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Want some advice on installing an AC


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This is not for Thailand but I own a one bedroom flat in Perth, Australia. I'm not sure of the size offhand but it's fairly standard sized. A lounge with small kitchen/dining area, then a door though to a bedroom and bathroom. Plus an outside balcony. The flat is on the 5th, the top floor. Anyway, I'll be heading back there in Oct and doing some renovations, plus I want to have an AC installed. I don't know much about such things so I'm hoping to get some tips/info, so when I arrive back I'll have a clearer idea of what I'll be looking for.

 

So recommendations please for AC brands & sizes. Electricity costs are very high in Australia, and seem to be ever increasing, so that's a big factor, I'll be looking for an AC that's as economical as possible to run. Where should it be installed? Bedroom Vs Lounge. Also it gets damn cold in winter and I'll be needing to install some form of heating too. So would a Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner be a good choice for me? 

 

Any information/advice will be very much appreciated.

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Reverse cycle air conditioners are the way to go for heating, they are the cheapest users of electricity for that.

Split systems are quieter than wall-mounted air cons, and inverter-type aircons the quietest of all.

There are standard formulas for the amount of BTU needed for a given floor area on the internet, decent insulation assists considerably.

Bedroom vs. lounge is always a personal choice. My preference would be to have the aircon in the bedroom, and let the heat or cold percolate through to the lounge, with enough BTU capacity for both areas. Most people find sleeping comfortably in hot conditions is the way to go.

Perth is cold? Come to Melbourne, I'll show you cold.

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16 hours ago, KannikaP said:

The first five words put me off

I don't see why. I'm just giving information. If I didn't state that fact then people replying may post links to ACs that are on sale in Thailand, or recommend models that are not available in Australia. 

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3 minutes ago, grain said:

I don't see why. I'm just giving information. If I didn't state that fact then people replying may post links to ACs that are on sale in Thailand, or recommend models that are not available in Australia. 

Perhaps because you posted in a Thailand specific forum topic?  Should be in home country area of forum if you want to post here I suspect?

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15 hours ago, Lacessit said:

Reverse cycle air conditioners are the way to go for heating, they are the cheapest users of electricity for that.

Split systems are quieter than wall-mounted air cons, and inverter-type aircons the quietest of all.

There are standard formulas for the amount of BTU needed for a given floor area on the internet, decent insulation assists considerably.

Bedroom vs. lounge is always a personal choice. My preference would be to have the aircon in the bedroom, and let the heat or cold percolate through to the lounge, with enough BTU capacity for both areas. Most people find sleeping comfortably in hot conditions is the way to go.

Perth is cold? Come to Melbourne, I'll show you cold.

Thanks Lacessit, very helpful reply. I guess I'll be looking for a split system, Reverse cycle, inverter-type AC. And yes, bedroom will be best, apart from sleeping 8 hours a night, I usually spend 2-4 hours a day lying on the bed with a laptop or a book, so at least half my day will be spent in the bedroom. 

 

Melbourne winters...yep I had one of them once, 1972. Freezed the balls of a brass monkey. 

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6 minutes ago, lopburi3 said:

Perhaps because you posted in a Thailand specific forum topic?  Should be in home country area of forum if you want to post here I suspect?

Well I carefully went through every forum possibility prior to making this post, looking for the most appropriate place to make this post. I did see Home Country Forum....but the sub heading reads: Pensions, regulations, laws, etc. that affect expats living in Thailand. 

 

The closest I could find was "The Electrical Forum" so that's where I put it. But if it's an issue then perhaps a mod can assist and move my post to wherever the hell it should be. 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Lacessit said:

My preference would be to have the aircon in the bedroom, and let the heat or cold percolate through to the lounge, with enough BTU capacity for both areas.

And if the bedroom is not next to the lounge?

Surely a smaller AC in each room would be more economical to run, and more controllable

Edited by KannikaP
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Posted (edited)

You'll get your best advice from local builders etc. on just who to get to advise you on rac installs.

 

Installation can be near the same cost as the unit itself in Aus ( just plain money grab considering what installation entails) and most systems supplied and installed here in Aus are reverse cycle.

Most bedrooms pull up at around 3kw and lounge around 5kw.

All these days are inverter type and fairly efficient.

 

Savings can be made by connection to lower rate tarrif but at the inconvienience of what times you can use the system and in most cases not worth the bother.

 

Two splits would be the way I would suggest and I think you'll find the same advice from other rac installers.

