The World we Live in: Air Con

Air conditioning is an invention that has changed the world. Imagine life if we could control the weather, making it cooler in a heatwave, or warmer during the winter. Thanks to air con, we can – at least indoors!

Climate change has spurred inventors to come up with some ambitious ideas for controlling the weather as the climate gets warmer, and although we can’t feasibly influence the weather as such, we can control our indoor environment.

Air con early years

While humans have been using fire to provide heat for thousands of years, cooling down when the weather is hot has been more of a challenge. The first solution came in the 19th century, when American entrepreneur Frederic Tudor, of Boston, came up with an innovative idea.

He began transporting huge blocks of ice from New England in winter to warmer regions, insulating them in sawdust for the journey. Although his idea wasn’t wholly successful, as some of the ice invariably melted en route, it still earned him a fortune.

Air conditioning as we now know it was invented in 1902.

Hospitals

Hospitals must be properly ventilated at a comfortable temperature to provide patients with the appropriate conditions for recovery. The temperature should also be conducive with allowing doctors and other medical and ancillary staff to work efficiently, 365 days a day, 24 hours a day, whatever the weather. Temperature and humidity control have become indispensable parts of the hospitals’ energy management too.

Cinemas and theatres

Historically, theatres (and later cinemas) would shut down due to summer temperatures. Without windows and with people packed tightly together, the heat would be horrific. In 1880, Madison Square Theatre, in New York, tried installing an 8ft fan to blow cool air towards the audience – created by a block of ice behind ducts. Alas, the air was damp and smelled unpleasant.

Air con revolutionised cinemas. It became a selling point and was responsible for the “summer blockbuster”. A big film would be released to lure customers in, with the promise of escaping from the heatwave to watch a great movie in cool surroundings.

Factories

Air conditioning is crucial in factories, where industrial machinery can cause the atmosphere to become incredibly hot and uncomfortable for the workforce. There are stringent regulations on working environments, including the temperature, the air quality and energy saving.

An efficient air conditioning system is crucial for the factory environment, as it maintains safe working conditions. For factories that produce heat-sensitive items, such as food or medication, working in a cool temperature is even more important.

Care homes

Air conditioning in retirement homes is important to ensure the residents’ comfort. It also enables the staff to work in an appropriate temperature, even in the event of a summer heatwave. While a lot of care is taken to ensure the elderly keep warm in winter, an equal amount of importance should be attached to keeping them cool in summer. It is also vital to keep the temperature cool in an environment where many medications are dispensed.

Offices

While a lot of attention is paid to the seating and desk layout in an office environment, it’s also important to make sure the staff are working in a pleasant temperature. Working in a hot office can make employees feel sleepy and affect productivity. If there are a lot of computers and other electrical equipment in the room, this can make the temperature feel even warmer, particularly in the middle of summer, when it’s hot outside. In some offices, a dress code means staff may be even warmer, so an efficient air con system becomes even more important.

Private residences

The global annual temperature is reported to have increased by an average of 0.07C per decade since 1880 and at a rate of 0.17C every ten years since 1970. In line with global warming and the steady increase in temperature, air conditioning has been introduced into people’s homes, which is beneficial during the type of heatwaves we’ve been experiencing recently.

Air conditioning has had a positive effect on people’s quality of life, both at home and in the workplace. It helps us to live more comfortably, no matter how high the temperature. Klima-Therm’s specialist air conditioning services will ensure you can enjoy a comfortable climate all year round, in almost every walk of life.

For more details, please contact us for a no-obligation chat.

What are we doing about Global Warming?

Climate change is a phenomenon that has been in the headlines recently – not least because the UK experienced the hottest day in July since records began. The temperature soared to 38.1°C in Cambridge on 25th July 2019, when similarly high temperatures were recorded across Europe.

It was even hotter in Paris on the same day, when the temperature hit a record high of 42.6°C. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands also sweltered this July in the hottest heatwave in history, as a result of global warming – which is having a detrimental effect on our planet.

 

What is the greenhouse effect?

The temperature of the earth’s atmosphere is continually rising as a result of the greenhouse effect. Caused by ever-increasing levels of pollutants being released into the atmosphere, such as CFCs and carbon dioxide, this is making a hole in the ozone layer.

It’s known as the greenhouse effect because the gases in the earth’s atmosphere are letting in light, but trapping heat, in the same way as a greenhouse’s glass panes allow the sunlight in and retain the heat inside.

Scientists have made it clear that immediate action must be taken to reduce the damaging emissions and slow down global warming. If emissions aren’t reduced, global temperatures are on track to rise by around 6°C on average, leading to global disaster.

