There are many types of air conditioning systems available and therefore there are factors to take into consideration when choosing a suitable system:
- Capital Cost: Includes not only the cost of equipment and its installation, but also all ancillary requirements such as build work, plant location and size, electrical work, progress time, administration, etc. Whole life costs also consist of maintenance, energy efficiency and life expectancy.
- Energy Efficiency (Running Cost): Energy efficiency of air conditioning systems is becoming increasingly important as it can account for the largest single element of the energy requirement of a building. Also, in the near future, energy tax might be introduced. It may be more cost effective to install a system with higher initial cost but which provides greater energy efficiency.
- Maintenance Cost: Maintenance cost is often over looked in any calculation and can be very costly dependent on the complexity of the system and the availability of professional service companies.
- Flexibility: Flexibility of the system should be assessed in terms of installation, operation, future expansion and changes, operation, maintenance and controls.
- User Friendliness: This needs to be assessed in relation to the occupier or user, the operator and/or the maintenance personnel. Many systems have standard controls, which are simple in concept yet sophisticated in nature and can combine user friendliness with full technical diagnostics.
- Environmental Issues: These need to be checked, such as equipment compliance with current and future legislation in terms of CO2 emissions, Ozone Depletion and Health & Safety.