Inefficient Environmental Control Systems may be costing businesses more than wasted energy consumption

“Your environment has a huge impact on how productive you are. That means the temperature in your room, the colour of your walls and the noise happening around you.”

Studies have shown that personnel within our man-made environments show efficiency improvements when climate control is operating correctly.

However, the results from poorly controlled environments show some truly surprising results.

Personnel within office environments that are operating at temperatures only 5% below the optimum level, recorded an astonishing 44% increase in mistakes!

Similarly, employees working in hot and poorly ventilated environments suffer from increased tiredness and lethargy, which again dramatically reduces performance.

While most of us are aware when we are too hot or too cold, white noise is a type of ‘silent distraction’ that we often overlook.

The increased cortisol levels resulting from ongoing white noise may disrupt a person’s capacity to think clearly and to retain information.

Needless to say, together with the ‘human cost’ associated with noisy air conditioning systems, the equipment itself may be suffering too!

Find out more about our ACR Consultancy and Optimisation Services or contact us to find out more.



10 Steps to Refrigerant Retrofit Heaven

R22 Refrigerant Retrofit Service
New Business Edge Total Flushing/Refrigerant Retrofit/Performance Evaluation/Optimisation Service
HVAC & Refrigerant Retrofit

HVAC system replacement is a costly and messy process that can disrupt building operations over an extended period of time. This means it’s crucial to ensure the retrofit produces the maximum benefit. Not only will this enhance the operation of the facility, it will also help to ensure that the retrofit process will not have to be repeated in the near future.

Facilities Managers and ACR Contractors embarking on an HVAC retrofit should keep the following 10 steps in mind.

1. Direct Swap?

The easiest and quickest way to replace an older HVAC system is to put in a new system that matches the old one. For example, when the building chiller reaches the end of its service life, it is common practice to install a new chiller of the same type and capacity. Conditions today are probably different, perhaps vastly different, than they were when the original chiller was installed.

While that approach is simple and quick, it is often not the best choice. Most HVAC systems and their components have normal service lives of 15 to 25 years if properly maintained. When a system is originally installed, it is sized and designed to meet the needs of the building at that time. Buildings change, and so do the operations that take place within the buildings. There might be more people in the building and more electronic equipment – computers, printers, copiers and the like. Simply replacing ‘like for like’ does not take these changes into consideration. To get the most out of HVAC system retrofits, the new system with new options must be designed to match the current and future needs of the facility.

2. New Technologies

HVAC technology has achieved tremendous progress in the past 15 years. New DDC control systems provide a better climate while reducing energy costs. High-efficiency or alternative-fuel chillers can reduce the cost of air conditioning. Variable frequency drives can improve the operating efficiency of both chillers and fan systems. Interoperable building automation systems give facility executives the tools they need to better manage operations.

Although these HVAC technologies are relatively new, they are not risky. They have proven themselves in a range of applications. They are widely used today in new construction. Many are considered essential to keep facilities competitive.

An HVAC retrofit is often a good time to take advantage of these newer HVAC technologies. To determine which technologies are appropriate and cost-effective for the application, take a close look at the existing facility and how it is operated.

3. Flexibility

Buildings today are in a constant state of churn. Interiors are rearranged. Old tenants move out and new ones move in. Infrastructure requirements increase. The result is that facility executives are constantly changing facilities to meet the needs of occupants. One thing that doesn’t change easily in many existing buildings is the HVAC system.

This is why flexibility should be a key goal of HVAC system retrofits. HVAC systems should be able to adapt to those changes without requiring costly alterations. Otherwise, facility executives face a no-win situation: covering the cost of expensive changes to the HVAC system or living with an HVAC system that can’t keep up with changes in the building.

4. Part-load Performance

Chillers are the single largest users of electricity in practically all buildings. Not surprisingly, improving the efficiency of chillers has been a major goal for chiller manufacturers. As a result, today’s chillers are 25 to 50 percent more efficient at full load than those of 15 years ago. When selecting replacement chillers, much emphasis is paid to this full-load efficiency rating, however that’s only part of the picture.

Most chillers operate at full load for less than 5 percent of their total run time. The other 95 percent of the time chillers are operating below full-load capabilities. As the load on chillers decreases, so does the efficiency of the units.

Because chillers operate under part-load conditions for such a high percentage of their run times, the annual energy cost of the chiller will be determined primarily by its part-load efficiency. Although it might cost more to purchase a unit with better part-load efficiency, this premium will be recovered many times over through energy savings during the life of the chiller.

5. Maintenance

As HVAC systems age, maintenance requirements increase. Maintenance costs are too often ignored when system retrofits are being evaluated. In fact, as long as a system doesn’t stop working, it might not even be considered as a retrofit candidate. Just because a system is able to limp along doesn’t mean it’s operating efficiently or meeting the requirements of the application.