Scientists say it has already started at the planet’s poles, such as at the Arctic, which may end up ice-free after the summer melt season in only a few years, if global warming continues at its current rate.

It’s predicted that by 2050, the sea level will have risen by up to 2.3 feet if the glaciers continue to melt – a significant rise in sea levels has already been detected at the Gulf of Mexico and on the east coast of the United States.

 

What can we do to help?

So what is everyone doing about global warming? Some people are trying their best to reduce emissions and slow down global warming to protect our planet for future generations.

According to NASA, in order to slow down climate change, we must reduce the flow of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. We can do this by reducing the source of the gases, such as by burning less fossil fuel for electricity, transport and heat.

At the same time, we must enhance the places where the gases can accumulate, such as forests, soil and the sea. The ecosystem must be able to adapt to climate change gradually, rather than having it artificially speeded up by human interference.

 

What are companies doing?

Forward-thinking companies need to look ahead, complete a detailed risk assessment of how climate change will affect them, and equip themselves accordingly, so they can continue to function without adversely affecting the climate further.

In the business world, some global companies are already adapting to climate change and changing the way they work so they’re not adding to the problem. For example, the Swedish furniture-maker, Ikea, has invested in sustainability throughout its whole operation.

This includes its supply chain, where around 50% of Ikea’s wood is sourced from sustainable forests and 100% of its cotton comes from farms that practice Better Cotton standards – this means they use less water, chemical fertilisers and energy in the production processes.

Unilever has also made green investments and has turned sustainability into a major part of its corporate brand. First adopted as long ago as 2010, its Sustainable Living Plan sets targets for supply chain, sourcing and production. It covers everything from water and energy use, to the treatment of suppliers and their local communities.

 

How can we save energy at home?

As well as businesses changing their working practices to halt global warming, individuals can do their bit too. Even doing one small, simple thing can help – such as saving energy at home by turning off appliances and lights when they’re not being used, using low-energy light bulbs and switching to a renewable energy supplier.

Cut down on the excess use of electric appliances – for example, try to dry your clothes naturally, rather than in a tumble dryer, which uses around five times as much electricity as the washing machine.

If you have an old boiler that is more than 15 years old, replace it with a modern, eco-friendly alternative. This will save you money on bills, as well as helping the planet.

 

How can we keep cool and protect the planet?

Switch to reliable, energy-efficient and eco-friendly air conditioning units, such as the latest Turbocor chillers. Based on advanced technology, they are designed and manufactured to offer greater control and flexibility. This ensures they provide energy efficiency, making them ideal for commercial applications, including hotels and medium to large buildings which require air conditioning. They create the perfect balance between comfort, low consumption and flexibility.

Axial fans improve the heat exchange with reduced energy consumption. Danfoss Turbocor compressors deliver high efficiency with a compact footprint – this is the world’s first oil-free magnetic bearing compressor for the air conditioning industry.

When you need to keep cool, there’s no need to add to the problems of climate change and global warming if you choose an eco-friendly system. Klima-Therm’s products allow you to enjoy a high level of comfort, while remaining energy-efficient.

Please contact us today for further information on our products and services.

Air Con and Insects

Insects can be a nuisance when it comes to air conditioning units. Once they’ve infiltrated your AC ducts, it’s inevitable that they will find their way into your home or workplace. No one wants them getting into food, or biting people and pets.

Insects are always looking for places to live, where they can access water and food. They may be attracted to your home by the smell of cooking through the air conditioner ducts, or it could be there’s water dripping from the compressor hose.

 

What types of insects can invade your AC?
Various types of insects can find their way into your air con. One of the most common is the cockroach. Due to its body shape, it can squeeze through even tiny cracks. Cockroaches love cool, dark places, so they may even nest in the ducts. You may hear them scurrying about, which is bad enough, but you certainly won’t want them in your home!

Another invader is the spider, which may get into vents, ductwork and your indoor AC unit if you don’t keep these areas clean. While spiders in the house can simply be a nuisance in the UK, especially if you have a phobia of them, they can be a major health hazard in some countries, where poisonous spiders are prevalent.

Dust mites can live inside undisturbed tight spaces in the home, including your air con system. They can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. Female mosquitoes may seek out undisturbed AC units to lay their eggs and they can enter your home through the vents. Ants may invade your AC system too – remember, insects don’t need to fly to find their way in.

Earwigs may also be an AC invader, as they are nocturnal creatures that like cool, dark conditions. Although this may sound like a horror story, the simple way to keep all of these insect invaders out is by having your ductwork maintained and cleaned regularly.

