High humidity levels in the home can be pretty unsettling. It often leaves you sweaty and uneasy.
High humidity and moisture levels pose a serious problem to your home’s structure and surfaces in severe cases.
For instance, high humidity can destroy paintings, wood, siding, and insulation in your home. Similarly, your home becomes prone to allergens and pollutants like dust, mold, and mildew, which can be devastating; to your health, especially if you are suffering from any pulmonary condition or asthma.
What is the ideal humidity level in your home?
The ideal humidity levels vary from one room to another. However, a level between 30 and 40 percent humidity is generally suitable for keeping your home warm and comfortable in the winter. Humidity levels between 50 and 60 percent are typically ideal, even on the hottest days of summer.
Signs that indicate you have excess humidity in your home
Several telltale signs indicate your home has excess moisture. They include:
- Condensation on cooler surfaces such as windows, mirrors, and pipes.
- Wet stains or discolouration on the ceiling.
- The smell of mould or mildew
- Frequent allergy symptoms such as sneezing or coughing
Note that these signs alone do not guarantee your home has excess humidity. However, it is safe to check your home’s humidity once you notice these signs.
How to check your home’s humidity levels
The best way of checking your home’s humidity level is by using a humidistat to monitor and control your home’s humidity level.
Several humidistats are either wired to a humidifier mounted directly to your furnace or mounted on a wall somewhere else in your home.
Humidistats appear and work similarly to a thermometer. It measures the relative humidity in the air and also controls your humidifier.
How to decrease humidity in your home
There are several tools and techniques you can deploy to reduce humidity levels in your home. These strategies and tools are ideal for lowering humanity in the house in winter and summer.
Most dehumidifiers are installed in the basement. They are effective when a room or area is completely sealed off, including all windows and doors. They help eliminate moisture from the air to make your home warm and habitable.
2. Air conditioning systems
Aside from cooling down the air inside your home, air conditioning systems also help to remove moisture and humidity. Ensure the air conditioning unit you installed is the correct size for the square footage of your property.
3. Suitable Ventilation
Ensure that areas with moisture, including the kitchen and bathrooms, are well ventilated. Ensure you turn on vents and leave them on if there is moisture in the room. If you suspect that your moisture is the source of problems, you would have to purchase additional fans.
You can carry out a weather-stripping can around the doors and windows of the home to create an airtight seal to prevent cool or warm air from escaping and excess humidity from flowing inside.
Ensure your homes are well insulated to prevent cool and warm air from escaping or entering through gaps in the walls.
Excess humidity levels can damage your home or cause significant health challenges for yourself and your family. By applying the right knowledge on controlling moisture, you can make your home safe and comfortable to live in.
Your air-conditioning system operates at a much higher capacity than during moderate or cold weather during hot weather. Hot weather increases your air conditioner’s workload and may affect its performance over time. It may also lead to increased energy consumption, so you may have to pay more about how hot weather may impact your air-conditioning.
Here are some of the impacts of hot weather on your air-conditioning system:
Additional strain on your air conditioner
As mentioned earlier, your air-conditioning system works more during hot weather. Since you may need a cooler indoor temperature during summer, it could cause your air conditioner to deteriorate faster. Over time, it may become more challenging for your AC to move the hot air inside your home to your outdoor surrounding.
Your air conditioner operates as a warm air exchanger by absorbing heat from inside your home and discharging the heat outside your home. The heat flow is from a high heat region to a low heat region.
It is expected that the hot air will flow outside, but it may be difficult for the hot air to be discharged outside during hot weather. Your AC will have to work harder to be able to remove the hot air outside as the outdoor temperature increases. However, the issue may be resolved if you have a good AC maintenance plan.
It is advisable to contact a professional air conditioner repair and maintenance expert to keep your AC in perfect condition to deal with the additional workload during summer.
Problems with your AC components
Like every other piece of equipment, continuous operation of your air conditioner at maximum capacity over time may affect the components inside the air conditioning system. It may be difficult for some of your air conditioner components to withstand the high workload during extremely hot temperatures.
The components responsible for providing the required voltage to your air conditioner’s engine may be the most affected. During extreme temperatures, your AC capacitor may wear out, and this may affect the functionality of your air conditioning system.
You can diagnose a faulty AC capacitor if you hear a clicking noise within the AC compartment. You should not hesitate to contact an AC repair technician if you notice this unusual clicking sound.
High Energy Bills
While hot weather may affect the efficiency of your AC over time, it may add a strain to your finances due to increased repair and maintenance costs. That’s not all. Since your AC is operating at a much higher capacity due to increased workload, it may have a toll on your energy consumption.
A higher energy consumption translates to an increase in energy bills. However, you may reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by ensuring your AC is properly maintained so less strain will be on the AC’s components when operating at optimal capacity.
Let the Experts Maintain and Repair your AC today.
Are you having issues with your air conditioning system? Let us offer you our impeccable AC repair and maintenance services today.
Moving into a new house can be stressful, but planning for the big day can help you feel calm and have everything in order.
Take into account that it can be exhausting to do it all in one day. So our advice for you is to divide it into at least two days. One day to carry the small things in your car or with the help of family or friends and a second day to move the bigger things like furniture and appliances with a moving company.
Also, many people think that packaging and unpackaging should be their only concern. However, it’s the things that you do before and after the moving that can make all the difference. So, to help you with the move, we have put together this quick list with 6 key factors to consider before moving into a new house.
1. Make an early inspection of your new home
It is important for you to make an early inspection of your new home, regardless of if it is rented, pre-owned, or brand new. Check the electrical circuit box or main board and make sure that every switch has a label – for the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and so on. Check that all the lights work well and make sure all rooms have their light bulbs or tubes installed.
If your home is rented or you bought it from a previous owner, double-check the following:
- Everything that was included in the sale is in the house.
- All the agreed repairs were made by the previous owner.
- Things like switches, outlets, and fixtures are in safe, working order.
You can hire an air conditioner technician to check the status of your aircon and check if it’s good to go for at least a few more years. Also, you can hire an electrician to check the state of the electrical box or switchboard and see if it needs to be repaired or replaced with a new one.
Furthermore, check your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors (if applicable) to see if they are working well, need batteries, and/or need to be replaced.
If it is a new home, then make sure you equip it with the appliances you need. Also, if you want to save in the long run then you should consider buying an energy-efficient air conditioner as this is the device that may consume the most energy at home. Of course, if possible, look for other energy-efficient appliances as well.
Make sure any alarms or security systems in place work well and you have everything functioning so you can make use of these the moment you move in.
2. Make sure your new place is childproof if you need to
Before you can install the whole set-up in your new home regarding children safety, make sure you do some initial childproofing to keep your child or children safe until you can work on it definitively.
You can quick childproof your home on moving day or you can do it before. Our recommendation is to do it before because on moving day you will be doing so much that you can easily forget about this really important factor.
Some of the things you can work on are checking all the windows and secure them, keep dangerous stuff far out of the reach of children, and watch out for hanging cords (you should fasten them out of reach or knot them).
3. Find the right moving company
Find the right moving company and hire the one that fits your needs and your budget. We recommend getting three quotes before choosing your moving company. Make sure any company you choose is licensed, insured, and guarantee their work in case something breaks.
Keep in mind that a licensed company means that the moving company is allowed by law to work – you don’t want to be scammed. The guarantee implies that the moving companies are bound by your contract. Finally with insurance your things will be safe in case something happens along the way.
Also, as we mentioned before, it is ideal for you move the small things by yourself or with help from family and friends to save money.
4. Inform everyone about your new address
Report your new address to the post office and contact the bank, credit card companies, anyone who sends you bills, and any source of important reminders. so they can update your information.
Remember to do this before you move. You should also notify the post office of your address change to make sure you start receiving mail at your new home straight away. Otherwise, they will keep sending your mailing to the old address.
Furthermore, contact credit card companies to avoid missing a statement and skipping a payment because it arrived at your old address or was lost. Also, you should update the important documents one month before moving in – update your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and electoral role details.
5. Do your packing early
Pack early and pack smart. If you have space that you don’t use in your current home, then designate it as a packing room and store all the boxes there. In this way, you will be able to pack everything without interrupting passages at home.
Make a checklist with all the things you have packaged and the boxes you put them in, so you don’t get lost when you unpack them.
On moving day, make a final inspection of both houses. In the new home, use your moving checklist to make sure you have all your boxes and other belongings before the moving workers leave.
In the old house, make sure the water and lights are off, the doors are locked, and all of your closets and drawers are empty.
6. Contact utility companies
When you get to your new home you will want to have the basic services straight away, such as electricity, gas, water, internet and/or telephone. So contact those companies in advance to set the date of transfer for services to your new address.
On moving day, you should verify that your electric, gas, water, heating and cooling, phone, and internet are set up. Then call your local waste management facility to ensure that your new home is set up for garbage pick up as well.
These key points should help make moving into a new house that little bit easier. It will never be easy, as moving is ranked as one of the most stressful life events. However, the process can certainly be helped, and we hope that this article will help you.
Children, especially newborns, are very sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. This is because temperature alters them easily. For example, at night if they are feeling too cold or too warm they can wake up and feel distressed.
Remember that air conditioning can be very beneficial for your family, especially for your children, but only if you know how to manage it properly. Air conditioning is not harmful to the health of your children at all, but you have to use it with a series of precautions and not use it excessively.
If you make responsible use of the air conditioning, you can help your newborn achieve a better sleep. You can also keep him or her away from some diseases related to extreme heat.
Temperature and humidity
With the presence of very young children, it is necessary to control the humidity and temperature of the room where air conditioning is in operation. In other words, indoor climate control.
Remember that air conditioning is an excellent ally to be able to cope with the extreme temperatures of summer days and nights. In this way your child will be much more comfortable, thus enjoying a fresh and pleasant atmosphere and avoiding any bad experience related to extreme temperatures.
You just have to ensure that temperature and humidity are suitable as an atmosphere too cold and dry can affect the baby’s respiratory tract. A temperature of 25 degrees will be ideal so the heat does not negatively affect adults and there is limited risk of over-cooling in young children.
Keep in mind that as you are looking not to have a dry atmosphere, it is also necessary to avoid excess moisture. This is because moisture favours the growth of mould and fungi, increasing certain health risks.
The moisture at home should oscillate between 30 and 50%. Also, you must try to “air out” all the rooms regularly. To control these parameters, it is useful to have a thermometer and even a hygrometer at home.
Finally, it is preferable to have air conditioning throughout the house and not only in certain rooms. In this way, you and your children will avoid abrupt temperature changes, which can have a negative impact, especially on newborns. These changes can weaken the immune system of minors, which increases the risk of diseases.
Tips for using air conditioning when you are at home
When you have a newborn you must be careful with the use of air conditioning. If you are going to use it, keep these tips in mind:
- To avoid sudden temperature changes. The difference between the inside of the house or the car and the outside should not be very large. Ideally it should not exceed 10 degrees of difference.
- Do not place the baby near the air conditioning. If the cold air gets on the baby directly, this can make him/her ill. All the rooms should have the same temperature if the air conditioning is functioning properly, then there is no need to place the baby that closes to the air conditioning.
- Remember that excessive air conditioning of the indoors can cause stinging or eye itching and drying or irritation of the respiratory system. You must get some degree of humidity at home.
For this reason, you may choose to use a humidifier. That is, a container with water in the bedroom or use an air conditioning system that also regulates the humidity at home.
- If you use a humidifier, keep in mind that you should never surpass 50% humidity. Otherwise, this may encourage fungi to grow in the environment and induce baby allergies.
- Do not turn on the air conditioner and the humidifier constantly. It is important to leave time for good outdoor daily ventilation.
- Do proper cleaning and maintenance on your air conditioner, because pollen, dust, mites, and fungi accumulate inside the filters.
Tips for using air conditioning when you are not home
When you and your family leave the house there are some things you should do.
- If you have to go outside when it is very hot, turn off the air conditioner for a while before your children get in because they are now used to the outside temperature. As we have pointed before, you have to avoid sudden temperature changes.
- When you walk out with your new-born, you have to always put them in warm clothes. This is because you may go to a store, restaurant, or shopping centre where air conditioning has a lot of power and the temperature is typically very low.
- As for the air conditioning in the car, before getting in you have to open the windows so that the hot air goes out. Also, when using the car, you must be very careful with new-borns. You have to mitigate the heat with frequent stops and low air conditioning.
Benefits of using air conditioning for a new-born
Unstable temperatures at home and poor air quality can cause children to suffer from several health problems like skin irritations or rash, bleeding nose, scratchy throats, congestions, infections, itchy eyes and extreme fatigue, just to name a few.
Also, a new-born living in an overly warm place can experience psychological stress because their bodies are trying to regulate their internal temperature.
For this reason, an air conditioner can be the best ally for your children. It improves indoor air quality and keeps the temperature regulated. Keep in mind that the cooled air reduces humidity levels and mould in your home.
Air conditioning is designed to purify the air, removing allergens and pollutants. However, you can further improve your indoor environment with something like the Daikin air purifier.
Remember that a home air conditioner is greatly beneficial at any time of the year if it is used correctly. Getting adequate air conditioning greatly improves quality of life for people living there. This is especially true with energy-efficient air conditioners or more digital devices where you can easily schedule it to obtain a friendly environmental outcome.
Keep in mind that, especially in summer, you must use common sense to protect children from heat since they are not only more susceptibility to changes in temperature but also depend on adults to control everything related to their environment. This is especially true for newborns, who depend solely on adults for their health and survival.
If we tell you that you can save money and take care of the environment while having an air conditioner at home, would you believe us? Well, the truth is that it is possible, if you choose an energy-efficient air conditioner.
You can find energy-efficient appliances including air conditioners in almost all their forms. It may be a higher investment at the beginning compared to a regular air conditioner, however the long-term savings can make up for it.
What is energy efficiency?
Energy efficiency refers to the optimization of resources to achieve a goal. This means using less energy than normal for an appliance to work but achieving the same results. Thus, energy efficiency includes all those actions that aim to save energy without representing an impact on your qualify of life.
Using energy efficiently also means not using it in unnecessary ways and doing what you require with the minimum possible consumption. To achieve this, it is essential to explore new technologies and systems that save energy to achieve a sustainable life.
The efficient use of energy contributes to protecting natural resources and reducing environmental impact. For this reason, it is not only necessary to have efficient technologies, but also responsible for consumers like you.
How to measure energy efficiency?
To make sure that you are truly increasing energy efficiency throughout your home, optimizing the performance of your appliances, and achieving your objectives it is essential to measure energy consumption.
The easiest way to measure your energy savings is through the annual cost of electricity. If your power bill is small/smaller, it means that the energy efficiency in your home is high.
The importance of energy-efficiency
The energy efficiency of the air conditioning is measured based on the amount of energy generated for each kW of energy consumption. The higher the energy generated for each kW spent, the more efficient your system will be.
Furthermore, all appliances have a label that explains their energy efficiency. This efficiency is measured with different letters, from “A” to “G”, with “A” being the most efficient and “F” and “G” the least efficient.
Remember that energy efficiency is one of the main saving factors that must be taken into consideration if you want to ensure optimal use of your air conditioning.
How to choose an energy-efficient air conditioner?
To choose an energy-efficient air conditioner you need to think about your own needs but also identify the models that consume less energy.
For you to make sure to invest in an air conditioner that doesn’t consume too much energy you need to look at its label, which can range from A +++ to B depending on kW rating.
You should have a higher budget to install your air conditioner because cheaper alternatives often offer low performance and high electricity consumption.
The EER rate
To measure the true efficiency of an air conditioner, it is essential to compare the EER rate or Energy Efficiency Rating of each model. This refers to the amount of electricity needed to obtain a defined cooling capacity.
To sum it up, the more energy it takes to reach the desired objective, the more power the device uses.
Energy consumption is an excellent indicator to anticipate the impact of air conditioning on the annual electricity bill. It is measured in kWh and you can simply compare the information for each model to make an informed decision.
Sound of the air conditioning system
The sound of an air conditioner varies between 45 and 60 dB. What you should do to not have any problems with your air conditioner is looking for the ones with the lower levels.
The good news is that energy-efficient air conditioners possess high-level technology with hardly any sound.
How to optimize your energy-efficient air conditioner
Look at the label
An energy-efficient air conditioner can save up to 60% more than a conventional one. For this reason, as we stated before, there are appliances that are cheaper but they are not energy-savers but in the long run. You will pay for them eventually!
Always keep your appliance in good condition
Performing regular maintenance on your air conditioner is key to extending its lifespan. Also, avoiding dirty aircon filters is essential for the proper functioning of your air conditioner. It also keeps away all the mould and bacteria that may affect your health and the health of your family.
Having habits to minimize the heat in your home
The best tip that we can give you to minimize the heat in your house is to ventilate your home at night, so this will cool down the environment in the morning. For the rest of the day, it is better to keep the windows closed so this will avoid increasing the temperature of your home.
