A common list of FAQ – Frequently asked Questions
How Air Conditioning Works
How Does Your air Conditioning Unit Work?
Air conditioning works by circulating cooled or heated air in your home. To achieve this, air is drawn through two coils, one inside your home (the evaporator fan-coil unit) and one outside (condensing unit).
These two units are connected by refrigerant pipes. The refrigerant is pumped in a loop between these two units.
In cooling mode the compressor, located in the outdoor unit, compresses the low pressure refrigerant gas making it heat up. This high pressure hot gas is then circulated through the outdoor condensing coils where a fan dissipates the heat in heated coils, to cool down the refrigerant changing it from gas to a liquid under high pressure. This high pressure cool liquid travels to the indoor fan-coil where it passes through an expansion valve. As the pressure drops the refrigerant begins to evaporate into a gas. Heat is needed for this process, so warm indoor air is drawn through the coil where it is cooled, and then the cooled air is circulated through the home.
Condensation on the indoor coil may occur as heat is removed when the air is passed through the indoor coils. This water is collected in a tray under the unit and piped outside. Finally the low pressure refrigerant gas travels back to the outdoor unit to repeat the process. In heating mode, the air conditioner operates in heat pump mode where the indoor coil becomes hot, and the outdoor coils become cold. On very cold nights in winter, ice often builds up on the outdoor unit coils. When this occurs, the unit will automatically put itself into a defrost cycle, producing cool air from the vents for a few minutes. You will also notice a puddle of water around the outdoor unit following defrosting.
However, there is one important thing that you do need to look after. The Return Air Filter needs to be cleaned every 3 to 4 months, as a dirty filter restricts the air-flow and will reduce the performance of your system, substantially. This is done by simply removing the filter from the return air grill, and depending on the type of filter you have you can either vacuum it, or wash it down with a hose. If you do wash it, leave it in the shade to dry before replacing it.
We recommend you call us every year to check your system is operating at maximum efficiency. This service involves checking the refrigerant charge, air discharge temperatures, electrical connections, make sure the drain is running correctly and hasn’t become blocked. Clean the filters and the air conditioning coils. On a ducted system we also check zone motor operation and the duct for any air leakage.
If you would like an air conditioning quote simply contact us.
What is reverse cycle?
Reverse cycle refers to an air conditioner that can be switched to either heating or cooling depending on environmental conditions.
Most air conditioning units these days are reverse cycle.
Reverse Cycle Advantages:
- The most economical form of heating
- Heating and cooling from one main unit
- Unit stays cool to the touch, even when heating
- No exposed metal elements or flame
- They both dehumidify and filter the air you breathe
What is an Inverter?
A new innovation, the inverter air conditioner is quieter during operation and more energy efficient than a conventional unit.
The finely tuned operation of the inverter allows quick cooling or heating and less temperature variations in a room.
Inverter Technology Advantages:
Significant energy savings
- Quiet during operation
- Quickly reaches your desired temperature
- Less temperature variations
How are the air conditioning units controlled?
Some air conditioning systems (in the wall/window type) are controlled manually. All wall mounted split systems are controlled by infra-red remote control. The remote can change temperature settings, timers, fan speeds and heating/cooling/fan modes. An optional wall controller can be fitted to most split systems. Some units can also be controlled by Wi-Fi or a computer.
Ducted systems are controlled generally through a centrally located wall mounted controller. This unit controls temperature settings, fan speeds, modes and timer functions. Some units can also be controlled by Wi-Fi, a computer or controlled by your home automation.
What are the differences between a room air conditioner and a split system?
A room air conditioner (window rattler, roomy, RAC) is your traditional form of air conditioning where the compressor and fan are together in one box. These units are generally installed into a window or wall. A split system comprises of two units – the outdoor condenser and compressor, and the indoor unit which houses the evaporator fan. These units are connected by refrigeration pipes. The design of a split system allows the unit to be very quiet, in operation, and generally more efficient on electricity use. There are only a few manufacturers making room air conditioning units these days.
What are the differences between a ducted and a wall air conditioning unit?
