In part one of this series, we discussed the different types of air conditioners that you can choose from as well as the capacity that will best suit your needs. In part two, we delve into some considerations you should make in regards to the type of indoor unit you choose, optional extra features and ongoing running costs. Our goal is to help you find the best air conditioner for your needs, and this can’t be done without some careful research. If you have any questions about how to choose an air conditioner (or if you have already chosen one and would like to have it installed), don’t hesitate to contact our aircon experts today.
Type of Indoor Unit
This is the most common form of split-system A/C, where is the indoor unit is mounted high on the wall. This allows the air flow to easily blow across the room, as the cool air will sink down and push the hot air up and away.
Floor mounted units are wall mounted at floor level. This option will better suit certain rooms, and can be good if you mainly use the unit for heating (as the hot air will come out at low level and rise to the ceiling).
Most cassette units are mounted in the ceiling, although some units can be mounted in either the ceiling or the floor. These units are common in commercial buildings.
Air conditioners are available with a range of features that add to their value. Some beneficial extra features that you could consider include:
- Remote control – allowing you to control the temperature from afar. Look for large, well-spaced buttons and an easy-to-read LCD screen
- Sleep mode – adjusts the air conditioner so that it doesn’t work as hard/use as much electricity while you are sleeping
- Timer – the A/C turns itself off at a designated time, therefore saving you money on your electricity bills
- Human presence sensor – detects whether someone is in the room. When no one is detected, the unit switches to an economy mode that reduces power consumption
- Dehumidifier – lowers the level of humidity in the air and makes for a more comfortable home (not necessary for dry climates)
Like other appliances, air conditioners are given star ratings (blue for their cooling function, and red for their heating function – we have explored energy efficiency labels in detail in this blog post). The more stars a product has, the more energy efficient it is. A/C units can be rated up to 10 stars; however, if a product is rated at 6 stars or less, it will not show the extra 4-star ‘super efficiency rating’ band. In the image above, you can see that this unit is rated 7 stars for cooling and 4 for heating, so only the cooling star arch has the additional band of stars. Heating and cooling appliances account for about 40% of the energy usage of the average Australian home, so choosing a unit with a high star rating should definitely be a priority.
If you have any questions about how to choose an air conditioner that suits your personal or commercial needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. We are experts when it comes to choosing, air conditioner installation and maintaining air conditioners.
When we buy appliances for our home, we tend to only look at brand names and the price tag. In the long run, appliances that are particularly energy efficient can save you money. Electricity costs are on the rise, and consumers should be looking at the lifecycle of major appliances rather than the upfront costs.
The Energy Rating Label has been in use across Australia for over 30 years, but many don’t really understand what is being measured and regulated. We break down the Star Rating and energy efficiency labels to help you make more informed purchases.
Image from energymadeeasy.gov.au website
History of the Energy Rating Label
Australia first saw energy efficiency labels in use in New South Wales and Victoria in 1986, with the rest of the nation soon following suit. By 1992, a mandatory labelling scheme was agreed upon and the rating system was implemented in years to follow.
The labels were introduced to allow consumers to make more informed decisions, and to improve manufacturing standards with regard to efficiency. As emissions and energy figures were publicly displayed, manufacturers began searching for ways to produce appliances that were efficient as well as affordable.
The Energy Rating system is a joint initiative of state and federal governments, and is still enforced to this day. All dryers, dishwashers, computer monitors, televisions, washing machines, fridges and freezers sold in Australia must carry an energy efficiency label.
Short Term Savings vs Long Term Value
Every appliance sold in Australia must meet a certain standard of energy efficiency – national standards now are much higher than they were in the past, so a one star product manufactured recently may still be a better option than old models. There is still a market for lower ranked appliances – consumers who only use a certain appliance occasionally may be better off with a cheaper model.
The energy efficiency labels are based on simple criteria, and vary depending on the application of the product. Some simply assess energy consumption based on yearly averages, while others have more detailed criteria.
Those looking for the best option for their specific needs can use this handy online calculator to compare models.
Air Conditioner Efficiency – The Ten Star System
Air conditioners for residential purposes have been required to carry energy efficiency labels since 1987, and subjected to Minimum Energy Performance Standards since 2004.
Energy efficiency labels for air conditioners are split up into cooling and heating – if your unit is only capable of cooling it will not feature the red sticker.
Image from energyrating.gov.au website
Both stickers display the capacity output and power input of air conditioners in kilowatts. The star rating is based upon both figures, so if products have the same capacity output and star rating, you need to consider the power output figure to work out which is most efficient.
When comparing models, make sure you are looking at units of the same size (capacity output) to determine what is most suitable for your needs.
