All posts by KES Facilities

What Are the Differences Between VRV and VRF Air Conditioning Systems?

KES Facilities
Friday, November 22nd, 2019

Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) are becoming increasingly popular in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry.

But why are more and more companies deciding to ditch traditional air conditioning configurations in favour of this new technology? And even if you know what the technology involves, then what’s the difference between the two?

So, what’s the difference?

This is about as easy as it gets. VRV and VRF air conditioning systems are exactly the same. They’re 100% and completely identical. The only reason they have different names is because of the legalities and trademarks.

But both VRV and VRF are the same technology. Confusingly, they’re two different names for the exact same thing. This is all down to Daikin. Daikin are one of the most established names in the HVAC industry. In the early 1980s, they developed the technology and registered the Variable Refrigerant Volume phrase. Since it was officially trademarked, the term became their property.

Other companies would go on to develop the same technology. As they began to integrate it into their range of products and services, they had to come up with a new phrase. Variable Refrigerant Flow was born, and has since been used to describe the technology (when Daikin aren’t using it).

Because every company except for Daikin markets VRF technology, it’s the more common term for these systems.

What is VRV/VRF Technology?

VRV/VRF is a very advanced and sophisticated commercial air conditioning system. It’s particularly useful because it’s extremely efficient, reduces costs and requires less material than other conventional air conditioning systems.

The Equipment

VRV/VRF technology includes the following key components:

  • One outdoor unit (either one or several compressors)
  • Several indoor units
  • Refrigerant piping (this circulates between the outdoor units and indoor units)
  • Communication wiring

We won’t get into the nitty-gritty VRV/VRF detail. Instead, this should be an overview to give you a high-level understanding of how the technology works.

How Does it Work?

To begin with, your VRV/VRF system is in the ‘off’ position. Once a remote control is used to power-up the system, the outdoor compressors begin to function. The system will function until it is switched off.

Sensors will take a reading of the indoor and outdoor temperatures. An indoor ‘optimum’ temperature will have already been set for each space, and the system will begin to work to reach that temperature.

Refrigerant flows from the single outdoor unit and is circulated between all of the indoor units (evaporators) as required. The refrigerant flow is variable, meaning that although it may be constantly flowing, it’s increased and reduced as per the demand in each room.

This is what makes a VRV/VRF system unique. With other air conditioning systems, an entire area would be targeted with the same cooling speed, fan speed and temperature demand. This would all be controlled individually by the user. With VRV/VRF, the system flows continuously but importantly, varies between each indoor cooling unit.

This also means that areas with a higher temperature can be cooled without affecting other areas. As the refrigerant is circulated between the outdoor unit and the indoor units, it is cooled and compressed to remove the heat from the surrounding area.

Why Would You Consider Investing in VRV/VRF?

Many companies around the world have already discovered the benefits of this intelligent air conditioning configuration.

One of the biggest advantages of a VRV/VRF system is that it adapts to the outdoor conditions independently. There’s no need for water-cooled systems or chillers and fan coils. Instead, everything takes place within the outdoor and indoor units. There’s also no water, and therefore no water that requires to be cooled by refrigerant. Instead, refrigerant is used throughout.

Since there are fewer materials to purchase and install, costs are reduced. But VRV/VRF systems are also incredibly efficient and keep your working areas at the temperature you need them to be 24/7. Since each room is cooled to the exact room requirements, it means that every indoor unit uses only the energy it needs to use. Operating costs are much lower than with other systems as well: instead of cooling huge ‘cover-all’ areas unnecessarily, only the targeted areas are cooled.

They’re incredibly quiet systems too, since water isn’t being circulated throughout the piping around the building.

All things considered, VRV/VRF systems are incredibly efficient and significantly reduce operating costs for your business. If you have any questions about commercial VRV/VRF configurations or want to know about their benefits, then please get in touch with our Yorkshire-based team. We’ll be able to help with any of your VRV/VRF enquiries.

How Does a Cellar Cooler Work?

KES Facilities
Thursday, October 31st, 2019

At KES Facilities, we install, service, and repair all sorts of cooling appliances. From air conditioning units to cellar coolers, we’ve got you covered. We only work with the highest-quality brands and the names that we know we can trust.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’re considering purchasing a cellar cooler for your business. How do they work? What advantages do they bring? And why would you ever need one?

What Are Cellar Coolers Used For?

Yes, we’ll tell you how they work. But just in case you’re not 100% sure what cellar coolers even are, let’s take a look at their typical uses.

Cellar coolers are generally used to keep drinks at the correct chilled temperature. You’ll find them in almost every pub, club, restaurant or bar you enter. The temperature of the drink served to you is crucial, and when it’s being stored it’s even more important.

