Andrews Air Conditioning discusses the importance of temperature control


In April 2016 alone, £28.1 billion of UK consumer spending was within the retail industry. Despite online sales growth, many recent studies found that over 70% of respondents still prefer to browse a physical store.

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In a competitive market, retailers must adapt to stay ahead and ensure an excellent shopping experience. Effective temperature control, particularly during the summer months, is vital to keep your tills ringing. Heat drives people out of shops, which translates directly to your bottom line.

Managing summer temperatures within supermarkets and grocery stores can be particularly challenging for store owners and facilities managers, balancing the need to keep goods at varied temperatures and for exterior doors to remain open to draw in customers.

When dealing with this dilemma, an evaporative cooling unit is a good alternative to air conditioning. The process works by spreading water across an internal filter media, which evaporates causing the air to lose its heat. Effectively delivering large volumes of cooled air, this can actually be enhanced by introducing external airflow from open doors. It also has the advantage of not requiring intrusive ducting or pipework to expel the heat.

Additional temperature control challenges faced by retailers include:

  • Temperature fluctuations within large open spaces. The best solution is localised ‘spot cooling’, providing a cool breeze in critical areas such as changing rooms, tills and door entrances.
  • Erratic heat loads due to varying levels of footfall throughout the day. The most suitable approach is to hire a tailored air conditioning package to accommodate forecasted peaks in demand.

Hire vs Buy

Lease agreements can hinder installation of fixed air conditioning solutions, given difficulties securing necessary permissions and the cost often not being recouped during the remaining lease period. Where a fixed system is already in place, waste heat generated by chillers, freezers or hot food ovens can put ageing equipment under strain, requiring supplementary or emergency cooling. In both cases, temporary portable air conditioning units are ideal.

Retailers often think that purchasing a portable unit is more economical in the long run, but it can actually end up costing more than hiring as and when needed. When deciding whether to hire or buy, there are a number of points to consider.

If there is a long-term requirement, purchasing means that a unit is available whenever required. However, ongoing whole-life costs must be considered since equipment can become inefficient over time.

Given the unpredictable British weather, hiring brings greater flexibility. Hiring allows you to always use the most suitable solution and latest technology for the current requirements, and unlike capital goods, hiring costs have the benefit of being tax deductible.

Whatever your temperature control needs, a specialist provider can assist you in identifying the most suitable and cost-effective solution. Serving retailers of all sizes on a 24/7/365 basis, Andrews Air Conditioning can deliver units on site from one of our nationwide depots in as little as four hours.

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