You are attracted by the advertisement and the hot weather is making you feel very uncomfortable. So you decided to buy an air conditioner. What now, you may ask. What do I have to know before I decide on which air conditioner to buy?
Time and again we found out from surveys that people do not buy something just because it is the cheapest model around town. As for the air conditioner case, the situation become a little more complicated by the fact that buying an air conditioner does require some knowledge.
First we have to know what is the required cooling capacity for the room. This, we have to consult the contractor or dealer. They can help to do some estimation as to what Btu/hr or Horsepower that you need. Some brands offer higher cooling capacity for the same Horsepower. Buying the proper capacity air conditioner will save you on operating costs and breakdown costs. High efficiency air conditioner is also available in the market. Select a unit with high energy efficiency ratio or EER. EER is the ratio of cooling capacity of the unit per input power. In another word, the higher the EER, the more efficient is the unit.
Compare the features of the units, like air swing, wireless remote control and some other more sophisticated feature like auto faults detection. Price, of course is of great concern. But often, it is not the price that we are paying, but the value that we can get out of it. Value added features like after sales service, availability of spare parts, warranty period and of course, aesthetics are also important, if not more important. In the long term, unit with high efficiency ratio will save on the electricity. Another important feature to look into is the safety of the unit’s operation, such as in the case of built-in starter.
One other area that we have often overlooked is the installation of the air conditioner. Good workmanship will save you a lot of troubles and time. Some of the problems that may arise from poor workmanship are like water leaking, unit trip due to incorrect power connection, compressor breakdown, and gas leaking. All these faults will bear serious consequences and are very costly.
Besides providing faultless installation job, a good air conditioner installer will be able to advise you on the cooling load required, best position of the indoor and outdoor unit, and your service maintenance needs.
So, it is always good to find out more about the air conditioner unit as well as the contractor before you buy anything. Again, it is not the price that you pay, it is the value that you get for what you pay.
In a fully air-conditioned house, energy consumed by air conditioners could be as high as 40% of total electricity used. Even though air conditioner is among the higher energy consumers in a household, there are many ways to keep it running efficiently and thus, give you more value for your money.
High electricity bills are normally caused by inefficient systems. Some of the main factors that caused an inefficient system are:
1. The air conditioner is not properly maintained. Dirty coils limit the air-flow as well as smaller face area for exchanging heat. This will reduce the cooling capacity and thus the air conditioner has to work harder and longer.
2. If you use an improper horsepower air conditioner for your room, a lot of energy will be wasted. Whether it is undersized or oversized, the compressor will find it difficult to maintain the pre-set temperature.
3. Some other faults like loose wiring connection, refrigerant piping exceeded the recommended length as well as blocked air discharge, are also contributing to high energy consumption.
Here are a few tips that would make your air conditioner work for you. Some of these tips are easy to apply but there are also some that require some adjustment to your air conditioner.
1. Set the thermostat between 22 to 26 degree Celsius for optimum running condition. Don’t overcool the room. If you do not feel the coolness, it is more likely that your air conditioner is undersized or the cool air could not reach you due to the position of the blower.
2. Saves on your energy usage by installing proper insulation. Glass shading, curtain, blinds, awning and special roof insulation are some of the permanent insulator that will save on the long run.
3. Do not block the air outlet of your outdoor unit. Keep good air circulation for efficient heat discharge and install your outdoor unit at the shady side.
4. Get the right horsepower of air conditioner for your use. An oversized or an undersized unit will run inefficiently.
5. Adjust the vertical and horizontal louvers for maximum air distribution.
6. Maintain your air conditioner regularly. Wash the air filter every two weeks. On top of that, engage a specialist to do preventive maintenance every two years. If the coil is too dirty, chemical clean may be needed.
Those are some of the keys to keep your air conditioner at optimum running condition. You will face less breakdown, longer life span, saves more and less inconveniences.
There have been a lot of arguments about starter nowadays. Some people tried their very best to hide it, some think it is not necessary, and yet some insist they should have one. Starter is not part of air conditioning system but yet it is a necessary device in any air conditioner installation.
Let’s find out why it that so. There are 2 main functions that starters perform:
The first function is to protect against electrical overloading and overcurrent. Overloading may be caused by dirty coil, faulty wire, loose wiring connections, irregular power supply, etc. The thermal overload protector act as a device that will trip the unit should there be high current. This is to prevent fire hazards as well as to protect the compressor.
