How Does Your Air Conditioning Unit Work?
Air conditioning is the process of circulating cooled or heated air in your home by removing heat and moisture from the interior of an occupied space, to improve the comfort of occupants. 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.
How Often Should I Service My Air Conditioning Unit?
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 and electrical connections.
We clean the filters and advise if the unit is in need of a premium clean (see below)
We make sure the drain is running correctly and hasn’t become blocked.
We also check the fans are operating correctly as well as the remote control.
The unit is checked for unwanted vibration and rusted parts.
On a ducted system we also check zone motor operation and the duct for any air leakage.
We also offer a premium air conditioning clean for the wall mounted split system.
This involves stripping the unit down and covering it with a special wash bag.
We apply a biodegradable, non-toxic solution that removes any build-up of dirt and dust and also kills mould and bacteria. We then hose it off with hot high pressure jets of water. This removes any debris, dirt and gunk build up in the coils, filters, fan barrel and drain pan and pipes. The unit looks and smells like new once cleaned and you will be amazed at the colour of the dirty water when the job is complete.
What Does Reverse Cycle Mean?
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 Does Inverter Mean?
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 by altering the output of the compressor.
The compressor basically becomes a variable speed device that allows more control of your system.
Inverter Technology Advantages:
• Significant energy savings
• Quiet during operation
• Quickly reaches your desired temperature
• Less temperature variations
What Is Ducted Air Conditioning?
A ducted air conditioning system is designed to air condition more than one room within your home or very large areas. 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.
Most units these days can be upgraded to be controlled with an app for your phone. Ducted systems are a lot less obtrusive than wall mounted slit systems. Only one outdoor unit is needed instead of the usual multiple outdoor units seen with traditional wall split systems.
Zoning can be added to these systems to allow far greater control and increased energy savings if needed.
What Is Wall Mounted Split System Air Conditioning?
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. 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 the split system allows the unit to be very quiet, in operation, and generally more efficient on electricity use.
How Are Air Conditioning Units Controlled?
Some of the older air conditioning systems (in the wall/window type) are controlled manually, usually by a knob, button or lever on the front of the unit. All wall mounted split systems are controlled by infra-red remote control. The remote can change temperature settings, timers, fan speeds and heating/cooling and fan modes. Some units have Wi-Fi built into them or can be added with an additional PC board – usually at an additional cost. The Wi-Fi capabilities allows you to control your air conditioning unit with your phone or through a computer.
An optional wall controller can also be fitted to most split systems. Ducted systems are controlled generally through a centrally located wall mounted controller. This unit controls temperature settings, fan speeds, modes and timer functions. Most units these days can be controlled by Wi-Fi, a computer or controlled by your home automation.
Are The Box/Window Units Very Good?
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. Due to there compactness they are usually fairly noisy. They are not very energy efficient and once they break down out of warranty they are usually thrown away. These units do not come in inverter varieties so do not offer the energy savings of modern split systems.
There are only a few manufacturers making room air conditioning units these days. They usually come with a three pin plug that can be plugged into any wall outlet.
If you decide to buy one of these units make sure you have someone organised who can install it as most air conditioning companies do not install these. They can be installed by a home handyman if needed.
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.
Zoning your ducted air conditioning unit allows you to turn on or 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.
Depending on the size of the air conditioning unit 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.
Can I Buy The Air Conditioning Unit Myself?
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 first.
We will determine the correct air conditioning system to suit your needs as a proper heat load needs to be calculated to ensure that you have the most efficient air conditioning system suitable for your needs.
There have been many times when we have arrived at a customers home to install the air conditioning unit that they have just brought to find that is the wrong sized unit for the job.
We can determine the correct heat load from house 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.
Can I Install the Air Conditioning Unit Myself?
NO. This should be carried out by a licensed tradesman.
Proper tools are needed and if parts are incorrectly installed you may find yourself forking out for an expensive regas. And a regas is more often than not more expensive than the cost it would have cost you for a licensed installation. Drains can leak into walls and rot timber and it can be a long time before you find out. A licensed electrician is also needed for all wiring. As modern refrigerant gas is flammable great care must be taken to ensure that no leaks are present. Any air not evacuated from the system will cause premature failing of your new air conditioning system. If you attempt an air conditioner installation yourself, you will void your warranty.
At Coastal Commercial and Residential Air Conditioning we offer a 5 year installation warranty to match the manufacturers 5 year parts and labour warranty.
What Temperature Should I 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 heater.
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.
How Much Does My Air Conditioning Unit Cost To Run?
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 1000 watts 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. 1.28kw x 28c/Kwh = 35 cents per hour to run.
What Are The Refrigerant Gases?
There are basically 3 types of refrigerant gas for your basic in house air conditioning unit. R22, R410a and the newest 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. 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). Most modern air conditioning units now use this refrigerant.
Are Cheap Air Conditioning Units Any Good?
The old saying ‘You get what you pay for’ exists for a reason. The more expensive name brand units are generally (not always) more efficient and/or quieter. The units also go together better and give you a better finished and more solid 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.
Cheaper units with names that are not familiar are usually bulk produced, re-badged and sold online. The sellers of these units usually close up shop once it is no longer economical to honour the warranty. The buyer is usually left with an air conditioning unit that they can no longer get parts for.
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 Brands Of Air Conditioning Units Do We Sell?
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 warranty. We can also source any other brand you may require depending on your budget.
What 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, Rinnai, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Sundownder, TCL, Teco, Temperzone, Toshiba, Trane, Westinghouse, York
What Suburbs Do We Service?
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.