 

Go with a well known brand as a cheapie will always be waiting to bite you.

Plenty of advertising on TV etc. which will show which is which of the former there as well as the installer guys.

 

 

Edited by bluejets
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12 hours ago, bluejets said:

You'll get your best advice from local builders etc. on just who to get to advise you on rac installs.

 

Installation can be near the same cost as the unit itself in Aus ( just plain money grab considering what installation entails) and most systems supplied and installed here in Aus are reverse cycle.

Most bedrooms pull up at around 3kw and lounge around 5kw.

All these days are inverter type and fairly efficient.

 

Savings can be made by connection to lower rate tarrif but at the inconvienience of what times you can use the system and in most cases not worth the bother.

 

Two splits would be the way I would suggest and I think you'll find the same advice from other rac installers.

 

Go with a well known brand as a cheapie will always be waiting to bite you.

Plenty of advertising on TV etc. which will show which is which of the former there as well as the installer guys.

 

 

Good advice, thanks bluejets. My brother's son actually has his own AC business, and he'll be the first one I'll be contacting, hopefully he'll be able to do the job, as I'm sure he won't take advantage of me. Either way he'll advise me, but the purpose of my post here was to get some details, so I'll have a clearer idea of what's involved and what I want. And yes, I understand installation will be a big part of the overall cost. I spoke with an AC installer a couple of years ago and he explained that an AC installed in my unit must run cables from the 5th floor down to the ground floor, where the meters and RCAs are. 

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Posted (edited)

A rough guide to capacity is 400 watts per square metre of floor area. Split airconditioners will only do one room. The amount of filtering into a second room is negligible at best. As you have a long electrical run a multi head split might be better. This has one outdoor unit serving 2 or more indoor cooling units so only one power line required.

Mitsubishi electric seem to have the best wrap from installers regarding reliability and parts availability.

Panasonic are good and have good parts availability in Thailand but I dont know in Australia. Brand does matter! Some techs call LG aircon the anti christ of airconditioners well others come and go and have little to no parts network. 

N.B. I would reccomend you have a qualified cert 3 tech instal the aircon. Australia changed licensing and many installers are electricians or plumbers who are not allowed to service the unit if it breaks down. Their knowledge is very limited and many do poor installations that can  cause expensive problems later. Remember the indoor cooling units need to be installed on the inside of an exterior wall for drainage purposes Otherwise they will need a drain pump to pump water to the outside. Many of these drain pumps block easily and require quarterly maintenance which is an added expense.

FYI. I have a small interest in a aircon company in Thailand and the company is an authorised panasonic and mitsubishi dealer. I have been involved in the refrigeration / aircon industry for over 40 years in Australia.

Edited by Hugh Cow
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Your first step would be to contact your strata committee as there will be noise limits on the external compressor this will likely guide your choice of unit.

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One odd thing to be aware of is you will probably see displays of and  recommendations for Mitsubishi AC units.  There are actually two Mitsubishi entities selling AC units: "Mitsubishi Electric" which is more consumer grade and "Mitsubishi Heavy Industries" which is more commercial grade, however, they do overlap.  Consumer grade usually means more features, commercial grade tend to be beefier.  I'm not saying one is better than the other but something to be aware of.

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4 hours ago, Swimfan said:

Your first step would be to contact your strata committee as there will be noise limits on the external compressor this will likely guide your choice of unit.

Yes, once I have discussed matters with the AC installer and decided what we are going to do, I need to submit a plan indicating where the compressor will go and some other details to the strata committee, I talked to them about this a few years ago, it's all fairly straight forward, probably 2/3rds of the 32 units in our block have had ACs installed over recent years. However, what you say about noise limits is useful, and a quiet compressor is going to be a big factor when making the choice.

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5 hours ago, Hugh Cow said:

A rough guide to capacity is 400 watts per square metre of floor area. Split airconditioners will only do one room. The amount of filtering into a second room is negligible at best. As you have a long electrical run a multi head split might be better. This has one outdoor unit serving 2 or more indoor cooling units so only one power line required.

Mitsubishi electric seem to have the best wrap from installers regarding reliability and parts availability.

Panasonic are good and have good parts availability in Thailand but I dont know in Australia. Brand does matter! Some techs call LG aircon the anti christ of airconditioners well others come and go and have little to no parts network. 