Split systems or ducted air conditioning. Which one is best for you?
Renovating or building a new house, replacing an old air conditioning unit or maybe installing air conditioning for the first time? It is very important that your new air conditioning unit meets your requirements, budget and blends in with its surroundings.
What is zoning in a ducted system?
Zoning allows you to turn on and off the air conditioning in certain areas of the house. This is done through the use of zone controls in the ductwork in the ceiling space. For example, a two storey house may have an upstairs and downstairs zone, commonly called a day night zone. A larger house may have four or more zones, and depending on the size of the air conditioning, there may be a restriction to how many zones can operate at any one time.
Other zone options include individual zones that are operated by temperature or your phone, tablet or computer.
Motion sensors call also be fitted to raise or lower the temperature when someone leaves the room.
What are the benefits of a ducted system over a split system?
- A ducted system is designed to air condition more than one room within your home. The indoor fan coil unit is situated centrally in the ceiling space and
is connected to the outdoor unit by pipes and cables.
- Individual outlets are situated in each room with the air conditioning controlled by a central controller.
- Ducted systems are a lot less obtrusive than wall mounted slit systems.
- A ducted system has the ability to air condition larger sized rooms.
Unlike the ducted system, the split system is primarily designed to air condition only one room. If you are looking to air condition 3 or more rooms then you should consider a ducted system.
What size of air conditioning unit do you need?
If you are looking at installing a ducted air conditioning system or split system air conditioning system on the Gold Coast then you should talk to us before you purchase your air conditioning system. Coastal Commercial and Residential Air Conditioning are experts in determining the correct air conditioning system to suit your needs, a proper heat load needs to be calculated to ensure that you have the most efficient air conditioning system suitable for your installation and the Gold Coast climate.
Coastal Commercial and Residential Air Conditioning can determine the correct heat load from architectural plans or we can do this in your home with a free obligation free quote. We are committed to providing our customers with good quality air conditioning sales and service, at an affordable price.
Please remember that unlike a lot of other consumer products, an air conditioner regardless of it being a split system air conditioning system or a fully ducted air conditioning system cannot simply be plugged into the power outlet and turned on. Air conditioning systems and air conditioning installations must be installed correctly by a licensed & qualified refrigeration technician and electrical tradesmen. Failure to do so will void your warrenty.
What are the running costs?
Electrical input wattage or Hp, and refrigeration wattage are two different things. A 7Kw air conditioning unit does not use 7kw of electricity. A unit drawing 746W of electricity may move 2 to 3.5 times that in cooling or heating wattage. Only the latter refrigeration kilowatt (kW) rating will give an accurate representation of unit size.
To work out how much your unit will cost to run multiply the kW input figure (electrical) by how much you pay per kilowatt hour for your electricity. ie. 28c/Kwh x 1.28kw = 35 cents per hour to run.
What is the best temperature to run my air conditioning unit at?
Temperature should be set to 24 degrees on cooling and 22 degrees on heating. This is a good compromise between comfort and energy consumption. Every 1°C degree difference can increase running costs by up to 10%. On a hot day, the amount of heat coming through every square meter of unshaded east, west or north-facing exposed window is similar to the heat put out by a small bar radiator. Installing external shading for windows exposed to the summer sun is the smartest way to keep the sun’s heat out, increase efficiency of air conditioning and save on running costs. Look into insulating your ceilings to reduce how much heat enters your home during summer, and to keep your home warmer in winter.
What is the difference in the refrigerant gasses?
There are basically 3 types of refrigerant gas for your basic in house air conditioning unit. R22, R410a, R32
R22 is an older hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) based refrigerants and is in the process of being phased out due to their ozone depleting potential (ODP). Australia will largely phase out the import of HCFCs from 2016. Up to 2030 a small amount of current levels is allowed to service existing equipment. There will be a total phase out by 2030. Alternative refrigerants (drop ins) will are now available for older equipment so you will still be able to repair them using these.