Keep in mind that if you are going to leave the house, you should turn off your air conditioner and turn it on when you come back. In this way you will be saving energy and money.
Monitor and regulate the temperature
The main reason to buy an air conditioner is to be comfortable at home. However, it is a great idea to make your air conditioner work as efficiently as possible. For this reason, we recommend you set your aircon at 22-24ºC. For each degree you adjust beyond that, you can increase the cost of your bill up to 10%.
Help yourself with other elements
When the heat is not suffocating, having ceiling or portable fans installed can help you save energy and money as you will not be using the air conditioner as frequently.
Even when you do have the aircon on, fans can further enhance the cooling effect and reduce demand on the air conditioner. This leads to further energy savings and comfort.
Get advice from a specialists
It is not the same to cool down a small place vs a large place or design an air conditioner system for a room vs a whole house with several rooms. There are many other factors that effects which size of air conditioner you need to have greater energy-efficiency. For this reason, it is better to get advice from a specialist.
Remember that being more efficient does not mean giving up a degree of well-being and quality of life. It is simply a matter of adopting a series of responsible habits, measures, and investments at a technological and decision-making level.
When you invest in a new air conditioner, it’s common to be focused on the cost of the system upfront, the energy efficiency of the aircon, and when can it be installed. Once these initial concerns are resolved, it’s time to start thinking about the lifespan of your air conditioning system.
There are many different factors that impact how long an air conditioner unit will last. These includes but are not limited to installation quality, how your use the system, strategies in place to assist the aircon, type of maintenance carried out, the nature of repairs, and paperwork in place from start to finish.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to ensure your new air conditioning system reaches its full potential. For this reason, the article will go through 7 key areas worth focusing on. For each area, we will narrow-down information into 4 main points that can make or break your aircon’s expected lifespan.
Before you even install your air conditioner, there are things that can be done to ensure the air conditioning equipment reaches its full potential and lifespan.
Before installing any air conditioner units, you want to ensure they form part of the most suitable, well designed AC system for any given application. For a floor, ceiling or wall mounted split system, position and associated components installed are vital. For a ducted system, layout and quality materials can seriously impact the longevity of your air conditioning system.
For a ducted AC system, with a network of ductwork in the ceiling space, it’s important that the system is designed and installed by an experienced ducted aircon installer. Many factors impact the ongoing efficiency of the system, including zoning type and layout, ductwork size and insulation rating, supply/return air outlet size and number, and wall controller/thermostat/sensor location.
Poor design, inferior materials, and poor workmanship will cause the system to struggle and wear out faster as a result. It will also cause endless issues and excessive power usage along the way. This is true for ALL air conditioning unit types.
As a result of sub-standard design, you will need replace the air conditioning system sooner than you would with a higher quality and suitably designed system. For the sake of a few dollars saved upfront, you can easily end up paying far more in the long run.
Before installing an air conditioner, it’s important to ensure that it is a suitable size for the area it will serve. This refers to the capacity, typically measured in kilowatts (kW). Just like Goldilocks and her run in with the Three Bears, an aircon can be too big, too small, or just right.
If you put in an air conditioner that is too big, it will cycle on and off more frequently as it tends to overshoot the desired temperature, detect this, stop, wait for temperature to go the other way, and then blast out hot/cold air again. This constant on/off and short cycling damages the internals of the AC units as they are designed for run for longer periods of time and complete certain cycles. This means the internal components will fail earlier than designed.
If you put in an air conditioner that is too small, it will tend to have to run for longer and complete more cycles before it turns off. It may not even reach the desired set point, meaning it continues to run non-stop! This will cause the internal components to wear out much sooner as they never get a break, except when the system is not in use. This is why server room aircons (running 24/7) only come with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, rather than a standard 5-year warranty.
If you are not sure what design and kW rating air conditioner you need, it’s best to chat to an experience AC installer about what sized air conditioning system would be best for a certain space. There are many factors to consider, such as the size of the area (m2), heat load/activities conducted indoors, insulation/materials used in the building, and building/window/door orientation.
Before getting air conditioning units installed, you want to make sure they are going in the right location. Otherwise, the system can be compromised and lifespan reduced as a result.
For a wall split indoor unit, it’s best for the unit to be installed:
- Back-to-back with the outdoor unit. Efficiency of the system decreases as pipework length increases, so you want to prevent excessive pipe run. Decreased efficiency means increased strain on the whole air conditioning system.
- Centrally near the middle of the room without obstruction. Supporting even airflow and temperature dispersions with a central, obstacle free location reduces workload. This preserves the AC system as whole and helps extend its feasible running time.
- Up high up on the wall close to the ceiling (~2.4-3.0m off the ground). Obviously if there are cathedral ceilings or similar, then the indoor unit should be as high as reasonably practical. This recommendation is designed to complement the natural phenomenon of hot air rising and minimise demand on the aircon. It also helps support optimal performance and allow reasonable access for routine maintenance.
There are also important factors to consider when installing a ducted air conditioning system. Ducted AC units need to be installed in a position that supports ongoing efficiency, maintenance, and repairs.
For a ducted indoor unit, it’s best for the unit to be installed:
- Close to the manhole. This allows ease of access to the unit to support routine maintenance.
- Suitable distance away from the ceiling and/or beams in the roof. This also allows suitable access for a professional service, chemical coil clean, and/or repairs.
- Suitable proximity to supply and return air ductwork. This ensures efficiency is not lost through excessive flexible duct runs.
The ducted return air grille/filter that allows air back into the indoor unit is also important to consider. This critical air re-entry point must be visible and accessible in a well-ventilated part of the home or office. Otherwise, it can easily get blocked, increase pressure on the system, and lead to AC equipment failure.
Just like with the indoor unit, before getting your new air conditioner installed, you want to make sure the outdoor unit is going in the best location. Failure to do so can result in reduced AC lifespan in many ways.
The outdoor unit (i.e. condenser) is the powerhouse of an air conditioning system. The harder it has to work, the less efficient the whole system is. Running the air conditioner in a lower efficiency state causes the system to wear out faster.
To prevent this issue, it is recommended to install the outdoor unit a well-ventilated, cool, dark/shaded place. This is because heat and sunlight can increase the unit workload as well as cause certain components to wear out faster. Condenser pipework insulation is just one example of a UV-sensitive aircon component.
It’s also recommended to install the unit down on the ground, or in an easily accessible location, as opposed to a roof top or similar. Not only does this help reduce sun and heat exposure, but it also supports routine inspection and servicing as the unit is then in a suitably accessible location.
Wherever the outdoor unit is installed, it’s important for it be level, clear from obstruction, and suitably secured. If not level, the unit cannot work property and components wear out faster. If not clear, airflow is reduced, causing components to overheat and fail prematurely. If not secure, opportunist vandals or clumsy passers-by can damage the unit with a range of life-altering consequences.
To ensure your air conditioner reaches its full potential, it’s important to ensure the correct refrigeration pipework is used in conjunction with the unit install. Specifically designed pipework improves AC operating efficiency and prevents a range of issues.
Pipework used should be purposed for aircon installs; pre-insulated, UV-rated, annealed copper pair coil. It should also be of the correct size for any given air conditioner and suitable length as per AC manufacturer specifications.
- The insulation component reduces sweating of pipes. This is important as water is never a good thing to have around an electrical device such as an air conditioner unit.
- UV-Rated. The UV protection component reduces degradation in the face of UV light. Unrated/inferior pipe insulation can breakdown and reduce system efficiency in as little as a few years.
- Correct Size. Undersized pipe will prevent the system from operating at is maximum potential, meaning the system can struggle to adequately heat or cool a given indoor area. Oversized pipe can cause serious compressor damage and premature equipment failure.
- Correct Length. AC system efficiency increases as pipework length decreases, to a certain point. While it is recommended to keep pipework length as short as possible, there will still be a minimum length required depending on the unit size and manufacturer instructions. Incorrect length can also cause noise and/or vibration issues, which negatively affects aircon lifespan.
Drainage may not immediately come to mind when considering how to extend the life of your air conditioner units. However, it can certainly play a significant part in preventing unnecessary and life-reducing damage.
AC units produce condensate (i.e. water) during normal operation. That water is collected in internal drip trays and drained away as required. If your aircon is leaking water where it shouldn’t, it’s a big problem.
Excess water can promote micro-organism, fungi, and bacterial growth within an aircon unit. This can cause mould and matter to build up on the coil, fan scroll, filters, and other AC components. This reduces airflow and increases workload of an air conditioning system, impacting its expected lifespan if not resolved in a timely manner.
Failure to install a drip or safety tray, or suitable drainage, means that water may not be collected at the indoor unit and/or suitably drained away. This can result in water overflowing onto AC electrical components. As we all know, water and electrical do not mix. Modern-day aircons are heavily electrically based, so water can cause significant damage to components such as printed circuit boards, capacitors, controls, etc.
Water can also damage structural or supportive components of the air conditioning system. For example, water can compromise the structural integrity of the wall, floor, or ceiling below the unit. As a result, the aircon may become unlevel or fall completely. Unlevel units wear out faster or may fail to operate correctly at all. Meanwhile, a complete fall could see the end of that particular AC unit.
Once your air conditioner is installed, there are many ways you can preserve the equipment and extend the lifespan of the system as a whole.
Usage of an AC controller and temperature sensors can make or break the lifespan of any air conditioning system. Incorrect usage can prevent correct system operation, increase workload, and waste power. On the other hand, correct usage can extend lifespan and save you significant money in the process.
The air conditioner controller can also double as a temperature-sensing point. This is often the case for entry-level ducted systems. An increase in heat load near a temperature sensing component of the AC system will result in excessive cooling and subsequent workload for the AC system.
Once correctly installed, the area around sensors and temperature-sensing wall controllers must be considered. It is recommended to avoid placing anything producing excessive heat in close proximity. This includes common home devices such as washers, computers, TV screens, phone chargers, etc. Direct sunlight must also be monitored and managed.
Once the area around the temperature-sensing point is managed, the next consideration should be the temperature set point. Minimising excessive usage of the air conditioner helps with preservation and system longevity.
Standard home air conditioners are designed to run at full capacity or idle. They continue to work at full capacity until they detect that a given set point is reached. At this point, they can then ramp down and reduce demand on the air conditioning system as a whole.
It is recommended to set the air conditioner to a temperature as close to the outdoor temperature as possible. Some change is obviously expected, otherwise why would you use the AC, but every degree counts. Not only is the system running life extended as a result, but aircon running costs are also reduced by 10% for every degree the set point is set closer to the ambient temperature.
The modes selected when running an air conditioner can reduce or enhance the expected lifespan of that system. It is one of simplest ways to extend the life of your air conditioning units.
It is recommended to avoid Auto mode most if not all of the time. Auto mode causes the aircon to automatically switch between Cool and Heat modes with the aim of steadily maintain a given set point. This is an inefficient use of the AC system which unnecessary causes it to wear out faster. Heat mode or Cool mode is recommended to be used instead.
There are other modes that can help enhance your air conditioner and its lifespan. Dry mode increases the amount of air passing through the indoor unit, designed to remove moisture from the air rather than cooling it. This this a more efficient mode that reduces power usage and demand on the system.
Fan mode is another more efficient mode available to preserve your air conditioner. It allows air movement without inherent temperature adjustment or dehumidification. It is one of the best modes available for extending the life of your air conditioner units.
Many aircons also have a Sleep mode or Night mode which can help extend the life of both you and your air conditioning system. Sleep/Night mode increases temperature gradually by a few degrees, 0.5 – 1 degree at a time, to reduce demand on the aircon units without impacting your sleep.
Fan speed has a surprising impact on air conditioner energy efficiency and therefore system lifespan. Fan speed refers to the speed of air travelling through the indoor unit, i.e. over the internal heat exchanger coil and subsequently blown out into the room/s.
Using high fan speed is recommended to rapidly and efficiency cool down a given indoor area. This is the recommended way to bring up or down the temperature indoors to support your air conditioner and prevent unnecessary strain. Once the desired comfort level is reached, fan speed can then be adjusted down to maintain the temperature.
Overnight, low fan speed it recommended as temperature maintenance is often the goal and the outdoor temperature often decreases significantly. If it is a particularly humid day, and/or moisture removal is the primary goal, then low fan speed is also recommended for use. This allows more time for the indoor unit to remove moisture from the air before it leaves the unit and enters the indoor environment.
Timers and reminders are handy to have in an air conditioner unit as they help you manage its usage and extend its life. Not all aircons come with timers, so it’s worth ensuring your chosen system has one before making the final purchase and installation.
Timers can be basic, push-button operated, controllable over Wi-Fi, or even integrated into a complete home automation system (e.g. Google Nest). The set and forget type timers may be the most beneficial, with life being so busy these days that few of us have time to stop and think about the aircon schedule on a daily basis.
Reminders also come in various forms, from basic “filter check/wash required” reminders through to “time for professional service” reminders. These help to maintain the system overall and keep it in good working order. The key is to actually action the task prompted; there is no point having a filter check/wash reminder come up if you just clear it without touching the filter!
Once installed and familiar with, the next step is to actually use them. Timers can help manage demand on AC units at key times, such as when sleeping or out of the house. As indoor climate requirements change, so should use of the air conditioner system to match. By doing this, the system is preserved and life extended.
In a commercial setting, timers and reminders can contribute to significant life extension of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Timers can be used to switch off units out of business hours, while reminders can prevent AC system neglect and assist with routine HVAC maintenance. These benefits can significantly extend the life of any commercial system.
Timers and reminders aside, new air conditioning units come with a range additional features; some designed for convenience, some designed to enhance performance, and some designed to protect the aircon. Better yet, some features can provide a combination of these benefits.
Control over Wi-Fi, typically via a smart phone App, is one of those features that has many benefits. Convenience aside, being able to check and control an AC system remotely can support you in optimal running of the system. For example, you can pre-cool the home gradually before you get home, rather than overloading the AC when you walk in the door on a hot day. Similarly, you can check in on the teenage kids at home on school holidays and ensure they are not demanding excessive cooling or heating from the air conditioning system.
Many modern-day air conditioner units also have an Auto or Self Clean function inbuilt. This function typically involves drying out the inside of an aircon unit, which preserves the internal components in many ways. Moisture management reduces the growth of mould, mildew, fungi, and other unwanted microorganisms. It also reduces rust and corrosion that would otherwise damage key components such as the heat exchange coil.
Air conditioning units can be preserved by considering their place in the home as a whole, rather than in isolation. There are many cost-effective methods of supporting the air conditioning system in place and extending its lifespan as a result.
Air conditioning systems are best supported when used in a building environment that holds the hot or cold climate produced. Insulation and window treatments are two key factors that have a significant impact on indoor temperature retention.
Insulation can be present in the ceiling, walls, floor, or combination of these locations within a building. The impact of insulation is significant, with an insulated roof space saving you up to 50% on your home heating bill! This saving shows just how much the demand on the AC system can be reduced.
Window treatments come in all shapes and forms, including blinds, curtains, shutters, tinting, or a combination of these. Windows can allow significant heat to enter and leave an indoor space, and an imposed barrier can dramatically reduce any unwanted exchange. As a result, the air conditioning system doesn’t have to work as hard or for as long to achieve desired comfort level indoors.
Many properties have air conditioning installed without fans, thinking that fans are not required when aircon is in place. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that fans are needed, especially in hotter climates, to assist and help preserve air conditioner units. They are in fact one of the cheapest ways to extend the life your aircon. If not already installed, it would be well worth contacting a local electrician today.
Fans help to circulate air in a given space. While they may not inherently change the temperature of the air, they help people in the space feel cooler due to the cooling effect produced. As a result, demand on the AC is reduced as a higher set point can be comfortable with the presence of air movement.
Whirlybirds and other roof-mounted exhaust fans can also assist your air conditioner units in a different way. These out-of-sight fans are designed to extract heat at the top of the house, lowering the temperature in the ceiling space. As a result, the rooms below the ceiling space (i.e. indoor space) will automatically be cooler. This will subsequently reduce demand on the air conditioner, as the rooms are already closer to the desired temperature.
Heat or cooling load refers to the amount of temperature adjustment required to maintain a given temperature set point. The higher the heat load, the higher the demand on the air conditioner. Therefore, it is recommended to manage heat load in order to extend the lifespan of air conditioning equipment.
Using heat-producing devices when an aircon is already under significant pressure should be avoided wherever possible. For example, cooking sausages on the outdoor BBQ on a hot summer evening, rather than in the kitchen, helps to reduce the indoor heat load and subsequent demand on the AC system.
Running clothes and/or dish washers in the morning before the weather heats up is another way to assist your air conditioner. Further methods include turning off lights when not needed, especially non-LED ones, and putting the extraction fan on when showering/bathing.