So important, in fact, that if the temperature shifts by as little as 1°C, a whole cask can be ruined. Slight temperature changes can have catastrophic effects, so it’s important that the temperature is maintained accurately and consistently.

With beer, in particular, the cask might spoil. Otherwise, keg beer might become more difficult to pour due to fobbing. If it’s too cold, then the flavour of the product is affected as well. Either way, these preventable issues are going to be costing your business money.

In spaces where a cellar isn’t a viable option, many companies turn to cellar coolers. They’ll keep the temperature or your drinks and foods perfect so that you shouldn’t have to worry about spoiled products.

So How Do Cellar Coolers Work?

Now that you know what a cellar cooler is and what it’s used for, let’s take a closer look at how they work. There are two main parts to every cellar cooler: the cooling system and the condensing unit.

The cooling system is the part which cools the air. Think of the cooling system like a radiator inside your home. Instead of thin metal pipes circulating hot water, they instead circulate chilled water. And instead of being on your wall, this piping arrangement is found inside the unit itself. This is important because when warm, external air is pulled in by the fans, and the chilled pipes help to cool the temperature of the air. That chilled air is then circulated throughout the room by fans.

Temperature sensors detect the temperature of the room. If the room temperature begins to creep above optimum levels, the cooling system is turned on again. Too cold? Then it turns off. The fans, however, run continuously.

They do this to help remove the warmer air from the cellar too. As well as bringing in cool air, the system needs to remove warm air that could interfere with the temperature of any cold drinks. The cooling system and the condensing unit work in tandem to make sure that the temperature is kept within the selected range.

How You Can Get the Most Out of Your Cooler

Your cellar cooler involves moving parts. That means that it will need regularly maintained and at times, you’ll even need to repair the parts which break.

For a start, you should be keeping a record of the temperature at various points throughout the room. Are you spotting any unusually warm areas? Or corners where the room is significantly colder? The cooler might not be working as efficiently as it should be.

You should open the door and allow the space to vent for around 10 minutes each day. Apart from that, the door should remain closed. Inspect it each week to make sure there’s no build-up of ice. Dust it regularly and don’t block any fans with stock or boxes.

At KES, our highly-trained team are ready to help with whatever cellar cooling demand you have. Firstly, we’re able to install your cooler safely and efficiently. We also provide regular checks and servicing plans. If any parts are wearing down, we’ll be sure to let you know and give you the option of an early repair. Unfortunately, no matter how well serviced your machine is, sometimes they need an outright repair.

Our Yorkshire-based technicians are able to help with all of your cellar cooler enquiries. Get in touch with our team today and find out how we can help.

A Guide to F-Gas Regulations & The HFC Phase-Down

KES Facilities
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

The sceptics among us may joke that just about everything we do contributes to global warming in some way or another. While their point may be a somewhat exaggerated way of looking at things, it’s true that there are many ways in which we can cut down on greenhouse gas emissions in just about every industry. Commercial air conditioning installation, servicing and repair is one of them.

The Montreal Protocol, created in 1987, remains one of the most ambitious and important global agreements designed to reduce the production of substances harmful to the Earth’s ozone layers. Today, that means that companies involved with supplying, installing and servicing air conditioning units are committed to reducing the harmful greenhouse gases which some models use.

In today’s article, we’ll discuss what the F-Gas regulations within the air conditioning industry are and how their phase-down affects you.

What is an F-Gas?

Let’s try and keep this simple. In 2016, the Kigali Amendment was added to the Montreal Protocol to “phase down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) worldwide.”

HFCs are one of the most popular gases that make up a large group of greenhouse gases known as fluorinated gases, or F-Gases. These F-Gases, which are the name given to the group of chemicals containing fluorine, are commonly used in air conditioning and refrigeration. Countries all over the world have agreed to significantly reduce the use of these harmful man-made gases.

Why the Regulations?

Many European countries see the EU F-Gas Regulations and the HFC phase-down as a huge priority. First of all, it’s important that EU countries show their commitment to the Kigali Amendment and the Montreal Protocol. This commitment forms part of a greater ambition to reduce the impact of global warming within our atmosphere.

F-gases are capable of trapping heat in our atmosphere and their impact can be devastating. They’re one of many factors contributing to global warming. Some studies have revealed that the effect of F-Gases on global warming is up to 23,000 times greater than the effect of carbon dioxide. We’re all aware of the problems that carbon dioxide causes – continued use of F-Gases could have far graver consequences.

And those consequences have been recognised. The EU F-Gas regulations, which are a part of the Montreal Protocol, state that there should be a 79% reduction in the use of HFCs by 2030. The aim of the phase-down is to significantly reduce the use of these harmful gases and increase the use of suitable alternatives.

What are F-Gases Used For?

F-Gases are used in a surprising number of industrial products. When they were first introduced, they were seen as a suitable alternative to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). They have now also been deemed too harmful to use.

