Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Air Conditioner Installed

Yesterday we had an air conditioner installed in readiness for summer. We selected a unit manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries given its products have (one of) the highest energy efficiency ratings and were strongly recommended as best in the market by two trusted contacts ... one of which works in the industry for a competing manufacturer and the other in the solar energy supply industry.

Here are some of the key details:
Model #: SRK71ZEA-S1
Supplier: Coles Hardware & Glass, Cnr Flint & Bathurst Sts, Forbes Phone (02) 6852 1955
Installers: Michael Coles from the above business did the gas fitting work ( and the electrician was Colin Mayo also from Forbes phone 0419 697 168.

We were impressed with the overall supply and installation and are happy to give both Michael and Col a plug.

The first step in the installation is locating the best place for both the 'head' (inside unit) and 'compressor' (outside unit). The head is located in a position in the living room that will allow for the cool air to reach into the two bedrooms. This photo shows the backing plate and hole through the wall for the wiring and pipes.

This photo shows Colin (L) and Mike (R) putting the head on the backing plate. The head is a tad under 1100 mm wide.

Here you can see the compressor unit on the concrete pad supplied as part of the installation. Sitting on top of the unit is a high pressure vacuum unit ... used to basically extract all moisture from the copper pipes prior to releasing the refrigerant (stored in the unit). Most of the compressor units are placed on wall brackets but in our case we opted for a concrete pad on the ground given concerns that being an old weather board home the noise from the compressor would go straight through the wall. It's the way to go for us ... and we also learned that with houses like ours the vibrations can also trigger rattles from windows.
The compressor has to be installed (and is) at least 1500 mm from any gas tanks to comply with regulations.

Here you can see Mike and Col doing the last bit of the installation. There was a reasonable amount of pipe fitting and electrical work involved ... all carried out without fuss. Col was able to source power using one of two spare cables that our local electrician (Alf Zammit) left for this purpose when he originally wired the cottage for us.

In terms of trends we learned that the majority of people locally are now tending to buy evaporative air conditioning units in response to escalating electricity costs. This is turn places pressure on water supplies ... but at least water is a renewable resource. Given we have a stand alone power supply system we don't have power bills ... so a refrigerated unit suits us and we don't also have to muck around connecting water to the unit. During peak usage our air conditioning unit is expected to produce around 3 to 3.5 litres of water per hour.

A comment Mike made that I found enlightening was that one way to determine the quality of a product (such as air conditioners) is by going onto e-Bay and seeing how many spare parts sellers there are. The more spare parts sellers there are the poorer the product quality!

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