 

Do insects affect the AC’s performance?
Bugs can cause problems with indoor air quality. Any insects that nest, such as ants, can prevent parts of the AC unit from operating properly. They can also short your electrical connections. This can cause performance issues, affecting the unit’s energy efficiency, while over time, if untreated, it can cause the unit to shut down altogether.

If you try to treat infestations yourself, this can cause issues, as you should never use pesticides. Going to the shop and buying an insect spray is the usual reaction, but you shouldn’t spray inside your AC ducts with pesticide, as this can cause the fumes to spread through your home the next time you turn on the air conditioning. This could make you and your pets ill.

 

How do you get rid of insects?
Keeping your AC unit properly cleaned and maintained can help to stop insect invaders in the first place. While your ducts are clean, you can install very fine wire mesh over the duct openings. This will allow the air to come through, while keeping the insects out.

If you haven’t had your AC system cleaned and maintained regularly, you may already have insects inside. The solution is to have the ducts professionally cleaned. Don’t have a DIY disaster by tackling it yourself! Professional duct cleaning will remove insects and any droppings they may have left behind, leaving your system running efficiently.

Improve your comfort and quality of life at home with the help of Klima-Therm. We can clean your air con ducts and remove any insects that have found their way inside – they might even be entering your home! For further information on our products and services, please contact us for a no-obligation chat

Squeeze: Cool For Cats

Pop band Squeeze has been going strong since 1974. As one of the few survivors of the British new wave era, their commercial light rock sound has made them high-flyers for more than four decades. The group is still fronted by the two founder members, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook.

They formed when 20-year-old vocalist, songwriter and guitarist Difford advertised in a local shop window in Deptford, London, for a guitarist. Tilbrook, who was 17 at the time, replied and they struck up a prolific song writing partnership. Drummer Paul Gunn and keyboard player Jools Holland joined them soon afterwards.

They called themselves Squeeze after the 1973 LP by the rock band Velvet Underground. After winning a record deal in 1976, they had their debut hit, Take Me I’m Yours, in 1978, which peaked at number 19 in the UK singles chart. To date, they have released 48 hit singles and 33 albums.

Cool for Cats

Second album, Cool for Cats, released in 1979 on A&M Records, was certified silver in the UK. The band released the title track as a single, which went to number two in the UK and launched them on the international market.

Written by the now established team of Tilbrook and Difford, the song was one of only three songs when Difford sang the lead vocal. The duo were inspired to write the song by the UK television series, Cool for Cats, which was hailed the first UK “youth show” in the 1950s.

It featured the top rock and roll bands of the day and the “cool cats” were the bands and audience members, who were into the latest trends and music. Difford sang Cool for Cats in a pronounced Cockney accent, portraying an ordinary guy in a pub, enjoying inebriated banter with his mates.

“Cool” guys

He’s singing about “cool” guys (both real and fictional), including the American frontiersman, soldier and politician, Davy Crockett, whose exploits in the Tennessee military in the 19th century led to his legendary status.

Difford sings as a regular guy, who admires all-action heroes, while his own life is dull in comparison. After hailing Crockett, he says, “The Sweeney’s doing 90, ‘cos they’ve got the word to go,” in reference to the gritty 1970s television series, starring John Thaw. He talks of the action-packed life of the detectives, with their high-speed car chases and catching a “gang of villains in a shed up at Heathrow”, before going back to the police station.

Difford sings about how it’s “cool to be a cat”, or so everybody tells him. “I want to be so flash, I give a little muscle and I spend a little cash,” he admits, but he realises his own life, meeting girls at “the disco” and giving them “some old chat”, isn’t like life is portrayed on the TV.

By the time he’s sober, he’s forgotten about all his exploits anyway and realises his rather mundane life isn’t “cool for cats”, but he’s stuck with it.

Long career

Cool for Cats was the start of a massive series of chart successes, including Squeeze’s 1979 smash, Up the Junction, followed by Labelled with Love in 1981. Later that year, Tempted was their first big hit in the United States.

The song writing team of Difford and Tilford produced such classics as their best-selling albums, the gold certified Argybargy in 1980 and the silver East Side Story in 1981, and Babylon and On six years later.

In 1992, the single Cool for Cats was resurrected after it was used for a milk commercial and it hit the charts a second time.

In 1999, Difford and Tilford announced the band was splitting up and they both began solo careers, but eight years later, they re-formed Squeeze with a new backing band. Their success continued with an American tour in August 2007, TV appearances and more gigs in the US and the UK from 2008 to 2010.

