Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Buying an airconditioner

Do you have a split system air con unit yet? No? You probably will at some point. Maybe you will use it for heating as well as cooling, as we do.

Ours is a Daikin. Although we had a problem with it in early days, for some reason the circuit board on the exterior part became damp, it is now nine years old and still working very well. It was not especially cheap, I don't think Daikens are. Mother's is only one year old and hers is a cheapie and not a patch on ours.

I am sure they are online calculators to work out the size of the unit you need.

But what you really need is an inverter air con unit. I don't know the tech stuff about them, but what I understand is that instead of the compressor cutting in and out, it speeds up and slows down, making it more energy efficient, and more comfortable and less noisy inside. The maximum exterior decibels the exterior part registers as 65db, relatively quiet.

I really would advise you, don't go for the cheap when you are buying a split system air conditioning unit.


  1. Maybe that's what I have. I guess so. I should go look but to tell you the truth Andrew I am too lazy to walk around back. Our systems are both heat and air, but the heat part doesn't work so well. I was told they are built for AC efficiency mainly to handle our 110 degree temps here. They work perfect for that and the electric bill is really quite cheap, only around $75 for 24/7 use. I think I will buy a couple of space heaters to go with the main heater this winter.

  2. Thanks for the Inverter info.
    I had an aircon in the last unit, the landlord put it in and it was very welcome in the summer, but the winter heating wasn't very effective, I had to run it on high and even then it only heated a small area. I think the room was just too big for it.
    I don't have one here in this little flat and I'll see how I go this summer without one. The walls are built of cinder blocks, so they're fairly thick and the windows are small, so even though I'm facing north, maybe I can close out enough of the heat. Plus I have a south facing back porch which is closed in with shadecloth and matchstick blinds left behind by the previous tenant. If I can sit out there and be cool enough I'll be happy with that. After I've been here a few years I may consider a split system for the lounge room.

  3. You've finally helped me understand what all that tech talk about inverters was trying to tell me.
    Suspect the biggest drawback with heating functions on split systems is that warm air rises, so when I lived in the bush I tended to use the split system for cooling and a wood heater [or small space heaters as a quick fix] in the winter.
    Also found the unit would not start up at all on mornings of severe frost apparently there was some minimum outdoor operating temperature.

  4. Towanda, like FruitCake says, maybe it is too cold for them to work well. Is that $75 per month? That is pretty reasonable if it runs all the time. I think if I lived there in summer, mine would run 24/7 too.

    River, summer before last we had overhead fans installed in the bedrooms so that we wouldn't have to leave the aircon on over night. They work well. Kind of wished be put one in the lounge/dining too for when it is not boiling hot. You could set up a camp bed on the porch and sleep outside.

    Fruitcake, I certainly did not learn about inverters from ads. The salesman pointed out the benefits. I don't really understand how an inverter works. Ours does blow warm air downwards, so that helps to distribute the warm air better. Only once has our heating not started on a really cold morning. It took about 15 mins, and then it was ok. But where there is frost, well it might not work at all.

  5. I've never got why some folks have their air-con hotter in winter then they'd EVER have their house in summer, and colder in summer than they'd tolerate in winter! Using a realistic comfortable temperature is one way to make BIG savings!

  6. About seven years ago could be more i installed a Emailair reverse cycle ducted air conditioner which is thermostatical controlled, set the timer and temperature then forget :-).

  7. I have the cheapest split system.

    I take off all my kit in summer, using wet towels on the Coolgardie safe principle and in winter I don the long johns and anything else that isn't in the laundry basket.

    It's cheap as (but that's me) I just have to hope that there aren't unexpected visitors ringing the door bell.

  8. Top tip. I have a well old unit that rarely gets used. I prefer pedestal fans!

  9. That is the key Red, a comfortable temperature. I don't like being overheated or overcooled. But I don't like being hot or cold. I don't walk around in an overcoat inside in the winter and I don't strip off to underwear in the summer, perish the thought.

    LS, I don't wish to be unkind, but the mental image is not great.

    Old or not Fen, it will provide deliciously chilled air. Bugger being hot a sweaty, unless it is appropriate for the moment.

  10. Lord Sedgwick in long johns! We'll stand him on the cliffs at Christmas Island and for sure the boats will turn around.
    If that works, we can put him on shark patrol in WA.

  11. Coppertop, they don't call me long john thomas for nothing.

    (Many a person thought all their Christmas Islands had come at once.)

  12. The likes of him Jah Teh. I feel no need to brag. Everyone has worked it out for themselves.