The main F-Gases which are used are HFCs, and they’re commonly used in refrigeration, air conditioning and heat exchanging equipment. Interestingly, they’re also used in fire extinguishers, solvents and even aerosols.

What Does This Mean for You?

The majority of commercial property owners will never have heard of F-Gases or HFC. So why are we telling you about F-Gases? Well, the HFC phase-down means that air conditioning units using any F-Gases will need to be replaced. In order to adhere to F-Gas regulations, there will also be a servicing ban on existing and out-of-date units.

Companies that manufacture and supply equipment which contains F-Gases are re-designing their products and testing the efficiency of alternative chemicals. This also means that the companies installing and servicing these air conditioning units need to keep up-to-date with the regulation deadlines and fully train their staff on alternative equipment.

Significantly, if your commercial property uses equipment which involves F-Gases, you too will be affected by the phase-down. It’s important that your air conditioning units are legal and that if they break down, air conditioning professionals are able to service and repair them.

If you have any questions about the F-Gas Regulations and The HFC Phase-Down then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our KES Facilities team. Our staff will be able to answer any queries you have about your commercial air conditioning units and can help you keep in line with regulations.

Our Guide To Choosing The Best Air Conditioning Unit For Your Requirements

KES Facilities
Friday, August 23rd, 2019

Air conditioning units make a superb addition to any home when the warmer months arrive. They help to maintain a comfortable environment around the home, allowing you to go about your everyday business as usual. What’s more, with so many different makes and models now available on the market, you should be able to find one that’s just right for your needs.

However, with so much variety available, it can be difficult to know for certain which air conditioning unit is best for you. With that in mind, we have created a quick and simple guide of all factors to consider when choosing the right air conditioning unit for you.

Consider the space

The first factor to think about is how large the space is that you’re hoping to invest in air conditioning for, along with how far you want to air conditioning to reach. A small studio apartment will require a completely different unit compared with a large Victorian house, for example, so make a note of how many rooms you will need the air conditioning to reach.

You should also worth noting whether the space is bright or shady, how many people typically use the space and what it is used for, along with any other appliances in the space that could add heat to it.

Together, information on all of these factors will help you whittle down the choice of units on the market, to those which are most suitable for your requirements.

British thermal units (Btu)

The power of an air conditioning is measured in Btu, and the range is quite significant. Use your notes on the space to determine how much Btu is required for your own air conditioning unit. For example, if you’re planning on positioning your air conditioning unit in a kitchen, it’s recommended that you add an extra 4,000 Btu capacity to the average power needed for your size space.

Top tip: Most living rooms or bedrooms require between 5,000 and 8,000 Btu for effective cooling.

Get to grips with each type of unit

There are four different types of air conditioning units on the market – portable, window air conditioners and split ductless air conditioners.

Portable air conditioning units

These units don’t need to be installed and can be moved from room to room, wherever it is required. You will need to place the hose out of a door or window in order for the unit to release heat outside of the space it’s trying to cool.

Pros

  • They can be moved around easily from room to room
  • Have enough power to cool most spaces
  • No need for professional installation

Cons

  • They can be quite unattractive compared to other units
  • You face security issues if you leave them running when you’re out of the house
  • They cannot extend their cooling to other rooms within the house

Window air conditioning units

Window air conditioning units are installed into a window frame, one part sitting within the home and the other part sitting outside on the other side of the wall. They blow hot air outside and cool air inside.

Pros

  • Unit is installed off the floor, leaving plenty of space for other furniture
  • They are semi-portable, in that they can be installed into another window in another room if necessary
  • Cheaper to run than portable air conditioning units

Cons

  • They take up a lot of window space and can block light or look unappealing
  • Similarly to portable units, they can only cool one space at a time in the home

Split ductless air conditioning units

These systems consist of an outdoor system and multiple indoor hubs positioned in different spaces throughout a house.

Pros

  • Ability to cool multiple rooms throughout one home at any given time
  • These models are usually very quiet
  • Aesthetically pleasing, without blocking out any light

Cons

  • Certainly the most expensive type of air conditioning unit available
  • Of the three units available, this is the one that will most likely require expert installation

This is a very brief overview of the different types of air conditioning units available to you, but it should give you some indication as to the best option for you and your own specific needs.

Think about energy efficiency

It’s possible that you may be running your air conditioning unit for long periods of time, particularly during the summer months. That’s why it is so important to consider the energy efficiency of a unit you’re thinking about investing in.

The energy star rating helps consumers to understand just how efficient an air conditioning unit is. Units are rated out of 5 stars and those rated at 5 stars are known to cool a space much more efficiently than other lower rated units.

