Category Archives: Air Conditioning

AC repairs, when to call a professional and when to fix at home

Why Is My AC Not Working? 

By 2014, 3 out of every four Australians had air conditioning units. That was double the rate from the late 2000s. Today, that number has skyrocketed and Aussies spend over $3.7 billion in AC during the summer period. A recent survey concluded that over 77% of Australians value their AC unit over most other appliances in their home. Given the sweltering summers in the Land From Down Under these facts aren’t a surprise. What does boggle the mind is that 3 out of 5 AC need maintenance, or aren’t working optimally. Fixing air conditioners in Australia is a full-time job that brings in billions in revenue and offers a constant stream of clients to technicians.  

Air Conditioners, due to their usage and exposure to the elements, need regular check-ups and annual maintenance by professionals. That being said, if your AC unit is on the fritz, sometimes a small DIY fix on your part can do wonders and save you a great deal of money on repairs. It’s important to have your AC unit working properly, it maximizes its function and also, an AC working in peak conditions can bring your energy bill down. 

 Common Fixes For Air Condition Units in Australia. 

Here’s a list of simple fixes you can perform on your AC unit. Repairs and maintenance operations that can save you hundreds of AUD and don’t require a trained professional.  

Batteries 

Yes, we know, it’s like asking, “is the unit plugged in?”, but batteries in both the remote control as well as the wall thermostat have to be replaced regularly and not many people do it. They run out of juice constantly. Sometimes they might have enough power in their cells to work the display and trick you into thinking they’re alright, but they lack the energy to function at their peak and fuel the functions that gadget was meant to perform. 

Location 

It’s important to find a proper berth or place to store your outside unit. Constant direct sunlight, as well as shrubbery, can be incredibly harmful to your device and might impede it from working properly. 

Filters 

One of the most typical reasons why an air conditioner won’t work in Australia, as well as the rest of the world, is a dirty or clogged filter. It’s important to regularly clean your filter following the manufacturer’s instructions. Filters have to be cleaned, depending on usage, at least once a month. 

Drainage 

Drainage can get filthy or even blocked over time. Dirt, dust, lint, and a great deal of other detritus can impede its normal flow. If it’s choked, the drain pan will fill up, and water will start to drip onto the AC unit. 

When to call an expert 

If you’re not a trained and certified AC operator, some problems can’t be addressed without the proper knowledge. Brisbane College as well as some governmental institutions offer training in this field on account of its difficulty. Most AC operators in Australia have a certificate, earned after years of professional education, that corroborates their competence in the field.  

For the following repairs, it’s best to contact a qualified professional that has the experience, the know-how, and the right tools. 

Our team of experienced technicians at FRH Air Conditioning are on hand to help if you’re looking for heating or AC services in the Southern Highlands.  

Refrigerant leaks 

Coolant starts to seep in the AC and the unit won’t perform properly. The location of the leak will affect the cost. It’s advised to have your AC scrutinized by a technician yearly to repair leaks before they become too big.  

Capacitors 

Without a working capacitor, the motor that powers the unit won’t work. If the capacitor is compromised it needs to either be fixed or replaced, otherwise your compressor and fans won’t start up.  

Evaporator coils 

Evaporator coils take in heat in the air and send it back into the house as cold crips AC fog. This is done through a series of air ducts. The coils can become corroded over time and have to be inspected at least once every three years. 

Worn Contactor

In an AC unit there are multiple contactors. Each one of these apparatuses serves to regulate a device within your AC; compressor, blower motor, condenser fan motor, etc. If they need a repair it becomes difficult for the electrical current to jump-start any of these motors. 

 Condenser Coils

Condenser coils can normally be cleaned by a hose or a wet rag, but if they become too dirty they need specialized chemical cleaners that won’t corrode them.

These are just some of the many adjustments your air conditioner might need. Is it important to have your AC unit maintained properly and inspected regularly by certified technicians to care for your investment and preserve it in tip-top shape. 

Contact Us today for a free quote

If you’re struggling to find out the cause of the problem, or you would like a check-up of your AC system we would love to help out!

Simply give us a call on 0248721550 or email us at info@frhair.com.au

How Does Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning Work?

How Does Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning Work?

If you’re looking for air conditioning in the Southern Highlands, NSW then you might like to consider a reverse cycle system. A reverse cycle system helps keep your family warm during the cool winter and cool during the hot and humid summer. If you are wondering how a reverse cycle air conditioning works, you have come to the right place. This article provides information on how a reverse cycle air condition system works and the many benefits of investing in such a system.

A reverse cycle air conditioner is not your typical cooling unit. In fact, these HVAC systems act as an air conditioner and heating system at the same time. When you need to cool down your home during the hot and humid summer season, the unit will use a refrigeration cycle to keep you and your loved ones comfortable inside the house even when the heat is intense outside. The unit also uses the reverse cycle feature to keep your family warm and comfortable during the cold winter months.

