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Air Conditioning

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Air Conditioner Types

There are many types of air conditioner units on the market today. They all serve the same basic purpose of cooling your home, but some units are better than others for certain rooms and situations. The most common and affordable air conditioner is the window air conditioner unit. These small units are used to cool individual rooms. Split air conditioners have an indoor cooling unit which is connected to an outdoor compressor. Split air conditioners are easy to install, as they do not need extensive ductwork. They work best to cool one or two rooms. Central air conditioning cools your home in its entirety. This type of air conditioner features an outdoor compressor and cool air is blown through the ductwork within your home.

  1. Central Air Conditioning

Central air conditioners pump cool air through a supply and return duct system. Supply ducts and registers (i.e. openings in grill-covered walls , doors, or ceilings) take cooler air from the air conditioner into the building. This cooler air becomes warmer as it circulates through the home; it then flows back into return ducts and reverts to the central air conditioner.

  1. Ductless, Mini-Split Air Conditioning

A ductless mini split system usually delivers chilled air to a building's single or a few rooms, which is suitable for "spot cooling" in homes or businesses where ductwork is too difficult to instal or simply not usable. The benefits of this ductless device is that it has a smaller footprint and has reduced the requirement for interior wall space to install the AC for heating and cooling individual rooms .

  1. Window Air Conditioner

Window air conditioners are also often called room air conditioners. It is the simplest type of a system of air conditioning and it is placed on windows or walls. It is a single device in a casing where all the components are mounted. This cooling unit has a double shaft ventilator motor with fans mounted on both sides of the engine.

The evaporator blower fan pulls the air into the air intake and the cooling coil from the AC to be cooled. The conditioned air is then discharged back into the room to provide the cool and dehumidified air. This air blends with the surrounding air to lower the room temperature and humidity level.

  1. Portable Air Conditioner 

A portable air conditioner (PAC) is a compact, self-contained device suitable for cooling small spaces. They usually sit on the floor and come with a package for easy installation. Most models also have wheels which allow you to move them to different rooms, making them a nice alternative to window units.

  1. Hybrid Air Conditioners

The hybrid AC system comprises a typical compressor, evaporator, condenser, and refrigerant. A solar hybrid air conditioning system is adapted to transform excess heat heat energy produced into usable heat energy. It can be used for big premises, high rise buildings ,and vehicles.

  1. Geothermal Heating & Cooling Systems

Geothermal heating and cooling systems remove or distribute heat from the ground underneath the soil through a series of underground loop structures. This configuration makes ground source systems a superior alternative in very hot or very cold temperatures regions.

In warm weather the cooling system can also be transferred by water pipes inserted in the ground, walls, or ceiling using air-to-water heat pump technology. The extracted warm water then moves through the cold soil, dissipating heat into the field and then forces the cool water back into the house, using only the power of a circulating pump.

In cold conditions, no matter what the ambient temperature, the heat is derived from the earth. This is then processed into a refrigeration unit to a higher temperature, equivalent to a regular air conditioner, except the heat is transmitted to the water. Then this hot water can be used for drinking hot water, pool heating, underfloor heating and ducted heating.

Common Air Conditioning Extras

  • Remote control - control the temperature from a distance
  • Timer - save energy by putting your air conditioner on a timer
  • Dehumidifier - lower the level of humidity in the air for more comfortable living
  • Reverse cycle -  heat and cool your home all year round 
  • Slide-out chassis - allows for easier installation, repairs and maintenance
  • Mosquito traps - protect you from mosquito bites
  • Air filter - removes odours, smoke and germs

What size Air Conditioner do I need?

Room Size to Air Conditioning Capacity

  • Up to 20 sqm: 2 - 2.5kW
  • 20 - 40 sqm: 2.5 - 5kW
  • 40 - 60 sqm: 4 - 6 kW
  • 60 - 80 sqm: 5 - 7kW
  • 80+ sqm: 6 - 9kW

How to Calculate which Air Conditioner to purchase

  • The size of the room: length, width and height.
  • The type of room: living room, open-plan living room and kitchen, bedroom, etc.
  • The size and orientation of the windows and glass doors. A large north- or west-facing window can let in a lot of heat in summer.
  • Shading and curtains on the windows.
  • Insulation of the floor, ceiling, and walls.
  • The local climate.

Average Running Cost of Air Conditioners

Size and Yearly Cost to Run

  • Small (up to 4kW): $242 - $492
  • Medium (4-6kW): $402 - $552
  • Large (over 6kW): $442 - $586

Please note* Costs are based on 30c per kWh. Only an estimate and running costs may vary depending on area, electricity costs, size and usage.

Choosing the Right Air Conditioner

Choosing the right air conditioner depends on your individual situation, cooling needs and budget. Window air conditioners are the most affordable option available. They can be installed quickly and easily by a professional and offer instant cooling. Both split units and central air conditioning also require professional installation. Installing a central air conditioning unit often requires the installation of ductwork throughout the home, which can be costly and time consuming.

Consider where the device is going to be installed, and what is the system you want. Do you have enough system wiring and do you need to make any improvements to your home to suit the system? If you think you might need to make adjustments, talk to an electrician. They will be able to analyse the existing cable system and inform you, if any, about what changes are needed.

There are also factors to consider such as air conditioner system costs, installation costs and maintenance costs. Ask friends and family for their suggestions on what they think is a decent air conditioner brand, because you want one that is reliable. 

What is the best Air Conditioner temperature to save on electricity costs?

There is a rule of thumb don't on a cold day don't set the temperature to less than 8 degrees celsius cooler than the outside temperature, however on average a temperature of 25 degrees celsius will reduce your yearly Air Conditioning running costs. Keeping the temperature within this range will save with strain on the motor and save on your power bill.

Air Conditioning Operating Modes

  • Auto: Automatically chooses the mode required to keep the room at the chosen temperature.
  • Cool: Pumps heat from the inside to the outside.
  • Heat: Pumps heat from the outside to the inside.
  • Dry: Dehumidifies the air. Provides some cooling, but not as much as cooling mode.
  • Fan only: Blows air without heating, cooling or drying, which is useful when all you want is a cooling breeze.
  • Economy: Also called Eco mode, this reduces power consumption. Different brands implement this in different ways. It may simply reduce the cooling or heating output by adjusting the thermostat a degree or two, or it may use sensors to detect if no one is in the room and then reduce the cooling/heating.

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