By reducing heat load indoors, especially when the AC is working at is max, you can reduce workload required from the device. This prevents the air conditioner from being maxed out and protects the internal components. As a result, you can expect to enjoy the aircon in your life for many more years.
The area around an air conditioner unit is just as important as use of the device itself. A clear, well-ventilated space around all units is required to ensure an aircon reaches its expected age. This can be difficult as standard house block sizes are decreasing and storage space is becoming limited.
The minimum clearance zone around an outdoor condensing unit is typically 300mm, with 1000mm required in front of the unit. The area between the back of the unit and a wall may be slightly less but must still comply with manufacturer install recommendations. Failure to do this causes reduced airflow and operating efficiency. This can see an air con system over-worked, over-heated, and all over before its time.
Not only can items around the condenser impact the unit, but it can also invite unwanted flora and fauna damage. While certain greenery can protect your aircon, like a shady tree over the unit, it can also harm it if neglected and allowed to grow into the unit itself. Furthermore, animals feeding on or living in the garden can interact with the air con unit in several life-shortening or even life-ending ways (unfortunately for both parties).
DIY AC Servicing
One of the most effective ways of extending the life of your air conditioner units is servicing them. Just like your car, your aircon requires a minimum amount of maintenance to get it through an expected lifespan.
DIY maintenance starts with regular filter checking, every few weeks, and washing when dirty. It’s also recommended to check them after dirt or dust generating activities, such as spring cleaning, renovating or moving furniture. More on filters later.
Aside from filter washing, there are many other simple aircon maintenance tasks that should be carried out routinely. These tasks are designed to keep your air conditioning system working as designed, which helps it reach or even exceed predicted lifespan.
In a commercial setting, routine HVAC servicing is recommended monthly as Australian Standards. Home air conditioners could also benefit from monthly maintenance, however every four to twelve months is typically sufficient.
The basic tests, checks, and cleaning recommended to maintain your own air conditioner has many benefits. In relation to life extension, DIY aircon servicing allow for minor issues to be detected and resolved before they cause major damage. It also supports optimal AC function and efficiency, which helps preserve major internal components.
Filter maintenance is the number one service task you can do yourself to protect and preserve your air conditioning system. However, there are more to filters than you may think.
Firstly, it’s important to ensure the correct filter type is used with your AC system. Types to consider, particularly for a commercial HVAC system, include manufacturer-specific, full/half ceiling tile panel, pleated, pocket, v-form, HEPA, or carbon.
The next consideration is the media type; washable or disposable. Factors such as access, water availability (for washing), and finances (for purchasing disposable ones) impact which type is most suitable to support your particular aircon system.
Next point to consider is media/filter thickness. There are clear Australian Standards for suitable air filter design and use in Australia depending on unit type and application. To ensure correct AC operation, the filters should let air through to the indoor unit but be thick enough to suitably filter the air.
Filter cleaning is one of the most effective ways to maintain your air conditioner and ensure a long and healthy life. Dirty filters increase air conditioner workload by 15% as evidenced by power draw.
Dirty or damaged filters prevent dirt, dust, dander, and other types of matter from being filtered property. These can reach and/or build up in the indoor unit, which impacts aircons in many ways. It promotes the build-up of dust, mould, mildew, fungi, and other microorganisms that reduces heat exchange on the evaporator coil, increasing strain on the system. It also spreads dirty air, which is not only bad for your health but also for the health of your aircon system.
While it is a far less common issue, it is worth noting that filters can actually be washed too much. This is more commonly seen with commercial HVAC systems, where business owners may insist on monthly filter washing even when a system is hardly used. The media wears out over time, especially with washing. This may not be a life-impacting issue for your aircon system UNLESS you fail to replace the filter when required, which may be sooner than expected with over-washing.
When a filter has worn out, it’s important to replace it or at least the filter media. You can tell that a filter needs to be replaced when it is wearing thin in parts and/or light is more visible when you hold it up to a light source. Failure to replace a relatively inexpensive part can see major aircon repair expense due to component damage, failure, or complete AC system failure. An experienced HVAC technician can help you decide when filter replacement is due, as it can be a fine line between premature and overdue replacement.
We all know that water and electricity do not mix. The same can be said of electrically based devices such as air conditioners. Water damage to AC components such as capacitors, PC boards, and motors can have life-shortening or even life-ending consequences for the system. It can also cause corrosion and rust.
It’s not as simple as you may think, as some water is unavoidable when it comes to aircons. Condensation (water) is produced as a normal part of refrigeration cycle. It’s just a matter of managing the presence and use of water in order to maintain the air conditioning system.
As with filters, certain components of your AC system require inspection and cleaning when dirty. For an indoor unit this includes the drain pipe/tray, fascia/covers, air inlets/outlets, fan barrel/scroll, and evaporator coil. For an outdoor unit this can also include the drain, covers, coil, and area immediately around the unit.
Failure to keep these components clean can result in reduced heat transfer, reduce airflow, and reduce efficiency of air conditioner units, which shortens their life. In the drains, all manner of blockages can occur, including algae, mould, sludge, insects, and even materials such as insulation. To clean the various components, it’s recommended to use as little water as possible and the correct equipment for the job.
You also required complete knowledge of the electrical components (both directly and indirectly) involved in the area being cleaned to avoid harm to you and the air conditioner. If you are not 100% sure, it may pay to call in a professional aircon service technician for such work, to avoid damage to the AC system you are looking to preserve, as well as yourself! They also carry special chemicals and equipment designed to not only clean the system but slow future growth of mould and algae.
Visual checking is one of the safest ways to maintain and extend the life of your air conditioner units. It allows for issues to be detected while minimising the risk of physically harm. Just take extra care if need to use a ladder or similar to access the aircon units.
When looking over the air conditioner, look at all visible parts of the system. It is recommended to look for exposed electrical components, cracked insulation, water droplets or leaking in abnormal places, smoke or dust coming from the units, any signs of vibration or movement, and wearing/degradation in general. You can also listen out for any abnormal noises, including banging, whistling, humming, squealing, gurgling, buzzing, rattling, etc.
It is recommended not to insert any foreign objects into the air conditioner while checking it. This includes torches, sticks, screw drivers, brushes, and especially fingers. Otherwise, damage can occur to AC components, the whole aircon system, the item you are inserting, yourself, and/or those around you. Air conditioner damage can be as minor as a scratch or as major as complete system failure.
Professional HVAC Maintenance
While you can carry out a certain degree of maintenance yourself, there are some tasks that are best left to the experts. It also pays to invest in a professional air conditioning service on a routine basis to help extend the life of your air conditioning system.
If DIY maintenance is routinely carried out on your air conditioner, professional maintenance is typically not required as frequently as if no home servicing has been conducted. This home aircon servicing includes frequent filter maintenance, visual checking, basic cleaning, etc., as discussed. However, it certainly doesn’t hurt to call in the experts to help maintain and extend the life of your aircon, and it is actually recommended to be done on a periodic basis.
Home air conditioners are recommended to receive professional maintenance every year at a minimum, and even every 4-6 months in certain situations. Commercial air conditioners are recommended to receive monthly maintenance as per Australian Standards. For anything less, it is recommended to arrange a formal inspection and proposal from a good commercial HVAC service company.
Even if the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are seemly working OK, there can be hidden issues that impact unit operation and cause the equipment to wear out faster. A professional can test technical components and resolve issues before they start to reduce air conditioner lifespan. A primary example is testing of capacitor tolerance and replacing these minor parts before they damage the associated motor and system as a whole.
Extending the life of your air conditioner not only involves maintenance, but also the correct type of servicing. There are many different AC service types that can be booked, from minor checking through to major pull apart and deep chemical cleaning. It’s recommended to arrange the highest level required to suitably maintain your aircon, otherwise you may just be wasting your time and money as well as reduce AC lifespan.
Ideally, the aircon service technician you book has the ability to upgrade the service level while onsite. For example, start with a minor/standard AC service with the potential to add on indoor unit chemical cleaning if mould is found deep within the unit. Similarly, if insulation on the outdoor pipework is cracked or UV affected, it is recommended to patch it at that time or follow up another time at a suitable add-on price.
While some professional attention is better than none, failure to fully maintain your system will severely shorten its expected lifespan. If you are going to all the effort of arranging an air conditioning technician, it pays to get the complete service done at that time. You can easily save the extra money spent with the extra life given to your air conditioning system.
There is a lot of choice when it comes to air conditioning service technicians. Many air conditioning and electrical companies promote AC servicing, although their specialties and expertise can be worlds apart.
To get the most out of your professional AC service, it is recommended to book a technician with a valid ARCTICK licence. This Refrigerant Handling Licence ensures that the tech can complete all tasks in a routine service, rather than just the electrical ones. Handling AC gas/refrigerant is an offence unless you have this specific licence in Australia.
It is also recommended to book a technician with specialized air conditioning training and qualifications. A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor is technically a “Refrigeration Mechanic”. This type of contractor is specialised in the refrigeration cycle, which is what all air conditioners are based on. To help extend the life of your air conditioning units, it’s important to book the contractor that has been specially trained to care for them.
Once you have booked the correct technician at the recommended frequency to carry out the most suitable level of AC servicing, it’s then important to consider and action as many of their recommendations as possible. Otherwise, you may not get the full life out of your air conditioner units.
Common recommendations worth actioning include set point for your system, filter cleaning frequency for your environment, chemical cleaning for your degree of mould/matter build up, clearance around the AC units for your unit location, and minor repairs for the state of your aircon.
Reputable air conditioning companies and technicians genuinely want to help you get the most out of your air conditioner. Their reputation is also on the line if the units pack up and fail sooner than expected. Therefore, a good tech will recommend ways to preserve the AC equipment. However, if recommendations are ignored, they can not be held responsible for the shortened lifespan of your air conditioner units.
Air conditioner repairs can vary from minor to major. Some are critical to system operation, while some may not impact the lifespan of an air conditioning system.
DIY vs Professional
Just like with air conditioning serving, there are tasks that you can do yourself and some that are best left to the experts. You may be wondering what to do if air conditioner is broken. Do you tackle it yourself or call in a professional?
First, the issue needs to be diagnosed correctly. Just like Dr-google for diagnosing a medical condition, home air conditioner owners can feel like an air conditioning/refrigeration mechanics after 5 minutes of research online. While you can be on the right track, error codes, noises and loss of function can be the tip of the iceberg in terms of air conditioning repairs required.
Misdiagnosis can waste time and cause further AC damage as you incorrectly think the system is still OK to use. Furthermore, if you launch into repairs, the issue can actually be made worse. This can cause great damage to an air con system. Even worst, you can cause great damage to yourself and those around you. It is recommended to call an expert to consult on your air conditioning issue/s and allow them to manage the repairs appropriately to maximise AC lifespan.
Sometimes we can’t help when our air conditioner needs fixing. However, wherever possible, it is recommended to consider the timing of your air conditioner repairs. This helps you to extend the life of your air conditioning units in many ways, but only if done correctly.
Firstly, some repairs cannot wait. For example, gas leaks should be attended to ASAP to minimise the amount of gas lost from the air conditioning system. However, if an air conditioner motor breaks down at the end of summer and the system isn’t needed until winter, it may pay to hold off repairs until the cooler months.
During the off-peak season, most air conditioning companies offer winter specials and more flexibility with when they can attend. The AC repair tech is not as busy, so you may receive longer and more focused time onsite. Aircon parts suppliers will also not be as busy, so they respond quicker with part details in order for quotes to be formed. Parts can also be dispatched faster as they are not held up with high demand.
Overall, this results in a more pleasant, cost-effect air conditioning repair experience. As a result, you are more likely to repair your air conditioner again in the future and work with the AC repair company to set up ongoing maintenance. This helps you get the most out of your air conditioner and extend its life for years to come.
To extend the life of your AC system, it’s important to be aware of normal operational sounds. By doing this, you can detect abnormal noises when they arise. You can then do something about it to preserve your air conditioning system.
There are an array of noises possible from your indoor air conditioning unit.
- Banging/Clanging – Possible loose/broken part such as fan barrel, louver, motor, or blade.
- Squealing – Possible faulty fan motor bearings or housing. Noise may travel through ductwork.
- Rattling/Chattering – Possible loose screws/bolts, faulty fan, or failing electrical contactor.
- Clicking/Humming – Possible defective electrical component (wiring or thermostat) or loose part.
- Buzzing – Possible range of issues, including dirty filters, debris in unit, rubbing/loose parts, motor/s out of balance, pipes rubbing between units, coil icing up, and/or refrigerant leak.
- Screaming/Whistling – Possible refrigerant leak or component stuck.
These issues must be resolved by an expert in order to protect your air conditioning units and ensure a suitable lifespan.
There are an array of noises possible from your outdoor air conditioning unit.
- Banging/Clanging – Possible broken condenser fan blade, motor out of balance, or compressor issue.
- Squealing – Possible failing condenser motor bearings or could be a normal start up sound.
- Rattling/Chattering – Possible faulty fan or contactor, loose screws/bolts, or general wear and tear.
- Clicking/Humming – Possible defective component (electrical or mechanical), loose component, or refrigerant piping vibration.
- Buzzing – Possible range of issues, including dirty condenser coil, motor/blade out of balance, pipework rubbing, components icing up, and/or refrigerant leak.
- Screaming/High-pitched Whistling – Possible jammed component or refrigerant leak.
All these issues should be assessed by an AC technician. If the issue is not normal, it can reduce the expected lifespan of your air conditioner unit.
A gas leak can severely impact the health of your air conditioning system, the environment, and your family. If suspected, it is recommended to book an aircon repairer ASAP to resolve the issue. The air conditioner should not be used until issue resolved, otherwise major damage can occur to components such as the compressor.
You may first suspect a gas leak when the system fails to cool down the indoor space as well as normal. If you lift the cover, you may also see ice forming on the evaporator coil. Alternatively, water may be leaking from the indoor unit (i.e. melted ice). Ice can also start to form on the outdoor coil and/or at the connection between pipework and unit. This doesn’t mean that the leak is there, it just highlights that the system may be running short of refrigerant.
You may be able to hear hissing from small leaks, and gurgling from larger ones. However, there may be no noise at all. Another way you may detect an air conditioner being short of gas is your electricity usage. If your power bill has increased significantly without another other explanation, it may be worth investigating your aircon.
A full gas leak search and repair is required to identify and fix all leaks. The leak can be anywhere on the air conditioning system; indoor unit, outdoor unit, pipework, or connection between any of the components. If the AC is less than 1 year old, it may be covered under installation warranty. If the AC is less than 5 years old, it may be covered under manufacture warranty. Either way, failure to resolve the issue will see a premature death to your air conditioning system.
Like all great things, your air conditioner will come with an array of paperwork. This paperwork is important for many reasons and can be used to extend the life of your air conditioning units.
Firstly, before purchasing any new aircon, it is recommended to get a free quote for air conditioning supply and install in writing. This sets out the inclusions and exclusions of your new air conditioner system as well as key details about the install company.
Next, it is recommended to check out the licences and qualifications of the proposing installation company. For example, do they offer AC install, but fail to have a Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) air conditioning licence? Checks like this can help ensure you are getting an air conditioner installed by an expert, which helps extend the life of the aircon.
Correct electrical licencing is also critical to ensure your air conditioner doesn’t wear out sooner than it should. Not only is incorrect and unlicensed electrical work dangerous and can cause major property damage (including fires), it can also damage your air conditioner units. Air conditioners come with electrical specifications such as power requirement, cable size, etc. Failure to adhere to these specs will see a premature failure of the AC equipment.
Having a fully licenced company also ensures warranty for the new air conditioner units is maintained. If not installed correctly, manufacturers will not honour their manufacturer warranty. If the issue is major enough, you may be looking at throwing out your new aircon before it even reaches its expected half-life!
Once you have had your air conditioner installed, it is important to obtain a copy of the purchase and/or install receipt for your records. This ensures you have important details on hand in situations that can assist with AC life extension. However, any good air conditioning company should be able to resend a copy of your receipt at any time.
Air conditioner units typically come with a 5-year manufacture warranty, on the condition that the units are installed by a fully licenced air conditioning company/technician. If any issues occur with the system within that 5-year period that is not caused by external causes, the system can typically be repaired at no cost to you.
However, if installation paperwork cannot be provided, manufacturers may not honour warranty work. Effectively, warranty is void without valid install paperwork. As a result, costs may be so significant that you find yourself throwing out the whole air conditioner and starting again with a new system. This is particularly common with cheaper brands; the units are cheap to buy, but spare parts are terribly expensive.
Aside from installation paperwork, it also pays to register your air conditioner units and associated products whenever offered. Sometime this supersedes the need for installation paperwork if a warranty repair is required, as the system details has already been registered with the manufacturer. Furthermore, some AC components have an extended warranty. For example, iZone zoning equipment comes with a 10-year parts warranty. This can help you extend the life of your air conditioning system in the most cost-effective way.