The band continues to record new material, with their latest releases being an album, The Knowledge, and a single, Innocence in Paradise, in 2017.

Cool for everyone, including the cat!

If you want your premises to be Cool for Cats, and everyone else for that matter, Klima-Therm’s specialist air conditioning services will provide all-year comfort for your place of employment or home. Please contact us for details of our products and services.

Heat And Humidity: Health Implications

Most of us relish a warm and hot summer, but excessive heat and humidity can wreak havoc on the body, often with serious health implications. Here’s how to look after your body when the mercury starts to rise.

How we regulate heat

The human body is designed to regulate heat. Mechanisms in the body, including the cardiovascular system, help to maintain a core body temperature of around 37 degrees Celsius, no matter what the weather.

The hypothalamus in the brain functions like a thermostat, so when it gets hot, the brain sends signals to nerves telling them to cool down. To do this, the excess heat in the body is absorbed with water, which is then released as sweat.

As we get older, this sweating mechanism doesn’t function as effectively as it should, which means the elderly (and young children for that matter) often struggle to regulate their body temperature during hot weather. This also makes it harder for the cardiovascular system to work properly, which can cause blood vessels in the skin to collapse, reducing the body’s ability to sweat. Heat then builds up in the body with nowhere to go, which can be damaging to health.

Older people are also more likely to have illnesses or take medications that make them more prone to overheating – these include heart disease, beta-blockers and aspirin. Additionally, as we age, we tend to eat and drink less, which can result in dehydration, often exacerbating heat-related disorders.

Effects of overheating

Excessive heat and humidity can have serious consequences. In fact, following the heatwave of 2018, 650 more deaths were reported than on average, with the blistering heat likely to blame.

Many people suffer from dehydration when it gets hot, as they fail to replenish adequate fluids in the body that have been lost from sweating. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue and muscle cramps.

When the body creates more heat than it loses, this results in a condition known as hyperthermia, or overheating. Especially common in older people who may have poor blood circulation or ineffective sweat glands, symptoms can include dizziness, nausea and an increased pulse.

If the body sweats excessively during hot weather, resulting in loss of fluids and salt, this can cause heat exhaustion. Sufferers may feel sick, confused and extremely thirsty.

Heatstroke is a very serious implication of exposure to heat and humidity. It occurs when the body isn’t able to cool itself down, resulting in a potentially life-threatening spiked temperature. If someone is confused, suffers a seizure or even loses consciousness, heatstroke may be to blame.

Helpful tips

Health complications from heat exposure can be prevented, especially for those who are very young or old. Staying hydrated is one of the most important measures you can take to cope with hot weather, and, in particular, drinks that contain salts and carbohydrates may prove beneficial.

It’s always a good idea to keep out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, and avoid doing exercise at this time. Wearing cool, cotton fabrics in a light colour can encourage your body to breathe.

Stay in the coolest room of the house, or preferably a place with air-conditioning, and close the blinds and windows. If you’re visiting a hot climate, acclimatise slowly to the heat.

If someone displays symptoms of a heat-related disorder, it’s important that you attend to them immediately, especially if they’re very young or elderly. Give them a drink, move them to a cool room and elevate their legs. If they don’t start to feel better within half an hour, seek medical assistance.

With the wide range of professional air-conditioning services from Klima-Therm, suffering from the effects of heat and humidity shouldn’t be something you have to worry about.

Sidney Poitier: In The Heat Of The Night

Based on a novel of the same name by John Ball that was published in 1965, In the Heat of the Night is a murder mystery film set in a small town in Mississippi in 1967. It stars Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs, a police detective from Philadelphia, who is drafted in to assist the local police chief, Bill Gillespie, played by Rod Steiger, with a murder investigation.

Tibbs, a black detective, arrives in the town of Sparta during an era of bigotry and the rise of the civil rights movement.

Today, the film is considered a classic drama, a snapshot of a bygone era, in which Tibbs is arrested for no reason other than his race, while sitting on a railway station platform.

In 2002, the Library of Congress selected In the Heat of the Night for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, on the grounds it was “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Background

The film was directed by Norman Jewison, who was nominated for an Academy Award for In the Heat of the Night – he has directed many other iconic films including Fiddler on the Roof in 1971, Jesus Christ Superstar in 1973 and Rollerball in 1975.

In the Heat of the Night was edgy and tough, with the residents of the Southern town seeming to hate outsiders. The theme reflected the reality of the uncertain mood of the era, with the Civil Rights Movement attempting to right the wrongs in society.