Choose Electrolite for Air Conditioner Installation Brisbane
Electrolite Electrical Services can advise you on the efficiency of a range of A/C units from Panasonic, Daikin, Fujitsu, Actron, Mitsubishi and Teco. Our team supplies and installs units from these brands based on the size and specifications of your property.
Electrolite have supplied and professionally installed air conditioning units in the Brisbane area for some time. We supply AC units from brands such as Daikin, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Panasonic, Teco and Actron, and keep a close eye on new AC releases.
A new Mitsubishi Heavy Industries AC has hit the market. The Avanti model is stylish, advanced and versatile enough to suit a range of residential properties, as we explain:
The New Avanti Residential Range
Avanti is a new Mitsubishi Heavy Industries AC that looks to combine versatile functionality with a modern appearance. Mitsubishi is synonymous with reliability and technological advance, and the Avanti model is packed with innovative features.
Avanti features a one-touch program known as 3D AUTO. In simple terms, this means that multiple motors work to deliver three different air flow controls. This programmed air distribution is energy efficient, and allows air to flow into every corner of the room effectively.
Clean Air and Jet Air Technologies
This latest Mitsubishi Heavy Industries AC boasts an innovative feature for allergy sufferers. The Allergen Clear System neutralises all bacteria present on the anti-allergenic filter at the push of a button, allowing clean air to be delivered for 90 minutes.
The air circulation potential of the Avanti has been achieved by way of Jet Air Technology. By using the same aerodynamic analysis tools employed to develop jet engines, MHIAA have been able to design air channels that evenly spread air throughout a room.
Modern Appearance from Italian Designer TENSA
The Avanti unit features Japanese technical quality, combined with aesthetic appeal thanks to Milanese designers TENSA. The rounded contours and elegant appearance will fit perfectly in any modern residential setting. The design is simple and streamlined, with few buttons or visible features detracting from the lines of the unit.
Use Wi-Fi to Set the Temperature Before You Return Home
Ever dreaded the blast of heat you get when returning to your empty home in the Queensland summer? The Avanti range features Wi-Fi Control, allowing you to use your smartphone or other device to turn your AC on before you return home, as well as check if you’ve remembered to turn the unit off once you’ve already left.
A Feature-Packed Reverse Cycle Unit
The Avanti is packed with more features for comfort and convenience than we can mention. The range features Dry Operation and High Power Operation, which allows for dehumidification of the air and accelerated cooling speed respectively. Units also feature Self Clean Operation which prevents mould growth, in addition to an Economy Mode which provides effective cooling and heating while conserving energy.
Air Conditioning Service and Installation from Electrolite Electrical Services
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have been producing quality air conditioners for the Australian and New Zealand market since the 1970s, and the Avanti range lives up to their reputation.
To secure the services of Electrolite for air conditioning service Brisbane or installation of an Avanti model, get in contact today. You can make an enquiry using our online contact page, or give us a call on 07 3712 0653.
The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries AC comes with a five-year parts and labour warranty.
Choosing an air conditioner can be overwhelming, so we hope that this post sheds some light on how you can choose the best option for your home. If you have any questions about which air conditioner is the best choice for your needs, don’t hesitate to contact our aircon experts today.
Types of Air Conditioner
There are three main types of air conditioner that you can choose from – split system, multi-split system or ducted.
Split system air conditioners are ideal for compact spaces and heating or cooling individual rooms in your home.
What is a split system? Basically, a split system air conditioner is designed for individual areas in your home – for example, you may only want aircon in your main bedroom or living area, as opposed to it being throughout your entire home. With a split system, the compressor is installed outside your house and the unit that passes air into the house is either a compact floor-standing unit or discreetly wall-mounted. There are two main advantages of split system aircon:
- Economical – you are only buying and installing one unit at a time. These systems also use less energy than some other systems
- Selective – you choose the rooms you would like to air condition.
With a multi-split system, you can run multiple air conditioners with just one outside compressor, which gives you independent temperature control over each room. You get to choose which rooms have aircon, and the type of aircon unit for each room. There are three main benefits of a multi-split system:
- Convenient, economical and comfortable – you can live is maximum comfort with minimum cooling costs (because you can run each unit as you need)
- With just one outside compressor, you can choose up to 5 different indoor units for your rooms (including wall-mounted, duct-connected, floor-standing, ceiling-suspended or a cassette-type unit)
- Everyone is happy – with separate units and controls, you can tailor and control the climate in each room.
Want your entire home to be the ultimate comfort zone? Ducted air conditioning provides all-in-one climate control. All ducted aircon takes is a discreet outdoor unit and an indoor unit (concealed in our ceiling or under your floor), with flexible ducting that distributes cool or warm air via vents throughout your home. There are five main advantages of ducted systems:
- Can be tailored for/installed into a new or existing home
- Discreet – inside, only the controller and grilles are visible and all the technology is hidden away
- The quietest of all aircon systems
- Will add to the value of your home
- You can enjoy the flexibility to heat or cool every room and you can zone-control the home to maximise energy efficiency.
