were replaced in January 2015 with the implementation of (EC) 517/2014. The new rules encouraged manufacturers to reduce usage of the most damaging gases through staged phase-outs between 2015-2013, also reinforcing requirements for both operators and companies undertaking maintenance of air conditioning equipment to take steps to prevent F-Gas leaks and carry out repairs to leaks as soon as possible.