Jewison’s aim was to relate an anti-racist story, featuring a white man and a black man working together and overcoming the difficulties presented by the mood of the times.

There are many iconic scenes, including perhaps the most famous in which the small-town, bigoted police officers try to rile Tibbs by mocking his first name, Virgil, saying it’s a “funny name” for a man of his ethnic origins.

They ask him sneeringly, “What do they call you in Philadelphia?” and he replies with barely-concealed anger, “They call me Mr Tibbs!”

The quote from the tense scene was voted number 16 in the American Film Institute’s top 100 movie quotes of the past century.

Production

Filming took place in the real town of Sparta, although it was stated at the time that the action wasn’t meant to reflect the real-life community. The portrayal of Sparta in the movie was said to be completely fictional. Scenes were also filmed in Dyersburg, Union City and Freeburg.

Jewison, Steiger and Poitier got on well and worked together efficiently, although it was reported that Poitier had reservations about filming south of the Mason–Dixon line – which was west of Delaware, marking the northern limit of slavery in the US. It exists in a figurative sense today as the line that separates the North and South socially and politically.

In an interview in 2017, celebrating the film’s 50th anniversary, Jewison, now aged 92, recalled Poitier’s reticence. Jewison said he wanted to make films that had an impact on society and discussed In the Heat of the Night at length with Poitier before the project began.

Location

Poitier had asked Jewison where the filming was going to take place. When he found out in was in the southern states, Poitier reportedly told the director he wouldn’t go south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Jewison said that Poitier described an “unsettling experience” he had suffered in Georgia while driving in a car with his friend Harry Belafonte, the famous black actor and singer. Poitier reportedly said that their car had been chased and they had been threatened in a racist incident.

Determined not to lose Poitier, Jewison said he would do his best to stay north of the Mason-Dixon line, as he was desperate for the star to do the picture. He then discovered Sparta, just across the state line from Missouri, on the Mississippi River.

The town became the main location for filming. In the book, the action was set in Wells, South Carolina. Jewison changed it to Sparta for the film because it would have been too big a task painting over all of the location signs in Sparta before filming.

Hit films

For Poitier, who was 40 at the time, the movie was the latest in a succession of hit films that had started in 1950 with the American film noir, No Way Out.

Born in 1927, in Miami, Florida, Poitier was the son of Reginald and Evelyn Poitier, who were farmers on the British colony of Cat Island in the Bahamas. He arrived two months early, when his parents had travelled to Miami to sell their produce.

He defied the odds as a desperately weak premature baby and after three months in hospital, he was well enough to return to Cat Island with his parents. After moving to New York at 16 and working in restaurants to survive, he joined a theatre group and honed his acting skills.

His big break came after winning the role of a student in an unruly high school class in the movie, Blackboard Jungle, in 1955.

The star, who is now 92, went on to establish himself as one of the greatest actors of the 20th century, winning a multitude of awards, including Golden Globes, Grammy awards, Academy awards and a BAFTA Fellowship in 2016.

He has also received the American Film Industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Virgil Tibbs

Virgil Tibbs is one of Poitier’s most famous roles. Tibbs has a black belt in karate and has extensive knowledge of many different fields, drawing on complex bodies of knowledge to solve problems. He is also perceptive, with a cold and intellectual demeanour.

His sole motivation is justice and duty and he isn’t interested in glory or media attention. A hard-working and diligent detective, Tibbs refuses to accept the racism of his new surroundings in Sparta.

There are many memorable scenes, including the most famous one, in which Tibbs and a suspect whom he is interviewing have a fight.

The body of Enrico Mantoli, an orchestra conductor and organiser of Sparta’s upcoming music festival, has been found in the middle of the highway. During the course of the police investigation, Tibbs and Gillespie go to interview the wealthy city councilman, Eric Endicott, in the orchid house attached to his mansion.

Endicott is a racist, who doesn’t like being interviewed by a black detective, even though Tibbs is polite and calm. Suddenly, Endicott loses his temper and lunges at Tibbs, slapping him across the face for what he perceives as “insolence”.

Tibbs slaps him back, even harder, causing an astonished Endicott to stagger and almost fall over. The blustering councilman wasn’t expecting this and tells the detective, “There was a time when I could’ve had you shot!”

According to an interview with Poitier (published in the book, Civil Rights and Race Relations in the USA), he had told Jewison that if Endicott slapped Tibbs, then the detective would be slapping him back.

In the Heat of the Night won five Oscars, including best lead actor for Rod Steiger, best picture and best adapted screenplay. The film was described as “tense” and “thought provoking” by the critics and has a 96% approval rating on the fans’ review site, Rotten Tomatoes.