If you plan to use your air conditioning unit to its full potential, consider looking for a 5 star rated unit to save yourself plenty of money in the long run. For anyone who won’t be using it often, the energy efficiency rating won’t be as big a factor as others, but it is certainly worth considering all the same.

Extra features could prove beneficial

Here are a few additional features that are available with some types of air conditioning units. Have a think about these features and if any are potentially useful to you, you might find it worthwhile investing a little extra money to having these features to hand.

  • Variable fan speeds – allowing you to pick and choose how powerful the unit is at any given time. Some units also provide a fan only option, which simply circulates air around the room without cooling it.
  • Dehumidifier – ideal for anyone looking to make use of the system year round, as opposed to just in the warmer months. A unit with an additional heat mode would also work well for this type of use.
  • Remote control – change the settings with the touch of button from where you’re sat, rather than having to get up and use the buttons on the unit itself.
  • Timer – Choose when you want the unit to start up and when you want it to switch off. This is perfect for anyone who works during the day, or perhaps someone investing in air conditioning for their summer home, for example.
  • Night mode – Designed to lower the fan speed as you sleep and to increase the temperature gradually over time, to prevent you from waking up too cold.

We hope you find this beginner’s guide to air conditioning units helpful and that it gives you a clearer direction of which units you should consider investing in. For more detailed advice and information on air conditioning units, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly, professional team.

Guide to the different types of commercial refrigeration

KES Facilities
Friday, June 7th, 2019

Running a business requires plenty of careful consideration when it comes to the various appliances you need to invest in. Refrigeration plays a vital role in the successful running of your business, to make sure your food and drinks stay fresh, chilled and good enough to serve to your customers.

That is why we have created a guide to highlight the different types of commercial refrigeration available on the market, along with the various advantages and drawbacks. This guide should prove useful for when the time comes for you to invest in commercial refrigeration for your business, to make sure you choose the right appliance for your requirements.

First things first – assess your refrigeration needs

Before beginning that all important search for commercial refrigeration, it makes sense to think about your business’ needs beforehand, to whittle down the variety on offer to a select few appliances that are most suitable for you.

  • How much refrigerated storage do you need? If you’re running a large busy restaurant, you’ll require much more refrigerated storage than a small country cafe, for example. Investing in a commercial refrigerator that’s excessive for your business needs could result in hefty and unnecessary energy costs.
  • Will your refrigerator be positioned front of house of back of house? Some commercial refrigerators are much better suited to be seen by your customers, so pay close attention to this during your search.
  • Will you require more than one type of refrigerator? It could be that you need large amounts of refrigeration but only certain shapes and sizes of appliance will fit in the space. Have a think about the space and its measurements ahead of your search, to have a better idea of the types of refrigerator to invest in for that space.
  • Get to grips with energy ratings – running commercial refrigeration certainly comes with its costs, so it’s vital that you invest in appliances with a high energy rating to keep costs down.

The most common types of commercial refrigeration

Here you can find an overview of some of the most common types of commercial refrigeration and what benefits they can bring to a business. Use this information to narrow down your search to the right types of refrigeration for your own business.

Reach-In Refrigerators

Reach-in commercial refrigerators are the closest in appearance to your standard domestic refrigerator, but pack a lot more space and power. Comprising of a tall upright design with multiple shelves and sections inside for storage, these commercial refrigerators are a great addition to any back of house set up.

With reach-in refrigerators, you’re able to store away a great amount of food and drink at one time, so it’s a great option for a smaller to medium sized businesses. You’re able to invest in ones with castors if you might need to move it about from time to time, and some even come with dual-zoned features, allowing you to store items at different temperatures in different areas of the appliance.

Walk-In Refrigerators

These are the largest type of commercial refrigeration available on the market, although they vary greatly in size, depending on a business’ specific needs. With that in mind, all kinds of businesses can make use of walk-in refrigerators – you just need to find the right size appliance for your space.

With shelving all around the sides and with enough space to add shelving in the middle to create aisles within the space, your business certainly won’t struggle for cold storage when investing in a walk-in refrigerator.

Undercounter Refrigerators

Undercounter refrigerators consist of cold storage drawers positioned underneath a preparation counter. Most businesses choose to use these drawers to store meat and fish along or close to the cooking line, but they’re also great for cold storage in smaller spaces.

Different sizes of undercounter refrigerators are available on the market, most of which are designed for different food preparation needs.

Display Refrigerators

These purpose-made commercial refrigerators are perfect for front of house visibility. With large glass front doors and built in lighting, display refrigerators are the perfect appliance for any food or drinks you’re trying to promote in their original form. Whether that’s sandwiches, cakes or bottled beer, for example, display refrigerators are a great investment for your front of house set up.