The second function is to protect the unit when there is disruption in power supply. Imagine all the air conditioners in your area start at the same time when power supply is resumed. The power pull will be tremendous, causing overloading and other power related problems. This is especially serious for air conditioner due to the power usage of compressor, where for split units, the starting current is 6 times the running current. Starter act to cut off supply to the unit, so that the air conditioner will not start automatically by itself.
TNB regulation stated clearly that a starter is required for air conditioners. Therefore it is illegal to bypass a starter. Up until Built-In starter, mechanical starters are used. However, in a mechanical starter, the setting of the overload protector is manually adjusted. The problem lies in settings that are not accurate or mis-adjusted. Air conditioners with different cooling capacity require different current setting. If this is not done properly, you may not get the right protection.
On the other hand, Daikin Built-In starter settings are all pre-set in the factory, providing a safer environment. Most importantly, all starters must be approved by Jabatan Bekalan Elektrik Dan Gas, the regulatory body of electrical applications.
When you are not sure what is the right horsepower air conditioner for your use, do you just buy the bigger ones to ensure you have sufficient cooling?
It may sound strange to you, but that is what we have found out in many cases.
An oversized air conditioner means installing an air conditioner far exceeding the required cooling load. On the surface, it may look like a good idea, but looking deeper, it has other consequences that may spell disappointment for you.
First of all, an oversized unit runs for shorter periods of time than it should. At higher capacity, it is obvious that it could cool the room in a very short period of time, thus causing frequent start and stop of the compressor to maintain the desired temperature. That would lead to higher power consumption because the starting power consumption is 6 times higher than normal running condition. A properly sized unit will run on longer cycle and are more efficient.
Because of the frequency of the start and stop of the compressor, the room temperature will fluctuate and this will lead to discomfort.
Of course, a bigger unit will also produce more noise, because of the higher air flow.
Therefore, it is important to install the correct horsepower air conditioner for your use. However, it is not easy to calculate the exact cooling required for a particular room without going through all the detailed designs. Nevertheless, for home usage, some simple heat load estimates are quite close.
The best is to consult your air conditioner dealer or contractor who is competent to advise you. There are a lot of air conditioner specialists who represent reputable manufacturers in the market. When you purchase your air conditioner unit, bring along the plan and the measurement of the room and be specific about its usage.
One of the most dominant questions in our mind when we want to purchase an air conditioner is, what is the right air conditioner to use? This question points not to what brand of air conditioner to buy, but rather what is the cooling capacity required. To understand the selection of air conditioner, we first have to know the definition of cooling capacity.
Cooling capacity for a room is basically the heat load in a room that we have to remove in order to achieve certain room temperature and humidity. For most design, this temperature is 24oC and 55 percent humidity. Heat load is measure in Btu per hour. 1 Btu per hour is equivalent to the heat energy required to increase 1 pound of water by 1oF.
A compressor with 1 horsepower capacity is able to remove approximately 9000 Btu/hr of heat. To make things easier, it is generally taken that 1 horsepower means 9000 Btu/hr cooling capacity, even though there are some brands which give you higher than that, some as high as 10,000 Btu/hr from a 1 horsepower compressor. The higher the Btu, the higher the cooling capacity.
Heat in a room comes from many sources. From outside, heat comes through windows, roof, floor and walls. The more exposure to the heat source, the greater the heat load will be. Therefore, rooms facing east and west have higher heat load than rooms facing north and south. Even the material of the glass and bricks affect the heat gain.
Internally, the heat sources are the number of people and their activities, electrical appliances, lighting, heat stove and fresh air that flow into the room. Of course, the bigger the room is, the higher the cooling capacity is required.
It is not easy to estimate the actual heat load of a room without going through some tedious calculation. You are advised to consult air conditioner contractors before you decide on the equipment. Bring along the plan and measurement of your room and be specific what is the function of the room, is it a bedroom or a living room?
There is however, a rule of thumb that could give you a rough estimation of the required cooling capacity. This can be achieved by doing a simple calculation.
The formula to calculate estimated cooling capacity:
Total BTU = A + B
= Btu / Hr
A = (Room Width (Feet) x Room Length (Feet) x 50)
B = (No of People x 500)
Faster way to calculate cooling capacity, please download GA MY mobile apps via your mobile phone.
The calculation just now is for bedroom only. For other applications, the factor has to be changed. This rule of thumb calculation is just for estimation purposes. It is advised to reconfirm with your air conditioner contractors again before you place your order.