As summer approaches, check out Klima-Therm’s air conditioning systems, which are perfect for hot nights. Avoid suffering from the heat of the night by investing in our high-quality air conditioning units – your environment can be as hot or as cool as you wish. Give us a call on 020 8971 4195 for further information.

The World’s Hottest Hotspots!

The changeable nature of Britain’s weather means it’s always a favourite topic of conversation but for some countries, weather fluctuations are less common and extreme heat remains the norm. Where are the hottest places on the planet, and how does the UK compare with its own temperature highs?

Scorching Britain

British summers are usually a let-down, but the summer of 2018 was a different kettle of fish. With an average temperature of 15.8C, the UK experienced the joint hottest summer since records began in 1910. Last year’s hottest day in the UK was recorded on 26 July in Faversham in Kent, reaching 35.3C. However, the highest temperature ever recorded in the UK was 38.5C in 2003, also in Faversham.

Experts reckon the heatwave of 2018 was caused by an area of high pressure sitting over the UK that refused to budge for several weeks. Other notable UK heatwaves occurred during the summers of 1976, 2003 and 2006.

Britain’s temperature highs might have smashed records on home ground, but they pale in comparison to other places on the planet.

Extreme heat

California’s aptly named Death Valley is the place that holds the world record for the hottest air temperature, hitting a blazing 56.7C in 1913. Even on an average day, you can expect the mercury to sit at around 47C. Tucked in a valley surrounded by mountains, wind and water rarely reach Death Valley, meaning that the still air literally bakes in the sun. Inevitably, humans don’t live here, but some plants and animals manage to survive the challenging conditions.

The desert town of Aziziyah in Libya also hit a record temperature high when the thermometer topped 58C in 1922, although there has been debate over the accuracy of this figure. Having said that, temperatures still climb up to 48C most summers.

With daily temperatures hovering around the 41C mark, Dallol in Ethiopia boasts the highest average temperature on Earth of any inhabited location. Similar temperatures are also regularly recorded in Sudan’s Wadi Halfa, where this city can go for several years without any rainfall.

The world’s hottest ground temperature has been recorded in Iran at Dasht-e Loot, measuring a whopping 70.7C. Other locations that have seen the mercury pass the 50C degree mark include Tirat Zvi in Israel, Kebili in Tunisia, Ghadames in Libya and Bandar-e Mahshahr in Iran.

Adapting to the heat

Many of these extreme temperature hotspots are located close to deserts or the equator, meaning that burning sunshine is part and parcel of everyday life, but how do inhabitants cope with the punishing heat?

Most people learn to adapt, avoiding the heat as much as possible. Outdoor workers begin their daily activities at the crack of dawn, staying indoors in air-conditioned buildings for most of the day, and then returning outside in the cooler evening. Those people living near pools of water, such as lakes or natural springs, often make use of these to cool down. Ironically, because inhabitants hide away from the sun, vitamin D deficiency is often a problem in very hot climates.

In Ghadames in Libya, where average temperatures top 40C, mud huts have been built for 7,000 residents to shelter from the baking sunlight. Similar temperatures are also a feature in the Australian desert town of Coober Pedy. Locals live in cool underground caves called dugouts to escape the heat.

Residents of Tirat Zvi in Israel often sleep outdoors on sweltering nights and keep the temperature down by throwing water on wooden floors. They also fix a dripper system to windows made from wet straw that encourages cooler air to flow into homes.

While inhabitants learn to adapt to these extreme temperatures, visitors not used to these conditions must also live like the locals in order to avoid heatstroke. For many, though, such scorching temperatures would be far too hot to handle!

Stay cool!

Whatever levels of heat you’re subjected to, there’s no need to put up with uncomfortable conditions. With the wide range of high-quality air-conditioning systems available from Klima-Therm, you can always keep your cool.

Signs That It’s Time To Replace Your AC

An air conditioning system is something many of us have come to rely on, both in the home and workplace. With the unpredictable British climate (and especially with weather like the heatwave of summer 2018), it’s a worthwhile expenditure to keep us comfortable.

You’ll certainly notice the difference if your AC unit stops working and when this is the case, it becomes an urgent necessity to replace it. Rather than waiting for it to pack in altogether, it’s better to spot the warning signs that your system may be on its way out, so you can do something about it before it’s too late.

It’s important to have your air conditioning system maintained regularly by a professional to extend its lifespan for as long as possible, but even the best-maintained AC units can’t last forever and will succumb to old age.