R410a is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) and is the replacement for R22, it has an ODP (ozone depleting potential) of zero. Unfortunately it has a higher direct greenhouse warming potential (GWP) than R22 but indirectly it’s less damaging. R22 manufacturing by-products caused a far higher total GWP. Most modern air conditioning units now use this refrigerant.
R32 is a newer synthetic refrigerant and has a GWP of 650 compared to 1725 for R410A, it also has a zero ODP (ozone depleting potential).
What brand of air conditioning units do we sell?
The old adage ‘You get what you pay for’ exists for a reason. The dearer name brand units are generally (not always) more efficient and/or quieter. They also go together better and give you a better finished product. However, some of the cheaper brands provide excellent value for money and offer very good performance. Final decisions should be based on specific unit performance and value for money. There is very little difference between the mainstream and top units sold these days. It’s only in the very cheap units that quality begins to suffer.
Coastal Commercial and Residential Air Conditioning sell all the major air conditioning brands including Daikin, DeLongi, Fujitsu, Gree, Kelvinator, LG, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Panasonic, Samsung and Toshiba. All our units come with a manufacturers 5 year parts and labour warrenty. We can also source any other brand you may require depending on your budget.
What types of air conditioning units do we sell?
At Coastal Commercial and Residential Air Conditioning we sell, wall hung split systems, multi head wall systems, cassette units, under ceiling units, room air conditioners and ducted air conditioning units.
What types of air conditioning units do we service?
We have experience in repairing most of the following air conditioning units:
Accent, Actron, Acson, Accent, Advantage Air, Airtemp, Airwell, Agean, Akai, Alcair, Alpine, Apac, Aria, Blueway, Bradway, Breezair, Carrier, Chunlan, Chigo, Cooline, Delonghi, Derby, Daikin, Deeknowsbest, Electrolux, Elektra, Email Air, FAQ, Fujitsu, GE, Gree, Haier, Hitachi, Hoffman, Hotpoint, Hyundai, JIG, Kia, Kelvinator, Lennox, Lg, Midia, Mistral, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nec, Panasonic, Phillips, Platindahair, Pope, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Sundownder, TCL, Teco, Temperzone, Toshiba, Trane, Westinghouse, York
What areas do we cover?
We sell, service and install air conditioning all over the Gold Coast.
Suburbs include the following:
Arundel, Ashmore, Austinville, Benowa, Biggera Waters, Bonogin, Broadbeach, Broadbeach Waters, Bundall, Burleigh Heads, Burleigh Waters, Carrara, Clear Island Waters, Coolangatta, Coombabah, Coomera, Elanora, Gaven, Gilston, Guanaba, Helensvale, Highland Park, Hollywell, Hope Island, Jacobs Well, Labrador, Lower Beechmont, Main Beach, Maudsland, Mermaid Beach, Mermaid Waters, Merrimac, Miami, Molendinar, Mount Nathan, Mudgeeraba, Nerang, Ormeau, Ormeau Hills, Oxenford, Pacific Pines, Palm Beach, Paradise Point, Parkwood, Pimpama, Reedy Creek, Robina, Runaway Bay, Southport, Stapylton, Surfers Paradise, Tallai, Tallebudgera, Tallebudgera Valley, Tugun, Upper Coomera, Varsity Lakes, Willow Vale, Worongary and Yatala.
Why use an authorised business or licensed technician?
In short, to protect our environment and to make sure you get the most out of your air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. Manufacturers warranties are void if you do not use a licensed installer.
Fluorocarbon refrigerants, used in nearly all refrigeration and air conditioning equipment in Australia, damage our environment. If they are released into our atmosphere, they contribute significantly to global warming and many also deplete the ozone layer. As an example of how much harm these substances can cause, 1kg of R410a (the refrigerant typically used in split-system air conditioners) has the same global warming impact as two tonnes of carbon dioxide ― that’s like driving a four-cylinder car for six months. The harm is only done if the refrigerants are released into the atmosphere. Licensed technicians and authorised businesses have the training, skills and legal obligation to make sure that the emissions of these refrigerants are minimised.