An air conditioner user manual is the ultimate guide for your air conditioning system. It is sometimes called Owner Manual, Operations Guide, or Manufacturer Instructions. Whatever it is called, it is full of useful information to help extend the life of your air conditioner units.
The manual contains operating instructions for the certain aircon model it relates to. This helps ensure that the system is used correctly to prevent early equipment failure. It also contains specific instructions for aircon maintenance and other ways to care for your units. This further assists with system preservation and life extension.
When the air conditioner is installed, ask for a copy of the user manual. If not received, just ask the installer to provide it or jump online to download a copy. The next step is to actually read the content. It’s probably no surprise that women tend to be far better at reading manuals than men.
Once your air conditioner has be supplied and installed by a fully licenced installer, paperwork is received, any registrations completed, and user manual has been referred to, the next step is to review/update your home or business insurance policy. While seemingly unrelated, this can actually end up being one of the most cost-effective ways of extending the life of your air conditioner units.
An air conditioner is a significant asset in any home or commercial building, so it should be covered by any appropriate insurance policy. It’s worth checking what is covered and also what is exclude in relation to your air conditioning. Common causes of damage relevant to your air conditioner includes motor burn out, fusion damage, storm events (including hail, water, or storm surge), electrical failure, fire, flood, animal, and accidental damage.
It’s worth weighting up the cost of some optional extras for your given situation. For example, do you live in an area where flood could damage your AC? Do you live in warmer climate where geckos (animals) wreak havoc with electrical equipment? Is the outdoor AC unit in a carport or similar where it is at risk of accidental damage?
If the cost of repairs to your air conditioner is significant, you may think twice about proceeding with them. For example, a compressor change in a ducted system can be half the cost of a new one. You may consider investing the money into a whole new system instead. However, if the repairs are related to an insured event, like a storm surge (lightening), then you are more likely to proceed with the life-extending repairs when all you have to pay is the excess.
In summary, there are many different ways to extend the life of your air conditioner units. From the design and installation, to usage and assisting, to maintenance and supportive paperwork, there are many things you can do to support your air conditioning system.
The points outlined in this article are all cost-effective ways to support optimal AC operation and preserve your aircon system for many more years. If you need help reviewing your air conditioning situation and extending the life of AC equipment, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss.
When the summer season begins, also begins the time of rest and enjoyment. However, on these dates, it may be difficult to sleep at night due to high temperatures, which can cause fatigue and prevent you from resting properly.
For this reason, some people prefer to sleep with the air conditioning on at night to alleviate these discomforts. This helps by keeping the indoor environment cool and ideal for optimal rest.
Still, not everyone knows all the benefits an air conditioner can provide when it comes to sleeping. This is even when many people are looking for the most optimal solution to fall asleep and achieve a complete night’s rest during the hot season.
That is why in the following article we will be talking about how sleeping with air conditioning can really help you, in lots of different ways, and can even be beneficial for your health.
Air conditioning will provide you with convenience and comfort of preventing bed sheets from sticking to your skin due to the effect of heat and sweating. What you have to do is choosing the most comfortable temperature for you, which will facilitate the transition to sleep.
Also, using the air conditioner can help you reduce humidity, avoid sweats throughout the night, and avoid waking up in the middle of your sleep. You need to keep in mind that when you go to sleep, the body temperature drops naturally to make it easier for your body to slow down. This is so you can recover from the activities carried out during the day.
Keeping the room cool, but not cold, can make it much easier for the body to relax, making it easier to fall asleep faster and sleep peacefully.
Regulates the temperature
By sleeping with air conditioning you will be able to regulate and maintain the temperature you want throughout your place. The greatest thing about air conditioning is that the system can be designed so that the air reaches every corner of the room.
Reduce the presence of insects
By having an air conditioning unit to cool your home, you will avoid opening the windows. This reduces the appearance of insects and mosquito bites that are so frequent during the summer months.
Improves the quality of sleep
Sleeping in a cool environment, not cold, allows the body to relax and makes it easier to fall asleep. This promotes better rest and improves the quality of sleep.
You may have heard that the noise that comes from an air conditioner makes it difficult to fall asleep. Maybe in the past, this was true, however nowadays it is not so. Not only has technology improved a lot in this regard, but also more and more devices include a night function, making the aircon much quieter than daytime use.
Keeps you energetic in the daytime
When you sleep uninterrupted you will be more energetic the next day. You will be more alert and will have a positive mindset as well. Remember that when you wake up exhaust and angry it is probable due to a lack of quality sleep.
Air conditioning helps you in this way, by improving your physical and mental health that goes hand in hand with great sleeping.
Good sleep helps you against aging
Air conditioning, believe it or not, can help you fight against aging. By lowering the temperature in your home and achieving a great sleeping cycle, your body is more likely to realise melatonin, a hormone that helps you prevent wrinkles and benefits your skin.
On the other hand, you may have heard that subtracting humidity from the environment, using the air conditioner, can cause some dryness on the skin. What you need to do is not lower the temperature extremely and keep good hydration by drinking water.
Remember that it is recommended to drink 2 litres of water a day, especially in hot months.
Contributes to weight loss
Sleeping is very important to lose weight. A study by the US National Institutes of Health found that sleeping in cooler temperatures can increase the amount of brown fat, which is a healthy fat and burns faster than white fat which is an unhealthy fat.
It can also improve insulin sensitivity, helping to reduce the risk of diabetes. Remember that you need a great sleep pattern to achieve weight loss, and air conditioning can be your best ally.
What to keep in mind when sleeping with air conditioning
One of the basic rules for the proper use of air conditioning is temperature control. The first thing to keep in mind is that the daytime temperature is different from the night time temperature. Remember that your body temperature drops while you sleep. For this reason, controlling the temperature is essential.
Take note; a temperature between 24/26 degrees may be ideal to facilitate rest.
Another of the fundamental rules to use air conditioning while sleeping, and to be beneficial for your sleeping cycle and your health, is proper maintenance. Otherwise, it can be harmful to your health as a dirty filter will proliferate dirty air.
Changing or cleaning the filters is necessary to avoid the accumulation of bacteria that can cause diseases in the respiratory tract and avoid any discomfort or problem related to your health.
Also, you should be aware when it’s time to service your air conditioner, when is just cleaning and you could perform it by yourself with some maintenance tips, or when it comes the time to call an expert and perform proper maintenance to your system.
To avoid any respiratory problems, try not to focus the aircon directly on your body. Also, do not overuse it, keep a cool temperature, and do not exaggerate the cold. Otherwise, it can be harmful to you and your family.
Finally, you need to keep in mind that incorrect use of the air conditioner can cause high energy consumption and therefore the quarterly energy bill will be high. Try to use it smartly, adjusting the thermostat from 21 degrees to 24/26 degrees cuts consumption by almost half!
Another recommendation to reduce consumption is to keep doors and windows closed when it is turned on. Open the interior doors for the air conditioning to distributes evenly through all the house.
If you are looking to save energy while helping the planet we recommend an energy-efficient air conditioner that also has a temperature regulation system.
In conclusion, sleeping with air conditioning is the best option for you if you are not able to sleep at night due to heat. However, you have to keep in mind all the recommendations and good practices to make the most out of this experience.
If you have or you are thinking of buying a residential air conditioner for your home, then there are some things you should know.
For example, how an air conditioner works, what is the ideal temperature for your home, how to choose an air conditioner if you need to buy one, how to work out required cooling capacity, how to know its energy consumption, and how much does it cost to run, among other important factors.
How does an air conditioner work?
A standard air conditioner is composed of two coils, an evaporator coil and a condenser coil, that are separated in a way by a compressor and an expansion valve. It also has two fans that work with the two coils: one for the evaporator and one for the condenser. Through this entire system circulates the refrigerant, which transfers heat with the outside air.
The air conditioning system works thanks to a refrigerant that is constantly circulating and passing through various phases of the refrigeration cycle. The gas undergoes a series of changes that allows the indoor environment to cool down once the appliance is installed.
All this occurs in a cycle that is constantly repeating to maintain the temperature of your place.
In simple words, an air conditioner works by eliminating heat from a confined space and expelling it to the exterior. A reverse cycle air conditioning works in a similar way, but heat transfer happens in reverse.
What are the key parts of an air conditioner?
- Compressor: Introduces refrigerant to the condenser.
- Condenser (in refrigeration): Involved in heat transfer with the refrigerant.
- Expansion valve: Controls the refrigerant by establishing a difference in the pressure levels, from the high side to the low side.
- Evaporator: Exchanges heat with the indoor environment.
We will not get into more technical details here because you, as an air conditioner owner, may only require basic information at this time. We suspect you have enough going on in your mind and life already without technical information overload.
What is the ideal temperature for residential air conditioning?
The ideal air conditioner temperature for you depends on factors such as humidity, external temperature, and the activity you will be performing in the room you want to cool down or heat up. As a general rule, it is ideal not to lower the temperature of the thermostat more than 5 degrees below the exterior temperature.
This rule is important because it will help you will feel more comfortable in your home. It will also help reduce the risk of any problems or health issues related to extreme temperature differences.
What cooling capacity do I need?
Home air conditioners have two common types of electrical/cooling measurements.
- Electric power: refers to what the aircon can use during its operation and is expressed in kilowatts (kW) or watts (W).
- Cooling power: refers to the energy that the aircon can use to cool down a space. It is also known as refrigeration capacity, represented by the unit of measure British Thermal Units (BTU).
Keep in mind that not all spaces require the same air conditioning power. Required power, or capacity, depends on 2 key factors:
- Square meters of space, and,
- Climate of the geographical area.
Although these factors are essential to help calculate the power of air conditioner required to obtain the ideal indoor environment, there is more to consider. You must also consider the orientation of the property, the number of people who live in the space, the types of lamps and spotlights, as well as all appliances that are sources of heat.
How to calculate the power that I need?
For the convenience of consumers, most air conditioners have in their technical sheets the data and values necessary to assess the power and efficiency of your new home air conditioner. The names may vary between brands, but you should look out for the following data:
- Electric power (kW).
- Cooling power (BTU).
- Cooling Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER).
- Cooling Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).
- Heating Coefficient of Performance, which is the equivalent to SEER, but in heat pump equipment.
How to save money with an air conditioner?
One of the best ways to save money with air conditioning is ensure that the aircon installed is the correct size for the area served. If the system is too big, it will continually stop and start resulting in excessive power draw. If the system is too small, it will continually draw power resulting in excessive power usage.
The time the aircon remains on must also be taken into account. This will impact overall energy costs.
Also, keep in mind that it is not necessary to have your air conditioning temperature as low as possible to survive the summer heat. You should set it at a reasonable temperature as this will help you save energy and money as well.
How does maintenance work?
For residential air conditioning, maintenance is as important as the type of air conditioning you invested in. The indoor unit of the air conditioner requires simple routine maintenance that can be carried out by the user themselves. More major annual level maintenance and repairs are best left to the experts.
You must periodically clean the air conditioning filters and clean the drain. In this way, dirt is prevented from accumulating inside the indoor unit. If not done, performance of the equipment to drop, which leads to higher energy consumption and may even cause breakdown or complete failure.
Keep in mind that filter cleaning is essential for your air conditioning system to work as best as possible. Not cleaning your home air conditioner can not only cause bad odours and proliferation of bacteria, but it also can make your aircon work less efficiently.
For the outdoor unit, remember that it contains some of the main technical air conditioning components: compressor, heat exchanger, and refrigerant. As such, it is recommended to check them and clean them superficially on a regular basis.
Remember that sometimes it is easy for you to perform cleaning and simple maintenance. However, it is always ideal to call an expert in case you need a major service on your air conditioner or if you have any other problem related to air conditioning.
If you have any questions regarding your air conditioner, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Mac vs PC. Melbourne vs Sydney. Coke vs Pepsi. These are certainly some the classic rivalries that just about everyone has an opinion on.
One such rivalry in the world of air conditioning is Daikin vs Mitsubishi Electric. While this may not get everyone fired up, it is certain a hot topic for many air conditioning providers.
Mitsubishi and Daikin are two very recognizable brands that are always in demand. They are rival companies selling much the same product and sharing a customer base. Whether it be as a home air conditioner or commercial HVAC system, Daikin and Mitsubishi are found everywhere.
There are many factors to consider before installing an air conditioner. Where considering installing a home ducted air conditioning system, or investigating whether ductless aircon may be best for your small business, there is much to consider. Once type is decided, brand is often the next major decision.
Both Daikin and Mitsubishi Electric provide top quality, reliable, durable, and high-performance cooling and reverse cycle air conditioners. However, there are some subtle differences between the brands that we will explore. The differences can affect all stages, from installation, to air filtration, to repairs.
Air conditioning has many benefits, beyond what may first come to mind. The differences between the different aircon brands may be subtle, but they can have significant impact on some of these benefits.
A small difference in one aspect may be the difference between being able to install an air conditioner or not. It can also mean the difference between an aircon system that is just OK for your home or business versus one that is perfect for the space you need to heat or cool.
Mitsubishi Air Conditioning Origin
It’s worth noting that the brand name Mitsubishi is actually only half the story, as it could refer to one of two different modern-day brands: Mitsubishi Electric or Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. It is confusing as they both share the classic Mitsubishi three red diamond logo. However, they are two completely separate companies and have been for a long time.
The origin of both Mitsubishi companies traces back to a Japanese company founded in 1870 called Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Nearly 50 years later, in 1921, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co diversified and created a range of new offset companies. This included Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. Interestingly, the name arose from the converted factory in Kobe that used to manufacture electric motors for ocean vessels.
For the past 100 years, Mitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) have also been rivals. In general, Mitsubishi Electric is considered a higher-quality product than MHI. However, that is a whole other story for another day.
When talking about rivalry or comparison with Daikin, in general and indeed in this article, Mitsubishi Electric is the brand referred to.
Daikin Air Conditioning Origin
Daikin is another Japanese manufacturing company, founded in 1924 as Osaka Kinzoku Kogyosho LP. In 1963 it was renamed Daikin Kogyo Co Ltd. In 1982 it was renamed again to the current name, Daikin Industries Ltd. Or Daikin, for short.
Unlike Mitsubishi, which manufactures a wide range of different products, Daikin was established with a sole focus on air conditioning. It pays to know what air conditioning actually is to fully appreciate their focus.
Daikin specialises in researching, designing, developing, manufacturing, and distributing air conditioners worldwide. As a result, they have led the industry with many valuable developments.
Outside of Japan, Daikin now has operations in Australia, America, Europe, Asia, India, African, and the Middle East. While Daikin has expanded its focus from purely air conditioning units, their heart is air conditioner based. The chemicals, equipment, and systems that they develop typically stem from or relate back to air conditioning.
Industry Position and Innovation
As mentioned previously when discussing the origins of Mitsubishi and Daikin, Mitsubishi has been operating for longer than Daikin as a company in general. However, Daikin is more purely focused on all things air conditioning.
Daikin Industry Position
Daikin is considered the industry leader for many reasons, including a large research and development team for one. Valuable developments Daikin have been involved in include, but is not limited to:
- Ongoing advances in chemical development, especially fluorochemicals,
- Development of R32 refrigerant, a more environmentally-friendly aircon gas,
- Invention of variable refrigerant volume (VRV) technology, which allows energy efficient simultaneous heating and cooling from units in the same system, and,
- Invention of the world’s first split system with built-in humidification technology; the US7.
These are just some of the many valuable advancements that Daikin can claim. There will no doubt be many more to come.
Mitsubishi Electric Industry Position
Mitsubishi as a broad company is involved in many different areas; tools, equipment, cars, shipbuilding, aviation, missiles, and even aerospace components. However, the 1921 spin off – Mitsubishi Electric, is focussed on household goods and electronics.
Mitsubishi Electric has been in the industry a few years longer than Daikin on the air conditioning side and has certainly cemented its place as being one of the best brands available. Mitsubishi have developed a few features of their own, like Dual Barrier Coating and Quiet Mode.
However, Mitsubishi does tend to take its lead from Daikin. Daikin technology has shown up in Mitsubishi Electric aircons, includes the use of R32 refrigerant in new AC units and Blue Fin anti-corrosion treatment on outdoor coils. Mitsubishi also uses VRV technology under the name Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF), as VRV is copyright to Daikin who invented it.
Split and Ducted System Range
Before we look at the brand differences, we need to know what units we are talking about as there are many different types of air conditioning unit. In this article, we will focus mostly on individual split systems and split ducted systems used as home air conditioners or in light commercial application.
Split Systems, or Splits for short, typically refers to AC systems with wall, floor, and even under ceiling mounted indoor units (not to be confused with a cassette unit which is visibly mounted in the ceiling). There is then a separate outdoor unit, connected by refrigerant pipework and interconnect cable. Hence the term: split system, or splits.