The average lifespan of an AC unit is around 15 years. When you buy a top-quality brand, it may have a longer lifespan, especially if it has been properly looked after, but if you notice something a little off and if your AC is near the recommended replacement age, have a professional take a look.

End of lifespan

If you’ve had your old system for around its expected lifespan of 15 years, you may find it’s increasingly difficult (and sometimes impossible) to get parts for its repairs. If you do find the parts, they may cost a lot, because they’re becoming obsolete.

When frequent breakdowns and recurring repair services are required, you could find yourself spending more on the air conditioning, just to keep it ticking over. If this is the case, it may be time to start looking for a replacement system.

Ineffective air conditioning

If your energy bills are increasing, this could be a sign your AC is on its way out. Older models usually consume more than 2,000KW of electricity per year. The AC system’s efficiency is measured by its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. A low SEER means it could cost a lot to repair.

The latest generation of air conditioners must have a rating of 13 or higher. If your existing AC’s SEER rating is below 13, it means it’s consuming more energy and will be costing you more, yet it may be working less efficiently.

Inconsistent temperature

If the room doesn’t seem to be getting any colder and you’re having a hard time adjusting it to the ideal temperature, this is a major sign that your AC needs renewing. The whole purpose of AC is that it maintains a stable temperature, so if it’s changing the temperature without you touching it, this is a bad sign.

In addition, if it’s making odd noises to the point of causing noise pollution, this is not good. It’s time to call in an engineer! A low hum is normal but if the noises are rattling, grinding, clanking, banging, clicking or whining, it’s likely you have broken or loose parts.

Don’t wait until your AC packs in altogether. If it’s reaching the end of its expected lifespan, or if it’s showing signs of wear, Klima-Therm’s specialist air conditioning engineers can help.

We stock a large range of high-quality air conditioning products which we will supply and install. Our after-care services will ensure a comfortable climate for your workplace or home all year round.

For more details, please contact us for a no-obligation chat.

Die Hard

The all-action film, Die Hard, released in 1988 by 20th Century Fox, tells the story of the Christmas from hell – with the hero, detective John McClane, facing death at the hands of international terrorists.

Having gone out to the coast to “have a few laughs” and hopefully reconcile with his estranged wife, Holly, laughing is the last thing on his mind as the lavish Christmas party (hosted by Holly’s employer, the Nakatomi Corporation) is attacked by a gang of thugs.

Christmas blockbuster

The exciting action scenes that follow have made Die Hard one of the biggest Christmas blockbusters ever, as McClane (played by Bruce Willis) manages to escape the clutches of the bloodthirsty gang and stages a one-man rescue mission of the hostages inside the tower block.

Based on the 1979 novel, Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorp, the film was the vehicle that turned Willis into an action hero. The troubled McClane is an off-duty New York cop who’s trying to get his life back on track.

After the Nakatomi building comes under attack, it turns out that the gang, led by German criminal mastermind Hans Gruber (played by Alan Rickman) is using terrorism as a front. They are really staging a heist to steal $640 million from the vaults of the building.

After Nakatomi executive Joseph Takagi refuses to give Gruber the code to the vault, he is killed in cold blood. McClane has so far evaded capture, but he knows that time is running out for the hostages, including his wife.

McClane has a unique way of alerting the authorities to the fact the building is under siege – he drops the dead body of Marco (one of Gruber’s henchmen) on to a police car outside. Armed officers of the Los Angeles Police Department arrive in force and surround the building.

Meanwhile, still trapped inside, McClane steals a bag containing explosives and detonators from one of the thugs and manages to blow up a whole floor of the building, killing more members of the gang as a result.

Air vent scene

One of the most famous scenes in Die Hard is the vent scene, when McClane, who is the only trained person on the inside to keep everyone safe, is chased by a gun-wielding terrorist through the building’s air conditioning system.

As he crawls through the maze of ventilation ducts, McClane is talking to himself, but it seems natural and not a sign of having lost his mind! The vents chase is an iconic moment in the film, which has been honoured recently with a wall mural being created at Fox Studios.

McClane crawls, runs and jumps around the network of tunnels, squeezing through tight, claustrophobic spaces and navigating the whole building like some kind of architectural genius crossed with Spiderman.

One of the most famous elements of the vent chase was actually an accident: when McClane fell down the elevator shaft at a dramatic moment, it was never meant to happen. In the script, the stuntman, who was Willis’s stunt double, was supposed to grab one of the vents!

However, he slipped and continued falling much further down the shaft – luckily without injuring himself. Director John McTiernan said afterwards there was no point in wasting the footage. It was edited into the final cut of the film and showed McClane grabbing an air vent much further down to save himself.

