New ‘F Gas’ Rules, Commercial Refrigeration and the Impact

As you may know, there have recently been changes made to the rules governing EU fluorinated greenhouse (F gas) regulations, which include the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and bans on some products. This EU regulation represents a change brought in during 2014, in an effort to minimize the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment, and replaces the 2006 regulations.

Clearly, this has major repercussions for the refrigeration industry. But it affects not just manufacturers, but end users too. So, if you own a business that uses refrigeration units, what will the impact be on you? What Is the Impact On Me?

You must comply with these regulations if you operate a refrigeration unit. Even if the unit does not belong to you, you are responsible if you are using it in your business. To find out if your refrigeration unit is affected, you should check the manual that came with it, look for labels or speak to your supplier. Look at the list of the fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases) covered by the new EU regulations here.

HFC 404A and HFC 134a are common in refrigeration systems, so look to see if your refrigeration units contain them.

Only Use Trained Technicians

The 2014 regulations state that:

“Only trained technicians can carry out work on equipment containing F gases, including:

1. installation 2. testing for leaks 3. general maintenance 4. disposal or decommissioning when you no longer need the product” As a business, it is your responsibility to check that the person maintaining, repairing or disposing of your refrigeration units is properly qualified. Label Your Refrigeration Unit

You must label to your refrigeration unit if your service operator has had to add F gas during the course of maintenance. The label must state that the equipment has F gas in it, and the industry name for the F Gas.

Check For Leaks

As the operator, it is your responsibility to keep your refrigeration units within the regulations. Therefore you must check that no gas is leaking from your unit. Those who ‘install, maintain or dispose of equipment’ bear joint responsibility for F gas leakages. This is another reason to be sure that you only use qualified technicians to service your equipment.

Keep Records

You must keep record about any refrigerator unit that has been checked for leaks, if it contains F Gas ‘equivalent to more than 5 tonnes of CO2.

For full instructions on how to comply with the 2014 EU Regulations on F Gas units, refer to the Government information page here: EU F gas regulation: guidance for users, producers and traders.

Three Suitable Ice Machines for Your Business

There’s nothing worse than being trapped in a hot office, and especially so if that office has a lack of airflow. The solution to this problem is air conditioning, but you’ve got to also consider the needs of your workers – to this end, cool water and ice are excellent ways to boost morale during the hotter months and to keep everybody sane.

With that in mind, here’s some superb ice machines to consider for your business.

  1. VonShef Digital Ice Maker and Dispenser

The VonShef Digital Ice Maker and Dispenser (Amazon, £109.99) is ideal for the office or the factory floor. It can make up to 800g of ice at a time (up to 15kg in 24-hours) and has a 1-litre water reservoir, so you don’t have to keep refilling it. Ice can be made in three sizes and a neat digital LCD display offers ease of use and maximum control.

  1. Andrew James Compact Ice Maker

The Andrew James Compact Ice Maker (Amazon, £89.99) is smaller than the VonShef but equally as powerful. It too can create up to 15kg of ice in 24-hours and it also has a large water reservoir (2.4-litres). Ice can only be made in two sizes, but at this price who’s complaining. This is one of the smallest ice makers on the market so it’s ideal for compact spaces.

  1. Porkka Ice Machines

Porkka ice machines (ACL Refrigeration, £TBA) can make up to a whopping 600 kilos of ice everyday and 20 kilos of ice on a single cycle. Ideal for larger applications such as in bars, cafes, restaurants or catering facilities, these ice machines are extremely powerful and can serve a workforce of over one hundred people with ease. Get in touch with ACL for a quote today. Commercial vs. compact ice makers When choosing an ice machine for your business, it’s important to consider what size of ice machine you will require. Often, space is the limiting factor, in which case the good news is that there are a wide variety of ice machines on the market and chances are there will be at least a few which are of the right size. For office floors, compact ice makers are an ideal solution, but for larger areas of work a commercial ice machine is going to be better for your business – these can produce a lot more ice and are an essential appliance for catering facilities.

The Benefits Of Portable Air Conditioning Units

How many times has somebody you know complained about how stuffy their room is?

In the UK, people don’t seem to have discovered portable air conditioning units yet – appliances that can easily cool a bedroom or living room and appliances that don’t cost the earth. If you are new to portable air conditioners, here’s a list of the key benefits to buying one:

They are a take-anywhere appliance

Portability is the biggest benefit of portable air conditioning units. They can be moved from room to room and home to home with minimal effort, which also makes them ideal for small office environments. Thanks to their small size, they are easy to store away during the colder months and when it gets warm, they don’t take up much space.

