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Air Conditioning – How Important is Energy Efficiency?

Air Conditioning – How Important is Energy Efficiency?

over 9 years ago Empty Jenni Moulson


Energy efficiency is high up the political and environmental agenda but how important is it to businesses when they are planning a replacement system or designing an installation for a new building?

The Thornhvac Air Conditioning Survey 2014 revealed that 41% of air conditioning sales engineers said their customers expected them to provide detailed information on a system’s energy efficiency and running costs when tendering for a project.

Only 18% of air conditioning sales people said their customers took it for granted that all products met minimum efficiency standards.

What Customers Want to Know

With increasing regulations in the construction industry relating to energy efficiency, air conditioning sales engineers are expected to provide specific information on environmental performance.


As well as giving customers detailed information on product specifications and innovations, our survey found that potential customers frequently ask about minimum efficiencies and Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which indicates the efficiency of a unit when in cooling mode. The measurement takes into account the impact of fan motor cycling and compressors on energy consumption.


Power Usage Effectiveness is widely used in the IT industry to measure the energy efficiency of data centres. It is calculated by dividing the centre’s total power consumption by the consumption of the equipment itself (hardware, servers, etc). The centre’s air conditioning system has a big impact on PUE and a highly efficient precision system can influence the data centre’s overall energy efficiency.

Specific Fan Power

Specific fan power measures the electrical power needed to drive a fan within an air conditioning system in relation to the amount of air passing through the fan. It is therefore a further measure of the energy efficiency of a ventilation system and takes into account both pressure drop and fan power. There are recommended minimum SFP levels which vary according to the type of system and whether it is being fitted to a new or existing building.

Cost of Ownership 

Initial purchase costs can be a fraction of the total operating cost and many customers will be keen to take a long term view, taking into account a system’s running costs as well as its ticket price. Factors that are likely to be considered when estimating cost of ownership include the price of filters, energy usage and repair costs.


Thornhvac is a leading HVAC recruitment company serving the UK’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning markets. Contact us on 0115 8714 777 or email