Look through maintenance records for the building. High maintenance costs and increasing maintenance requirements are an indication that those systems or components might be approaching the end of their service lives. Facility executives should set priorities for HVAC retrofits based in part on maintenance requirements. Alternatively, an ACR Health Check using performance analysers such as ClimaCheck will immediately indicate poor perfromance and areas for improvement through optimisation.

Another factor to consider is the availability of replacement components. When components for a particular system are no longer available from the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer should go out of business, it is only a matter of time before it will be necessary to replace that system. This has happened frequently with building automation systems. Before the development of interoperable systems, users were at the mercy of the system manufacturer. Many manufacturers failed or decided to get out of the building automation system business. Others upgraded their systems and discontinued support for older generation systems. Once the spare parts inventory was depleted, users had little choice but to retrofit their building automation systems.

Consider also the maintenance requirements of the systems and components that are being installed as part of the retrofit. Can they be maintained by in-house personnel, or will their maintenance have to be performed under contract? What tools and training will be required to properly operate and maintain the new system? What are the projected maintenance costs? Ignoring maintenance requirements for the retrofitted system will only guarantee having to retrofit the system before it would otherwise be necessary.

6. Looking Ahead

There is a tendency when planning for HVAC retrofits to develop tunnel vision and focus on only a specific component or portion of the HVAC system. Chillers that are becoming unreliable or the air handler that no longer meets the needs of the conditioned space, might be serious problems that demand to be addressed. But before making retrofit decisions, facility executives should step back and determine if other projects planned for the building will affect HVAC system operation.

For example, upgrading the lighting system or installing more energy-efficient windows will reduce cooling loads. If those projects are planned in the near future, then a planned retrofit program for the building’s chiller should be scheduled after they have been completed. Reduced cooling loads will allow a smaller chiller, reducing both first and operating costs.

7. Building Occupants

One of the goals of any HVAC retrofit program is to improve the level of service. While facility executives might understand the technical problems with the existing HVAC systems, they will not fully comprehend the needs of building occupants unless they get them involved in the retrofit process. After all, occupants are the ones that understand their environments the best. Facility executives will not know what system will best meet occupant needs – indeed, they might not even have a good understanding of what their HVAC needs are. Occupant input will give the facility executive a clearer understanding of what the HVAC system will be expected to acheive.

Building occupants are also good sources of information on the performance of existing systems. Frequently, they are aware of problems that go unreported to building staff. That information is often crucial in setting priorities for HVAC system retrofits.

There’s one other good reason to get occupants involved: HVAC system retrofits can be disruptive. They can require temporary relocation of building occupants. Heating or air conditioning service may be disrupted for days or weeks. A schedule of moves and outages will have to be developed. Without the cooperation of occupants, retrofits can turn into scheduling nightmares.

8. Program Approval

HVAC retrofits must compete with other programs for funding. Too often, though, facility executives simply submit funding requests with little or no supporting information. As a result, projects fail to win the funding needed to perform a complete retrofit. Instead, components are patched together just to keep the system running.

To increase the chances of receiving funding, facility executives must submit their budget requests in a format familiar to financial managers. Energy savings, maintenance savings, return on investment: These are among the terms that will help convince financial managers of the value of the project.

It’s also important to provide the right level of detail. For example, if reliability is an issue, it isn’t enough simply to report that fact; instead, the facility executive must show that it is a problem with key supporting information. How many times has service been interrupted? What was the cost of those interruptions to the maintenance department? What was the cost to building occupants? What level of performance can be expected from the retrofit system?

An HVAC retrofit is a major undertaking for the facility department, the occupants and the organisation’s management. It is also an opportunity. An opportunity that, because of the cost and disruption involved, might not come along again for decades. What’s more, the success of the project will shape the way that occupants and top management perceive the facility department and contracting team, a perception that will influence the success of future facility initiatives. Taking the time to get the retrofit right is worth the effort.

9. Refrigerants

As of January 1st 2015, R22 Refrigerant will be discontinued. Systems using R22 that require invasive servicing or repair must undergo complete refrigerant R22 removal and deep system cleansing before introducing the alternative refrigerant. An increasing number of equipment manufacturers will be offering flammable refrigerants. Are you ready?

10. Optimisation

Recognised as one of the UK’s leading air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump specialists, Business Edge are working with manufacturers, contractors and end users to ensure absolute optimal performance from all environmental control systems.

In almost 100% of cases, our Health Check Analysis shows potential for improvements in efficiency and energy savings, on occasion up to and beyond 30%!

• Our ACR&HP Health Check is completely non-invasive.

• We can work with your existing contractor.

• Data will be provided to demonstrate and verify potential energy savings.

How much money does a saving of 30% energy consumption represent to you?

Set high goals for your AC&R system, then meet them.