They are energy efficient

Portable air conditioning units run off a power socket and draw very little energy in comparison to their larger, fixed air conditioning brethren. This means they’re not going to cost you much money to run on a day-to-day basis, and they’re not going to harm the environment. Because they are energy efficient, this will give you extra scope when running other appliances.

They are relatively safe

Because they draw little power from a wall socket, portable air conditioners don’t get hot – so you aren’t at any risk of burning yourself or the unit catching fire (unless there’s a serious internal malfunction). Like all electrical appliances, these air conditioners are also backed up by safety features to prevent electrical shocks and to cut power in the event of a malfunction.

They can cool or heat a room

Lots of portable air conditioners have a dual feature for cooling or heating air – much like larger fixed air conditioners do. Thus, they can be used all year round. These units should be able to cool or heat a small room all by themselves and if you combine two or three a larger room should not be a problem. Dual-heat air conditioners cost more than regular units, though.

They are cost-effective

Not just to run, but to buy too. Good portable air conditioners can be purchased on sale online for as little as £100, and they are ideal for cooling a small room. You tend to pay more for higher output models and dual-heat models, but you shouldn’t be paying more than £350 for a top-of-the-range portable air conditioner. Be sure to shop around for the best price.

What To Look For When Considering A Second Hand Air Conditioner

Buying a second hand air conditioner is akin to buying a second hand car. The process is much the same – you find a model that suits your budget and needs, you go and inspect that model and if everything is in order you buy it. But, as with buying a car, there are certain things that you should consider when buying a second hand air conditioner – things which are often overlooked but are essentials in order to come away with an appliance that’s worth the money.

So, here’s our guide on what to look for when considering a second hand air conditioner.


Size matters – the required cooling capacity for an air conditioner depends on the size of the room it’s to be installed within. So before you start to look at used air conditioners, find out what output you need your air conditioner to have. Most people buy air conditioners that are too large but contrary to belief these are less effective, and they also waste a lot of energy.


Buying a second hand air conditioner that’s over five years old or more is fine – so long as it has been serviced at the required intervals and well looked after. As with buying a car, the cosmetic and internal condition of the air conditioner is important – poor cosmetic condition can point toward a unit that’s not been well looked after. We recommend having an expert check it over.


As with any appliance, the times move on. Although you might be able to buy a top of the range model from three years ago for a bargain price second hand now, the latest like-for-like version might be cheaper just as effective – so that’s something to consider. Secondly, air conditioners depreciate, so if you are going to buy one second hand consider its future retail value.


Regular air conditioning servicing is important to keep it in tip top condition, but in-between service intervals regular maintenance is important too. So look for second hand air conditioners that are easy to maintain – most modern air conditioners have a filter that slides out easily for regular cleaning and most will have logically placed controls to turn off your air conditioner.

If the air conditioner you want to buy isn’t easy to clean, it isn’t a deal-breaker though.

6 Ways To Keep Cool (Or Warm) Without Using Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is great, but not everybody has access to it. If you’re somebody who is without air conditioning, here’s 6 ways to keep cool or warm without an air conditioning system.

Keeping cool

  1. Use a dehumidifier

Managing moisture is essential to keeping cool. Moisture is what creates that sticky, thick air that makes you sweat and feel uncomfortable. A dehumidifier is a fantastic appliance to manage moisture – these suck in the air from your room and blow it back out moisture-free.

  1. Move your indoor plants outside

Indoor plants are great for air quality, but they also produce a lot of airborne moisture. You can reduce the level of humidity in the air by moving your indoor plants outside or at the very least near to a window that’s safe to be left open for most of the day during the summer.

  1. Get cold

Have a cold shower or a cold bath to make you feel more comfortable. A temperature of around 75°F should be just right to cool you down. Cold water can also be splashed on the back of your neck and your face to cool you down quickly (and much faster than cold air).

Keeping warm

  1. Dress in layers

Arctic explorers dress in layers and you should too – especially when stepping outside. Indoors, you can do the same, but without the windproof jacket – wear a t-shirt with a jumper and a fleece on top of that to feel nice and snug. Or, throw a dressing gown over your normal clothes.

  1. Buy thicker curtains

If you live in an older property or any property without double glazing, you should definitely invest in some thick curtains. The key here is to use layers – hang drapes next to the window and then have a pair of thermal curtains to stop draughts from getting through.

  1. Clear your radiators

It can be tempting to hang clothes on radiators to warm them up, but you shouldn’t. Doing so traps large amounts of heat that won’t help to heat your home. If you are using your central heating system once a day keep them clear and move large pieces of furniture away from them.

All in all, keeping cool or warm without air conditioning is entirely possible. Be sure to use our top tips and keep yourself comfortable this year.

