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What To Consider Before Installing An Air Conditioner

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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. Instead, air conditioning is an essential solution to creating a comfortable environment.

Good air conditioning guarantees better rest, relaxation and mental and physical health. And at work, it 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 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 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. 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.

Air Conditioning Services

The Split Air Conditioner System comprises two units: an indoor unit, 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

  • Reasonable 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 about where it goes
Ducted Air Conditioning Sunshine Coast

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

  • Reasonable 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 about where it goes
Window Air Conditioning

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

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

Many factors can impact 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

To achieve the best efficiency and performance, you must ensure that you install the proper power for the size of the room you want to air condition. The appliance’s power must be in accordance with the size of the room.

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

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

Air Conditioner 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 Size

Room Type

System size

10-25 m2

Bedroom | Study | Small lounge |

Small kitchen | Small office

2.6 kW

25-35 m2

Mid-size Bedrooms | Bedrooms with ensuites | 

Mid-size lounges | Mid-sized kitchens | 

Small rooms with high ceilings | Offices

3.5 kW

45-60 m2

Large bedroom | Bedroom with ensuites | 

Mid-size lounges | Large kitchens | 

Mid-sized rooms with high ceilings | Offices

5 – 6 kW

60-80 m2

Large 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 being clear about the number of rooms and their arrangement. This will influence the air conditioning system more suitable for your home or business.

Air conditioning systems are 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 well-ventilated position.

On cool mode, the outdoor unit transfers the heat once inside to the outdoor unit. If a fence or obstacle is 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 maximise the system efficiency and minimise 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. However, 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 generated by each kW of energy consumed. The higher the power 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 and extend the equipment’s lifespan. An efficient air conditioner would have at least three 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 you can buy is a Split System. They are the most popular among Aussie households for their quiet operation, affordability and efficiency, easy installation, and aesthetic units.

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

Although air conditioning systems have different consumption depending on the brand, the energy efficiency rating, the size system and how old it is, it is essential 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. Instead, the energy consumption is measured in kW but is only a fraction of the unit cooling capacity rating.

For 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 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?

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

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.

dB

Example

0dB

Treshold of human hearing

20dB

Whisper, light snoring

40dB

Moderate snoring

60dB

Busy street, alarm clock

80dB

Loud radio

100dB

Subway train

120dB

Ambulance Siren

140dB

Plane 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 solar inverter is an electronic component that alters the compressor’s speed. The inverter regulates the compressor’s pace, so it always works at a constant speed and, therefore, more efficiently. The application of inverter technology in air conditioning equipment 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. Then, when the temperature moves away from the desired one again, it starts working at full power.

By working the compressor continuously with inverter technology, you can notice around a 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 can 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 with air filtration systems to remove allergens, mould, bacteria, odours and dust from the air.

A self-cleaning function often accompanies this to ensure the unit dries inside, reducing the build-up of dust and mould growth; 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 usually recommend a maintenance service 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 no blockage is causing the device to consume more than it should, etc. For more information, read our about the importance of air conditioning service.

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 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 correctly.

Make sure you choose a good air conditioning system and installer to avoid getting stuck with the wrong system, which can lead to 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 install your unit. So I advise avoiding buying at peak season so you can save 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 I advise finding a company that does all the processes 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. Unfortunately, no one solution fits everyone.

Conclusion

After reading this guide, I hope you are confident about what to look for when buying Air Conditioning. Remember that no solution 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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