Contact us or speak to one of our technical team on: 023 9223 0007 if you’d like to discuss the benefits acheivable during your next retrofit.

Take a look at our Building Services Energy Efficiency 2015 Check List and ACR System Optimisation information.

Energy Efficiency for Industry

Energy Savings Made Easy

Don’t just survive… Optimise and thrive.

New legislation changes in 2015 will affect building owners, facilities managers and contractors alike. We have compiled a short list of the key challenges facing the ACR industry and details about how you can turn these challenges into substantial money saving opportunities.

Click here to understand the challenges and discover the potential for energy efficiency…

In almost 100% of cases, our Health Check Analysis shows potential for improvements in efficiency and energy savings, on occasion up to and beyond 30%!




Refrigerant Retrofit Service

R22 Refrigerant Retrofit Service

New Business Edge Total Flushing/Refrigerant Retrofit/Performance Evaluation/Optimisation Service

The 1st January 2015 deadline is now approaching fast where R22 can no longer be used for service and repair work.

Our industry has not been able to convert this vast bank of installed equipment.  Conversion is difficult.  Accordingly, we are now offering our specialised service to contractors, FM’s and end user clients which include performance analysis, complete deep cleaning/flushing to remove all traces of oil, acid particulates, water, etc, evaluation of a suitable alternative and performance optimisation on re-commissioning.

For further details contact us.

Find out more about our Refrigeration Training and Air Conditioning Training Courses.

IPCC Fourth Assessment: F-Gas Legislation Seminar





The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that, on the basis of existing scientific data, developed countries would need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% to 95% below 1990 levels by 2050.

To assist the European Commission in achieving this a “roadmap” was created highlighting sectorial contributions from six areas including Fluorinated Greenhouse gases. To further allow for reductions in the use of the aforementioned gases, major changes were suggested to the existing regulations. After a series of meetings and lobbying by all interested parties, the additions and amendments were ratified. This process resulted in EC Regulation 517/2014 repealing 842/2006. This regulation will come into force on the 01/01/2015. The “New” F Gas Regulations will make major changes to the availability and use of HFC’s over the next 15 years.

The main areas of change within the F-Gas regulations will affect everyone from manufacturers and end users to the technician on the street. The requirement for major reduction in CO2 emissions across Europe will result in the use of high GWP Refrigerants being “phased down” and in certain applications prohibited. This “phasing down” in the availability of the Hydro fluorocarbon refrigerants over the next fifteen years will cause manufacturers to change the refrigerant their equipment uses across a wide range of applications from Domestic and Commercial Refrigeration through to Heat Pump and Supermarket Refrigeration.

The “Phase Down” will also affect the availability of particularly high GWP refrigerants, such as R404A and R422D, for service and maintenance work on existing systems. As everyone knows when demand outstrips supply the cost of the refrigerant will increase and the cost effectiveness of any repair is less attractive. Given the problems end users have already endured during the prohibition of HCFC Refrigerants, these further changes will cause further headaches and affect the working relationship of end users and contractors.

The contractor will have to change the way they perform a variety of activities for their customers, including frequency and size of equipment required to be leak checked. The requirement for leak checking is no longer determined by the mass of refrigerant but by the CO2 equivalent based upon the GWP and system charged mass. Until manufacturers change the way their equipment is labeled, and existing equipment is re-labeled (by 2017 at the latest), the requirement can be difficult to interpret.

Contrary to the quote from ACRIB, our experience is that it is not to the “relief of 30,000 engineers that they do not have to be reassessed as their current F-Gas qualification will remain valid”. Indeed the majority of the engineers that have undertaken re-assessment have expressed their relief for the update in their knowledge of the regulations, allowing them to communicate the changes to their customers, enabling them to portray an efficient, professional image. Indeed, with the best will in the world, it would be difficult for every technician or contracting company to assimilate all the information within the regulations and pass that information along to all persons in their employ. Attendance on an F-Gas reassessment course will give attendees all the latest information on the revised F-Gas Regulations along with comprehensive hand-outs to refer to in the future.

To assist all affected organisations to fully understand and implement these changes, Business Edge, working in conjunction with CITB, REFCOM, Worcester Bosch, Bitzer UK and the European Association for Brazing and Soldering, are presenting a series of free, half day seminars to highlight the impact of the regulations. The first seminar will be on the 1st of October in Wakefield and the second seminar is on October the 7th in Milton Keynes.

Places are going fast – Book your seat now.

F-Gas Seminar


Recruitment: Technical Sales Engineer / Manager

We now seek a talented and competent individual, preferably from within the AC&R industry, conversant with AC&R technology at a modest level, familiar with the industry and with existing contacts and client relationships.

You must have considerable experience in selling products or services to AC&R contractors, FM’s, consultants and end users, together with a proven track record in successful selling.