Key Points to Remember For Air Conditioning Installation

An air conditioning system installed in your home circulates air through the use of supply and return ducts. If you want to have a home that is comfortable even when temperatures outdoors are sizzling, you need an air conditioning system that is adequately installed. Installation of your air conditioning system is critical when you are looking to get efficiency, longevity and safety out of your central air conditioning unit.

But before you go ahead with air conditioning installation, there are some key points that you should consider, including:

  1. Space

  2. Guidelines

  3. Registers

  4. Installation quality

  5. Charge checking


Let’s take a closer look at these key points.

Adequate Space This is something that is often overlooked by some inferior Air Conditioning Companies. Adequate space for installation and maintenance of your AC unit indoors is incredibly important. An access door should be installed in the duct to allow for cleaning of the evaporator coil. This will ensure that your air conditioning system is functioning at a high level of efficiency for a long period of time. Duct Size Guidelines The size of duct that is required for your air conditioning system is contingent on guidelines that have already been set. It is important that your AC system is installed using duct size methodology that is outlined in the ACCA manual. Checks Registers It is also critical to the installation of your AC system that the number of registers within the home are checked. A sufficient amount of registers are needed to ensure that cool air is delivered and returned back to the air conditioner  properly. Not having enough registers can hinder the operation of your central cooling unit. Installation of Duct Work Another key to remember involves the installation of duct work. All duct work for your air conditioning system should be installed without using the attic space whenever possible. All duct work should also be sealed with duct mastic. Refrigerant Charge Checking Ensuring that the newly installed air conditioning system has the correct amount of refrigerant charge based on manufacturer airflow rates is also essential. The thermostat for the system should also be placed away from heat sources and windows. All of the above keys for air conditioning system installation are extremely important. The ability to cool your home efficiently and safely is dependent upon if these keys are adequately followed during installation.

Commercial Refrigeration Is Essential If You Own a Restaurant, Cafe or Coffee Shop

If you own a restaurant, café or coffee shop, chances are you need peace of mind from knowing that your food is properly stored. Commercial refrigeration is the most effective way to provide cold storage of all the food and beverage items that are integral to the operation of your food-related business. But not only do you need adequate space that is only possible from commercial refrigeration, you also need reliability that you can depend on – reliability that will see you through tougher times.

What Benefits Can Be Gained from Commercial Refrigeration? There are many benefits that you can get access to by simply choosing commercial refrigeration for your restaurant, café or coffee shop. Not only does this type of commercial appliance make finding what you need easier, but it also keeps produce and all food items fresh, crisp and cold for longer periods of time. Even prepared foods will maintain their integrity much longer when kept in a commercial refrigerator. It is possible to purchase a commercial refrigerator in a variety of sizes to help you meet all of your needs. If the storage of food id integral to your business, commercial refrigeration is the ideal option. What is the Big Difference? Some restaurant, café and coffee shop owners might be tempted to save money by opting for residential refrigeration over commercial refrigeration. However, this is not a good way to cut costs. In the long run, residential refrigeration is much more costly and will not be sufficient for storing your food. Residential refrigeration is inferior because it does not offer the same amount of space or power that commercial refrigeration provides. There are even legal and safety guidelines that stipulate commercial refrigeration is the necessary option. Why Commercial Refrigeration is Essential Investing is a commercial refrigerator allows you to meet all safety and legal business codes. The cove design of the interior allows for easy cleaning and increases organization. Finding what you need quickly only increases overall efficiency. The design of commercial refrigerators is also up-to-date with current health code requirements and the power that is provided allows you to keep your refrigeration system set within two degrees of the temperature. This type of refrigeration is also constructed using only commercial-grade materials that are resistant to bacteria and designed for commercial heavy use. Failing to choose commercial refrigeration could lead to a variety of problems that you want no part of.

4 Best Practices All Air Conditioning Companies Should Follow

Having your air conditioning system installed and maintained properly is essential. There are a number of benefits that can be gained through choosing an air conditioning company that maintains high standards and follows only the best practices in the industry. These benefits include efficiency, effectiveness and longevity of your air conditioning system. This means that if you want the ability to save money in the long run and ensure that the air quality within your home is optimal, you need to be careful with your air conditioning company selection.

When you are choosing an air conditioning company, these are the 4 best practices to look for:

  1. Annual maintenance
  2. MERV rating
  3. Protect air conditioning system
  4. Adequate installation

Let’s take a look at these best practices in greater detail.

