10 Things To Consider Before Installing Air Conditioning

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10 Things To Consider Before Installing Air Conditioning

Installing air conditioning has become one of the essential elements for general well-being in people’s homes and businesses.

For many, it is an absolute necessity, and the truth is that we cannot blame them for it. Air conditioning is one of the most important solutions to create a comfortable environment.

Good air conditioning guarantees better rest, relaxation and mental and physical health. And at work, can help increase productivity and reduce stress. Nobody likes to work uncomfortably, right? Isn’t it better to work without continually thinking “OMG! how hot it is” or “I’m freezing”?

BUT…there are several things to keep in mind because nobody wants to to get stuck with the wrong AC.

I have seen cases where an air conditioner was installed in the wrong spot and the entire system had to be replaced. That’s a big and expensive problem that you want to avoid at all costs.

So, to make sure that doesn’t happen to you, read this article  “The Top 10 Things To Consider Before Installing Air Conditioning” to the end. This will give you some guidelines on what to look for when buying an Air Conditioner.

1. What Type of Air Conditioner Should I Get?

There are several types of Air Conditioning and hundreds of different brands on the market, but when looking for an AC for your home or business the options are reduced to a few.

So, before we go into more depth, I’ll show you some of the most popular types with some pros and cons of each of them.

Air Conditioning Services

The Split Air Conditioner System comprises two units: an indoor unit, that is the source of heat or cooling and an outdoor unit, connected via pipes.

The Multi-split System is similar to a split-system, but with one outdoor unit connected to two or more indoor units.

Pros

  • Good room temperature control Suitable for most homes
  • Simple installation
  • Affordable
  • Efficient

Cons

  • The external unit can be noisy
  • They are fixed so you have to think carefully where it goes
Ducted Air Conditioning

Ducted Air Conditioning consists of an outdoor and an indoor unit that is recessed above a false ceiling, so it is protected and does not compromise the aesthetics of the space. You won’t be able to see it with the naked eye.

Pros

  • Good room temperature control Suitable for most homes
  • Simple installation
  • Affordable
  • Efficient

Cons

  • The external unit can be noisy
  • They are fixed so you have to think carefully where it goes
Window Air Conditioning

This type requires only one equipment in which the outdoor and indoor units are integrated. This is placed in a hole in the wall or windows, so that half the equipment is inside the home and the other half is outside.

Pros

  • Lower price
  • Easy installation
  • They don’t take too much space

 

Cons

  • Noisy operation
  • They only cool one area
  • Less efficient
Portable Air Conditioning

Portable air conditioning systems work similarly to the fixed ones, with an integrated compression system under their casing. However, they do not require installation.

Pros

  • Lower price
  • Don’t need installation
  • You can move it around

Cons

  • Noisy Bulky and heavy
  • Less efficient

2. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

One of the most important initial steps for installing Air Conditioning is to make sure you select the right size.

When we talk about Air Conditioner sizing, we are not referring to the dimensions of the appliance itself but to the average power in kW.

There are many factors that can impact on the size that you’ll need. Some of them are:

  • The size of the room where it’s going to be placed
  • The insulation of the room
  • The composition of the walls
  • The type and number of windows

If you want to achieve the best efficiency and performance, you have to make sure that you install the proper power for the size of the room you want to air condition. The power of the appliance must be in accordance with the size of the room.

A very large room cannot be cooled by a device with few kW, while a device with too many kW would be wasting power in a small room.

Calculate the size that you need

Generally, in Australia, you will need 0.12 to 0.15 kW of power per m². Now, to calculate the square meters you need to multiply the length and width of the floor of the room. The result will be the square meters of that area. e.g. 5m length x 4m width = 20m²

Sizing guide

I have put together a rough guide to the different air conditioner sizes that you’ll need to cool a particular room size.

Room SizeRoom TypeSystem size
10-25 m2Bedroom | Study | Small lounge |
Small kitchen | Small office
2.6 kW
25-35 m2Mid-size Bedrooms | Bedrooms with ensuites |
Mid-size lounges | Mid-sized kitchens |
Small rooms with high ceilings | Offices
3.5 kW
45-60 m2Large bedroom | Bedroom with ensuites |
Mid-size lounges | Large kitchens |
Mid-sized rooms with high ceilings | Offices
5 - 6 kW
60-80 m2Large lounges | Large open plan areas |
Small shops | Offices
7 - 8 kW

3. What Is The Best Place For Installing Air Conditioning?

The room and the position where you place the indoor and outdoor unit play an important role in the efficiency and performance of your air conditioning.

Where do I install the indoor AC unit?