Split Ducted Systems, or Ducted for short, also have an indoor and outdoor unit, but also have ductwork of some description or at least the indoor unit sitting in the ceiling space. Air is then blown out into the room without the indoor unit being visible. Ducted systems differ from other split system in this way.
The Daikin air conditioner split and ducted range covers all types of small and larger homes, providing a comfortable indoor environment in varied Australian climates. Mitsubishi Electric also has a range of both split and ducted units to suit a wide range of home designs and spaces available.
Daikin Split System Air Conditioners
Daikin split system range currently consists of 8 main model types; US7 Series (FTXZ-N), Zena Series (FTXJ-T), Alira Series (FTXM-U/P), Cora Series (FTXV-U/L), Lite Series (FTXF-T), Project Series (FTXF-Q), Nexura (FVXG-K) Series, and Floor Standing Series (FTXS-R/L).
Daikin split cooling capacity ranges from 2.0kW up to 9.4kW. However, not all series include all of the sizes. You can find more information in the Daikin Split System Brochure, or the separate one for Daikin Lite Series.
The Zena Series is considered the most stylish of all the wall split systems. Daikin Zena has an aesthetically pleasing compact, rectangular design. It also comes with a choice of 2 colours; Black Wood or White Hair Line.
There are many other differences between Daikin wall split air conditioners. It’s highly recommended to review the different series and find the best Daikin wall split air conditioner for you.
Mitsubishi Electric Split System Air Conditioners
Mitsubishi Electric split system range currently consists of 5 main models; MSZ-AP Series, MSZ-LN Series, MSZ-EF Series, MSY-GN Series (cool only), and MFZ-KJ Series (floor model).
Mitsubishi splits unit may be a home designer’s dream with multiple colour choices. The MSZ-EF Series has the option of 3 different colours for the indoor unit across the range; Glossy Black, Matte Silver, and Classic White. The range contains 4 system capacity options, up to 5.0kW.
The MSZ-LN Series is similar to the Daikin Zena in design; rectangular, stylish, and compact. It comes with the option of Black, White or even Red! Red may not be the most common or popular colour, but it’s certainly a great point of difference and option in the quality wall split system range.
Daikin Ducted Air Conditioners
The Daikin ducted air conditioning range currently consists of 4 main series: Daikin Inverter Ducted Series (FDYAN/FDYQN), Daikin Premium Inverter Ducted Series (FDYA/FDYQ), Slim-Line Ducted Series (FBA), and Bulkhead Ducted System Series (FDXS). More information is available in the Daikin Ducted Systems Brochure.
Daikin ducted units have cooling ratings from 2.4kW to 24.0kW. This means that there is likely to be a unit capacity available to suit your home. If the house is double storey or particularly large, 2 (or more) systems can be installed.
Daikin Standard Inverter range comes with the option of single phase or three phase power for 6 common ducted sizes; 7.1kW, 8.5kW, 10kW, 12.5kW, 14kW and 15.5kW. Unfortunately, Daikin removed such variation in power phase from their Premium range as of 2021.
It’s worth noting that Daikin units can ramp operations up and down to vary the cooling and heating capacity of the system. With this in mind, the functional capacity range for Daikin Ducted units becomes 1.3kW to 27kW.
Ramping up is helpful to quickly cool down or heat up the indoor space. This can also provide an added boost when the outdoor temperature is extreme (very hot or very cold).
Ramping down is helpful to reduce the amount of power required to operate the system, while still achieving suitable temperature control. Ramping down also helps decrease energy usage and subsequent power bill, as it decreases the cost of running the air conditioning
Daikin Premium Inverters are better able to ramp up/down in response to demand compared to Daikin Standard Inverters. This extends the higher end of the operational kW range of the premium systems. This, along with some other technological advancements, results in a Premium Ducted System being ~10% more energy efficient than the same kW-rated Standard model.
Daikin’s slim-line range of ducted units are designed to fit into tight roof spaces. The bulkhead units are also a compact option and the most discrete option available. With only the controller, return air, and discharge grilles visible, these systems can fit in with just about any indoor décor.
Mitsubishi Electric Ducted Air Conditioners
Mitsubishi Electric ducted air conditioner range currently consists of 3 main series;
Mr Slim PEAD Series (PEAD-M-JAAD), Mr Slim PEA Series (PEA-M-GAA/WJA/HA), and SEZ Series Bulkhead (SEZ-KD-VAQ). More information can be found in the Mitsubishi Electric Ducted Systems Brochure.
Mitsubishi ducted units have cooling ratings from 2.5kW up to 22kW. Each unit comes with a capacity range, as do Daikin units. That means that the system can operate at slightly higher and lower capacities. With this in mind, the functional capacity range for Mitsubishi Electric ducted air conditioners becomes 1.4kW to 27kW.
Mitsubishi Electric offer several three phase options in the smaller ducted air con sizes, e.g. 10kW, 12.5kW and 14kW in the standard range. The units have solid features across the ranges, such as PEAD-M-JAAD models that are designed to operate quietly both day and night.
Mitsubishi ducted units are designed for tight ceiling spaces. Hence the range name; Mr Slim. Mitsubishi indoor units tent to be smaller compared with Standard Daikin ducted units of the same capacity (kW rating). This physical size difference can make or break a ducted install; some tight roof spaces may only fit a Mitsubishi unit when comparing standard ducted systems
Technology and Functionality
Like anything electronically based, technology has come along way. Air conditioners are no different. There is an incredible number of technological advancements and features backed into every single air conditioner unit in the Mitsubishi and Daikin range.
Daikin AC Technology
When it comes to air conditioning technology, there is no doubt that Daikin is the leader. With a dedicated research and development team, Daikin strives to and successfully leads the way in all things air conditioning related. Examples include chemical compounds, refrigerants, simultaneous heating/cooling, advanced fresh air, and humidification systems, just to name a few.
Daikin wall split systems come with a range of features. Energy-saving Intelligent Eye, an array of smart timers, Coanda Airflow and draft prevention, plus an extensive list of advanced technology packed into compact size. These are just some of the top features in various daikin split air conditioners across the range.
Daikin ducted air conditioners are also feature-packed. With remarkable performance, energy efficiency, flexible duct design, and the ability to retrofit premium AC units to R22 pipework, they are just about as good as it gets for ducted air conditioning.
Daikin ducted units are compact for what they contain. Next-level space saving comes in the form of bulkhead units. Bulkhead units are the perfect choice to achieve a discreet install when ceiling space is limited.
With a bulkhead system, the indoor unit sits flush to the ceiling, with only the supply and return air grilles visible indoors. This leaves plenty of space in a room for decorations, furniture, fixtures, and fittings. They are also whisper quiet, so you’ll barely notice it’s there.
Mitsubishi Electric AC Technology
Mitsubishi Electric air conditioners are also feature-packed, helping to keep them up there with Daikin as an industry leader. Many of their features are similar to the Daikin range, with a few tweaks to make them their own. Some features are different, showing that Mitsubishi Electric can stand on its own as a leading air conditioner manufacturer.
Common features of Mitsubishi split systems, similar to Daikin splits, include Blue Fin Condenser treatment, advanced modes (i-Save, EconoCool, and Night modes), constant airflow patterns, and emergency and long operations.
New Mitsubishi Electric ducted air conditioners also now come with R32 refrigerant across the range. They also come with flexible duct design and improved air flow due to high static pressure. Certain Mitsubishi units can have up to 75m max pipe run. Although it’s important to note that the longer the pipe run, the less efficient the system becomes.
Other points of difference include two-piece construction and two-way maintenance access for the PEA-M-HAA ducted range, for ease of installation, maintenance and repairs. The PEA-M-GAA ducted range also offers computerised dehumidification.
Controls and Building Management Systems
From split system remotes, to wall controllers, to complete building management systems (BMS), Daikin and Mitsubishi offer high quality control with all of their products. Their controllers have varying degrees of functionality. Smart air conditioning controllers can have programmable schedules (day, week, and some even for a year) and zoning system integration.
Daikin aircon remotes come in different shapes and sizes, from the Lite range up to the US7. Precision control of 0.5 degree Celsius temperature adjustment and convenient On/Off timers both come standard. Daikin remote controllers reflect all the features of a Daikin split system, but are also clear and easy to use.
Wi-Fi control for Daikin split systems comes as either standard or can be easily added, either during install or at a later date. Hard-wired wall controllers can also be fitted to Daikin split air conditioners. This is quite handy in offices and organisations where the remote controller is prone to going missing.
Daikin wall controllers come with a range of high-tech features. Daikin control panels include lock systems and temperature limits to reduce energy waste. As with ductless aircons, Daikin ducted controllers are easy to use and program with the Daikin Airbase App.
Daikin zone controller options include 4 zone or 8 zone control integration, including the BRC24Z4(8) and BRC230Z4(8) models. – Add Daikin zoning controller brochure to wordpress and add link to it here. They can be stand alone for zone control or integrated to run both the Daikin aircon unit and zoning system. Daikin zoning controls are one of, it not the most, popular air conditioner brands of zone controller on the market.
For Daikin large-scale commercial air conditioning controls, there is an extensive range of centralised controllers on offer to manage whole building HVAC systems. Examples include the BACNet/LonWorks Interface, iTouch Manager Centralised Controller, and Individual Control Systems.
Daikin’s design and construct team can create almost unlimited combinations of units and controllers. Systems can be designed specifically to a building layout and usage. This allows Daikin units and controls to be tailored to just about any residential or commercial project you can imagine. You just need a commercial air conditioning installation expert to attend, assess, and go from there.
Mitsubishi Electric Controllers
Mitsubishi aircon remotes also reflect the array of features offered with their ductless split systems. Common timers include 24 hour and/or weekly settings. Clear buttons and easy-to-use controls comes standard.
Mitsubishi Electric’s ducted wall controllers are also user friendly, with touch-button climate control. Like Daikin, there are also zoning controllers available in the Mitsubishi range. Similarly, Mitsubishi Wi-Fi either comes standard or can be easily added to an air conditioning system.
For Mitsubishi Electric commercial air conditioning controls, there is a wide range of controllers to suit business needs. Mitsubishi offer 8 different controllers/interfaces, including interfaces with touch screens, and allow energy data filters to be uploaded. With connection to up to 50 units, there is a controls set up to suit most buildings.
Mitsubishi Electric’s BMS and control systems can be controlled from a central point as individual area data can be managed via a browser. Individual area climate control can be achieved by monitoring and responding to this live steam of data. The Power PC Platform offered by Mitsubishi also supports the use of multiple power options.
Noise is an important factor to consider when looking to buy a new air conditioner. Air conditioner units work hard, so they will obviously make some noise. However, it is possible for this noise to be minimised in many ways; in the unit itself, installation, usage, maintenance, and repairs.
Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). Ambient noise in our everyday parks and suburbs is around 40 dB, while a whisper would be around 20 dB. It is reasonable to expect new split air conditioners to be no louder than 40 dB, depending on kW rating. For the outdoor unit, you wouldn’t want it to be more than 5 dB over the usual ambient noise, especially at night.
Daikin Air Conditioner Unit Noise
Daikin’s advanced technology has resulted in some of the quietest air conditioning units around. Such technology includes Daikin split units includes Saw Edge indoor fan motor design, Advanced Cross Flow Fan with large diameter rotor and aerofoil blade design, specially designed Coanda Airflow discharge louvers, and condenser DC fan motor, just to name a few.
Daikin aircon sound levels are included in product specifications. However, it can be confusing then there are multiple numbers involved. There will be multiple lines referring to sound, as the indoor and outdoor aircon units have different sound levels.
In Daikin split system product specification tables, noise is typically reported as Sound Level (H/SL); H = on High fan, SL = Sounds Level. The SL figure will be lower, and that is the figure you should look at when comparing to other brands to ensure you are comparing apples with apples. Daikin wall split indoor units can run as low as 19dB in heating. This is quieter than a whisper!
Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioner Unit Noise
Mitsubishi’s advanced technology has resulted in some of the quietest air conditioning units around. Such technology is often stems from or is very similar to Daikin, including specially designed indoor and outdoor fan motors, louvers and blades.
Noise reduction or quite mode in the Mitsubishi splits is a standout feature. Noise during operation can drop to as low at 18dB for the MSZ-AP25 unit while heating. This is quieter than a whisper and 1dB quieter than a comparable Daikin unit. This makes them ideal as bedroom aircons.
Mitsubishi ducted units with Night Mode drops the decibel reading of the units while maintaining indoor comfort level. The small drop in decibels actually makes a significant difference to the noise heard by occupants and neighbours. Not only can occupants sleep better, but neighbours will be grateful too.
Mitsubishi Electric also promotes the fact that its units have high static pressure fans. This helps improve airflow while noise is kept to a minimum.
There is an increasing demand for energy efficient air conditioners that save money and the environment. Most aircon brands have stepped up in response to this demand, especially Daikin and Mitsubishi Electric.
For more specific information, it’s recommended to look at the product specification for each air conditioning brand and compare the specific models you are considering. Key figures to look at include EER/COP in cooling and heating plus star rating. The greater the kW rating, the lower the efficiency by default, so be sure to compare the same kW rated units for accurate comparison.
Daikin Energy Efficient Air Conditioning
Daikin split systems have advanced technology that makes them some of the most energy efficient air conditioners in every range. Advancements and additions to achieve this includes intelligent sensors, energy saving modes, greater surface area on heat exchanger coils, DC motors, aerodynamic blades, and new louver designs.
The standout has to be the Daikin US7, with the 2.5kW model achieving 7-star super efficiency rating according to the Australian Government Energy Ratings. This system is packed full of other extras including humidification, fresh air mode, breeze simulation airflow, and advanced filtration system. The price reflects this truly advanced wall split HVAC system.
Daikin ducted air conditioners also come with advanced technology to help the environment and your hip pocket. Daikin premium ducted systems have better compressors and ability to ramp down, making them about 10% more energy efficient than standard ducted aircons.
All Daikin ducted systems exceed the Australian Government’s Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), which set out the minimum level of energy performance various products must have. Furthermore, programmable temperature limits, lock-out system, Wi-Fi controls, and timers can be used to enhance the energy saving possible.
Mitsubishi Electric Energy Efficient Air Conditioning
Mitsubishi Electric also have an impressive range of energy efficiency aircon systems on offer. The advanced technology they have adopted and incorporated into their air conditioners is to thank for this. The use of more environmentally friendly refrigerants, DC motors, inverter technology, and quality motors are just some examples. They also have some of their own features like wider and longer airflow patterns.
Mitsubishi Electric units also see energy savings through their brand-specific Econo Cool temperature control. This feature involved the adjustment of airflow into a room depending on air outlet temperature. It allows set temperatures to be raised by 2ºC without affecting room comfort, which in term providing a 20% gain in efficiency.
Mitsubishi ducted air conditioners also come with technology advancements the make them some of the most energy efficiency on the market. Mitsubishi ducted aircons also exceed Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and offer added saving through clever timers and Wi-Fi control.
Air filtration and purification is increasing in demand due to increased air pollution and a rise in allergies. Air conditioning, in part, conditions the air that we breath indoors.
This means that air conditioning can improve the indoor air quality and helps prevent us from getting sick. While this is valuable in homes, it is essential in a workplace. However, it is dependent on routine aircon servicing, otherwise the reverse can occur.
Daikin Air Filtration
Daikin’s wall split systems and air purifiers are approved by the National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice program. The National Asthma Council recognises the advanced systems on offer from Daikin that help manage, reduce, or prevent common allergy triggers.
Common allergy triggers include pollens, dust mites, insects, pet dander/hair and mould. Airflow, humidity, and air filtration all play a part in managing such allergens. Allergic reactions can range from mild to life-threatening, so air conditioner assistance in allergy management is most certainly worthwhile.
Many of Daikin’s split systems contain advanced titanium air filters. These filters trap microscopic particles, deactivate bacteria and viruses, decompose odour, and help to purify the air.
Daikin’s Dry Function helps via powerful humidity (moisture) removal to help prevent mould growth indoors. This is why Daikin splits carry the blue butterfly symbol.
Mitsubishi Electric Air Filtration
Mitsubishi Electric may not have national recognition for their air filters, but it’s not to say they don’t have a high-quality filter system. Mitsubishi have their own claim to cleaner air fame; Plasma Duo Filter Systems.
Mitsubishi’s Plasma Duo Filter Systems uses a combination of technologies to achieve state of the art air purification and deodorisation. The system consists of Plasma Air Purifying Filter combined with a Plasma Deodorising Filter.
The Plasma Air Purifying Filter removes substances like dust, dander, pollen, viruses, bacteria, etc. Static electricity is used to catch the allergens and pollutants. Negative ions then act to neutralise them.
The nanometre scale-meshed platinum catalyst deodorising filter works by trapping odour causing particles. Such chemical particles include ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, trimethylamine, and methyl mercaptan. Particles are then decomposed and eliminated by ozone generated from the plasma electrode.
