FEATURE: Aircon vs Ventilation

Air conditioning bedrooms can ensure a good night’s sleep

One of the biggest and most justifiable gripes of B&B guests arises if they lose sleep because of traffic or other noise outside their window. In the few weeks of the year when it is too uncomfortable to sleep without an open window, you may consider installing an air conditioning unit in rooms affected by outside noise.

To install air conditioning in just one room, the owner would need a single system, which connects to the external unit with a single-phase power supply and typically draws 10-16 amps, according to Synecore’s HVAC manager Gary Piper.

There are obviously technical issues to consider. He tells Luxury Bed & Breakfast magazine: “To install air conditioning in up to five rooms, they would need a multi-split system, which runs on the same principal – single phase power to the external unit – but draws up to 25amps.”

Larger VRV systems are suitable for larger commercial buildings and these work on a three-phase supply. If a three-phase supply is unavailable, you can opt for a larger single-phase system that requires up to 14kw (56 amps) supply, he says.

The amount space taken up by the units depends on unit type, he says. “There are various options to suit the available space. Packages can vary from bespoke systems with hidden units with a simple grille on show, to wall mounted units, some of which are available in different colours.”

COST

Piper says: “We are committed to delivering tailored air conditioning systems to meet varying budgets. The overall cost really does depend on the style of units and the product type.”

He adds: “There are leasing options available, which can offer tax benefits for businesses. Furthermore, we offer a seven-year warranty on air conditioning systems by major brands (Mitsubishi Electric, Toshiba, Daikin) when installed and maintained by Synecore.”

Typically, an air conditioning system needs to be checked, cleaned and serviced a minimum of twice a year. This also validates your warranty. With Synecore’s maintenance contract, the company contact you to schedule a visit from a qualified air conditioning engineer. It will also take care of your FGas records and TM44 certification to ensure you are legally compliant. “External condensing units can be set to a parameter where noise is kept to a minimum. Options are varied, but we are happy to discuss during a site survey,” he adds.

Air conditioning has become a standard requirement for hotels and B&Bs. Nowadays guests are accustomed to controlling the temperature of their own room and will highly praise, or criticise their accommodation based on the cooling system in place (or lack of) on popular online review sites. Guests comments include the quality and functionality of the air conditioning system. It’s therefore, not only essential to have a suitable system installed, but maintenance is just as important.

When making plans to install a new system, or to replace an old one, Piper suggests you make sure you seek expert advice from a trusted supplier – one that has all the appropriate Refcom, Fgas, NICEIC, Chas and Safe Contractor accreditations at the very least. Look out for a contractor that is an approved installer of leading air conditioning brands. At Synecore, we are accredited by Mitsubishi Electric, Daikin and Toshiba Air Conditioning,” he says.

To get the right system for your business and property is advisable to speak to a team of experts and to ensure they can cater for all of your requirements in your geographical location.

For a full site survey and to discuss the options available visit www.synecore.co.uk or call 0845 241 4953

 

Peaceful and low energy guest room ventilation

Many luxury bed & breakfast owners experience dramatic downgrades on ratings by customers kept awake by traffic when their bedroom windows are left open in the summer. Bill Lumley finds the problem can be solved easily, cheaply and at little cost to the environment with a modern air ventilation unit.

Ventilation units have been specified and used around airports and areas with high noise pollution and air pollution. Siegenia supplies wall-mounted air ventilation units for guest houses, hotels and luxury bed & breakfast bedrooms.

The units are decibel-rated and are supplied with a standard system that comes with a foam air filter, although you can include a charcoal filter and even include an allergy filter, which means you can bring fresh, clean air into the bedroom if any of your guests suffer from allergies.

The running costs of the unit are low: even when it is set to its mid-operation level its power consumption is simply the equivalent to having a television set on standby. The system has low medium and high ventilation it is gauged on medium whether in summer or winter.

When the unit is not in mechanical operation you can close the side vents in winter, so you have no draughts coming in from the side vents, which means you can basically isolate the unit.

The units fit discretely into a guest bedroom at 467mm high x 270mm wide x 132 deep. It is a plug and play unit so all that is required is a socket close to where the unit is to be mounted. It also needs an 80mm diameter ventilation hole drilled through the walk to the outside of the building rather like a shower vent, a plastic tube is inserted in the 80mm hole, which constitutes the most difficult part of the installation process.

General manager Adrian Vicker tells Luxury Bed & Breakfast magazine: “Some people fit them DIY, and we also use a subcontract installation company working on our behalf in the UK called Mila Maintenance. They will also supply and fit the vent, but if the customer wishes to install it as a DIY installation we can supply the vent ourselves. From the outside of the B&B the only thing you will see is a round disc 80mm in diameter.”

Many luxury bed & breakfast owners have experienced the downside of having bedrooms overlooking a main road and as a result suffered poor reviews. Often guests in the height of summer needing a cooler room have found themselves unable to sleep owing to the noise of traffic. As summer approaches again, the whole process can be completed within four to six weeks – a process all the shorter if one company can manage everything itself, then if the customer has any other queries or specific requests, it can discuss these with them.

Crucially they are very quiet when they are running. “They are approved for bedroom use. We have done many houses around Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The Siegenia Group are scheduled to supply many more air-ventilation units including Heathrow England, Berlin Germany and Sydney Australia where noise is a recognised problem,” says Vicker.

COST

Installation price per unit is from £500 depending on where in the UK and what the building is constructed from and how many units are required, but the price will fall the greater the number that can be fitted in one go taking into account installation costs, he says.

“If someone simply wishes to buy the unit and install it themselves because they may have worked in the trade themselves for example then they can simply buy the units direct from Siegenia. The smallest effective unit sells for £250 plus VAT and prices range up to £700, which would incorporate a heat recovery unit built in. Between the two the Aeropac and the Aerovital ambience there is a third unit, Sensoair, which is the size of a central heating thermostat and which talks to the Aeropac unit or Aerovital ambiance,” he says. “The Sensoair unit will check constantly the air quality within the room. If the air quality was to fall, the unit would kick in and automatically bring in fresh air until it reaches the required standard again,” he says.

If a guest goes out for the day leaving the unit on it is not that much of a cost to the B&B owner given the low rate of energy it uses, but it can also be set it on a timer, so the guest won’t even get the impression that energy has been wasted on returning to the room.

Luxury bed and breakfast business is now the company’s target market. “I got the idea from watching Channel Four’s Four in a bed. They often complain about leaving a window open when it is warm and it being too noisy.

“We have the answer – we just need to spread the word,” he says.

The German company has been established for over 100 years and have supplied air ventilation units into the UK for 15 years. “Obviously we have upgraded the models as performance and technology has improved certainly on energy usage. We work very close with companies who believe in Green Building technology.”

For further information please send an email to Claire.wainwright@siegenia.com quoting: Luxury Bed and Breakfast magazine to gain these special rates or call 0247662 2000.