Not all rooms have the same air conditioning needs. That is why I recommend not only to be clear about the number of rooms but also their arrangement. This will influence the type of air conditioning system that is more suitable for your home or business.

In general, air conditioning systems tend to be placed where you spend most of your time.

Where do I install the outdoor AC unit?

As for the outdoor unit, it As for the outdoor unit, it needs to be placed in a position that is well ventilated.

On cool mode, the outdoor unit transfers the heat, that was once inside, to the outdoor unit. If there is a fence or obstacle in the way, the unit can overheat, causing it to run inefficiently.

The outdoor unit should be installed as close as practical to the indoor unit position to maximize the system efficiency and minimize losses. Most good brands of air conditioners can have the outdoor unit installed up to 20m from the indoor unit, without having to add additional refrigerant. Although it’s always best to keep the distance under 5m.

4. What is Energy Efficiency and why is important?

The energy efficiency of air conditioning and heating is the amount of energy generated by each kW of energy consumed. The higher the energy generated for each kW spent, the more efficient the unit is.

Surely when buying some electrical household equipment you will have noticed that they all have a label with different letters. This energy label allows consumers to quickly and easily know the energy efficiency of their appliances.

In your case, you’ll want to know the energy efficiency of air conditioning to find out which one will consume less power to run.

Installing Air Conditioning Energy efficiency

How to identify the Energy Efficiency of an Air Conditioner?

To identify the efficiency of air conditioning, there is a rating scale divided into colors and letters. The scale goes from the green letter A, being the most efficient, to the G in red, for the least efficient devices. Within classification A, there are 3 more classes of energy efficiency of air conditioning, intensifying the shades of green as well: A +, A ++ and A +++.

Why is important to have an Energy Efficient Air Conditioner?

  • Save on energy consumption: If your air conditioning is efficient, you can reduce your electricity consumption by 30%.
  • Better operation: The efficiency of the air conditioning is related to the good operation of the equipment. I recommend checking its operation periodically.
  • Environment: If a unit is more efficient, its energy consumption will be much lower and, therefore, it will have a less negative impact on the environment.
  • Less maintenance: We will avoid constant maintenance for malfunction, as well as extending the lifespan of the equipment. An efficient air conditioner would have at least 3 more years added to its lifespan.

Which type of Air Conditioner units are the most efficient?

Generally, the most energy-efficient type of Air Conditioner that you can buy is a Split System. They are the most popular among Aussie household for their quiet operation, affordability and efficiency along with easy installation and aesthetic units.

5. How Much Does It Cost To Run An Air Conditioner?

Although air conditioning systems have a different consumption depending on the brand, the energy efficiency rating, the size system and how old it is, it is important to understand that the kw (kilowatts) size of the unit is how we measure the cooling capacity but this is not the energy consumption of the unit. The energy consumption is measured in kw, but is only a fraction of what the unit cooling capacity rating is.

As an example, a Panasonic 2.5kw air conditioner (model CS/CU-Z25VKR) has a power consumption of 0.5kw per hour.

As for the daily hours that we use, let’s assume that your AC is running around 6 hours per day (3kW) of power.

If we multiply by the average of a week, it would be 7 days x 3 kW = 21 kW of weekly power expenditure.

Then, to calculate the weekly cost, we will simply multiply that figure by the cost of kW (e.g. 25cents / kWh in Queensland) and we will obtain the total monthly cost as a result.

21 kW x $0.25 = $5.25/week. (This cost is approximate. Calculated per unit)

Cooling vs. heating. Which one consumes more energy?

Air conditioning consumes more power when it has to work harder – it’s obvious, right?.

If it is too hot, it will work harder to cool the environment. If it’s too cold, it will work harder to heat it up. It is not the heating function that will make your air conditioner consume more or less electrical energy, but the work that the motor will do to condition the environment.

Does Energy Efficiency affect running costs?

Yes, it does. When installing air conditioning, you must consider your energy consumption. Generally, the most efficient units have the lowest overall costs (considering initial investment, energy costs, maintenance costs and waste cost).

Quick tips for reducing running costs

  • Choose the right AC size
  • Check the Energy Rating and choose and AC with high Energy Rating
  • Ensure good regular maintenance of your unit
  • Turn on the aircon only when you’re at home

6. How Noisy Should an Air Conditioner Be?

Another important thing that people often overlook when buying an AC is the noise level. You know how annoying it is to have constant background noise when you’re trying to focus on your tasks, right?

Then make sure you check the noise levels before you buy any Air Conditioner.