The system uses a compressor to send the refrigerant through the chambers of the unit before flowing to the condenser. When the refrigerant is compressed, it becomes warm and flows through to heat your home. In fact, the reverse cycle HVAC system gives you the best of both worlds by fulfilling the heating and cooling needs of your family. You can fulfil both the heating and cooling needs of your home with a press of a button when you invest in a reverse cycle air conditioning system.

The unit will extract heat from the outside air – even on a cold winter night – and draw it inside to keep your family warm and comfortable in the house. The coolant or refrigerant is passed through the external coil to absorb heat from the air. The refrigerant will then be pumped by the compressor down through the chamber and into the condenser of the unit. When the refrigerant is compressed, it will warm up and the resulting hot air is pushed out into the room by a fan. This helps keep your loved ones warm during the cold winter months in New South Wales.

Once the heating cycle is completed, the refrigerant will flow through the evaporator in order to cool it down. The cool refrigerant is pumped into the condenser for repetition of the cycle. When the process is reversed, cool air will be blown into your home to keep your loved ones comfortable during the hot and humid summer. Although a reverse cycle air conditioner system may cost you more to purchase and operate compared to other air conditioner systems on the market today, it offers a great range of benefits to your home or office.

The Numerous Benefits Of A Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning System

The reverse air conditioning system warms your home or office in winter and cools the space in summer. In fact, it provides the best of both worlds for your investment. Thanks to the advanced filtering system of a reverse cycle unit, you will be able to avoid some of the most common respiratory conditions that affect your health.

The filtering system of the unit purifies the air in your home or office to prevent dust mites from spreading in the area. If there are asthmatic patients who cannot handle the extra moisture and humidity in the air, the heat pump will help to dry out the air. Less mould will form on your property as a result. It will be easier to maintain a clean and hygienic property when you invest in a reverse cycle HVAC unit.

Reverse cycle units are extremely efficient in terms of energy use and cost over time. It provides one of the most efficient means of heating and cooling a home. A reverse cycle system is considered a very good investment in comfort and health. With the rising electricity costs in the country, air conditioner efficiency has become quite important.

In fact, a reverse cycle system is efficient even in the most extreme weather conditions. One kW of electricity consumed by a reverse unit will generate more than three kW of heating and cooling.

If you’re also undecided as to wether you need a ducted or a split system, then our useful article “Which is best: Ducted or Split AC Systems?” should help!

The latest reverse cycle systems come with thermostats and advanced inverter technology. This means the unit can easily adapt to the temperature and conditions in the room. Inverter technology is one of the best energy-efficient means of heating and cooling your property using electricity. Inverter technology will gently adjust the power consumption to quickly reach the desired temperature of your home. It will then steadily maintain the desired temperature levels without fluctuations.

Less noise is another advantage of investing in a reverse cycle unit. In fact, operating noise levels can have an impact on the comfort levels of your loved ones. The latest reverse cycle system operates without any noise thanks to the advanced inverter technology. On the other hand, this type of unit will produce only one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by other HVAC systems on the market today. Hence, they are better for the environment.

What To Look For In A Reverse Cycle Unit?

Even though there are many advantages of investing in a reverse cycle unit, not everyone can have such a unit installed in their homes. For example, if your area experiences extremely cold winters, the unit placed outside the house will not work efficiently during the winter season due to the drop in temperature.

The size of the unit will depend on the size of your room. It’s best to get advice from an air conditioning expert in the area before investing in a reverse cycle system. Investing in a unit that is too big for the area is a waste of money. If the unit is too small for the space it needs to cool or heat, it won’t be efficient.

That’s why you need to work with a professional HVAC company when investing in a reverse cycle air conditioner system for your home or office.

How Much Does Hydronic Heating Cost to Install & Run?

How much does Hydronic Heating Cost?

Hydronic heating is becoming a more and more popular in Australia since the running costs can be up to 40% less than that of ducted heating or underfloor heating options.

In today’s article we’ll explore the costs of installing and running a hydronic system so you can decide if hydronic heating is the right option for you and your home. 

What Is Hydronic Heating?

Hydronic heating, or radiant heating, is a simple, energy-efficient home heating system. Unlike its counterpart, ducted heating, hydronic heating uses specialized tubing to run a hot liquid underneath your home’s floor. It normally employs either liquid hot water, steam, or a water solution based on glycol. This type of system was first introduced for large commercial buildings and faculties in Australia, but over time, the model has become incredibly popular among families — the infrastructure behind it, and the mechanics, downscaled and adapted perfectly for small residential homes. 

A hydronic heating system works by pipes and liquid return. Water, or specialized liquid, is circulated through a house in a closed-loop system. The whole structure, in many cases, is installed within your property’s concrete slabs, or floor joist system, which in turn allows the heat to radiate uniformly all across the desired space. Additionally, to diffuse heat in an even manner, baseboard units, radiators, and other tools can be installed in order to supplement the system’s yield. 