Bar Refrigerators

You will find these types of commercial refrigerators in most bars and restaurants you visit. Some of designed to sit low to the ground and underneath surfaces, whereas others are designed to reach waist-level. The more expensive bar refrigerators come in stainless steel, however they are more likely to dent than their cheaper stainless black vinyl alternatives.

Make the most of your space by combining different refrigerators

The vast majority of commercial refrigerators can be suitable for all kinds of businesses, no matter how large or small. Their versatility makes it very easy to be able to combine a few different styles to create a cold storage set up that’s just right for your business needs.

Take a look at your space and think about where you could fit in commercial refrigeration. Whether that’s making room for a reach-in refrigerator towards the back, a couple of undercounter refrigerators in your cooking space, and a couple of display refrigerators in the front – it’s extremely simple to add a number of different appliances in your workspace.

What maintenance you should expect to have on your commercial refrigeration?

To really make the most of your investment, it pays to keep on top of maintaining your commercial refrigeration. Doing so will prevent any expensive but avoidable faults and repairs, and will keep the appliance running for a good number of years.

Here is what you can do on a daily or weekly basis, to keep your commercial refrigeration in top condition:

  • Optimise the temperature and the defrost frequency
  • Keep the area around the refrigerator clean and clear
  • Remember to turn off the lights in walk-in refrigerators when you leave
  • Clean the interior using recommendations from the user manual
  • Keep an eye on the seal on the doors

Carried out every 3 to 6 months, these additional maintenance checks will help to prolong the lifetime of your refrigeration. We would recommend having a professional come in to perform these checks.

  • Inspect the condensing and evaporating coils – including cleaning them
  • Clean out ice makers
  • Inspect the condition of the fan motor
  • Look over all parts for any signs of wear
  • Clean the fan blades and gaskets
  • Lubricate the hinges
  • Check the electrics
  • Test and calibrate the thermometers

Seek advice and recommendations from experts in the field

If you’re seriously considering investing in commercial refrigeration for your business, taking the time and effort to get it right first time will save you a great deal of hassle further down the line.

If you’re new to the world of commercial refrigeration, you’ll benefit greatly from the advice and support of professionals in the industry. They’ll be able to look over your business space and find out all about your specific requirements, before recommending the best types of commercial refrigeration for you and where to position it within your space.

This guide should give you a good start into finding the right commercial refrigeration for your business. With enough research and planning, you’ll soon have cold storage space for your business that’s just right for its needs.

How to create a great restaurant environment for both customers and employees

KES Facilities
Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Anyone who owns a restaurant knows that a comforting and relaxing restaurant ambience plays a key role in the success of the business. However, creating the right atmosphere goes much further than the satisfaction of your guests – your employees need be considered as part of this process too, so how can you make sure the ambience is right for both sides of the business?

Here we’ve detailed some of the steps you can take to provide a suitable restaurant environment that will create the perfect ambience for customers and a comfortable working space for your staff.

Keep the space at a comfortable temperature

Investing in quality furniture and fixtures does play its part in a relaxing restaurant atmosphere, but so too does the temperature throughout the space. Without enough thought and consideration for the temperature in your restaurant, both your customers and employees could be left feeling uncomfortable from too much heat or too little, at that.

Finding the right temperature that’s ideal for customers and team members can be tricky, but with enough research and planning invested, you’ll soon find the optimum temperature for your restaurant. Ask yourself the following questions to make a start:

  • How many guests and staff members do you typically have in the restaurants on an average morning, afternoon and evening? Changing occupancies can determine what temperature needs to be set throughout the day.
  • What’s the average temperature outside at different times throughout the year? This will impact how hot or cold you need the temperature to be within your restaurant.
  • What appliances are being used throughout the space? Chances are your kitchen and bar area will require a different temperature setting to the space where your guests will sit, in order to keep everyone comfortable.
  • Are you planning on making any changes to the space in the future? Could they affect what temperature the space needs to be set at?

Ask yourself these questions and use them to make plans for optimising the temperature within your restaurant. A professional technician will be able to offer advice on where to place temperature control elements throughout the space, as well as what temperatures to set them at.

Top tip: Research found that an uncomfortable restaurant temperature is one of the top ten common customer complaints, so it’s certainly something to think about.

Implement the right levels of lighting in different areas

It goes without saying that soothing lighting levels play an essential part in creating the right environment for guests to dine in at your restaurant, so this is definitely something that needs thinking about.

Play around with the lighting to find the right ambience at different times of the day for you guests – lights that you can dim would prove beneficial in this respect. You could even add additional lighting elements in the evening, such as candles on each table when the evening guests begin to arrive. However, it’s vital that you don’t go too far the other way and make the space too dark for the guests to see their food! A happy medium is where your lighting needs to be.

You will also need to think about lighting for your employees at the same time. Lighting for them is not so much about creating a relaxing environment, but more to provide a safe space for them to carry out their roles. Make sure there’s enough lighting in the dining area for team members to navigate their way around, and provide bright lighting in the back of house space for an efficient working environment.