To get an idea of what the noise levels look like, check out this table.

dBExample
0 dBTreshold of human hearing
20 dBWhisper, light snoring
40 dBModerate snoring
60 dBBusy street, alarm clock
80 dBLoud radio
100 dBSubway train
120 dBAmbulance Siren
140 dBPlane taking off

Each unit has a different noise level of operation and you should be able to find that in its product specifications. Ideally, the noise levels should be under 50dB.

7. What is Inverter technology and why is important?

The inverter is an electronic component whose function is to alter the speed of the compressor. The inverter regulates the speed of the compressor so it works always at a constant speed and, therefore, more efficiently. The application of inverter technology in air conditioning equipment basically affects energy savings.

On the contrary, in non-inverter units, the compressor always works at maximum speed, following an all-or-nothing principle: it operates at maximum performance until reaching the desired temperature and then stops. When the temperature moves away from the desired one again, it starts working once more at full power.

By working the compressor continuously with inverter technology you can notice around 50% reduction in energy consumption compared to conventional devices.

Installing Air Conditioning

8. Do Air Conditioners improve air quality?

Undoubtedly, AC systems improve people’s quality of life, providing comfort and contributing to healthier environments. In addition to achieving the right temperature and humidity, Air Conditioner units are able to renew and filter the indoor air, removing microparticles from the environment, thus making the air you breathe cleaner.

When installing Air Conditioning, look for units that have air filtration systems, to remove allergens, mould, bacteria, odours and dust from the air.

This is often accompanied by a self-cleaning function to make sure the unit dries inside, reducing the build-up of dust and the growth of mould; this also helps keep the unit running more efficiently.

9. What should I know about maintenance before installing Air Conditioning?

After installing the air conditioner, we normally recommend doing a maintenance service once every 6 or 12 months. However, depending on how much you use it and the quality of the appliance, this time may vary.

This maintenance ensures that the unit is working correctly; that the filters are clean to guarantee air quality; that there is no blockage that is causing the device to consume more than it should, etc.

Consult experts in air conditioning to select the best option and save you time and money on expensive repairs.

10. When, where and who trust to buy Air Conditioning?

Part of the key when buying an air conditioner is getting good technical service. Many times, to save on expenses, people get someone to install it cheaply. However, later they notice that the compressor is too loud or that the air is not cooling enough. This may be due to the installation being left with gaps through which the air escapes, or the energy that supplies the compressor is irregular and does not allow it to activate properly.

Make sure you choose a good air conditioning system and installer to avoid getting stuck with the wrong system, which can lead to an excessive electricity costs and low efficiency air conditioning.

When is the best time to buy Air Conditioning?

Like everything in Australia, peak season means higher prices. When we talk about air conditioning this refers to summer or mid-winter, when everyone is looking for it. Also, HVAC installers get really busy during this period so you might have to wait a few weeks to get your unit installed. So my advice is to avoid buying at peak season so you can save some time and money. If you live on the Sunshine Coast, at TENMEN, we have great prices all year round. You can find out more about all our Specials here.

Where to buy Air Conditioning?

The best option is to find an air conditioner installer that can take care of the whole process from the supply and installation to the maintenance and repair of the unit, this greatly facilitates the process and can save you a lot of time, money and headaches!

Who should I trust to install my Air Conditioner?

If you live in Australia, look for a licensed air conditioner installer with ARCtick approval. Some traders offer just installation but my advice is to find a company that does all the process of supplying and instaling so you don’t need to worry about anything.

In addition, I’d recommend looking for an air conditioner installer with an electrical qualification as your AC needs to be wired around your home or business. In Australia, you can look for Master Electricians Australia certification.

Find an expert in your area who can recommend and advise you on the best options for your specific situation. There is no one solution that fit everyone.

Conclusion

I hope that after reading this guide you are confident about what to look for when buying Air Conditioning. Remember that there is no solution that fits all homes or businesses.
To sum up, when installing air conditioning:

  • Make sure you buy the right type and size (power) to guarantee maximum efficiency
  • Install the indoor unit in the spaces where you spend more time and the outdoor unit in a shady place outside the building
  • Check the energy efficiency rate because this will affect the overall performance and running costs
  • Choose a unit with inverter technology over a non-inverter one
  • Choose a unit with a low noise level to guarantee maximum comfort
  • Look for a certified installer, preferably with electrical certification

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Looking for a new Air Conditioner? We can help you!

If live on the Sunshine Coast and you are considering the possibility of installing air conditioning, you can consult with us and we will be happy to advise you.

At TENMEN, we are specialists in all types of residential and commercial air conditioning. We are certified by the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) and Master Electricians Australia. In addition, we offer a complete service: sale, installation, maintenance, repair and replacement.

Send us a message or give us a call, we’d love to help you with all your questions or find the right unit for your home or business.

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