Most places in Australia are harsh in their environment and an air conditioning (AC) system can help make the heat and dryness much more bearable, or in some places like its capital city Canberra, you may even need to heat your home in winter with a reverse cycle air conditioner.
Watch first: Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning System – Installation & Maintenance
Before embarking on the AC system you may want to install, we need to look at its repairs and maintenance, as you will later need to undertake during the system’s life.
Repairs and Maintenance
While you are able to repair your air conditioning system when it breaks down, you will need to have a maintenance system in place. Professionals are happy to provide maintenance services, should you come across technical difficulties.
E.g. the filter in the air conditioner needs to be cleaned regularly and this can be done by removing the screen and running a vacuum cleaner over it every two weeks or so (if in constant in use).
Using AC Professionals or Mechanics
You will need a licensed mecahnic to install and service your new system. They have the relevant training and are licensed to handle refrigerants – documentation that is issued by the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC). For example, this is vitally true when it comes to split and ducted systems. When installed, the refrigeration lines need to be completely free of any moisture, so that erosion does not occur within the compressor. Erosion can compromise the air conditioner’s performance. Professionals can also help you design the right system for your needs, and can advise you on which system is best for you and your family. Air conditioners come with manufacturer’s warranties, so in order to ensure that there are no warranty problems, professional installation is a must. Of course if you are competent in AC installation, you can DIY.
How Much Does Air Conditioning Cost?
AC units can cost anywhere from under $1000 and upwards. We recommend typically to go for a well-known brand with extended warranties. The capacity of the unit, in kilowatts (kW) is a guide to how much cooling (or heating) it is capable of. Units with higher energy output will generally cost more in terms of the product unit and its operating life. Small portable style air conditioning units will consequently be more affordable than a large integrated ducted or split system. However, portable systems are not as reliable and can frequently breakdown. Shop around for your AC product brand. The power of the AC unit depends on your home size and the rooms that need cooling or warmth. It also depends on the type of home insulation, daylight and shade affecting your home.
Choosing Your Air Conditioner System
There are some questions to ask before selecting an air conditioner to ensure that you have the right system for your (family) needs. Consider where the system will be placed, and what exactly you want the system for? Do you have the right places for wiring the system and do you need to make any changes to your home to accommodate the system? If there needs to be wiring changes, speak to your local mechanic. They will be able to assess your current wiring system and advise you on what changes are required. As mentioned above, there are also costs to think about such as the cost of the air conditioner itself, the cost of installation, and the cost of maintenance. A good brand of air conditioner product is key as you want reliablility. There are three common types of air conditioning systems – split systems, fixed units and ducted air conditioning systems.
Split System Air Conditioners
A split system AC consists of two sections, one inside the home and one out, with the sections being connected by refrigerant piping. Split system air conditioners are available as reverse cycle or cooling only and range in power from 2 kW to 8 kW. Generally, 2kW to 5kW air conditioners are suitable for small to medium sized areas, upwards from 5kW air conditioners are suitable for larger areas. Split systems can be wall or floor mounted, depending on the space where they are installed. Portable split systems are also available and these are usually smaller units that have the indoor and outdoor sections connected by a hose through an open window. The advantage of this is that the unit can be moved from room to room as needed. Multi split systems can air condition multiple rooms. These systems are best used when there is limited outdoor space or where there is not enough ceiling space to install ducted air conditioning. Using a multi split system means that you have control over the air conditioning in each room, saving you money in running costs.
Fixed Air Conditioning Units
A fixed air conditioning unit is a small box unit that is traditionally mounted within external windows or walls. These are generally only good for single rooms so multiple units may be needed if you need to air condition more than one area of your home. Smaller units can be plugged into a standard power point but larger units may need to be wired into your home’s wiring system.
Ducted Air Conditioning Systems
Ducted air conditioning can be installed in virtually any home, existing or new, as long there is sufficient ceiling space. There are two components to the ducted system, with the compressor unit located outside the house and the indoor unit located within the ceiling space. The cooled or heated air is distributed through vents located throughout the house. To improve efficiency, ducted systems can be zoned so that different areas of the house are heated or cooled at different times. On average, ducted systems cost anywhere from $6,000 to $12,000 fully installed. You will need the services of a professional refrigeration mechanic and electrician to ensure that you have the right system for your needs, so that it is as comfortable, economical and efficient as possible.
So there you have an overview of an Air Conditioning Installation and Repairs and Maintenance System for your home. It is a worthwhile investment and will improve the value of your home immensely if installed properly. Consider your AC system carefully as a cheaper option will devalue your home.