Air Conditioning FAQ

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Air Conditioning FAQ

Air Conditioning Terminology

A

Air Purifiers

B

Breakdowns - How to handle an overloaded air conditioner

C

Cleaning air conditioners
Coefficient of performance
Cooling your house naturally

D

Ducted Air Conditioning Servicing

E

Saving Energy with Air Conditioners
Energy Used by Percentage
Electrical Work

F

G

Green House Gases and air conditioners

H

How does an air conditioner work?

I

Installing an air conditioner

Inventor of air conditioning

Inverter

L

M

N

Noisy Air Conditioners

O

Outdoor Units

P

Q

R

S

Salt air on air conditioners
Split Systems

T

Temperature for efficient use of air conditioner

W

Warranty

Air Purifiers

If you are concerened about mould and bacteria from air conditioning systems an air purifier may be helpful. One US made air purifier called Steril-Zone is recommended by Gold Coast Air Conditioning Co Deepchill

Breakdowns - How to handle an overloaded air conditioner

Have you ever been sitting in your home experiencing a nice moment with the air conditioning running... and the unit breaks down and your home becomes a sweat box?

Would you like to know how to fix this problem?

Well your air conditioner has safety mechanisms that cut in when the coil on the back of your outdoor condenser gets too hot. The pressure builds up in your system and your unit cuts off on high head pressure.

So some simple things you can do to help prevent this occurring are the following: * The first thing is to make sure there is shade over your air conditioner, while still not restricting the airflow around the unit.

Now, if your system still cuts out you can get a sprinkler and spray a fine mist over the back of your coil on the outside unit. This will reduce the pressures in the system and allow the system to keep running.

This is a really handy trick when its very hot you have visitors and your unit cuts out.

If your unit breaks down do the following:

Just wait 20 minutes, then use your sprinkler to spray water on the coil at the back of your air conditioner. In most cases this will then allow you to keep your cool!

Cleaning air conditioners

Air conditioning installer Jeff Thatcher recommends cleaning your air conditioner for better life of the machine and your environment.

One cause of indoor air contamination is due to bacterial and fungal contamination of air filters, heat transfer coils and ductwork within airconditioning systems that are poorly designed and maintained.

Coefficient of performance

The efficiency of a refrigeration system is measured by its coefficient of performance (COP), and is normally given as the ratio of the refrigeration effect to the compressor power:
COP = (Cooling output) / (Electrical input)

For most packaged commercial cooling units the COP varies between 2.5 and 4.0. However, some modern commercial cooling units have COPs of about 5.0. As the external temperature increases the COP is progressively reduced to about 2.0 at 40C. from www.seav.sustainability.vic.gov.au

Cooling your house naturally

There are many techniques that can help cool your home naturally. Check your use of appliances according to this article on cooling your house naturally an incandescent light bulb emits up to 90% of its energy as heat.
Keep your windows shaded preventing direct sunlight into your house. Avoid warm air from coming in from outside.
Use deciduous trees to allow light in winter and shade in summer.

Ducted Air Conditioning Servicing

Ducted Air Conditioners benefit from being serviced as like any piece of equipment of machinery.
Refer to the article about Servicing Ducted Air Conditioners



Saving Energy when using air conditioners

There are some simple things you can do to save energy when using an air conditioner:

  • Install the air conditioner (or outdoor unit of a split system) on the shady side of the building (or shade the air conditioner itself); make sure the air flow around it isn't obstructed.
  • The temperature of a heated room in winter should be between 18-21C while the temperature of a cooled room in summer should be about 23-26C (remember the humidity indoors will be low, so it will feel cooler). The temperature should be checked after the air conditioner has been operating for 30 minutes.
  • When a hot day is expected, turn on the air conditioner early rather than wait till the building becomes hot (it operates more efficiently when the outside air temperature is cooler).
  • Keep windows and doors closed when using a refrigerative air conditioners (evaporative air conditioners require some air flow). Close curtains on hot summer and days and cold winter nights. Outdoor shading of windows in summer is most effective.
  • If the machine has adjustable louvres, adjust them towards the ceiling when cooling, and towards the floor when heating (as cool air falls, hot air rises).
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for filter cleaning.

Awnings for Windows
Installing awnings on your windows can dramatically cut down on the glass house effect of windows. Gold Coast Blinds Simon Mathews recommends a combination of blinds and awnings to really cut down on the strong summer sun.



Energy Used by Percentage Air conditioning systems use roughly 11% of the energy used in US buildings, and are the main contributors to peak demand in summer months leading to brown-outs and black-outs of the electric grid.



Electrical Work

Air conditioning systems by law need to be installed properly by a licensed electrician. Depending on the location and local laws any electrical equipment over a certain amp level may need an electrician. Having an air conditioning installer who is also a qualified electrician makes sense.

  Greenhouse Gases and air conditioners

The air-conditioning and refrigeration industry is the largest user of hydroflurocarbons (HFCs), a group of potent synthetic greenhouse gases, and is a significant user of energy. Refrigeration and air conditioning equipment that is not maintained in good order consumes more energy than necessary thus increasing the amount of CO2 released to the atmosphere.

  How does an air conditioner work?

Air conditioners and refrigerators work the same way. Instead of cooling just the small, insulated space inside of a refrigerator, an air conditioner cools a room, a whole house, or an entire business.

Air conditioners use chemicals that easily convert from a gas to a liquid and back again. This chemical is used to transfer heat from the air inside of a home to the outside air.

The machine has three main parts. They are a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator. The compressor and condenser are usually located on the outside air portion of the air conditioner. The evaporator is located on the inside the house, sometimes as part of a furnace. That's the part that heats your house.