By law, all installations of spit-system air conditioners must be carried out by a licensed technician. They are qualified to complete all of the tasks required to successfully install a split-system air conditioner, including connection of the pipes that carry refrigerant through the unit. The refrigerant in the unit, if it escapes into the atmosphere, will contribute to global warming. A licensed technician has the appropriate training and skills to minimise the risk of this happening.
Licensees are also required to work to legally mandated standards. This means that they have to do the job properly. A Refrigerant Trading Authorisation is required when a business or individual acquires, possesses or disposes of refrigerant, while a Refrigerant Handling License is needed by any person that handles refrigerant. A Refrigerant Trading Authorisation is subject to conditions and auditing processes designed to minimise the risk of emissions while the refrigerant is in their possession.
The holder of a Refrigerant Handling License is an individual who is qualified in their field of activity and has met the licensing requirements under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995. The fact that a license holder must adhere to an Industry Code of Practice and possesses the skills to do the job, minimises the risk of refrigerant emission. Under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995, anyone wanting to install, service or repair a fridge, freezer or air conditioner (or any other piece of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment) must be a licensed technician; that is, they must hold a Refrigerant Handling License.
Noise Regulations for Air Conditioning on the Gold Coast
Air conditioning units on the Gold Coast area have strict regulations when it comes to their noise output. Many people aren’t aware of this and buy the wrong air conditioning unit that can mean the noise made from the outdoor compressor can impact neighbouring homes and lead to complaints being made.
Gold Coast City Council has implemented the Environmental Protection Act 1994 to address noise from air conditioners with penalties that can apply. But before its gets as serious as fines, there are lots of things that can be done to address noise from air conditioning units.
Queensland’s Environmental Protection Act includes noise limits for air-conditioning equipment and the Council of the City of Gold Coast is legally required to enforce these limits. If issues between neighbours cannot be resolved and complaints continue, an investigation will be carried out.
What are the legal requirements?
On-the-spot fines may be issued if noise exceeds the following level between:
7am to 10pm – where noise is no louder than 50 decibels or 5 decibels above the background noise level.
10pm to 7am – where noise is no louder than 40 decibels or 3 decibels above the background noise level.
Background noise is that measured in the absence of the problem noise. For example, when an air-conditioner is not on.
How is sound output from an air conditioner measured?
Air conditioning noise is measured in Sound Power Level (lw) which must be displayed on all new air conditioners sold in Queensland. Most new air conditioners will operate within the decibel range required but it’s a good idea to compare different models with the same capacity (kW) and consider choosing the model
You might however notice that your air conditioner is labelled at 60dB and wonder how it could possible comply with noise regulations in Brisbane, however this noise will decrease with from the distance between the unit, and so will the decibel level. This is similar to a 60w light bulb which is measured at 60 watts at the globe, but the light intensity decreases further away from the globe.
What can be done to address noisy air conditioner?
If you think the noise of your AC system may be causing concern for you (or neighbouring homes) luckily there are some different measures to take.
– Upgrading to a newer more energy efficient inverter model. Older window mounted models are usually the noisiest with standard non-inverter units also noisey.
– Units should be placed away from neighbouring bedrooms windows, offices, multiple walls and corners.
– Limit the hours of use for your AC system.
– Install an acoustic barrier or screen enclosure around the outdoor compressor.
– Consider enclosing the unit into a well ventilated box with an absorbent lining.
– A solid fence, with no gaps can reduce noise levels.
– Some units have an energy saving mode, or quiet mode which may help.
– Keep your air conditioner regularly serviced and maintained. Systems that aren’t well maintained are almost always noisier when in operation.
Can I get Legionellas Disease?
Legionaires disease has been overblown by the media and it is not something you can contract from domestic air conditioning. The majority of cases are caused by incorrect cooling tower maintenance. Cooling towers are primarily used in commercial air conditioning to cool water cooled condensers and industry to cool recirculated water. They provide an ideal place for legionella bacteria to grow (temps between 28 to 40°C) and the operation of the towers causes drift which aerosols the bacteria allowing people to breathe it in. There’s probably more danger handling potting mix than from a cooling tower because by law all towers have to be maintained and treated with biocide.