After-Sales Service and Support
We often don’t stop to think about after-sales support when buying new products. After all, there is so much to consider and research upfront, who has time to look at the complete lifecycle of a device? However, it really does pay to stop and consider it for a moment, no matter what product or brand you are purchasing.
Daikin Air Conditioning Service
Daikin have a large fleet of air conditioner service and repair technicians available to attend to any Daikin aircon, new or old. They are also known for having an extensive network of Daikin Warranty Agents in Brisbane, Australia, and World-Wide.
Daikin offer regular, intensive training to not only their own employees but also Daikin air conditioning contractors around the world. For installation, service, repair, and other technical matters, Daikin have valuable training for the many different air conditioner types available. Training is further broken down into aircon stage e.g. installation, diagnostic/repair, etc.
Daikin also offer a range of specialised diagnostic tools that help any Daikin expert test and service Daikin units with impressive speed and accuracy. These tools are accompanied by high-level software for advanced comprehension and assist the AC tech in taking the correct actions.
Daikin also offer a service-friendly App; Daikin eQuip. Any qualified air conditioning/refrigeration mechanic has access to the Daikin App with the use of their Refrigerant Handling Licence. eQuip provides access to all the Tech data and information an air con contactor could need for productive work on modern-day Daikin air conditioners.
If more assistance or clarification is needed, Daikin also have a Tech Support Hotline for technicians to phone. During the peak of summer, wait times can be high. However, they offer a call back service to ensure technicians are not left holding on the phone for long periods of time.
If all that wasn’t enough, Daikin also offers a web-based Portal for Daikin Dealers to log into to access an extensive range of valuable information. Engineering data, technical specifications, unit diagrams and images, just to name some of the useful documents readily available through the Daikin Portal.
Overall, Daikin are known for the highest level of support at all levels. This can save a lot of time, money, energy, and frustration down the track as you look to maintain your new air conditioner throughout its complete lifespan.
Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Service
Mitsubishi Electric also provide high-level support, but it’s hard to top Daikin’s next level service provision. Mitsubishi have a network of warranty agents in Brisbane and around the world.
Mitsubishi Electric also offer training to Dealers and Agents, related to many of their different AC unit types. Mitsubishi also have specialised diagnostic tools and software to assist with service and repairs when required.
Mitsubishi also have a Tech Support Hotline for technicians to phone if required while undertaking Mitsubishi aircon repairs. They can also be contacted via email with reasonable response rate. They also have a Technical Information portal for handy access to a range of useful documents.
Overall, Mitsubishi provide solid after-sales support. Certainly far better than many other brands. However, it’s hard to compare to Daikin who are an example how it can be done when you are solely focused on air conditioning.
Aircon Repairs and Spare Parts
Daikin Aircon Repairs
As mentioned under After-Sales Support, Daikin have an extensive network of air con service and repair experts around the world. They offer comprehensive brand-specific tools, software, phone application (Daikin eQuip), and web-based portal to support AC repairers in the field. They also offer training to all their own technicians and Daikin Dealers, with phone support available when required.
Daikin also provide a range of handy How To videos online to help users service their new air conditioner units. This helps maintain the aircon, extend its expected lifespan, and reduces the risk of breakdowns. It can also help with some common call out issues, such as poor performance because of dirty filters or weird things happening with the Daikin wall controller.
When it comes to spare parts, Daikin service continues. Their spare parts department is on par with the high-level service expected. You can phone or email the spare parts team for assistance working out which part you need, price, and availability. Daikin have also taken over other brands over the years, such as parts of McQuay, and can assist with spare parts for some of these aircon units too.
If you don’t want to email or call, you can instantly access interactive unit explosions and part lists online via Daikin’s Global Service Data Base (GSDB). Any Daikin account holder can log in and search by different categories such as Model Number or Part Number to find what they need. Information available includes part and possible substitute part number/s, price, number of that part in stock in NSW, just to name a few key pieces of information. All data can be downloaded for reference later or parts can be ordered directly there and then.
Parts can also be ordered via email direct to the spare parts team. Furthermore, Daikin Distribution Centres (DDC’s) are popping up around the country which also stock common spare parts to speed up repairs. For example, if the part is in stock locally then you can expect fast air conditioning repair in Brisbane, Gold Coast, and everywhere in between with DDC’s in Geebung and Nerang.
If the part is not in stock and has to come from interstate, the parts are usually dispatched either same day or following day depending on when the order is placed. During summer and peak times, it can take an extra few days to be dispatched, and even longer to arrive due to freight demand in the lead up to Christmas. Airbags for small parts can see delivery within a matter of days and larger road freight items within a week. Overall, it is much better than most if not all other air conditioning manufactures on the market.
Mitsubishi Electric Aircon Repairs
As mentioned under After-Sales Support, Mitsubishi Electric also have a network of specialists aircon service and repair technicians around the world. Mitsubishi also offer comprehensive brand-specific tools, software, training, and dedicated phone number to assist aircon repairers out in the field.
Mitsubishi Electric make it a little more difficult than Daikin to obtain spare part details, including part number, price, and availability. Typically, you need to provide an account number when obtaining part numbers and pricing over the phone. There is no online login to quickly obtain part information unfortunately.
When ordering parts, you have to do it via email and include the serial number of the air conditioner unit being repaired. This could be challenge/delay the process if the serial number was not recorded at the time of the initial breakdown/site visit. Parts also take longer to arrive from interstate.
If there is an issue with a part number, a reply email is typically sent in response to the purchase order. This can be missed with the volume of emails often received these days. This is unlike Daikin for which it is not uncommon for them to phone you to clarify an order, rather than sending an email and delaying the parts dispatch process further.
Mitsubishi Electric do provide high-level breakdown/repairs support, but it’s hard to top Daikin in this area. Their staff are spread across all categories of product, from air
conditioners units to aerospace components.
Companies and individual air conditioning contractors can be bias to whichever brand they primarily sell. However, good AC companies should sell, install, service, and repair both brands.
It’s good practice to quote both brand options for new installs where suitable and allow individuals the opportunity to decide. However, when working with customers and discussing requirements, one option may be more suitable than another and quoted accordingly.
Mitsubishi Electric are no doubt a high-quality air conditioner manufacturer, with a league of loyal customers. They have received industry certification and expert endorsements. Mitsubishi has a range of compact, stylish, quiet, and high-tech air conditioning systems to suit many homes and businesses.
Daikin also has an extensive range of air conditioner units to suit just about any residential or commercial HVAC requirements. If they don’t have it, they can typically design and construct it to suit. Overall, Daikin tends to come out on top with their innovation, technology, product range, reliability, and after-sales service. They have won many industry awards and continue to excel with their air conditioning focused approached.
At the end of the day, the great Mitsubishi Electric vs Daikin air conditioning debate largely comes down to personal preference. There are some minor differences between the brands and their products which may be the deciding factor, depending on your specific aircon requirements. However, both brands offer excellent value for money, provided you buy from a Mitsubishi or Daikin Dealer.
If you have any questions about with brand, or need help deciding which AC brand is best for you, it is recommended to reach out to an experienced air conditioning company that can provide both Daikin and Mitsubishi options. That way, they can answer any questions you may have about either brand and give you pricing options on both!
For many landlords and tenants, it is confusing and hard to understand who is responsible for what when it comes to air conditioning. Landlords are indeed responsible for offering a liveable place to tenants, which includes some essentials for a home to be comfortable. The same applies for commercial leases.
However, it is not always required or included in the lease agreement to install air conditioning even when it has a lot of benefits for both parties. For this reason, you need to do your research before renting any property.
In this article, we will help clear up any doubts or questions regarding responsibilities for the HVAC system in a leased property.
The first thing you should know is what exactly an HVAC system is, what is included, and why it is important to have in a leased property. Regardless of who is responsible for this, a basic understanding is vital. You can then move on to an agreement with the counterpart.
What is an HVAC system?
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It refers to the technologies used to provide heating and cooling in a property. It is essential for indoor comfort and air quality.
Why is Heating important?
It is essential for tenants to feel comfortable in their rented place and this implies adequate heat supply at all times. Heat is lost through the shell of a house. The energy that a heating system requires to replace that lost depends on 4 factors:
- The location of the place
- The size of the place
- The energy-efficiency of the place
- The energy-efficiency of the system
There are some things that you can control, like the energy-efficiency of the heating system. There are also things that you cannot control, like the location or the size of the place.
In the case of rental properties, which system to buy for the property and if it will be an energy efficient HVAC system or not is an agreement that the tenant has to come to with the landlord.
Why is Ventilation important?
Ventilation is really important because if you only have heating without any type of fresh air, the health of the people living and working in the property could be at risk. This is because mould, damp, rot, and pest issues are associated with air not replaced or exchanged.
Ventilation can be mechanical (forced) and incorporated into a ducted air conditioning system to control indoor air quality. It can also be natural (passive) and occur through the flow of air through building opening, grilles, windows, and doors.
It’s important to remember that ventilation removes a combination of humidity (moisture), odours, airborne bacteria, dust, smoke, and carbon dioxide, while replenishing oxygen. It also helps makes heating and cooling more efficient.
More than the HVAC system itself, tenants play an important part in ventilation. Unless working in a commercial office with high-level ventilation and fresh air incorporated into the system, occupants should routinely open doors and windows to let some new air in.
Why is Air Conditioning important?
Air conditioning is important to ensure an acceptable environment inside, as it is directly linked to the tenant’s health. Remember that extreme hot weather in Australia is increasingly common and air conditioning can help you maintain the ideal body temperature.
Most regulations in Australia do not demand air conditioning in leased properties, which means that there is no obligation for landlords to provide an air conditioning system. However, in some parts of Australia, like Brisbane and Northern Queensland, it can be an unofficial standard to include some type of air conditioning or cooling system in a property.
After understanding what HVAC it, you also have to know that system responsibilities can be divided into 4 main stages:
Furthermore, the responsibilities differs between commercial and residential properties.
For a commercial lease, the responsibility varies greatly depending on the lease agreement in place. The inclusions and exclusions can be more easily negotiated between the two parties.
HVAC installation is the first thing that should be negotiated if a property doesn’t already have air conditioning installed. This will also come with an associated negotiation about the amount of rent to be paid.
If there is air conditioner in place, then landlords have to ensure it is of a reasonable standard before tenants move in. Firstly, it should suit the area that it serves, meaning that it should be of sufficient size (kilowatt rating).
Reasonable standard also means the HVAC system should be operational, clean, and should not put occupants at risk of illness or disease as a result of sick building syndrome. Keep in mind that sick building syndrome is a condition (illness or chronic disease) suffered by building occupants linked to the building in which they live or work.
It’s worth noting that landlords are not required to add HVAC systems to suit business activities. If occupants want to add heat load or change the function of rooms or the whole building, then it’s up to them to condition the space accordingly.
Here are some examples of cases where tenants may need to add additional air conditioning:
- If renters are turning offices into server rooms, then renters are responsible for adding additional units such as wall split systems.
- If renters are turning the building into a childcare facility or school, they are the ones that should add additional ventilation as required. Keep in mind that ventilation is particularly important to support health and learning in children.
- In the case that a building uses central air conditioning, adding some degree of supplementary air conditioning is not uncommon, especially in data rooms and rooms with any additional heat load. Remember that some areas may even need a second back up AC installed when constant cooling is critical.
Responsibility for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R) maintenance varies dramatically.
You need to know that the Australian HVAC&R Maintenance Guidelines and Work Place Health and Safety Regulations recommend monthly servicing of air conditioning equipment in a commercial environment to maintain acceptable indoor conditions.
However, the frequency required by the landlord depends on their own preferences to a large degree. It also depends on what has been set out in the lease agreement; monthly, quarterly, six-monthly, annually, or even not required at all.
Assuming some degree of service required, a good HVAC company can offer a competitive HVAC&R maintenance agreement to suit your needs and meet relevant standards.
When a HVAC repairs situation arises, it can be problematic and unpleasant to work out who’s responsibility it is. So please be aware of this information before the need arises.
Some agreements will require tenants pay for all repairs, even if it is not financially viable and the system is passed its serviceable lifespan. Less-than-desirable landlords may push tenants to continue carrying out repairs, even when the system should be replaced. So, if you are a tenant, keep an eye on this requirement and the specifics outlined in the lease agreement.
In other cases, some landlords may only require tenants carry out minor repairs and/or up to a certain value. Other landlords may foot the bill for all repairs, assuming the damage wasn’t caused by the occupants. If you find a good landlord like this, it’s worth sticking with them as long as practical!
Keep in mind that any damage caused by occupants should be paid for by them. Also, any variations tenants want due to business/personal preferences, like changes to airflow, air balancing, outlet/zone configuration changing, etc., are typically the responsibility of the renter.
For replacement, before taking any action, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of replacement vs repairing and make the right choice.
The diagnosing air conditioning technician should be able to provide a report and comment on the overall condition of the system to assist with this decision-making. A quote for both options (repair and replacement) can also be helpful.
If a replacement is imminent or the only option available, then landlords are responsible for replacing it. This is assuming the system was already in place when the tenants moved in. If the system belongs to the tenants, then obviously it’s up to them to replace it.
For a domestic lease, the responsibility also depends on the lease agreement in place. However, the conditions are not as varied due to state and territory organisations, such as the Residential Tenancies Authority in Queensland, providing guidelines on such agreements.
If a tenant wants an air conditioner installed, then he or she will have to negotiate this with the landlord. Air conditioning in a leased property is not a requirement and landlords don’t usually want to spend more money than is necessary. So, it is a possibility that the tenant may have to pay the full cost.
However, it is becoming increasingly common in warmer climates such as Brisbane for air conditioning installation to be negotiated in exchange for higher rents. For example, tenants may pay an extra $10/week to have a wall split system installed in their bedroom. As a result, the system will be “paid off” within 3-4 years.
The bonuses continue for the owner. Now there is an air conditioner installed in the property, increasing the property value, and the tenants continue to pay the higher rent!
If the tenants have to foot the whole AC install bill, then it’s also possible that they will have to remove the air conditioner when they leave and patch/paint any holes left as a result. For this reason, you as a tenant, have to think about the best air conditioning system for leased properties. You can either install a window air conditioner or buy a portable one so it will be easier for you to remove it when you move.
The most common situation for rentals is that the tenants are responsible for the maintenance of the HVAC unit. Tenants are typically responsible for basic care only including, depending on usage, checking the aircon unit every 1-2 months and proper filter cleaning when required.
Keep in mind that cleaning aircon filters is also really beneficial for tenants while living there. Filter cleaning helps save on energy bills, improve the AC performance, have less chance of a breakdown (which means time without AC), achieve cleaner indoor air, and reduce the risk of illness-causing mould building up within the indoor unit.
Not enough filter cleaning is a well-known mistake because this may decrease airflow into the AC unit as well as decrease efficiency. It also promotes mould growth and causes dirty air to circulate.
However, too much filter cleaning is also a mistake because every time you clean a filter it wears away a little. As a result, filters can wear out sooner than they should and fall apart at a certain point.
On the other hand, landlords are the ones responsible for major six-monthly or annual level professional AC services.
What should professional aircon service include?
- Full inspection of the air conditioning system.
- Check filters; Remove, clean and re-install where required.
- Show occupants how to carry out a filter-cleaning process where required.
- Check condensate drain.
- Check the drain tray.
- Check the safety drain.
- Flush drains where required.
- Place condensate tablet in-tray of the main drain.
- Check for signs of oil or refrigerant leaks.
- Check refrigerant charge where required.
- Check for signs of vermin.
- Check the condition of the evaporator coil.
- Check the condition of the condenser coil.
- Check belts; Tighten/realign where required.
- Check bearings.
- Check motors and mechanical components.
- Check pipework for damage to insulation.
- Check operation of reversing valve where required.
- Check electrical terminals; Tighten/adjust where required.
- Check the airflow.
- Check to supply air temperature.
- Check for fault codes.
- Check thermostat/sensors; Adjust/calibrate where required.
- Check voltage reading where required.
- Check full load amps reading where required.
- Check the general operation of the unit.
- Make minor adjustments where required.
- Assist occupants with settings/using the system where required.
- Report to the owner/property manager on any issues found.
There are many benefits in servicing the air conditioning system. Therefore, the tenant and landlord need to include this in the lease agreement.
Landlords are responsible for standard air conditioner repairs. However, tenants are responsible for any damage they cause, like denting a unit while moving in/out, pet dog chewing insulation/cables at the outdoor unit, water damage caused by incorrect usage/cleaning, mould having to be removed due to AC neglect, etc.
Tenants need to be careful to not damage the aircon system. They obviously want to prevent the need for repairs and avoid committing any of the many common air conditioning mistakes.
Replacement is associated with a high cost because is involves buying a brand new air conditioning system. In this instance, the landlord is responsible for aircon replacement if/when the system is beyond repairs.
