What You Should Know About Air Conditioners

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Installing an air-conditioning system involves a lot of consideration. For example, you have to think about the position of the machine in relation to where the curtains are installed.

When it comes to air-conditioners, most of us are only familiar with a couple well-known brands and which countries these brands are based in.

But in the recent decade, the specific properties of air-conditioners have undergone vast improvements.

Between brands, now we see different levels of performance even in terms of the air-cons’ noise-reducing and energy-saving functions.

Today we’re going to look at the 3 main types of air-conditioning systems and go in-depth with this home appliance that we use so often yet cannot know enough of.


Window air conditioners

What You Should Know About Air Conditioners
(Image: Deco Mall) Gree – G1618R

A traditional air-con model, the window air conditioner is installed in the window with the support of metal frames, mounting brackets or an extended windowsill.


Wall-mounted split air conditioner

What You Should Know About Air Conditioners
(Image: Deco Mall) Gree – GSA069AE

Comprised of an inner and an outer component, the wall-mounted split air conditioner’s compressors and refrigerant pipes are installed on the exterior.

The indoor unit of the split air-conditioner is the quieter and lighter component which blows cool air into the interior.


Window split air conditioner

What You Should Know About Air Conditioners
(Image: Deco Mall) Hitachi – RASD10CDK

Sharing the same mechanism with its wall-mounted counterpart, the window split air conditioner has a slimmer built (its height not exceeding 420mm) which means it can fit snuggly in most windows.


Inverter technology

What You Should Know About Air Conditioners

Non-inverter compressors

The non-inverter air-conditioner maintains a steady rate of power output. When the room temperature reaches the preset level, the air-con stops operating.

When the temperature sensor detects a rise above the preset level, the air-con starts to operate again.

Due to the constant shutting-down and restarting, the indoor temperature fluctuates readily and more energy is consumed.


Inverter compressors

Thanks to technology, the inverter air-con can adjust its power output according to the change of indoor temperature.

When the air-con is turned on, it operates at a higher output rate to lower the indoor temperature quickly. As the temperature verges towards the preset level, the air-con’s power output reduces in order to maintain the current temperature.

Inverter air conditioners are usually pricier, but they are more energy-efficient than non-inverter air-cons.


Air conditioner energy consumption

According to the reports of Consumer Council, the energy consumption of non-inverter air-cons is 90% higher than that of inverter air-cons.

Some of the more expensive air-con models feature built-in human activity sensors and air purifiers.

These new models might have a different energy consumption rate than ordinary air-cons. Remember to read the energy label upon purchase.


Horsepower (hp)

What is the horsepower of an air conditioner?

To put it simply, an air-con with a larger horsepower can cool down a larger interior space.

Refer to these figures to choose the suitable horsepower air-con for your home.


3/4 hp 50-70 sq. ft.
1 hp 80-100 sq. ft.
1 1/2 hp 110-150 sq. ft.
2 hp 160-200 sq. ft.
2 1/2 hp 210-250 sq. ft.
3 hp 260-300 sq. ft.


What might shorten an air-con’s lifespan?

When the air-con breaks down, sometimes it’s not your fault. Here are the two main external reasons causing your cooling unit to fall apart.


Westward-facing windows

At dusk, a large amount of sunlight enters the interior and heats up the indoor space.

Turning on the air-con at this time of the day might cause harm to the machine.


Living on higher floors

Flats on higher floors are often hotter, especially in summer. Since such is inevitable, it is recommended that upon entering the house, windows and doors are left open for some time so that the trapped heat can dissipate.

Do not turn on the air-con until the indoor space has cooled down considerably.


The quietest model of air-con?

Traditional window air conditioners are relatively louder due to their built-in compressors.

Even the ‘quiet’ air-con models produce noise over 30 decibels.

Split air conditions are quieter because the compressor component is installed on the exterior.

Before purchasing an air-con, remember to check out the model of the machine, the noise reduction level and users’ opinion, so that you can make the choice that fits you the most.

You can refer to the noise type and corresponding decibel level chart below:


130 db Jets taking off
110 db Turbojet planes taking off
105 db Causes permanent hearing loss
100 db Pneumatic drills
90 db Noisy pubs
85 db or below No damage to human ear hair cells below this level
80 db Noisy offices
75 db Comfort threshold for the human ear
70 db Street environments
50 db Normal conversations
30 db Window air conditioner
20 db Whispering


Air conditioner installation

There are different installation method and procedures for different types of air conditioners.

This borders the arena of professional knowledge; nonetheless, readers might find this information useful.

In general, there are three types of air-con installation methods: window, wall-mounted and ductless.


Why do prices differ?

Procedural differences entail a wide price range in installation fees.

Before installation, consult professionals to understand the details behind each fee incurred. This should effectively curb misunderstandings.


Here’s an example of air-con installation procedures:

  1. Basic air-con installation
  2. Metal frames and mounting brackets
  3. The piping which links the interior component with the exterior one
  4. Scaffolding
  5. 2 water outlets for the heat exchanger


Explaining the installation procedures

Q: Before installation the air-con, the worker informs me that there will be an incurred fee for the installation of metal frames for the exterior component. But most flats have air-con bases built outside on the exterior, why are they still installing these metal frames?

A: These bases are usually quite humid and receive poor ventilation which might shorten the lifespan of your air-con. Opting for metal frames will make your air-con last longer.


Q: So the metal frames are to create a distance between the machine and the concrete?

A: Yes. In addition, screws are used to fix the air-con in its position so that when it is powered, the vibrations (and noise) created will not cause the machine to dislodge.


Q: What happens when an air-con is not firmly fixed in place?

A: Proper fixture procedures are crucial for ensuring safety. Voice your concerns in time should you find out that your air-con is not firmly installed.

How the metal frames are installed should be considered alongside the actual situation of the flat itself.


The prime concern is to fix the outer component properly in place, especially for higher floors. A falling air-conditioner can create unimaginable disaster.

If it happens that the air-con bases on your building are structurally unstable, you should consult professionals for a checkup.

Remember, air conditioner installation can really be a life-and-death matter. Always proceed with caution.


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