The working fluid arrives at the compressor as a cool, low-pressure gas. The compressor squeezes the fluid. This packs the molecule of the fluid closer together. The closer the molecules are together, the high its energy and its temperature.

The working fluid leaves the compressor as a hot, high pressure gas and flows into the condenser. If you looked at the air conditioner part outside a house, look for the part that has metal fins all around. The fins act just like a radiator in a car and helps the heat go away, or dissipate, more quickly.

When the working fluid leaves the condenser, its temperature is much cooler and it has changed from a gas to a liquid under high pressure. The liquid goes into the evaporator through a very tiny, narrow hole. On the other side, the liquid's pressure drops. When it does it begins to evaporate into a gas.

As the liquid changes to gas and evaporates, it extracts heat from the air around it. The heat in the air is needed to separate the molecules of the fluid from a liquid to a gas.

The evaporator also has metal fins to help in exchange the thermal energy with the surrounding air.

By the time the working fluid leaves the evaporator, it is a cool, low pressure gas. It then returns to the compressor to begin its trip all over again.

Connected to the evaporator is a fan that circulates the air inside the house to blow across the evaporator fins. Hot air is lighter than cold air, so the hot air in the room rises to the top of a room.

There is a vent there where air is sucked into the air conditioner and goes down ducts. The hot air is used to cool the gas in the evaporator. As the heat is removed from the air, the air is cooled. It is then blown into the house through other ducts usually at the floor level.

This continues over and over and over until the room reaches the temperature you want the room cooled to. The thermostat senses that the temperature has reached the right setting and turns off the air conditioner. As the room warms up, the thermostat turns the air conditioner back on until the room reaches the temperature.

from www.energyquest.ca.gov

 

Installing an air conditioner

To install an air conditioner for example a split system Fujitsu, you need a qualified air conditioning installer. Some companies like Fujitsu recommend installers or have conditions that if your system is not installed to their requirements your warranty is void. Air Conditioner Installations Australia is a site where you can find an air conditioning installer with the skills to install an air conditioner properly.

What comes with a split system (for installation)
Noramlly - your split system air conditioner comes with everything that is required for installation except for interconnect wiring and copper pipes although it is fairly common practice for installers to supply these items.

The cost of installing a split system air conditioner in Australia starts at around $500 plus may require electrical wiring up to $250. Based on this it is sometimes a benefit to use an installer to arrange everything.

  Inventor of Air Conditioning

In 1902, only one year after Willis Haviland Carrier graduated from Cornell University with a Masters in Engineering, the first air (temperature and humidity) conditioning was in operation, making one Brooklyn printing plant owner very happy.
Fluctuations in heat and humidity in his plant had caused the dimensions of the printing paper to keep altering slightly, enough to ensure a misalignment of the colored inks. The new air conditioning machine created a stable environment and aligned four-color printing became possible. All thanks to the new employee at the Buffalo Forge Company, who started on a salary of only $10.00 per week.
...
Cooling for human comfort, rather than industrial need, began in 1924, noted by the three Carrier centrifugal chillers installed in the J.L. Hudson Department Store in Detroit, Michigan. Shoppers flocked to the 'air conditioned' store. The boom in human cooling spread from the department stores to the movie theaters, most notably the Rivoli theater in New York, whose summer film business skyrocketed when it heavily advertised the cool comfort. Demand increased for smaller units and the Carrier Company obliged.
from About.com - Inventors

  Inverter

Through new, advanced technology, Inverter air conditioners are more economical to operate and quieter to run than conventional units. They can handle greater extremes in temperature, are smoother and more stable in operation, and reach the desired temperature more quickly than conventional air conditioners.

Inverter air conditioner

Noisy Air Conditioners

  Noisy Air Conditioners

A noisy air conditioner can making getting a good night sleep difficult. Check this video about a noisy air conditioner

  Outdoor Units - How to install

Setting up outdoor units can be counter intuitive. Check with your manufacturer. Brisbane air conditioning provider Gary Fyvie recommends certain techniques to reduce vibration. Even the Fujitsu manual suggests not to attach the air conditioner to the ground - it suggests a strong stand e.g. one made of concrete blocks to minimise shock and vibration.

  Salt air on air conditioners

Jeff Thatcher recommends applying a lubricant to your air conditioner almost weekly in areas close to the beach.

He also has some solutions that can help prolong the life of your system.

Jeff a keen surfer has adapted some techniques recommended by JetSki mechanics to keep a system going that is exposed to salt water.

  Split Systems

Split systems are where the compressor and outdoor heat exchanger are located outside, some distance from the indoor air-handling unit. They are joined together by refrigerant lines. You need to get the Systems installed by a professional installer.

The indoor units can be floor mounted, wall mounting, ceiling mounting or as cassette units. Outdoor units are usually located externally on the roof, on a balcony or at ground level.

Check the features of a Fujitsu Inverter Split System

  Temperature for efficient use of air conditioner

The Queensland government (Australia) promotes 24 degrees Celsius as being the recommended temperature for the efficient use of an air conditioner when cooling.

This is supposedly a temperature that keeps you comfortable and does not use undue power to the unit.

  What is covered in an Air Conditioning Warranty?

Daikin & Fujitsu Air Conditioning Equipment Warranty from Gold Coast Air Conditioning
Air conditioning equipment comes with a full 5 years parts and labour warranty from the manufacturer.

Ducting, outlets and fittings come with a 10 year manufacturers parts warranty.

Check your supplier is authorised to install your air conditioning system. Having read some Fujitsu warranties they can be very specific about installations.

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