This is assuming that the air conditioner was installed by the owner, and/or is included in the lease agreement. If a tenant chooses to install the air conditioning system, or damages an AC unit beyond repair, then the cost of replacement comes back to the tenant.
Remember that in a lease agreement it is up to you both, the tenant and the landlord, to establish and explain the requirements in relation to HVAC installation, maintenance, repairs, and replacement. As a landlord, you can take all of the responsibility or choose to share it with the renters.
In conclusion, the landlord is responsible to provide heating and basic ventilation, but the whole air conditioning system is not an obligation. If the renter needs it then he or she can reach an agreement with the landlord to have it installed. This may be in exchange for an increase in rent, shared initial cost, or it may be at the sole expense of either party.
Remember that getting the best possible agreement is up to you. Read everything in the contract carefully (yes, even that small print). Finally, if you do not agree with something, be prepared to negotiate.
Many real estate experts will say that buying air conditioning for your home is a good investment if you ever want to sell the home. It’s also valuable if ever looking to rent it out.
Truth is that an old and inefficient cooling or heating system can lower the value of your property. Reasons for this include the inefficient operation being reflected in the quarterly energy bill and the perceived cost for imminent system replacement.
The question is, does installing a good ducted air conditioning system add value to your home?
Answer? It certainly does, up to a certain point. The value of ducted aircon depends on many factors that we are going to discuss in this article. First, you should know what exactly ducted air conditioning is.
What is ducted air conditioning?
One of the main options when it comes to installing an air conditioner in your home is ducted air conditioning. The main characteristics of a residential ducted AC system is a centralized air distribution system behind a solid or false ceiling that reaches all the rooms in the house.
It can also have a reverse cycle. This means that you can heat up or cool down your home with just the one system.
What are the main advantages of ducted air conditioning?
The main advantage of ducted air conditioning is the potential for large energy savings. This is because ducted AC works with a single large-capacity outdoor unit, instead of several outdoor units, with less power consumed in comparison.
Also, you can achieve an aesthetically pleasing outcome because only small outlets/inlets and a controller may be seen indoors. This is instead of having multiple indoor units installed on the walls, ceilings, floors, or even through the walls or windows.
Furthermore, a ducted air conditioner system allows individual climate control through the addition of zoning. With zoned air conditioning, the ducted AC can regulate temperature and airflow in different rooms/spaces throughout the house.
Finally, you can expect to see savings in the regular energy bill. This is because the air conditioner is ramping down automatically when the desired temperature is reached. This means lower power consumption to maintain a comfortable indoor environment.
What are the factors to consider for adding value to your home?
The house itself
Adding value to your home depends on the house itself. For example, you can install the best air conditioner system in your home, but does it go with the rest of the house? Is the rest of the house well maintained? What else are you offering the potential buyer?
Consider this point before thinking that you will automatically recover the cost of your aircon when you sell the house. Speak with a real estate agent regarding limitations on the value of an air conditioner based on the house and neighbourhood it is in.
Air conditioner conditions
If you have a home air conditioning system, then it is generally assumed that routine aircon servicing has been carried out for many different reasons. It is also expected that the air conditioning system is in good working order prior to the sale of the house.
In general, air conditioning will increase the value to your home if it has added benefits such as increased energy-efficiency with the use of a heat pump or other green and/or money-saving technology.
Remember that an air conditioner can be considered basic equipment for a house depending on where you live. For example, if you live in a place with 4 distinct seasons in terms of weather, then a proper heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is expected.
On the other hand, if you live in a place where the weather is good all the time and major temperature fluctuations are rare then, of course, an air conditioner will add value to the house because it could be considered a luxury.
If you are in a location where home buyers expect the house to have an air conditioner then you should consider installing one. This is because even though the air conditioner will not necessarily add value to the house, buyers may discount the price for a house that lacks ducted air conditioning.
How does a ducted air conditioner add value to your home?
Good climate all year round
In a country like Australia, a ducted reverse cycle air conditioning is essential for comfort all year. Ducted aircon adds value to a home as this system can create comfort and reverse operations during winter to warm up your home. This could be one of the most important additions to your air conditioning system that will add value to your home.
Extra technology value
A clever way to add value to your property is by using modern innovation to connect with your ducted air conditioner. For example, you can use AirTouch 4 Zoning or high-end iZone Smart System which allows you to control your aircon along with Google Home, Smart Lights, and even Spotify.
Also, technology exists that will allow you to control your home air conditioner from your phone. With this feature, you will be able to turn on the AC before you arrive home in order to create the perfect temperature indoors without wasting energy.
A good strategy is to install the supply air outlets in various areas of your home that you know is key to air conditioning the given spaces. By doing this, you can create the perfect home temperature. This will also allow new buyers or tenants to enjoy maximum comfort with minimum energy consumption.
With regular AC maintenance and suitable cleaning, a ducted air conditioning system can last up to 15 years+. This is great because air conditioner lifespan is a big selling point for your home. Remember that the quality of the installation also makes a difference to this lifespan.
Also consider that a ducted air conditioning system will typically create greater interest in your property. If you are planning on selling or renting the house, then a working air conditioner will make your home far more comfortable and liveable, which will naturally increases the value.
So, if you decided to buy a ducted air conditioning system for your property, you should also consider proper installation in order for it to work efficiently for as long as possible. For this reason, it is better to have experts installing your ducted air conditioner to avoid costly mistakes.
Even if you took two identical air conditioners, installed one in a business and one in a home, there would be significant differences between the systems. Let us delve deeper into the world of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (known as HVAC, or often just referred to as Air Conditioning) from a Brisbane’s Air Conditioning team of experts perspective.
Usage vs Exposure
Commercial HVAC systems are used for a greater proportion of time compared to the hours we spend in that environment. Let’s break that down…
It can sometimes feel like we live at work, with about a third of our life spent at work on average. Commercial air conditioning systems are typically run for 8-10 hours per day Monday-Friday, if not 24 hours, which equates to an average of 40-50 hours/week.
Most of the remaining two-thirds of our time is spent at home (i.e. 14-16 hours). However, Aussies typically only run their domestic air conditioners for 6 hours per day. This equates to 42 hours/week.
Looking at the stats, commercial and residential air conditioners are typically run for similar hours per week. However, we spend up to twice as much time at home. Therefore, commercial AC units have greater usage when compared to our exposure to that environment.
There is a wider range of commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems out there compared to residential systems, with some overlap. There is also a range of AC Systems often seen in apartment complexes and high-rise accommodation buildings that can be used for residential or commercial application.
Common Home HVAC Systems:
- High Wall Split Systems (Ductless AC Units)
- Room Air Conditioners (RAC’s aka Box Units, Window Units or “Window Rattlers”)
- Ducted Split Systems
- Evaporative Coolers (in dryer climates)
Common Residential Complex HVAC Systems:
- Wall Split Systems
- Ducted Split Systems
- Water Cooled Package Units
- Cooling Towers
- Chilled Water Fan Coil Units
- Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) Systems
Common Commercial HVAC Systems:
- Under Ceiling or Wall-Hung Split Systems
- Ducted Systems
- Air Cooled or Water Cooled Package Units
- Evaporative Coolers
- Central Plant / Air Conditioning
- Cooling Towers
- Condenser Pumps and Motors
- Chilled Water Pumps and Motors
- Water and Air Chillers
- Reciprocating and Scroll Packaged Chillers
- Heater Banks
- Variable Speed Drives (VSD)
- Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Systems
- Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) Systems
- Building Management Systems (BMS)
- Car Park Ventilation
- Fresh Air Systems
In theory every aircon brand could be used for residential or commercial application. However, there are a number of brands that specialize in the manufacture of commercial HVAC equipment. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Diamond Air
Many brands also produce a commercial-specific range. Examples include:
Commercial air conditioning set ups tend to be modular in nature, compared to domestic stand-alone systems installed in houses. By design, a variety of components can be configured in different ways to suit the specific needs of the building served. This makes sense give the almost endless possible business configurations within a given facility. This configuration can also change over time as tenants or owners come and go.
At an entry level, an air conditioner can consist of single stage system, designed to produce just heating or cooling. While these tend to be cheaper than other options, they are also relatively inefficient and work at full capacity even when it is not required. These are commonly found in homes, particularly rental properties (where the owner does not have to pay the power bill…).
More advanced air conditioner models are designed to offer variable fan speeds to cut down on power usage. These can be found in all settings. However, these are still relatively inefficient when compared to multi-stage systems and therefore more expensive to run in the long term.
Multi-stage systems are designed to work at the required capacity and only ramp up to full capacity when needed, making them the most efficient AC option. These are more commonly found in commercial settings.
Zoned systems are another design option worth mentioning that can be used to control heating or cooling to individual parts of a home or business. This is done by specifically design zone valves and dampers inside the vents and ductwork that selectively block the flow of air. This is a valuable design feature that prevents an AC system from heating or cooling areas of a premises not in use. Business zoning systems are more high-tech than residential zoning system.
Think about where you see air conditioning units when out and about versus at home. Home Outdoor AC Units (condensers) are often installed down at ground level on a slab or wall bracket in walkways and easily accessible areas. In comparison, commercial condensing units are typically located up out of the way and inaccessible to general public.
Commercial HVAC units can be found on roofs, plant rooms and garage/basement locked areas. This makes sense when you consider the value of floor space in commercial facilities. There is also logic in removing units from easy access – to reduce the risk of interference (both intentional and unintentional). This also allows for service and repairs to occur without disruption from passers-by. Furthermore, it helps reduce noise pollution on the ground level and air pollution from outdoor units entering a building.
Further to typical commercial AC design, building air conditioning systems allow greater customisation by necessity. As previously mentioned, systems are usually made up of modular components that can be added or removed where desired.
In addition to the modular nature of many commercial systems, Building Management Systems (BMS) are commonly tailored to the building HVAC set up required. BMS systems control and monitor building mechanical and electrical and can be connected to wide range of AC Units. This computer technology is commonly seen in high-rises, office blocks and industrial facilities.
Far more is expected from a workplace HVAC system, and the commercial environment in general, and commercial AC units tend to be more complex to meet these expectations. In comparison, a residential air conditioner is typically operated to heat and cool a single family dwelling with relatively static requirements.
Building air conditioning is not only likely to be larger but can also be segmented into different offices and/or departments that have different heating and cooling requirements. The aircon system needs to account for several thermostats that control various areas all at one time. For example, a company may manufacture, process, sell or store items that require specific temperatures. Alternatively, a space may be used to hosts conventions or large groups of people will require adjustable temperatures so that everyone remains comfortable. These varying needs drive the additional complexity of commercial HVAC systems.
Air conditioning design can have an environmental impact in terms of resources required to run it (think power/water/gas). Single stage fixed speed systems seen in residential settings are far more resource-hungry than multi-stage, variable speed inverters more commonly seen in commercial premises.
For those who are interested in sustainable cooling and/or heating, the water source heat pump, or really any Geothermal Heat Pump, is the way to go. Water source heat pumps are still relatively uncommon as they require proximity to a body of water, hence the name geothermal heat pumps. However, they are rapidly escalating in popularity.
Another emerging type of heating and cooling system is Active Solar Thermal Systems. These use free solar radiation to reduce peak demand on resources.
Furthermore, computer Building Management Systems (BMS) are increasingly improving HVAC system management and performance. Increased use of economy cycles, night-time passive ventilation, and heat recovery are all possible with improved air handling control strategies.
The refrigerant the system runs on is another important environmental consideration. More on this in the following point #10.
Air Conditioning Refrigerant (in gas and fluid form) transfers heat energy between the indoor and outdoor units of the air conditioning system. As commercial AC units tend to have a longer lifespan, more of them run on older types of refrigerant compared to residential air conditioners. Different refrigerants can also affect energy efficiency and performance in extreme conditions.
Older gases such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) are being phased out, and new refrigerants with low global warming impact are being introduced. Natural refrigerants are also being more widely used.
R22 refrigerant is an ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) that is being phased out in many countries. In the commercial setting, R22 is still frequently used for repairs. In the domestic setting, the cost of the R22 gas often renders repairs no longer financially viable and commonly signals time for AC system replacement.
R410A refrigerant is a more-environmentally friendly non-ozone depleting hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) used in all settings.
R32, the successor to R410A refrigerant, is an even better non-ozone depleting option with a significantly lower global warming potential (GWP) factor than R410A. R32 is currently more common in residential air conditioners, but will increase in popularity in commercial setting as systems are replaced over time.
Kilowatt (kW) or British Thermal Units (BTU’s) rating refers to output power and is a measure of air conditioner capacity. Reverse cycle air conditioning systems have 2 ratings; the first one refers to cooling capacity and the second refers to heating capacity (typically a higher number).
In houses, air conditioners with cooling capacity of 2kW to 25kW are typically seen. In warehouses, laboratories, office complexes, and other commercial spaces, air conditioners with much higher kW ratings can be found. Eg. 10-100kW+. Furthermore, Packaged Units can be built to higher capacities than standard units eg. 100-200kW
The amount of power consumed by commercial and residential aircon units varies dramatically.
Commercial systems typically draw more power due to the higher workloads expected from them.
In Australia, HVAC systems account for as much as 30% of commercial energy use and costs in buildings and office spaces. As well as the impact on total facility energy use and costs, these systems also dominate peak building electricity demand.
Interesting, the energy usage figure is higher in homes with air conditioning accounting for up to 40% of residential energy use. So while a residential aircon unit may use less power compared to a commercial aircon unit, the proportion of power used compared to usage for the property overall is higher.
Home air conditioners tend to run off single-phase power which is the usual power supply serving houses. By comparison, commercial and industrial air conditioners typically run off three-phase power which is the norm in commercial facilities.
Single phase power requires a single wire to connect the circuit, whereas three phase power requires three wires. Three-phase power allows for greater voltage regulation and is more efficient than single-phase as it requires less conductor materials for the same amount of power generation.
Three phase air conditioning systems, typically found in commercial settings, are more efficient than single phase aircons typically found in the home. That’s not to say you can’t find three phase air conditioners installed in houses.
There are also premium versions of many systems, especially ducted, that can further improve the efficiency for homes and businesses. However, there is more to the story.
Wall split air conditioners are the most energy efficient systems. Wall splits are more common in homes compared to ducted, package and other types of commercially installed AC Units. From this angle, residential air conditioning could be considered more energy efficient.
Air conditioner efficiency is measured by the energy-efficiency ratio (EER); the higher the EER value, the more energy efficient the aircon is. EER is a ratio of the output (capacity) divided by the power input. Using this formula, the energy efficiency of an air conditioner decreases as the capacity (kW rating) of the system increases. Eg. a 2.5kW wall split air conditioning system will automatically have a greater energy efficiency than a 7kW system.
In general, the higher quality the manufacturer, the more energy efficient the air conditioning units. Daikin have designed a 7-star energy efficient system, called the US7. Only the 2.5kW system is rated 7 stars because, as mentioned above, as energy efficiency decreases as the capacity (kW rating) increases.
Choosing an air conditioner for a house is often based on room size and house design. However, for commercial buildings, heat load should be considered for all air con installations.
Heat load depends on size of area to be cooled, number of occupants, size, position, shading and coverings of windows, and heat generated by lighting, equipment, and machinery (including computers, photocopiers, etc.). The capacity of an air conditioner required for a business can be calculated from specific heat load equations.
Noise is a greater issue in residential settings compared to commercial environments. This makes sense given that you obviously want to be able to sleep at home (and not usually allowed to sleep on the job…). Residential noise restrictions also exist, with good reason.
Noise levels of aircons are measured in decibels (dB), with indoor and outdoor units having their own ratings. For split systems (ductless and ducted), outdoor air con noise is louder than indoor.
Newer units are designed to be quieter than older units. Special features allow for quieter operation indoor with Quiet Mode/Function available on many higher quality AC units. These are commonly tailored to the domestic market.
Commercial air conditioning units are significantly louder than residential counterparts. For this reason, among others, units are often installed on the roof, basement carparks or plant rooms to avoid noise pollution.
Regular maintenance of AC units can help reduce unwanted noise in many ways. Blocked filters, unbalanced fan motors, and loose components can all lead to increased noise production.
In the commercial setting, there is a wider range of people involved in approving, installing, repairing and maintaining air conditioning. Developers, Builders, Building Owners, Occupants, Body Corporates and Facilities Managers come to mind, just to name a few.
In the residential setting, home-owners are primarily responsible for installing and repairing any air conditioning in their house. If a house is tenanted, tenants may be able to install air conditioning themselves but only with approval from an owner.
Occupants of a home or business are typically the ones responsible for maintenance. Given that occupants are not always owners, it’s not surprising that maintenance ball is often dropped, and sadly air conditioning units can be left to fall apart and fail to reach full life expectancy.
