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Building cooling is a big factor people and businesses consider as it affects the level of comfort and health of tenants or inhabitants as well as energy costs. In Middle Eastern countries like the UAE where summers are notoriously long, sometimes damp and always extremely hot, air conditioning is a major consideration for all.
Although the ‘right temperature’ in a workplace is highly subjective and contentious, the World Health Organization (WHO) set the maximum air temperature to be around 25 degrees Celsius. There is also a general agreement that, for generally satisfactory working temperatures, the following must be done: “insulating pipes, providing an air cooling plant, and shading windows and siting desks away from radiators and other hot spots.”
It is, therefore, very important for an air con system to be inspected by an accredited air con energy assessor to improve efficiency, and reduce energy consumption, operating costs and carbon emissions. The inspector or energy assessor will then highlight necessary improvements to the operation of the existing system or give recommendations to replace older, less energy efficient elements in the system, or an oversized system with a new and more energy efficient system. As the replacement of refrigerant is restricted in older systems, there is an additional incentive to improve or replace older systems with more modern energy efficient units.
As embodied in the law (refer to your municipality’s building code), the person in charge of the operation of the system, such as the building owner or manager, has very specific obligations and duties of care in the operation and maintenance of air con systems.
Inspection, maintenance and cleaning programs maintain the ability of the system to provide healthy and comfortable environments for building occupants, limiting the escape of refrigerant gases and ensuring the safety of equipment.
• Municipality code specifies the duties of building owners
• Air conditioning systems play a role in health of occupants
• WHO sets maximum air temperature at 25 degrees Celsius
Source: Claire Dangalan, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer