Ideal Home Show asks for Space Air

A regular participant at the Ideal Home Show, this year Space Air worked closely with Show House Village designers, Lynch Architects. The 'Courtyard House', jointly sponsored by Stewart Milne and Space Air, featured a heat pump based 'multi-split', heating and cooling, climate control system with 2 purposes; to demostrate the benefits of residential air conditioning, and to keep the estimated 160,000 visitors cool as they walked around the show home. The Jeld-Wen / Marks and Spencer sponsored 'Country House' incorporated a static display of the 'Altherma', a new, renewable energy, air source heat pump, space heating and hot water system.

With air conditioning, now a common feature in offices, shops, restaurants, hotels and our cars, it is hardly surprising that homeowners are also considering its welcome benefits, even given our relatively short summers here in the UK.

There is a school of thought, which suggests that increasing residential air conditioning will place an unwanted burden on electricity supplies in the summer months, with a consequential rise in environmentally harmful carbon emissions. However it should be acknowledge that modern air conditioning (or climate control) systems are based on "reverse cycle heat pump technology", classified among a number of environmentally beneficial, renewable, low to zero carbon technologies. An important factor, which acknowledges that this equipment not only provides instant and highly controllable comfort cooling in the summer but also instant heating in the colder months, at operating efficiencies well in excess of conventional heating systems.

Government figures state that gas, oil and direct electric space heating systems currently represent the highest proportion of residential energy consumption (61%) and as a consequence the highest proportion in term of carbon emissions. Heat pump based air conditioning systems provide a much needed opportunity to substantially reduce these emissions by aprox 60% compared with direct electric, 28% compared with mains gas and 47% compared with oil fired systems. These potential carbon emissions advantages far outway the additional impact of the limited periods where the equipment would operate in cooling mode.

When it comes to energy consumption relating to both home heating and hot water, government figures put the UK Residential total at a staggering 84%. Clearly, changing to low energy light bulbs and switching off electrical appliances helps, but if we are to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of our homes, we really should re-think the way we heat our homes and hot water. Air source heat pumps offer a solution that would be foolish to disregard.

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