Many humans expect a perfect temperature-controlled environment at work, whereas they may be more forgiving at home. This is not completely unreasonable given we are being paid to be productive and expect a certain level of comfort in order to achieve this.
To facilitate an optimum work environment, temperature sensing comes in many forms in commercial settings. For most systems, this tends to be in the form of multiple sensors providing feedback to thermostat/s throughout the commercial facility. This can also be achieved through the use of individual high wall split units, however wall splits are more commonly used in homes for human comfort.
Issues often arise in open-planned offices and the like where one sensor is responsible for controlling the ambience of a large area. Personal preferences can be conflicting. E.g. Young skinny-mini who can’t seem to warm up despite five layers of clothes vs middle-aged female experiencing “tropical” flushes as they transition into a new phase of womanhood.
There is a vast range of AC control systems available for homes and businesses, from simple on/off buttons through to intricate Building Management Systems (BMS). Businesses often elect for a wired AC controller, rather than a wireless remote seen in homes, to prevent controls going missing at the hands of employees or even customers. It’s also not uncommon to have a lock-box around a wall controller to prevent constant temperature and setting battles that can occur in the workplace (sure many people can relate!).
WiFi control tends to be a more common feature in home aircon set up. Controls in a commercial environment tend to be limited in nature to avoid temperature/setting battles mentioned previously.
The ability to control the home AC from afar (or from the comfort of the couch or bed) is also more appealing to a homeowner. Imagine being snuggled in bed on a chilly winter morning, and being able to reach out, grab the phone and turn the air con on heat to take the chill off the air before having to step out of bed. Six-months later, imagine driving home from work and being able to turn the air con on to cool down the house ready for you to arrival into a perfectly chilled environment.
In the workplace, AC systems are typically manually or automatically turned on at the start of work and turned off at the end of the day. There usually isn’t the need to turn the AC system on remotely because if the AC is on, someone is onsite and able to control it.
A greater range of features are typically seen in residential air conditioners to accommodate wide a range of personal preferences. For business, the HVAC system needs to function as designed, without the need for all the bells and whistles. The system is there to serve a purpose, without the need for optional extras that may be used to upsell a home AC system.
In theory, residential and commercial AC drainage is the same; water is drained away from the air conditioner into a drainage point. In practice, this can be far more intricate and complex in a commercial building than a residential house.
Every component of a commercial HVAC system is larger than that of a residential system, including the drainage set up. As residential units serve a much smaller area, the entire system usually drains in a single pan that is placed outside the house. A commercial HVAC system consists of multiple pipes and pans for drainage purposes to ensure complete water removal and to eliminate the possibility of overflowing.
Commercial AC drains often call for serviceable p-traps to be installed to allow for complete maintenance to be carried out. It is recommended that serviceable P-traps be installed as it common for condensate drains to become clogged. If traps are not serviceable, it is not possible to guarantee they are clear. If they become clogged, an AC unit drain tray will overflow and damage the ceiling plus any electrical items below the unit. Obviously best to avoid this when the electrical items are typically computers, printers, scanners and/or other business-essential equipment.
Filters are an integral, yet often overlooked, part of an HVAC system. A filter helps to increase the efficiency and longevity of a system by protecting it from dust and airborne particles. It does this by providing a physical barrier between the air intake and moving parts of the AC system.
A wider range of filters are used in commercial heating and cooling systems compared to home air conditioners. Ducted panel filters and manufacturer-specific split system aircon filters are commonplace in homes, compared to pleated, pocket/bag, v-bank, separator, carbon and HEPA filters in commercial settings.
Some filters are designed to improve the quality of the interior air. Furthermore, some AC systems also have a filter at the air exhaust, as well as at the usual air intake, which further prevents any pollutants from blown back into the interior environment. These specialized filters are more commonly found in commercial settings.
The V in HVAC stands for Ventilation and greater consideration is required for business premises.
Residential systems have windows that aid in proper ventilation. In comparison, commercial buildings often have other components in place of windows, for more intricate ventilation. It is also a common building requirement to have suitable ventilation and fresh air systems in place.
Adding Fresh Air to a heating or cooling system accomplishes two primary goals; First, it controls building pressures and secondly, it increases indoor air quality by diluting polluted or stale indoor air. Many fresh air systems will vent cool air from inside the property and replace it with external air every couple of hours. This is to ensure that levels of internal pollutants are kept low and air quality standards are kept high.
Ventilation system/s can be similar for a home or business, except they are typically larger scale in the commercial setting. It is crucial to maintain proper ventilation, no matter what type of HVAC system you have. The health of a ventilation system will impact the indoor air quality of any premises.
Humidity control by commercial air conditioning systems is a must to comply with health regulations in the workplace, whereas it is rarely considered in the domestic setting. The humidity and temperature requirements in a residential dwelling do not vary much which is why the HVAC equipment used in the two environments is very different.
Low humidity in buildings should be avoided as it can dry out nasal membranes which act as a primary means of defence against airborne viruses and diseases. On the flipside, research shows that virus survival decreases with decreased humidity – viruses survive better at humidity above 60%. Therefore, it is recommended to keep relative humidity between 40% and 60% to create conditions that reduce the risk of infection through airborne droplets while preventing the drying out of mucous membranes in the nose.
HVAC systems can also offer built-in humidity control, and both humidifiers and dehumidifiers available as optional extras for various heating and cooling systems. People that live and work in very dry environments or the tropics may find these additions to an AC system essential. However, some people prefer to install separate humidifier or dehumidifier systems so that they can manage the humidity of their environment without also having to turn on the air conditioner.
There are well-established standards for air conditioning maintenance in countries around the world. As with most things, there is greater guidance and governance of commercial air conditioning compared to the domestic.
The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) is a specialist, not-for-profit technical organisation providing leadership in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC&R) sector in Australia. AIRAH produce a range of primary commercial equipment-based Technical Documents providing guidance on all HVAC&R matters, including the DA19 Manual that has been the definitive reference for maintenance in Australia for more than 20 years.
There are a range of laws and codes that businesses must comply with. For air conditioning, this includes the Building Code of Australia (BCA) contained within the National Construction Code (NCC). This Australian code provides the minimum necessary requirements for safety, health, amenity and sustainability in the design and construction of new buildings and new building work in existing buildings.
There is often additional licencing involved when it comes to commercial HVAC, especially building air conditioning works. For example, in Queensland Australia, individuals and companies must hold a Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) licence to carry out building works valued over $3,300 or of any value where it involves Mechanical Services. This includes constructing, installing, replacing, repairing, altering, maintaining, testing or commissioning any of the following for a building; air-conditioning, air handling systems, equipment in which a refrigerant gas is (or is to be) used and refrigeration.
Commercial facilities can also require certain business licencing and qualifications for work to be undertaken onsite. For example, many shopping centres in Australia require a company to have CM3 Contractor OHS/WHS Prequalification before being allowed to carry out air conditioning repairs, service or installation works at the facility.
*Photo from Daikin
Different HVAC technicians tend to specialise in commercial or domestic HVAC systems as both the units feature unique mechanisms and function differently. Many technicians could in theory attend to both home and business air conditioners, however skills and experience can vary dramatically.
Even if technicians have the same base-level qualifications and licences, a commercial HVAC technician typically has a wider range of experience on more complex air conditioning systems. This is necessary due to the complexity of equipment found in a business setting. Business owners are also less forgiving of mistakes or oversights that could occur with less-experienced techs.
Fully functioning and well maintained HVAC systems are intended to provide comfortable conditions within the building they serve, especially in commercial settings. Commercial AC supports business processes and systems as owners and occupants rely on aircon systems to successfully operate their businesses. Failure to maintain HVAC systems reduces the useful life of the equipment, increases operating costs, and introduces unreliability, dissatisfaction, and risk to a business’ operation. Failure to maintain is risky and ultimately creates costs and reduces returns.
Issues such as climate change, energy efficiency, water conservation, building performance and carbon management are all high on the political and social agenda in the twenty first century. Regulators, building owners and system operators need to address these issues in their policies and practices and consequently maintenance is high on the agenda and increasingly in the forefront of responses.
Maintenance is about energy and water, noise and vibration, efficiency and control. Failure to maintain is unsustainable. Maintenance improves safety, increases efficiency, improves reliability and increases satisfaction. This is most important in the commercial environment.
Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) calls for monthly maintenance of HVAC equipment used in a commercial setting. Some maintenance tasks are recommended monthly, such as checking major components and drains, while others are recommended every 3, 6, or 12 months.
By comparison, a minimum of annual servicing is recommended for residential air conditioners used for human comfort. Homeowners can carry out some basic maintenance given that home aircons tend to be less complex than commercial air conditioning. Occupants can help maintain their AC units between major services by visually checking the AC system every few month and cleaning filters when required.
Any technical maintenance, including fully opening the units and handling electrics, is obviously best left for a fully qualified technician. It is recommended to seek professional help if notice any abnormal noises, sights or smells from an air conditioner unit in the home or business setting.
Failure to maintain a home AC system can have consequences, but not as serious as those in a commercial setting. Failure to maintain business aircon can have a wide range of implications. These include poor air quality, poor employee and customer comfort, poor productivity from employees and equipment, excessive costs, and health risks. There are also further consequences if fail to comply with building standards, workplace safety, health regulations and/or lease agreements.
The maintenance cost of commercial HVAC systems is more than that for residential units for various reasons such as complexity of components, the size of the units, difference in mechanisms and frequency required. For a commercial unit, you need highly experienced and skilled technicians to ensure perfect installation, effective maintenance, speedy repairs and smooth daily operation.
When temperature adjustment in a building is not really required, it’s natural to want to turn off the air conditioning until needed. This frequently occurs in the shoulder seasons at home (Spring/Autumn) where temperatures can be mild. When hibernating an air conditioning system, greater consideration and consultation is required in a commercial setting. This is particularly true when water cooling is involved.
Implications at home tend to be limited to build up of mould within indoor units, seizing of motors, and/or damage due to vermin or other wildlife making themselves at home in the AC units.
In business settings, these outcomes can also occur in addition to others. Modern buildings are not designed to be shut down for extended periods of time. People aren’t the only source of contaminants in buildings. There is often a need to ensure a minimum background amount of ventilation and operation is maintained to limit health and equipment failure risks upon return to work.
Cooling towers and condenser water systems are prime examples systems that should not be turned off without professional consultation. In these systems, the risk of Legionella disease increases when the equipment is idle and water becomes stagnant.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is more heavily impacted by design and maintenance in a commercial setting compared to residential environment. Some of the key commercial considerations mentioned so far in this article include type of filters (point #23), ventilation and fresh air systems (point #24), humidity control (point #25), maintenance (points #29 & #31), and hibernation (point #32).
Many advances in commercial building automation and HVAC control will also improve indoor air quality control. The importance of fresh, clean air is understood and increasingly appreciated in modern workplaces, with increasing emphasis placed on controlling dust, bacteria, odours and toxic gases.
Commercial units are usually made up of modular parts that can be built upon as needed. This increases flexibility and allows owner/occupants to make greater changes to the heating and cooling as needed. It also helps in the construction of a business HVAC system, as the parts are easier to handle independently.
Residential systems, on the other hand, typically comprised of two units that must work together. If one half of the system fails, both units must be replaced. The entire system also has to be replaced if the owner wants to make major changes to the level of heating and cooling.
Commercial repairs tend to be time critical, especially in high-rise buildings with windows sealed shut and typically higher heat loads (for more info on heat-load, see point #15 above). Many businesses have a maintenance agreement in place with an air conditioning company. Part of that agreement includes special rates for repairs call outs and priority attendance for such breakdowns. These technicians also know the systems well from regular servicing of the equipment, which reduces time and costs in diagnosing given they know where everything is.
Generic parts more common for commercial systems e.g. Indoor and outdoor fan motors, compressors, and the like. Home air conditioning systems have some generic parts, but mostly require manufacturer specific components.
Given the longer lifespan of commercial aircons, genuine parts tend to be available longer than residential aircon parts. This can be frustrating when a home air conditioner doesn’t feel that old but suddenly parts are no longer available and you’re up for the cost of a whole new system.
There are a wide range of insurance policies variations for houses vs business premises.
There are some items of common coverage, such as motor fusion and storm surge damage, but business policies tend to have more inclusions. Obviously they tend to cost more as a result! Residential insurance is much more standardized than commercial policies because businesses have a variety of different needs
Commercial policies sometimes offer compensation for lost business income. If an accident causes a business to shut down or interrupts your work, such as HVAC system shut down, business interruption coverage can pay for the income lost when you unable to operate.
Business policies also allow coverage to address specific risks. This could include failure of an air conditioner in a temperature-sensitive server room or laboratory. Commercial policies can also allow additional costs to be covered, like meeting new or updated building codes when installing a new AC system.
Causes of Damage
Both residential and commercial air conditioning can experience motor fusion and storm surge damage, along with vermin damage, power surges, physical damage (intentional or accidental), or other causes of damage. However, due to typical location of commercial HVAC (e.g. roofs or plant rooms, locked up, out of human reach), physical damage is less common to business air conditioners.
In the home, vermin damage is more commonly seen due to AC units being in closer proximity to the pesky critters’ natural habitat (think garden, trees, rocks, etc.). Power surges are the result of fluctuations in electrical current and can impact air conditioners in all settings.
As a general rule of thumb, the larger the system then the longer the expected lifespan. Therefore, commercial air conditioners tend to have a longer lifespan due to their naturally larger sizing. However, air con life span depends on many other factors including but not limited to unit type, application, usage, maintenance, and exposure to the elements.
Commercial HVAC life span is helped by the fact that routine maintenance more frequently occurs compared to home air conditioning. Saying that, there can obviously be cases of “lemons” being installed in the commercial setting that barely last their manufacturer’s warranty period. Furthermore, some home air conditioners can run for decades if infrequently used and maintained well.
Residential air conditioning units tend to have longer manufacturer warranty periods compared to commercial air con units. Most residential aircons have a standard 5 year manufacturer’s warranty period. Commercial AC Units come with warranty periods for 1 – 5 years, depending on application.
Standard installation warranty on all new air conditioner installs is 1 year. Most air conditioning installers offer this installation warranty. Commercial HVAC installs or repairs are often subject to a Defects Liability Period (DLP), which is a fixed period of time from work completion from which the contractor must return to site to rectify any defects. Standard DLP can be 6 months to 24 months. Businesses can include a clause in a relevant contract to withhold a portion of the installation or repair costs owed to the air conditioning company until the DLP period has ended.
Ice Blast Pty Ltd offers to extend the standard installation warranty in domestic settings from 1 year up to 5 years from installation date if the air conditioner system is serviced by Ice Blast annually.
For commercial settings, a custom HVAC maintenance agreement is available to enable similar extension of the installation warranty.
As mentioned previously, heating and cooling can account for significant power usage and therefore costs (up to 30% in commercial and 40% in residential settings). Within businesses, as well as the impact on total facility energy use and costs, aircon systems also dominate peak building electricity demand.
The capital and maintenance costs of HVAC also comprise a significant proportion of commercial building costs. Costs can be minimised through good system design (especially accurate sizing), and routine servicing as per best-practice guidelines. Investing in superior control systems and zoning can also result in substantial energy savings.
Advances in engineering enable the measurement of many factors that influence the comfort of building occupants, such as humidity, air movement and surface temperatures of nearby objects, like windows. Optimising these factors can yield further energy savings.
Computer technologies are increasingly improving HVAC system management, performance and cost savings. Increased use of economy cycles, night-time passive ventilation and heat recovery are commercial options for improving costs.
Inverter technology is another cost-saver, more commonly seen in the commercial environment. An inverter works like the accelerator of a car, gently increasing/decreasing power as required. Inverter based AC systems can achieve the desired room temperature quicker and maintain it without fluctuations which means savings in running costs (and uninterrupted comfort!).
Reverse cycle air conditioners also offer a cost-saving as they are significantly more efficient (and therefore cost less to run) comparted to more commonly available ‘minimum standard’ models. These are a standard in business setting. It is worth noting that minor adjustments to thermostat set points can often be made, resulting in energy savings without greatly affecting occupants.
BONUS POINT: Value
Given the extensive differences between commercial and residential air conditioning, which do you think is more valuable?
Both have a part to play in creating optimal environments, whether it be for humans, pets, equipment or products. Given the amount of negative outcomes possible when commercial HVAC is not properly designed, installed, controlled, maintained or repaired, the value in commercial AC seemingly comes out on top.
Many homes don’t have or need air conditioning.
Residents can be happy to rug up warm with layers of clothing and/or snuggle by a fire in winter. Can’t see a group of co-workers huddling up together in the workplace to keep warm!
During the summer, doors and windows can usually be opened up at home in conjunction with fans. By comparison, windows that open and allow a cooling breeze are somewhat of a luxury at work! Hence the added value air conditioning has in the commercial setting.