N.B. I would reccomend you have a qualified cert 3 tech instal the aircon. Australia changed licensing and many installers are electricians or plumbers who are not allowed to service the unit if it breaks down. Their knowledge is very limited and many do poor installations that can  cause expensive problems later. Remember the indoor cooling units need to be installed on the inside of an exterior wall for drainage purposes Otherwise they will need a drain pump to pump water to the outside. Many of these drain pumps block easily and require quarterly maintenance which is an added expense.

FYI. I have a small interest in a aircon company in Thailand and the company is an authorised panasonic and mitsubishi dealer. I have been involved in the refrigeration / aircon industry for over 40 years in Australia.

Very good advice here, thanks Hugh Cow. I was actually thinking about something like a multi split, a double, there's a brick wall separating the bedroom and loungeroom so a double split - one for bedroom and one for lounge would be excellent....with the compressor out on the back balcony (all the units with AC have the compressors on their back balconies, that's how we can tell who has AC...just look up at all the back balconies.)  

 

All this info I'm getting here is valuable. BTW: everybody who is giving me info, I'm copying your posts and saving all your info in a text file for easy access later.

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15 hours ago, grain said:

Very good advice here, thanks Hugh Cow. I was actually thinking about something like a multi split, a double, there's a brick wall separating the bedroom and loungeroom so a double split - one for bedroom and one for lounge would be excellent....with the compressor out on the back balcony (all the units with AC have the compressors on their back balconies, that's how we can tell who has AC...just look up at all the back balconies.)  

 

All this info I'm getting here is valuable. BTW: everybody who is giving me info, I'm copying your posts and saving all your info in a text file for easy access later.

Just remember the 2 pipes from each indoor cooling unit must run back to the common outdoor unit when using a multi head split system. If you have one cooling  unit on each side of the house it can be a problem with the pipe run and can look ugly on the outside and it may be better to run two separate systems.

A couple of tips. Most use a plastic duct cover for the pipes on the outside wall. The cheaper ones deteriorate from UV after a couple of years and need replacement. Make sure they use one with high UV resistence. A little more money now will save a lot later. Make sure the insulated pipe is sealed with silicone at the outside end, or over time moist air ingress along the pipe as it travels along the pipe between the pipe and insulation due to there being a cooler lower pressure inside, will gradually saturate the pipe and cause dripping and deterioration of the insulation over time.

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20 hours ago, dddave said:

One odd thing to be aware of is you will probably see displays of and  recommendations for Mitsubishi AC units.  There are actually two Mitsubishi entities selling AC units: "Mitsubishi Electric" which is more consumer grade and "Mitsubishi Heavy Industries" which is more commercial grade, however, they do overlap.  Consumer grade usually means more features, commercial grade tend to be beefier.  I'm not saying one is better than the other but something to be aware of.

Good point. The reason I specified Mitsubishi Electric.

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On 7/4/2022 at 12:22 PM, Hugh Cow said:

Remember the indoor cooling units need to be installed on the inside of an exterior wall for drainage purposes

Could you please elaborate on what you mean by this statement?

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2 minutes ago, unheard said:

Could you please elaborate on what you mean by this statement?

Believe just to remember the excess water so drain has to exit house and down.  If on internal wall there will likely be clogged drain issues at some point or a very unattractive drain slope on wall.

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On 7/6/2022 at 6:55 PM, unheard said:

Could you please elaborate on what you mean by this statement?

The drain generall follows the pipes through the wall to outside and is hidden in the pipe duct and can drain into the garden or into a container. If the inside unit is attached to an inner wall with no direct access to outside the drain must then be ran along an inner wall to an outer wall to outside this is not only ugly but is prone to clogging due to the horizontal run of the pipe. The alternatives is to install a pump that either pumps the condensate through the ceiling and inside the roof space to outside or through the roof. This means you have the potential of rain leaks through the penetrations possible drain pipe leaks onto the ceiling combined with a pump that may introduce extra noise and will require frequent cleaning of the indoor coil, drain pan and pump to prevent blockage and overflow.

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2 hours ago, Hugh Cow said:

If the inside unit is attached to an inner wall with no direct access to outside the drain must then be ran along an inner wall to an outer wall to outside this is not only ugly but is prone to clogging due to the horizontal run of the pipe.

You are not correct.
Even Thai AC installers understand that water runs downwards so do not run the exhaust water pipe horizontally and since it is usually run with the other pipes (they are pumped or use pressure) they all run downwards allowing water to flow out. Also ugly?8C4BDE74-0328-42AC-868A-32524A29463A.thumb.jpeg.ae265ce17bb4d99e5e12824bee182995.jpeg

This is an example that proves the point that your statement is wrong.

