Are you considering installing new air conditioning? Or perhaps you wish to upgrade your existing air conditioning. We often get heaps of questions from prospective customers about our air conditioning units and systems, as well as just general questions about air conditioners and how they work. For these reasons, we’ve put together this FAQ guide on air conditioners that may answer some of your questions.
If there’s something you want to know that we haven’t talked about in this guide, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. IACS is a leading air conditioning supplier in Australia. Our team is happy to help whether you wish to get a free quote for Air conditioning project, have additional queries about our services, or just want to learn more about whether MDV air conditioning is the right choice for your home or business in Brisbane and Perth, and across Australia.
Here are 8 frequently asked questions about air conditioners.
#1 Is air conditioning expensive to run?
A common misconception about air conditioners is that they are very expensive to run. But in reality, most modern air conditioners are very economical. The electric bill for air conditioners varies depending on a number of factors, but when used sensibly, you shouldn’t find air conditioning your home breaks the bank. For example, a 2.5 kW AC unit will only cost around 22 cents an hour to run.
#2 How can I use AC more efficiently?
While most modern AC systems are pretty cost-effective and energy efficient by default, there are things you can do to increase their efficiency even more.
- Stop fiddling with the thermostat. Constantly adjusting the thermostat is a surefire way to run up your electric bill as the unit will be working more as it keeps needing to adjust itself. Bear in mind that setting the thermostat to a lower temperature than you actually want, won’t help cool the room down any quicker.
- Keep windows and doors closed at all times. It might sound obvious, but we see this pretty often—the AC is on while a window or door is cracked at the same time. Not only will your money be literally going out the window, but you could end up breaking your unit by leaving a door or window open as it will be working overtime as it fruitlessly tries to cool down the room.
- Keep blinds and curtains drawn. Both direct and even indirect sunlight will increase the temperature of your home quite significantly, meaning the air conditioning has to work much harder.
- Use fans. Fans will circulate the air making your AC even more efficient than it already is. AC units already have fans built in, but freestanding or ceiling fans will help air conditioning perform even better. What’s more is that with fans in the room, you will already feel cooler and may not need to turn the AC down very low at all.
- Minimise heat sources. For example, if you’re cooking, turn the extractor fan on to suck out the hot air.
- Use a dehumidifier. Heat + humidity is the double killer. Lowering the humidity in your home will make you feel cooler even if the temperature stays the same. With a dehumidifier, you’ll often find you can turn the thermostat up a bit and still feel comfortable.
- Keep the outdoor AC component out of direct sunlight. Ensure that the outdoor AC unit is kept in a shaded spot as this will increase its efficiency.
- Use AC when you need it; not all the time. Turn it off whenever you leave, and only air condition the rooms you’re using. With modern AC systems, you can turn the AC on before you arrive home so you get back to a lovely and cool house.
- Clean the filters. This is something so many people forget. Cleaning the filters helps the AC work more efficiently and will save you money in the long run. Eventually, you’ll need to change the filters out completely. .
#3 How do air conditioners work?
Our customers often like to understand the mechanism behind air conditioning systems, and we agree it’s always sensible to be in the know about how the products in your homework. The mechanism behind air conditioning is actually very similar to your typical refrigerator.
In a simple and short explanation:
- The warm air in your house is drawn into a vent system.
- The warm air passes over a cold evaporator coil inside the air conditioner, and excess moisture in the air is removed by a dehumidifier.
- A fan blows cold air back into the room, reducing the room temperature.
#4 How often do air conditioners need maintenance?
IACS recommends you service your air conditioning system at least once a year. This yearly service will ensure you catch any issues and keep your AC working its best, ultimately saving you money.
#5 How does salty air impact air conditioning?
If you live on the coast, your AC will be introduced to salty air. To an AC unit, salty air is not a friend. When exposed to salty air, AC is more susceptible to corrosion, damage, and failure. And unfortunately, houses within three kilometres of the ocean do often experience salt damage. If you live close to the coast, regular maintenance is all the more important.
#6 Is it possible to do maintenance by yourself?
While almost anything in life is possible, it doesn’t always mean it should be done. Pretty much all air conditioner maintenance and servicing is best done by a professional technician. This will reduce the chances of damage being done to the AC units, and also ensure your MDV AC systems are kept working to their most efficient capacity. Saying this, you could absolutely change your AC filters yourself as this doesn’t require as much expertise and will help your unit run more efficiently.
There are several potential signs that indicate you may need to service your AC unit. These include the unit not blowing cold air, weak air flow, odd smells or sounds, and leaks. Learn more about the signs you need to service your AC unit here.
#7 What size AC unit do I need?
All too commonly, homeowners install AC that is wrongly sized for their needs. AC without enough capacity will mean the unit struggles to maintain the temperature you set it at and could end up wearing itself out. On the other hand, AC that is too powerful for your needs means wasted expense on the unit as well as the unit cycling on and off too often—reducing its ability to remove humidity from the air, higher electricity bills, and sometimes uneven cooling in your home.
When we refer to the size of air conditioners, we don’t mean the physical dimensions of the appliance itself but rather, the cooling capacity measured in BTU (British thermal units). Choosing an appropriately sized AC unit will ensure the best efficiency and standard of cooling in your home.
To accurately find the size of AC you require, you’ll need to look at several variables.
- Your home’s square footage
- Layout, including ceiling height
- Amount of insulation
- Sun exposure
All of these variables should influence your choice in AC. Should you need any help calculating the ideal AC capacity for your home, just reach out to our team who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
#8 What do energy star ratings mean?
The government regulates what is called the ‘Energy Rating Label’. This rating system helps you compare the energy efficiency and running costs of appliances before you buy them, to reduce your electricity bill. The stars that form part of the Energy Rating Label refer to energy efficiency.
The more stars an item has, the more efficient it is. When you’re buying appliances, we recommend you first choose which size and model you need, then use the star rating to compare them. Usually, products are given between 1 and 6 stars. However, as technology keeps improving, so does energy efficiency—this is why you’ll come across highly efficient models with up to 10 stars.
If energy star ratings are something you’re not very familiar with yet, learn more about what the ratings mean here.
If you have questions about air conditioning, you’re not alone. Air conditioning technology is evolving quickly, and improvements and new features are constantly being introduced. This means it’s easy to be left behind on the latest air conditioning developments.
Perhaps you have a question that was answered in this FAQ guide. At IACS, we like to stay up-to-date on all technological advancements, and we’d be delighted to help you find the ideal AC range for your home or answer any remaining questions you may have.
Have a chat with our team of experts at IACS today. IACS offers air conditioning solutions across Australia. Whether you’re looking for residential or commercial air conditioning Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, or Sydney simply send us a message or give us a call to get started.