Dangerous stunts

McTiernan said 37 stunt men had been employed on Die Hard and although both Willis and Rickman did some of their own stunts, others were simply too dangerous for anyone to perform, other than a professional stuntman.

Afterwards, McTiernan tried to play down the dangerous elements of filming Die Hard. He said he was always being asked in interviews whether it was really hazardous to shoot the movie.

He said the film had been made by a major corporation, covered by insurance policies and lawyers in the real world, so they would never put anyone’s life at risk by doing a stunt so dangerous that the stuntman risked death or serious injury. However, McClane plummeting down the lift shaft certainly looked death-defying on the big screen!

Of course, McClane eventually saves the day and persuades his wife to give their marriage a second chance, after a thrilling final shootout scene.

Die Hard set Willis on the road to superstardom and made $140.8 million at the box office worldwide. It is usually shown every Christmas and never grows tired or dated, as we all enjoy an action thriller over the festive season!

Klima-Therm’s specialist high-quality air conditioning services will provide a comfortable climate for your home or workplace all year round – although we don’t recommend crawling round the air vents Bruce Willis-style! For further information, please contact us for a no-obligation chat.

Kool & The Gang

No party would be complete without a few classic Kool & the Gang hits on the turntable, but what’s the story behind this eternally popular, legendary disco band?

How it all began

Back in 1964, New Jersey brothers Ronald and Robert ‘Kool’ Bell teamed up with high school buddies Dennis Thomas, Charles Smith, George Brown, Robert Mickens and Ricky West to form a band. Originally calling themselves names such as the Jazziacs, The Jazz Birds, The New Dimensions, The Soul Town Band and Kool & the Flames, they finally settled on Kool & the Gang.

The band’s self-titled debut album and single were released in 1969, uniquely blending jazz, funk and soul instrumental sounds and finely tuned horn arrangements. Commercial success came their way in 1973 with their third album, Wild and Peaceful, which spawned the top ten singles, Funky Stuff, Jungle Boogie and Hollywood Swinging.

It wasn’t until the band collaborated with vocalist James Taylor and musician Eumir Deodato in 1979 that they really started to enjoy mainstream success. The album Ladies Night was released in 1979, closely followed by albums Celebrate! and Emergency, producing classic hit singles such as Ladies Night, Celebration, Get Down on It, Joanna, Fresh and Cherish. Celebration topped the charts for an impressive six weeks, while the popular 1984 hit Fresh made it to the number one spot on the R&B and Dance charts. Arguably one of the band’s most iconic tunes, Fresh gave a new meaning to the words cool or original. This single from the Emergency album has since been covered by the Beat System and Liberty X.

Singles from Kool & the Gang have also featured on top movie soundtracks, Rocky, Saturday Night Fever, Pulp Fiction and Wreck-It-Ralph. Overall, the group has achieved 25 top ten R&B hits, 9 top ten pop hits and 32 gold and platinum-selling albums.

A unique sound

Although Kool & the Gang experimented with different styles of music over the years, they have become famous for their unique disco sound that harmoniously blends with funk, soul, pop, jazz and R&B. They became an innovator in black music during the 80s and charted more pop singles at this time than any other act. Regarded as the most sampled band of all time, hits such as Celebration, Fresh and Get Down on It regularly feature at parties and events today.

Success

With the band’s catchy tunes boasting evergreen appeal, it’s easy to see why Kool & the Gang has earned a bevy of awards over the years. As well as two Grammy Awards to their name, they’ve won seven American Music Awards and have been inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame and gained a Hollywood Walk of Fame star. A road in their native Jersey City has even been named after the band. Kool & the Gang was also the only American band to take part in Band Aid’s 1984 charity hit, Do They Know It’s Christmas?

Kool & the Gang today

After more than 20 studio albums, almost 70 singles, and album sales in excess of 70 million worldwide, Kool & the Gang still wow fans all over the world today with their timeless hits.

The band’s last studio album Kool for the Holidays was released in 2013, and their latest single, Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours) was released in 2016. Over the years, they’ve toured with the likes of Kid Rock, Elton John and Van Halen, and in 2014, they embarked on a 50th-anniversary tour.

Kool & the Gang continues to record and tour to this day, with worldwide performances already earmarked for the rest of this year and well into 2019.

If like this iconic pop group, staying ‘fresh’ is top of your agenda, you’ll appreciate just how important air-controlled products are! With more than 30 years expertise, producing a wide range of high-quality air-controlled products, Klima-Therm will help to Kool you down!