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by Paula Towers
posted 14/08/2019

City To Surf Air Rises to the Occasion

Not the popular local fun run but a popular local air conditioning service, City To Surf Air assists businesses in the Eastern Suburbs, CBD and Inner West.

“Because Sydney’s so large, this is the area we cover,” says City To Surf Air Director Brendan Flynn.

“In one way this is a business decision but it’s also lifestyle.” And as well as an economic decision, it’s an environmental one. “We don’t want to drive so far.”

While on the road, Brendan always listens to Eastside FM. “I like independent radio; I like Eastside’s different shows – the variety,” he points out.

“Eastside is known for jazz but it’s expanded out of that – fantastically. Tony’s done a great job [Eastside CEO Tony Smythe] in bringing a wider audience in,” Brendan observes. “It’s really stepped up in content in terms of the stories that are on during the day. It’s quite in-depth and broad – quite impressive!

“I’ve been listening to Eastside for years; always flipped on it but it’s now pretty much the main station I listen to.”

His favourite show is Bambu Hut. Guided by the Jamaican backgrounds of presenters King Keith and The Duchess, the mix includes Jamaican jazz, ska, rocksteady and golden period reggae plus ’50s R&B, exotica and calypso while Señor Bambu adds music from South America, Africa and the Pacific.

In Australia, the hot music choice is reflected in the summer temperatures, which may see Brendan listening to Eastside even more – the company often being contacted for urgent work; like a doctor, they can be on call then 24/7. “If it fails in computer server rooms, game over! There go the traffic lights… The simple fact for a lot of businesses and offices – that is what we mostly deal with – is if the a/c fails in a large office area, they’ll send people home.”

Here’s a clip of Brendan performing in Hairpin Culvert

Sweltering through Sydney’s steamy humidity, we’re often greeted by the ridiculous sight of cinema and theatre patrons carting jackets and scarfs because of freezing air-conditioning!

“If there’s no a/c, no-one’s going to the movies,” says Brendon “They need it but it can be cold. However there is an easy solution.”

At a large cinema complex, with lots of air conditioning throughout, City To Surf Air remedied that with a simple fix.  “When we took over the contract, we did a test; sitting as if we were a punter at the movies.” A small adjustment resulted in a win: win: win – for patrons, the owner as well as the environment. “What a benefit; the electricity bill went right down and people weren’t cold!” Brendan reports. “That’s where City To Surf air rises to the occasion!”

Forefront of technology

Interestingly, the air-conditioning industry straddles both sides of the climate issue, as Brendan points out. “Air-conditioning is such an electricity consumer; whenever there’s heat and we get drops in electrical usages across the country, it’s pretty much because of the consumption of air conditioning.”

So it’s an interesting industry to be involved with at the moment, Brendan declares. “Because in some ways it is responsible for a lot of electricity usage but on the other hand it’s also at the forefront of trying to change the technology that increases its global footprint,” Brendan says.

European countries, such as Germany, are focusing on decreasing electricity use. Innovations include the increasing use of inverter technology as well as the type of refrigerant used – so it’s less harmful to the atmosphere.  In addition, the encouragement and increasing incorporation of solar power as well as building insulation helps reduce reliance on air-conditioning.

Though unfortunately, Australia is general slow in the innovation uptake and, sadly, we have a default situation – “If we’re hot – boom, turn on the a/c; the proof is every summer when the electricity grid fails because of domestic a/c.

The commercial use of a/c is not much better. “In any situation, it’s only a few degrees between failure of equipment and normal operations.”

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