New Mitsubishi A+++ Efficiency

euefficiency_chart_algarve_air_conditioning.jpgAs of 1 Jan, new EC regulations aim to protect the environment by encouraging more energy-efficient air-conditioning, and to steer the market away from inefficient systems.

Inverter vs. non-inverter air-conditioners

inverter_split_systems_algarve.gifIt's a common misconception that an 'inverter' system is one that heats as well as cools. But most systems offer both functions - so what's the difference between an inverter and non-inverter?

R22 refrigerant no longer available in Portugal

r22_eu_banned_algarve_refrigerant.jpgDo new EC laws mean scrapping your old air conditioners?

As of this year the EU has banned R-22 refrigerant, commonly used in domestic air conditioning systems, as an environmentally-harmful HCFC gas. This has led some to believe that any air-con system using R-22 must also must also be scrapped and replaced.

This is a misconception. The situation is not as severe as some – perhaps less than scrupulously – may have you believe. Nonetheless, the consequences of this EU directive will eventually affect many people who have air conditioning systems at home or at work.

What's a BTU??

btu_algarve_air_conditioning.jpgBTU stands for British Thermal Unit - a measure of heat energy. It is 'British' because it uses 'Imperial Gallons' in its calculation. An Imperial Gallon of water weighs 10 pounds. A BTU heats one pound of water to one degree Fahrenheit.

Air Conditioners - the most efficient way to heat as well as cool!

outdoor_snow_heating_algarve.jpgWith scorching summers and damp winters, the need to cool, heat and combat humidity makes air conditioning virtually a necessity in many Algarve properties. Even for buildings with excellent thermal insulation qualities, requiring lower-capacity systems, there's still a need to cool or heat the ambient air. With this in mind it makes sense to consider the most efficient machines possible.

In fact, today's air conditioning systems are among the most energy-efficient ways to cool and heat your home. In recent years, 'inverter' systems have become commonly available from all brands, offering energy (i.e. electricity) savings of up to 40% compared to non-inverter models.

How to save money on your electricity (EDP) bills in the Algarve

These are my top 20 energy saving tips to reducing your electricity bill in the Algarve. Electricity from the EDP in Portugal is the most expensive form of energy and will represent a signicifant proportion of your overall energy costs.

GOOD Cop, BAD Cop!

cop_heatpump_algarve_heating_cooling.JPGA heat pump takes the ambient / outside air temperature and 'upgrades' or increases it, to heat air or water. The measurement of a heat pump's efficiency is its 'Coefficient Of Performance' or 'COP value'. The higher this number, the more efficient the system.

Algarve Cool Schools

cool_school_air_conditioning_algarve.gifIt's much easier to learn in a comfortable environment. Now, thanks to the generosity of local benefactors, two schools in the Almancil area can offer improved facilities for their pupils, in the shape of modern air conditioning systems.

The two schools couldn't be more different. Asas para Amanhis a national charity project offering education and activity programmes for underprivileged children. In Almancil, next to the GNR police station, it offers PC/internet-based learning facilities, but its small glass-fronted classroom had been suffering extremes of temperature from the summer heat to the winter cold. Now, thanks to a local benefactor and under the auspices of the ACCA charity, the classroom has a brand new air conditioning system, installed by Penguin Air Conditioning.

What is the difference between an Inverter and Normal Fixed speed air conditioner?

We've all seen them - the supermarket split type air conditioners - at what seems like an incredible price.

But the old adage still remains true - "You get what you pay for".

A good analogy for this is the cheap computer printer. It seems like such great value until you come to replace the ink cartridge - which often costs more than the printer itself!

Properly-sized air conditioning

Many people buy an air conditioner that is too powerful, thinking it will provide better cooling. But an over-sized system is actually less effective — and wastes energy! Air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from the air. If the unit is too powerful, it will cool the room quickly but only remove some of the humidity, leaving the room with a damp, clammy feeling. A properly-sized unit will remove humidity more effectively as it cools.