So, now that you’ve learnt the difference between single split, multi split and ducted systems and know what type of air conditioner suits your lifestyle its time to consider how powerful your AC needs to be for you to get the most value out of it.
Before you start shopping around for your perfect air conditioning system, we’ve put together an easy guide on what you need to factor in when getting an AC installation quote.
These tips will help make the installation process a breeze!
1. Supply only vs. Supply and Install
When purchasing an AC unit, there are two options. You can choose to purchase your AC unit without adding the installation costs to the bill and look for an installer on your own (Supply Only), or you can opt to buy the AC unit and have the reseller manage the installation process for you too (Supply and Install). Regardless of which option you go for, be sure to consult a professional reseller before purchasing an AC unit to help you select the right model and capacity.
2. Choosing a reputable installer
An AC unit is an investment so it’s important to find the right installer to walk this journey with you. The reseller or retailer that you purchase your AC unit from should be able to offer installation services and will have some reliable, licensed AC specialists or refrigeration mechanics on-hand. Alternatively, you can shop around to choose an installer for yourself. Be sure to compare quotes and get referrals before making your choice.
Experienced – in other words, be able to provide references for the similar type of AC installation to yours.
Appropriately qualified – be a holder of a valid and current Refrigeration and Air conditioning license of a relevant type.
Adequately insured – You’re mostly interested in availability and currency of their Public Liability insurance that would cover property damage or personal injury of a 3rd party should anything, though very unlikely, happen during the installation.
3. Getting a quote
Now that you’ve done your homework, you are ready to start getting quotes. As mentioned, it’s wise to request quotes from a few providers to compare on price, references and the overall service that you have received to date. In terms of best practice, AC installers should offer you a site inspection of the area to ensure that the capacity and specs are all in-line with your cooling and/ or heating requirements. Most importantly, they must provide a detailed quote which includes line-items with detailed descriptions, payment terms and deposits, inclusions and exclusions, warranties, insurance, servicing recommendations etc.
4. Not all installation warranties are made equal
Always check with installer how long is their installation warranty period. For example, cheaper installation quotes may only include 6 months warranty, so if a gas leak takes 12 months to be discovered you’re not entitled to any recompense from the installer other than a moral obligation. Most reputable installers will offer 12 months as a minimum and some will even match the product warranty. This will also vary between the split systems and ducted systems; Therefore, it is always good to check what kind of warranty is included with your installation quote.
5. Be mindful of hidden or unforeseen costs
Before you make your mind about which installer to go with, you need to understand exactly what they are going to charge you – be sure to ask if the quote is final and if there any other possible charges involved.
Here is an idea of some of the other extra charges that you could be faced with depending on the complexity of the job:
Extra piping and interconnecting cable required (if a unit is for example being installed on a 2nd floor);
Extra charges if an area is hard to access (like the roof);
Poly slab installation (if an outdoor unit is installed on the ground and there is no concrete slab for it to stand on);
Brackets (if an outdoor unit needs to be mounted onto a wall);
Electrical work (if circuit upgrades etc. are required).
(1) Is your room insulated?
How much heat you can keep in or out will impact the size of air conditioner you need. Factors which influence insulation include: the construction materials such as double brick vs new builds or the installation of insulation materials, window coverings, gaps between the doors and floors and choice of flooring. Naturally, each room is different but in general the better insulated it is, the easier it will be to heat or cool.
(2) Is it a cold or warm room in general?
Sunny rooms which face east or west are lovely in the winter but could be really hot in summer. north facing rooms are the most moderate and of course south facing rooms will be colder. Keep these considerations in mind when deciding how much heating or cooling is required for a room. Open plan kitchen areas will also be warmer, as will areas with tumble driers, all generating their own heat which will also change your heating and cooling needs.
(3) What sort of window covering do you have?
While window coverings such as curtains, shutters or blinds are good for window decorations and those weekend sleep ins, they are also great for keeping the heat out in summer and retaining it in winter. In other words, the better your windows are insulated the less your air conditioner will have to work to keep your room cool or warm depending on a season.
(4) Don’t overlook the windows…
While windows are good for those breezy days and letting light in, the bigger the window, the more of an impact it will have on your AC size requirements. As you gain and lose heat through the windows, seasonally this means, you room will be warmer in summer but also colder in winter. As an easy guide, the bigger the window, the harder your AC must work to keep your room cool or warm.
(5) How high are the ceilings?
An important consideration is the volume of the room. Often the air conditioning size is determined by the floor space, but high ceilings increase the volume of a room and therefore may require a larger air conditioning unit. Choosing a smaller air conditioner would mean it needs to work harder, therefore using more energy and it may not be as effective.
While it may seem like a lot to consider, remember you aren’t on your own and your accredited MHI dealer is always ready to give you a recommendation on the right type and size air conditioner that best suits your needs.
And remember a little consideration at the start means the perfect fit at the end!
By being savvy and in-the-know about these, you can discuss and anticipate them before they potentially arise.
Now that you’re all clued up, you’re ready to start arranging quotes!