Control the level of noise from each area

Noise levels are another common complaint brought up by customers, but high level of noise can also impact employees and their ability to carry out their jobs as well. With that in mind, it’s well worth taking the time to consider how to control the noise levels from both the dining area and the back of house space too. Doing so will help to create a relaxing environment for your guests to dine in and for your staff to work in.

There are a number of ways you can look at reducing the noise pollution in your restaurant. Begin by considering each of the appliances you use in your restaurant and whether there could be an alternative that gives out less noise than the one you’re currently using or considering.

Think about having your restaurant soundproofed, to limit the amount of echo that comes from the hard surfaces across the space. You could even install carpets in areas of high traffic levels, as well as having your ceiling insulated to soften the blow of the noise within the space.

You could also think about where certain elements of the restaurant are positioned. Are the cookers too close to the entrance of the back of house space? How about the cleaning area – could that be repositioned to avoid clashing with the noise within the dining area? Sound systems should also be cleverly positioned in a way that doesn’t disrupt the goings on within the cooking area.

Keep odours in check to keep everyone happy

When operating a busy restaurant, there are bound to be plenty of smells emanating from the kitchen area as hundreds of dishes are created and served up. Chances are other odours can present themselves from the cleaning space and even from the toilets too. When all of these odours come together, it’s not always very pleasant.

Odour control is an absolute must in keeping customers and team members happy, and it’s extremely simple to apply. You will find a variety of odour control units available on the market, which work to neutralise the air within your restaurants and in a way that doesn’t pollute the air outside either.

Make sure to spend some time researching these odour control units, to find the best appliance for your restaurant. Professional technicians should be able to offer sound advice as to how many units your restaurant needs and where to position them throughout the space.

Other elements to think about

The four main elements for keeping customers and staff happy in your restaurant environment have been discussed above, but there are a few other things you can think about, to perfect your restaurant ambience and to improve the success of your business.

  • Busy restaurants need an ample waiting area, to keep guests comfortable whilst they wait for their table to be ready, and to provide enough space for staff to carry out their role without crowds.
  • Avoid cramming tables into the space, to give your guests a comfortable and personal experience at your restaurant and to provide plenty of room for your team to work their hospitality magic.

If you have any tried and tested words of wisdom for creating the perfect restaurant environment for guests and employees alike, please do share them with us and our other readers.

The benefits of investing in the correct air conditioning unit and keeping it maintained

KES Facilities
Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Whether you’re thinking about getting an air conditioning unit for the very first time or you’re looking at replacing an existing model, it’s vital that you make sure to invest in one that’s right for you, your premises and what you intend to use it for. More importantly, proper care and attention to your brand new air conditioning unit will help it to last as long as possible, without any hiccups along the way.

In this post, we’ve highlighted just a few of the key benefits for taking the time to find the right air conditioning unit for you, as well as how much you will benefit from having it serviced regularly.

Optimised energy efficiency

Firstly, you will benefit from much better energy costs due to efficient energy usage, with the right air conditioning unit in place. What’s more, with frequent servicing and maintenance, your energy use will be optimised even further, all of which will help to bring down the cost of running it.

With regular maintenance, your unit is much less likely to suffer from clogged up air filters and dirty condenser coils, for example, all of which can make it more difficult for the unit to do its job.

Long lifespan

If you fail to pair the right air conditioning unit with your requirements and your building specifications, it’s likely that the unit won’t last as long as it should. By taking the time to research and find the best unit to meet your needs, you’ll benefit from an investment that should last you a good number of years.

The same applies with the right amount of maintenance for your air conditioning unit. With proper care and attention from regular services, your unit is bound to last you longer than if it was neglected.

Reduced costs

When left ignored, even the slightest of errors could lead to more serious issues further down the line, which can result in costly repairs and sometime even the end of your unit’s lifespan. Worse yet, you might find yourself if a situation that requires an emergency callout from a repairman, which can drastically increase the costs of repairs.

All of this can be avoided by not only ensuring that you the right unit in place, but that you’re keeping on top of its servicing and maintenance too. Routine maintenance processes involve cleaning the necessary parts and checking for any signs of wear or damage, all of which can help your air conditioning unit to run properly and without the risk of a major breakdown.

Improved air quality

Clean air is vital for your health and the health of others in the space, too, something which the filter in your air conditioning unit should help to maintain. Over time, however, these filters can clog up with dust and dirt, which effectively reduces how well it performs at keeping the air clean. A regular service will include checking your unit’s filter and looking for any signs of wear and tear in it, as well as cleaning out any of the debris that’s built up. As a result, you and others can continue to enjoy clean, high-quality air, knowing that regular maintenance is keeping on top of things.

