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Ben Bartle-Ross explains why engineers should feel proud of their role in reducing emissions in buildings

Most of the air conditioning and heat pump engineers I see on our regular training courses are all aware that the equipment they install consumes energy.

They also know that this equipment is delivering modern levels of comfort to people and that it can do so in some of the most energy efficient ways known to man.

So I always try to instil a bit of pride in what they are doing because I do believe that together, we are making a difference in lowering humanity’s carbon footprint.

You are part of a sustainable movement that is just quietly getting on with it!

Ben Bartle Ross Ben Bartle-Ross Technical trainer at Mitsubishi Electric

Abandon modern life

Now I know there are others who think we should just abandon modern life and go back to a much more basic way of living.  Who knows, they may be right.

At the same time though, we exist in the 21st Century and few want to give up on feeling comfortable inside whatever building they occupy. 

In fact, studies now show that comfort levels within buildings can have a massive and positive effect on the wellbeing of the occupants and on productivity levels.

Almost everyone though accepts that we need to deliver this comfort in a much, much more sustainable way.

A different way of doing things

And this is my point about being proud of what we in the HVAC industry do. 

We are right at the end of the gas and oil phase of society and almost everyone now accepts that we can’t just continue ‘burning’ things’ to keep us warm. The Sunday Times yesterday had a feature titled "Gas boilers are on the way out — what are the greenest alternatives?" which points to a greater use of heat pumps.

We also can’t all go back to living in caves though and as we see our electricity grid get greener and greener, with more primary production from renewable and sustainable sources, then the arguments for electric heating and cooling grow even stronger.

Modern heat pumps and air conditioning systems will deliver effective, low carbon buildings but it needs to be done in the most energy efficient ways possible.

Education is key

That is why we as a manufacturer invest so heavily in our training facilities.  We know we build some of the best equipment in the world, but if it is not designed, installed, commissioned and maintained properly, then it could be wasting needless energy and increasing the carbon footprint of the building.

One key element of this is how the system is controlled and THE KEY element to ensure that building owners, facilities teams and homeowners get the best out of any equipment is education.

That is also why we invest heavily in short videos on our YouTube channel, so that engineers can refresh the training they have had, whilst out on site and end users can learn these things for themselves.

We need to believe

Anyone who knows me will know how passionate I am about training and I try to bring this enthusiasm into the classroom so that people attending our courses understand how important their role in the industry can be.

As an industry, we often sit hidden from the rest of society. In fact, I’ve started saying to people that they are being trained on equipment that most people simply do not care about.  They just expect it to work.

If they are at home, they expect their heating to work.

If they are in an office, shopping or at leisure, they just expect comfort.

That is where modern life has led us to.

And we can help deliver this … and we can do so in ways that minimise the amount of energy needed.

So feel proud.  You are part of a sustainable movement that doesn’t need to put up tents in Oxford Circus.  You are just quietly getting on with it!

Ben Bartle-Ross is a technical trainer for Mitsubishi Electric.