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24 minutes ago, sometimewoodworker said:

You are not correct.
Even Thai AC installers understand that water runs downwards so do not run the exhaust water pipe horizontally and since it is usually run with the other pipes (they are pumped or use pressure) they all run downwards allowing water to flow out. Also ugly?8C4BDE74-0328-42AC-868A-32524A29463A.thumb.jpeg.ae265ce17bb4d99e5e12824bee182995.jpeg

This is an example that proves the point that your statement is wrong.

I don't know, but that looks horizontal to me.  😎

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, bankruatsteve said:

I don't know, but that looks horizontal to me.  😎

It may well look horizontal to you but it doesn’t look horizontal to either my sprit level or the installers one. 🤪

Edited by sometimewoodworker
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And in my experience such slight slope runs will collect dirt over time and become blacked - been there.  But perhaps if cleaner forces water through each time it will clear.

 

Could not make sense of photo however - appears pipe from an outside area at rear to an outside area on left.  Are you cooling the world?  😀

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13 hours ago, lopburi3 said:

Could not make sense of photo however - appears pipe from an outside area at rear to an outside area on left.  Are you cooling the world?  😀

It isn’t. The rear wall is our bedroom where the inside unit is, the left is outside.

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On 7/9/2022 at 10:37 AM, sometimewoodworker said:

You are not correct.
Even Thai AC installers understand that water runs downwards so do not run the exhaust water pipe horizontally and since it is usually run with the other pipes (they are pumped or use pressure) they all run downwards allowing water to flow out. Also ugly?8C4BDE74-0328-42AC-868A-32524A29463A.thumb.jpeg.ae265ce17bb4d99e5e12824bee182995.jpeg

This is an example that proves the point that your statement is wrong.

They understand that water flows downhill, but that doesn't guarantee that the installation of drain pipe actually flows down.  In the picture, the water is supposed to flow to the right.  The hole in the exterior wall is lower than the drain hole on the indoor until -- but he didn't add any pipe support between, so the PVC pipe bends down under it's own weight. I added a few pipe support clamps (less than 20฿ of hardware), and now the pipe follows the intended straight line with slope in the correct direction.  Always good to check these things and see if it all makes sense -- even if you trust the installer.

20211115_101710.jpg

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On 7/9/2022 at 1:37 PM, sometimewoodworker said:

You are not correct.
Even Thai AC installers understand that water runs downwards so do not run the exhaust water pipe horizontally and since it is usually run with the other pipes (they are pumped or use pressure) they all run downwards allowing water to flow out. Also ugly?8C4BDE74-0328-42AC-868A-32524A29463A.thumb.jpeg.ae265ce17bb4d99e5e12824bee182995.jpeg

This is an example that proves the point that your statement is wrong.

 

You need approx 25mm per metre run minimum. Your pipe duct looks about 1.5 metres so you need roughly 37 mm fall, otherwise you will get build up from the general dust and detritus that accumulates on the coil. I doubt there is that much fall looking at that picture.  This will cause warm moisture laden air to condense onto the drain pipe and eventually saturate the pipe insulation and help to grow mould. Hopefully the drain line was insulated and hard pvc was used rather than flexible drain hose which will form "waves" and trap water.

I certainly would not have that duct on my inside wall. To me it looks ugly but I accept you see aesthetics differently to me.

I assume when you say(they are pumped or use pressure) you are refering to the liquid and suction refrigerant lines. The smaller (liquid line) will be around 2,500 kpa and the larger (suction line) 800 to 900 kpa when operating, assuming R410a refrigerant.

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5 hours ago, Hugh Cow said:

 

You need approx 25mm per metre run minimum. Your pipe duct looks about 1.5 metres so you need roughly 37 mm fall, otherwise you will get build up from the general dust and detritus that accumulates on the coil. I doubt there is that much fall looking at that picture.  This will cause warm moisture laden air to condense onto the drain pipe and eventually saturate the pipe insulation and help to grow mould. Hopefully the drain line was insulated and hard pvc was used rather than flexible drain hose which will form "waves" and trap water.

I certainly would not have that duct on my inside wall. To me it looks ugly but I accept you see aesthetics differently to me.

I assume when you say(they are pumped or use pressure) you are refering to the liquid and suction refrigerant lines. The smaller (liquid line) will be around 2,500 kpa and the larger (suction line) 800 to 900 kpa when operating, assuming R410a refrigerant.

You get a gold star ⭐😉 

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