There are numerous benefits for making sure you have the correct air conditioning unit installed and that it is properly taken care of, too. The amount of maintenance requires depends on the type of unit you have installed and how you intend to use it. With that in mind, it’s well worth researching to find the recommended level of maintenance for your own specific air conditioning unit, to avoid the issues described in this post and to make the most of your investment in the years to come.

A guide to choosing the right glasswasher or dishwasher for your business

KES Facilities
Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Running a hospitality business often means keeping on top of its hygiene and cleanliness, all whilst providing a quality service to your customers. Whether you own a bar, a restaurant a cafe or even a hotel, it goes without saying that a dishwasher or glasswasher will play a vital role in your business’ operations.

Of course, with so many makes and models of glasswashers and dishwashers available on the market, how do you know which one is right for your own specific business? Within this guide, you will find information designed to help you decide exactly that, so that you can rest assured that you’ll be investing in the right machine for such a crucial part of your business.

First things first – what needs washing?

Think about what items your business uses and decide whether you will need a dishwasher, a glasswasher or both! For example, a cocktail bar may only have needs for a glasswasher, whereas a cafe and restaurant will mostly likely need both. If the vast majority of your business runs using glasses, opt for a glasswasher, whereas if it’s mostly crockery or a happy medium between the two, think about investing in a dishwasher or one of each.

Consider your business’ daily activity

The next element to consider is how much capacity is required. Think about the average number of customers you typically receive in a day and how many glasses and/or crockery they go through. Remember to prioritise your busiest periods, as your new glasswasher or dishwasher will need to be able to keep up with these peak times. Having to wait for glasses or plates to be cleaned before serving customers won’t do your business any favours, after all.

Using this information, you’ll be able to decide how large or small your new machine needs to be, to cope with your business’ capacity needs. You could even consider the time it takes for certain machines to complete a cycle.

How much space do you have available?

The space you have available will be on the main contributing factors for what type of machine you can get. Asmall high street cafe will most likely have minimal space for a dishwasher and glasswasher, whereas a large restaurant will have a dedicated washing area with plenty of room for the larger commercial machines.

If there’s very little room available, prioritise between a glasswasher and dishwasher – whichever one your business needs the most. From there, you can begin to whittle down the options based on the different sizes of machines available and their specific dimensions.

Perhaps you have a little space in the front but a little more space in the back. If this is the case, it’s always better to position your glasswasher in the main service area (behind the counter) and keep the dishwasher in the back.

The different styles of glasswashers available

There are two main types of glasswasher available on the market, although you will certainly find different models within the two categories.

Most glasswashers come as undercounter machines, for quick access and convenience when cleaning glasses for a bar. These small washers are effective at cleaning lightly soiled glasses in a quick and efficient manner, however, there a couple of variations to these undercounter glasswashers.

Some glasswashers come with just one wash arm, whereas others come with two. The ones with two will usually position a washarm on the bottom and another on the top of the washing space, optimising the cleaning cycle by covering all areas of the space and the glasses within it. For the best results, it’s well worth investing in a glasswasher with two cleaning arms.

Top Tip: If you regularly use tall glasses in your business, such as for cocktails, you’ll need to make sure your glasswasher has plenty of space above the glassware, to avoid and breakages during the cleaning cycle.

Understanding the different dishwashers and their operation

Whilst differing glasswasher models tend to offer a fairly similar way of operating, there are a number of different dishwasher options, each of which have their own benefits for certain businesses.

Undercounter dishwasher – Similarly to the undercounter glasswasher, these machines offer a compact design and are perfect for any business with minimal space available. The average commercial undercounter dishwasher can make its way through around 30 racks every hour.

Passthrough dishwasher – A passthrough dishwasher allows you to run the tray into the machine from one side, before pulling the machine door down to start a cycle. Once finished, your tray can then be pulled to the other side of the machine, giving space to begin your next cycle. These models are great at keeping dirty plates away from clean plates, and can typically go through 55 racks every hour, on average.

Tunnel dishwasher – These models offer a similar process as a passthrough dishwasher, but to a much large scale. Add a rack at the start of the tunnel and it will slowly make its way to the other end, whilst you add more racks behind it. These machines are perfect for larger businesses with higher capacity requirements and can clean thousands of plates within an hour.

Whether you’re starting up your hospitality business for the first time, or you’re looking to improve or maintain your current business, investing in the right dishwasher or glasswasher is a vital component of a successful business in the industry.

Updates to DW/172 and BESA kitchen ventilation regulations

KES Facilities
Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

If you work in a commercial kitchen or own a business with a heavy involvement in commercial kitchens, you’ll know doubt know all about the Specification for Kitchen Ventilations Systems, or the DW/172 as it’s otherwise known. This authoritative guide is provided by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and aims to offer sound advice on how to design, install and maintain kitchen ventilation systems that are used in commercial properties.