The benefits of Hydronic include: 

  • Lower heating bills.
  • Decrease in environmental impact. 
  • More conformable surface temperature
  • More durable and energy-efficient heating — up to 70% more efficient than electrical-dependent systems.
  • Less noise pollution — these systems are extremely quiet. 
  • Safer — no exposed flames or electrical connections.
  • More adaptable and uniform heating.
  • More versatile installation — Homeowners can adapt the system around what they need. Piping and infrastructure can be placed in walls and easily conducted through a home. 

Installation Costs for Hydronic Heating Systems

The big difference, and the biggest cost variance, lies in whether you are retro-fitting a home – installing a hydronic system in a house already set and built – or starting from scratch – setting it up in a new home still in production. 

A hydronic heating system works, not only off pipes, but on High-efficiency pumps and hydronic boilers that serve to circulate the warm liquid around your house. Each house, depending on size, not only needs more piping, but also different heating panels and more radiators. 

How much does it cost to install a hydronic heating system?

The approximate cost of installation of a hydronic heating unit bought is around $1,300 per radiator. That includes manual labour, the boiler, and materials. On top of that, you’ll also have to calculate the approximate cost of underfloor access plus the in-slab heating units — currently between $40 to $90 per square meter. 

Variances in prices depend mostly on the difficulty of installations and the buyer’s specific needs. 

For example, a 3 bedroom retrofitting for an existing home, with approximately 7-8 radiators, will cost anywhere between $10,000 to $15,000, depending on the cost of contractors, the quality of fitting, and the home’s specific geometry and challenges. 

Cost to Run Hydronic Heating

Hydronic Heating systems are more financially dynamic and cost-effective than their counterparts. The advantage of a system like this is that it reuses/recycles heat and in doing so reduces the cost of fuel. 

The daily, weekly, or monthly expense of a system like this depends on the method the homeowner opts for. The main source of power that is needed to circulate liquid around your house’s pipes. 

  • If you use solar power, the cost will be incredibly low since you are gaining energy from a free- renewable cost-efficient source.
  • If you’re employing an electrical boiler, the cost will largely depend on the system’s power rating. 
  • If you decided to install a gas boiler, your tariff will “boil” down to the cost of gas in your area and your burner’s efficiency level.

Nonetheless, as a whole, a hydronic heating system can save the homeowner more than 30% on their heating bills — compared to traditional systems. 

Cost of Hydronic Heating Vs Ducted Heating

  • A hydronic system is more efficient.
  • Quieter than a ducted system since there are no fans involved.
  • More hygienic — there are no dust particles, moulds, or allergens being circulated.
  • Smaller and less conspicuous — more aesthetically pleasing.
  • More cost-efficient — up to 40% more economical to operate. 

Check out our article Ducted vs Split system to find out which is right for you…

Nonetheless, there are a couple of benefits ducted systems have over the environmentally friendly option.

  • They are easier to control and users can change temperature quickly and get instant gratification. Hydronic heating systems need a while to operate at their A-game once switched on.
  • It’s incredibly easy to create warmth zones. 
  • Depending on your budget and needs, you can stagger installation. A duct system allows you to choose either heat first or cooling later— which is incredibly advantageous if you’re working on a tight estimate. 

Cost-wise, hydronic heating systems are more affordable to run than most other types of heaters. Some calculations and estimates claim that a system of this type can end up saving some homeowners in Australia over 40% on their utility bills.

Ducted or Split System: Which is better?

Air conditioning & heating systems not only make your home more comfortable, but they can also increase the value and appeal to potential buyers. Installing the right type of heating and cooling system for your home is important to ensure that it functions efficiently and lasts many years. So which is better for your home, a ducted or split system unit?

Split System

A split system is an air conditioning system where part of the system (the condenser) is located outside the house, usually on an external wall. The rest of the system (the head unit) is located inside, normally fixed to an interior wall or as a floor-standing unit.

Split systems are ideal for apartments or double story dwellings where installing ducting between the levels is impossible. It is also a great option for small apartments or homes that require cooling or heating in a small individual space. 

The main advantage of a split system unit is that it is generally cheaper to install and run, and can be installed in one part of the house at a time as your budget allows. That said, the disadvantage is that it cools only the zone where it is installed – multiple units are required to cool different rooms.

Ducted System

ducted system differs from a split system in that the entire unit is concealed, usually in the roof space of your property or housed unobtrusively outside the property. The cooled air is then directed to multiple rooms or zones within the building via a system of concealed ducting. Only the vents are visible.

The primary advantage of a ducted system is that it will be able to control the temperature throughout all of your home. Some ducted systems can even be zoned, allowing you to control the temperature in different areas separately.

A ducted system is generally more expensive than a split system, but can be a better investment if you plan to stay in the same home for the long term. The units are generally quieter and more efficient once installed, and newer systems can be controlled by wifi or mobile devices.

Which Should You Choose?

The best air conditioning system for you really depends on your lifestyle, budget, property layout and limitations of the property. Contact us today to discuss the pros and cons of each and help decide which is best for you.

We now have the availability of controlling your air conditioning and heating system remotely using Wifi and apps. So if you’re local come in and talk to us more about these options.

We’re situated in Mittagong, NSW so we can supply air conditioning and heating systems throughout the Southern Highlands.