New refrigerant to meet energy and environment friendly requirements are being introduced into the market. R134a, R410a, R123, R32 have come on stream over the years and they have different cooling capability characteristics. A knowledge-based installer is able to explain the differences.
National Environment Agency has introduced “tick system” to help consumer identify energy- saving products. Today, there are 5 ticks air-conditioner with the highest rating of energy efficiency. What is the relationship between energy efficient air-conditioner and the cooling expediency? Inverter technology air-conditioning is well established in Singapore market. Only knowledge based installer is able to explain the connection.
Air-conditioning is a mechanical system. Like all mechanical systems component may fail or function at its optimum. Besides the obvious, of routine cleaning of air filters there are other helpful checks that would be able to gauge the “health” of the system. Checks include suction and discharge pressure settings, condenser air-flow and cleanliness, drainage gradient, and insulation breakage become more important with aging air-conditioning system. It is advisable to have a preventive maintenance (PM) service contract with an established A/C service for “no-worry” enjoyment of the air-conditioning system throughout it’s life. PM is available on annual renewal contracts with monthly and quarterly visits been the most common.
Most well reputed brands today offers one year standard warranty with extended 5 years’ warranty on compressor only. The compressor is the “heart” of the system and is the most expensive component in the air-conditioning system. You may decide if you wish to buy an extended coverage beyond one year standard warranty. It is subject to personal preference.
The answer to the question is a NO! They may appear similar to the un-trained eyes but to an air-conditioning specialist there are significant differences. For example, the cooling coil construction and size. Differences that might manifest as long-term maintenance and repair issues or poor energy performance when the system ages.
Determine the number of rooms that you wish to be air-conditioned. Consult an experienced air-conditioning contractor on the sizing of the cooling capacity requirement for each room. This depends on the usage of the room and the heat generated by the activities including direct solar radiation. Consider the physical size of the indoor and outdoor units and where they are to be located with a view on future maintenance and repair accessibility.
1. Top the list is choice based strictly on lowest price. As the saying goes, “you pay peanuts you get monkey”. In a competitive landscape like Singapore air-conditioning industry the profit made by any installer is within a narrow margin. If the difference is large there is reason to be concern because where can it come from? For example, a cash -strapped installer which pose a risk to you in completing the work, an out-dated model or a low-quality material or works to be performed? With a little premium, you can be assured of a wider choice of professional contractors. The useful life of an air-conditioning system is 10 years and can go to 15 years depending on care taken. Be safe rather than sorry.
2. As in any technical product and profession, there are things unseen and incomprehensible to an average consumer. You may not be aware of the “short-cuts” or compromises in an installation of an air-conditioning system. The problems with poor installation normally surface only after one year when your warranty expires. (See also Q on “How to find good aircon installer”)
3. The sizing of the air-conditioning system is not well studied resulting in undersized capacities. The location of air-conditioners both indoor and outdoor are not ideal causing noise, poor serviceability or poor air flow. The “heat-load” for each room across the 24-hour period should be well understood in sizing air-conditioners.
Don’t treat your choice of air-conditioning on price only. The temptation is great but is it value for money? Recent spate of mal-functioning events on lifts installed in HDB blocks which were primarily selected based on lowest price offers a lesson. If you wish for the air-conditioning to serve you well it is prudent to select brand and installer well. Changing air-conditioner after installation is cumbersome and is no fun.
There are many aircon installers in Singapore. Practically every day new installers emerge and some existing installers ceased operation. There are those with 2 man-operation who came on to the scene for a week to an established one like AIRELATED with more than 3 decades of presence in Singapore. A good installer should have following criteria:
• An established company with minimum 10 years of installation experience and where you are comfortable that the company will be around through the economic cycles to serve you
• Can it provide practical ideas on where, how the indoor and outdoor units should be located based on your rooms and balcony configuration. How should the drain pipe run and is there adequate gradient and would this gradient changes over time. What insulation is appropriate? Should refrigerant pipes be exposed or concealed and how should they be concealed to maximize maintenance?
• Has the support of engineering knowledge and trouble-shooting experience from its own team of engineers and with aftermarket parts and service availability
• Has the authorized dealer relationship with the brand’s manufacturer