This post requires a well-organised and self-motivated individual, capable of working under their own initiative, with a clear mind for planning and executing tasks efficiently and accurately.

You will also be required to be fully conversant with the products and services you sell, from a technical, application and commercial viewpoint together with being comfortable in communicating at all levels within the industry.

We have an excellent Sales Order Processing System for efficient quotation and order processing. The company literature, website and internal technical support are excellent. We also have a Business Development Manager and a Marketing Manager, who will support you.

Your work will involve a mix of office-based client contact and travel throughout the UK and in particular, London. You will report directly to the MD.

A good salary, vehicle and commission/bonus package are on offer.

Please send your CV to

We will then send an Application Form and full Job Specification.

Tel: 023 9223 0007

Recruitment: Mechanical Design Engineer

Business Edge Ltd, Hampshire UK, are looking to appoint a talented and competent Mechanical Design Engineer with a wide range of design experience.

Business Edge is a privately owned, successful company, trading for over 23 years, renowned throughout the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration industry for its technical expertise, consultancy services, advanced products and City & Guilds / CITB training & certification courses.

The post requires broad knowledge in general mechanical engineering design, and ideally an understanding of thermodynamics and electrical control circuitry. We design very specialised products and accordingly, the work is extremely varied and interesting.

Duties & Capabilities

  • Knowledge of material properties
  • Understanding of modern machining processes
  • Application of O-ring seals, general fabrication and heat treatments, etc.
  • Conversant with 3D CAD (SolidWorks) essential
  • Experience/knowledge of gears and mechanisms
  • Understanding of electrical circuitry and control logic an advantage
  • Experience with high speed rotating machinery and rotor-dynamics a distinct advantage
  • Understanding of FEA and simulation in pressure-related stress calculations an advantage
  • Knowledge of Directives such as PED and LVD etc.

This specific post requires a Mechanical Design Engineer holding suitable qualifications that validate their capabilities in field of mechanical design.

Our work involves the design of precision engineered components and assemblies leading to construction of working prototypes and series production.

Please send your CV to requesting an Application Form.
Tel: 023 9223 0007

HEAT PUMP CERTIFICATION. Participate in the Government’s RHI (Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive) Scheme


Are you working to achieve MCS Accreditation (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) to be able to participate in the Government’s RHI (Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive) Scheme?  If so, our new Logic Certification courses will prove competency in the following areas.

  • 10th & 11th November 2014: Foundation Certificate in Basic Heating & Hot Water System Design
  • 12th November 2014: WRAS – Water Regulations Certificate
  • 13th & 14th November 2014: Installation, Commissioning & Safety Aspects of Hot Water Systems for Domestic Use, in accordance with UK Building Regulations (often referred to as “Unvented”).
  • 17th November 2014: Environmental Technology Systems Awareness
  • 18th-21st November 2014: Installation & Maintenance of Heat Pump Systems (non-refrigerant circuits)
  • 24th & 25th November 2014: CITB (Cskills Awards) Pipework & Brazing
  • 26/27/28th November 2014: CITB (Cskills Awards) F-Gas J11/Cat 1 Certification

Delegates may attend any or all of the above courses. Please ask for a quote for the courses you are interested in.


F-Gas Seminar – Regulation Impact Assessment



F-Gas SeminarWhat will the F-Gas legislation updates mean to you?

Join us for the most informative F-Gas Legislation Impact Assessment Seminar ever available in the UK.

Places are FREE and limited…
Speakers from Business Edge – REFCOM – CITB – Worcester Bosch – Bitzer UK

October 1st – Wakefield and October 7th – Milton Keynes
Attend the morning or afternoon session (lunch included)

Contact us now to book your seat.


F-Gas Legislation – ACR Leak Detection 24/7

2015 F-Gas regs dictate monitoring…

The fixed ClimaCheck Performance Analyser provides non-invasive monitoring of temperature/pressure/power meter connections for ACR & HP systems and delivers live reporting and alerts 24/7.

Up to 30% Energy Savings!
Lease your fixed unit from ONLY £95 per month!

The real potential with having ClimaCheck as part of your tool kit, is the system optimisation possibilities. Our experience shows that ClimaCheck can save up to 30% of ACR energy costs.

Refrigerant Recovery Service with Fri3Oil

“The Multi-purpose and Multi-Refrigerant Refrigeration Cleaning System.”

Fri3Oil Refrigerant Recovery Machine

Fri3Oil Refrigerant Recovery Machine

Fri3Oil works with any type of refrigerant and can be used on any type / size of refrigeration or air conditioning system. Fri3Oil is thus ideal for refrigerant/oil conversions (retrofits of MO/POE Oil) or the removal of all contaminants following a compressor motor burnout.

The Fri3Oil system is available to hire or buy from Business Edge together with a full flushing and recovery service from our experienced team. Read more about the Fri3Oil Refrigerant Recovery Machine here.



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