1 Annual Maintenance It is essential that yearly maintenance is performed on your air conditioning system. Many of the best air conditioning companies offer annual service programs designed to inspect your unit and look for signs of damage or wear. This type of annual inspections allows for all problems with your air conditioning unit to be noticed right away. 2 MERV Rating Having an air conditioning system that runs efficiently is reliant on having an air filter installed that meets the required MERV ratings. The best air conditioning companies in the industry make it a point to install filters designed to work efficiently. High quality filters have the ability to pull fine particles from the air and improve air quality immensely. This means that the MERV rating of air filter is important and you need a company that follows established air filter rating guidelines. 3 Protect Air Conditioning System It is not enough for your air conditioning system to be inspected once a year. It is also essential that you choose an air conditioning company that puts a premium on air conditioning protection. By cleaning and protecting the coil fins, condensate drain and all outdoor AC units, your air conditioning system will work effectively each year and last longer. You need an air conditioning company that practices protection. 4 Adequate Installation Having your air conditioning system properly installed is essential. The best air conditioning companies make sure that you have an air conditioning system installed that is properly sized, connected to a well-sealed duct system, operating with a sufficient airflow system and installed with the right amount of refrigerant. These are just some of the best practices to look for in an air conditioning company within your region.

Air Conditioning – Repair Tips That Can Save You Money

Your air conditioner is important because it keeps your home cool and comfortable even as temperatures outdoors continue to rise. However, over time your air conditioning system can wear or become damaged requiring repair. If you are looking to save money on air conditioning repairs, it is important that you make maintenance of your AC unit a priority.

Here are a few air conditioning repair tips that will save you money in the long run: Replace Air Conditioning Filters If you are looking to avoid clogs and blocked airflow within your air conditioner, you need to change the air filter regularly. This is an expensive way to avoid major issues down the road. If airflow becomes obstructed due to a dirty filter, this can lead to major repair issues involving the evaporator coil. Not only can replacing your filter regularly ensure that the evaporator coil maintains proper heat absorbency, but it can also reduce the totalling consumption of your cooling unit by more than 5%. Check Your Evaporator Coil Annually Changing your air filter regularly can help you avoid major repairs involving your evaporator coil, but you should still change this part once a year. Your evaporator coil will collect dirt over time and needs to be replaced to ensure that airflow is not restricted. If it is not very dirty, you can simply clean it thoroughly to keep a major repair need from happening. Coil Fin Repair If your coil fins on your Air conditioning system are not functioning properly, you may be able to repair them on your own. These aluminium fins will start to bend automatically overtime, which can lead to blocked airflow. However, it is possible to purchase a tool that is referred to as a fin comb. This comb can be used to comb back the fin coils to their original position. All you need is this affordable and easy to use tool to get the job done. You can avoid costly repairs if you do this on your own. Condensate Drains If you want to avoid expensive repairs involving your condensate drains on your air conditioning system, you must maintain these drains by pushing a stiff wire brush through the unit drain channels periodically. This keeps the unit from reducing humidity. All of these tips and quick fixes will keep you from having to spend excessive amounts of money on air conditioning repairs in the future.

3 Of The Most Unusual Air Conditioning Installations

When you think about installing an air conditioning unit, you might think of a central air unit that is installed outside your home or a window unit in the living room or bedroom. These are certainly the most popular types of air conditioning, but they’re not the only types you’ll find around the world.

Check out three of the most unusual air conditioning installations you’ll ever see.

1. In bus shelters. Dubai is known for its heat and its wealth, so it’s no surprise that it has many air conditioned bus shelters in the city. These shelters are typically the same size as any bus stop you might see but they are built to be self-contained and enclosed, with an outside generator that runs the air conditioning unit when temperatures are at their highest. The bus shelters also typically boast leather seats and spotlessly clean interiors, as you would expect to see in one of the world’s wealthiest countries. 2. On the roof of a golf cart. A golf cart doesn’t offer much protection from the blazing sun during the warmest months, which is why some may now be equipped with rooftop air conditioning units. These carts typically have vinyl sides which zip like a tent so you can sit inside and keep the cool air in as much as possible. The units are attached to fans that are on the ceiling of the cart so they blow cooler air at your face rather than your feet. They may not be standard on all golf carts yet but considering how hot it can get on a course in the tropics during summer months, it’s no wonder they’re becoming more popular every season. 3. In bed. Japanese manufacturers have designed a special accessory that works to keep you cool in bed. This air conditioning unit operates with two fans that sit at the foot of a specially designed pad, and it pulls hot air out of the pad while circulating cool air through vents, keeping you comfortable. The pad sits right over your mattress and can lower your body temperature even during the hottest summer nights. Check out these three unusual air conditioners which are available online. They may seem odd at the moment but considering how cool they can keep you, it might not be long before they make their way to the mainstream market!