The choice and size of the air conditioner for your home or business is extremely important to the future operational life and energy efficiency of the system. Why then do so many people allow quotes to be completed over the phone or by people that have not looked at what needs to be achieved? Why buy a system because it came with some steak knives?
There are 4 main questions you should ask yourself when choosing air conditioning for your house.
1. What am I trying to achieve?
This question needs to be asked because if you can’t look at what your goal is when deciding to put air conditioning in, then you cannot tell what sort of air conditioner is best for you. Many people add split system after split system and end up with 5 or 6 units at the same time using more money than a quality ducted system. The units installation costs added up often equal or exceed the cost of the ducted. You need to know what you want to achieve by putting air conditioning in so that you know whether it is one room or a entire house. This could save you thousands of dollars in installation and running costs. Do you want 6 outdoor around your house?
2. How long am I going to be staying in this house after I air condition it?
Nearly all air conditions these days have a 5 year warranty and any that don’t you should stay away from like the plague. Its often important to ask the fine print on the warranty of your installer/salesperson to ensure that the whole system is covered for the 5 years and not just some parts. If they split it up, they are obviously not backing their product and should be avoided. If your installer / salesperson doesn’t know, don’t use them. Why are they trying to sell you something if they don’t know its good or not?
Nearly all split systems are built the same way these days and its often only the quality and after sales service that varies. The term “Truth in Marketing” is often avoided when selling air conditioners and it comes down to has the biggest marketing budget. They will often say “pick a unit from our 7 star energy range”, yet there is 10 units in the range and only one achieves 7 stars. Its fudging the facts without telling a lie.
If your staying in a house for a long time, then stick to your better branded split systems like Mitsubishi Electric which will normally last longer when properly maintained and in most cases, have spare parts available for longer as well than the cheaper products imported from China. If you are going to stay a long time, then the cheaper brands are not for you as you don’t want to be constantly replacing. If you are looking at moving within the 5 year warranty period, then the cheaper brands may be ok for your needs and you can save on the installation costs. Beware though, as the cheaper ones are normally noisier and have more problems.
3. Do I need Ducted Air Conditioning or Split System
Are you trying to do a room or the whole house? If you need more than three spllit systems to do what you want to achive then ducted systems come into the spotlight.
Ducted air conditioners have a massive difference between the bottom of the range and the top of the range and I urge everyone looking at putting a ducted system in to get proper advice from a fully trained HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) mechanic before the do anything. I am sure you have all heard that ducted air conditioning costs “An arm and a leg to run”. This is no longer the case and the type of system you choose will determine your running costs. If you are looking for superb energy efficiency than I always recommend the Actron Air Platinum ESP series to customers as there is no constant zone so the system can just run one bedroom if you so wish while limiting the compressor. The Platinum series have Tru Inverters and not digital scroll compressors so have no noise problems.
The most important thing for people to remember when they hear the term zoning is that the zones determine air flow choices from the indoor unit. Many “uneducated” sales people will say that a system is energy efficient because it is zoned. The indoor unit of a ducted uses about 10% of the total power consumption compared to 90% by the outdoor. While zoning will help with energy efficiency, unless the zone system talks directly to the compressor of the unit, then it doesn’t do diddly squat for your power bill. The zone just cuts off air flow while the compressor still powers on. The Actron Air units talk to the compressor as well as the air flow and this normally in all cases allows for a much lower power consumption to do the same job as other brands. Many brands advertise their “energy efficient” systems but you can do a lot better with a little bit of research.
4. Do I want the Costs upfront or over the life of the unit?
Better quality systems with more energy efficiency and options will always cost more to put in. Simply put, you get what you pay for. The upside of this is the fact that the power savings you can achieve over the life of the unit will often not only pay for this difference in cost but also save you enough to purchase your next system. Cheaper systems to install normally save you money intitially but cost heaps more to run and usually have much shorter lifespans or support from the manufacturer. In this, split systems and ducted units are the same and the way you spend your money should be based on your individual needs when you ask yourself these questions above.
To anyone looking at purchasing air conditioning, I strongly recommend you find a proper HVAC company to answer your questions and design your system and ask them if they are minimum Cert 3 qualified refrigeration mechanics. Ensure they come to you if the property is existing so that they can see what the challenges are for the installation of the unit. E.G If you put the outdoor unit on the wrong side of the house where the ambient temperature stays higher longer, you can double the systems power usage. Not much good buying an energy efficient system if you take away the factors that make it energy efficient?
If the house is to be built, sit down with them and go over the plans so that the questions above can be answered and the planned results right for your needs. Retail stores and Gumtree are NOT the place to buy air conditioning which is why they rely on upsell and give aways to get your dollar. They are not interested in what you want or need to achieve, they just want the sale. Have a list of questions that you want answered when you are choosing a system and remember that there are never any stupid questions, only unanswered queries.
If you know anyone that is looking for air conditioning and wants to ensure it is done properly, get them to call us at Redsell and we can ensure that they get the right advice before the spend their money on something that won’t achieve what they set out to achieve.