The DW/172 has been around for 20 years now (earlier known as the DW/171). However, with the last revision being as far back as 2005, it was about time the guide was updated to meet the requirements of today’s modern technology.

The latest revision of the DW/172 was released in January of this year and with it, comes information for ventilation engineers on how to adapt to the latest tech and equipment in the industry and the latest cooking methods too. Find out more about the updates to the DW/172 and the latest BEST kitchen ventilation regulations here.

A revised coefficient schedule

The updated coefficient schedule can be used by ventilation system designers, when determining the extract duty of a canopy. The new schedule can be used for a variety of electric and gas appliances.

Information on solid fuel equipment

More and more commercial kitchens are choosing to use solid fuel equipment or appliances for their everyday operations. These pieces of equipment include wood burning pizza ovens and charcoal grills, for example. With these types of cooking equipment becoming increasingly popular, it was vital that more information was provided around ventilation for these appliances.

The newly update DW/172 now includes information on solid fuel equipment and how to ensure proper ventilation standards are maintained when making use of these appliances.

Revisions to the previous lighting section

In the latest DW/172, you will also find an updated section surrounding lighting in a commercial kitchen, which should help to eradicate common lighting issues that many kitchens are faced with.

Demand controlled kitchen ventilation included

Now that smart technologies have taken the world by storm, it makes sense for commercial kitchens to begin using them for energy efficiency purposes. With that in mind, the brand new DW/172 contains a completely new section focusing on demand controlled kitchen ventilation about how to go about utilising smart technology to control the ventilation in the kitchen, as and when it’s needed.

New pollution controls

Plenty of new thinking and initiatives have come into play since the last DW/172 was released back in 2005, especially around indoor air quality in and around commercial kitchens. These brand new processes have causes a number of modifications to be made within the DW/172 for how to control pollution and reduce the levels of toxins in breathable air.

Other updated areas worth mentioning include new and improved guidelines on recirculation ventilation, as well as new requirements for the cleaning and maintenance of ventilation systems in a commercial kitchen.

It’s expected that the brand new DW/172 will better meet the demands of modern commercial kitchens, something which the previous 2005 version was a little too outdated for. More information on the DW/172 can be found over on the BESA website, where you can also request a copy of the newly updated guidelines.

Why Ventilation May Be Required For Your Workplace

KES Facilities
Friday, January 11th, 2019

Ventilation plays a vital role in the running of an enclosed workplace. It helps to carry fresh, clean air through the space, keep employees happy and healthy, and maintain the efficiency of the workplace on a daily basis.

Here you will find information on the types of workplace which require ventilation, the laws surrounding adequate workplace ventilation and how to go about introducing the right amount of ventilation to your own workplace.

Why is workplace ventilation important?

Regulations surrounding workplace ventilation have been put in place for good reason. When adhered to, any hot, humid or stale air within the space will be replaced with clean air at the right rate.

The general rule of thumb is to keep at least 5-8 litres of fresh air within the space, every second for every occupant. This goes for any air that is clean and free of impurities that could cause workers to fall ill or be unhappy with the working environment.

Which workplaces require ventilation?

The vast majority of enclosed workplaces are required to have a certain amount of fresh air passing through the space. That includes anything from an office space to a commercial kitchen, a spray booth to a hospital, for example.

Without proper ventilation, it’s very difficult to get a good amount of clean air into these enclosed spaces, and with many individuals coming and going throughout the day, it’s vital to provide clean air to keep these individuals healthy.

There are some exceptions when it comes to enclosed workplaces and the standard ventilation guidelines. For example, a workplace designed for growing mushrooms needs a humid space for the

Ventilation regulations

The Health and Safety Executive provides details of ventilation regulations, as part of the Health and Safety at Work Act. These regulations state that any business owner or employer who is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of a workplace and its staff, should regularly undertake risk assessments as a way to control or prevent any risks to their staff’s health. Part of this risk assessment involves assessing the ventilation within the workplace and working to maintain the air cleanliness within the space.

Failure to comply with health and safety regulations could result in a fine or penalty.

How to ventilate an enclosed workplace

There are a number of ways in which to effectively ventilate an enclosed workplace.

The first method is through natural ventilation, which can be done with enough windows and doors throughout the space. If you’re hoping to ventilate your own workplace through natural ventilation, you must ensure that workers are kept away from any cold draughts and if needs be, that the layout of the workspace is adjusted.

The second method is through mechanical ventilation, which involves the use of air conditioning systems or extractors, for example. Mechanical ventilation requires regular servicing and a little more investment than natural ventilation. However, it’s a much more effective way of ventilating a workplace in order to achieve the workplace environment you’re hoping to achieve.