Choosing the Right Air Conditioning Capacity
An air conditioner’s cooling and heating capacity (size) is rated in kilowatts (kW). A small room may require a 2/5kW model, whereas a larger, open-plan room might need 6kW or more. Before you have air conditioning installed, make sure that you are certain of the capacity you require (need a hand? Contact Electrolite). A proper calculation of the capacity you need will take the following into account:
- The size of the room – length, width and height
- The type of room – living room, kitchen, bedroom, etc.
- The size and orientation of windows and glass doors (a large window can let in a lot of heat in summer)
- Shading and curtains on the windows
- Insulation of the floor, ceiling, and walls
- The local climate.
Once you have decided on the general type and capacity of your air conditioner, you will also need to consider whether to choose an inverter or non-inverter model, and whether to go for cooling, heating or both (there will be more information about this in our next post!).
If you have any questions about choosing the right air conditioner for your needs (or if you have found it and require installation), don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and experienced team today.
Queensland is well-known for wild summer storms, and although they can be visually exciting they can also place your electrical wiring and appliances at risk. Parts of the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane were battered by storm activity last weekend, with hundreds of properties left without power for several days.
We have listed some considerations you should make to prevent electrical damage as storm season approaches.
Unplug Your Appliances
Some people think it is overkill to unplug your appliances as a storm approaches, but it continues to be a very effective way to prevent electrical damage. It can be a little inconvenient, but even items connected to surge-protected powerboards can cause problems if left plugged in. A direct hit to your powerlines can irreparably damage your expensive appliances, so it’s best to unplug anything of value before a major storm.
Visually Inspect Your Powerlines
Powerlines that are damaged during a storm can take many days to be repaired, especially if there are a host of other families with the same problem. You can reduce the risk of electrical damage by inspecting your powerlines visually to see if branches are overhanging or growing through the lines
Energex ask that any trees growing into or through powerlines in a dangerous manner be reported – you can use this online form to report issues, or call 13 62 62 if you think the branches represent an immediate danger.
Never attempt to cut overhanging branches yourself – seek the advice of a professional who can advise on the best course of action.
Consider Surge Protection Measures
As storm season approaches, ask your electrician whether your home switchboard is fitted with surge protection – if it isn’t, it’s well worth paying the money as a long-term investment.
Your major appliances can be rendered obsolete by electrical damage after a power surge – complex appliances with tiny digital components can be easily damaged by fluctuations in the flow of electricity. While surge-protected powerboards provide a variable defence against the risk, it is best to address the problem at the source and protect your switchboard.
Consider Purchasing a Portable Generator
If you have a young family and live in an area susceptible to storm activity, it may be worth your while to buy a portable generator for power outages. Significant powerline damage can take days to rectify in tricky or remote areas, so your portable generator may get more use than you might expect. You can help out friends in the local area if you have functioning power while electrical damage is being repaired.
Keep an Eye on Water Levels
Parts of Queensland can be susceptible to flash flooding, and you need to be ready to contact your electric utility provider if water levels reach a critical point. Power should be immediately shut off if water levels approach or exceed the height of electrical outlets.
Choose Electrolite for Emergency Electrical Work
Electrolite can provide the most reliable emergency response for wiring, appliances and air conditioning Brisbane can offer. Having served the Brisbane area for over 10 years, we are experienced in repairing electrical damage caused by summer storms.
If you are in need of an emergency electrician in the Brisbane area, give us a call on 07 3712 0653.
Regularly cleaning and servicing your air conditioner is the best way to make sure it remains in great working order for years to come. If you feel unsure about any of the steps in this post, just give us a call and we can talk you through the best methods for cleaning your AC unit.
Here are some quick tips for cleaning your air conditioner:
Turn the Power Off
The first step before cleaning any part of your AC is to turn off all power running to the AC unit. This means turn off any power points it’s plugged into and, if possible, turn it off at the circuit board.
Clean/Replace Indoor Unit Filters
Your indoor air con unit has air filters that need regular cleaning (or possibly replacing – if you’re not sure whether your filters are reusable, consult your air con manual). This is usually a simple process of opening your indoor unit’s plastic cover and removing the filter (there may be more than one).
Once you have dislodged the filters, take them outside and give them a shake (you can hit them gently against something to dislodge stubborn dust) and then vacuum them or wipe them with a dry rag. If the filters are particularly dirty, you can wash them in warm water with some mild detergent and then rinse them clean. Make sure that they are completely dry before putting them back inside the AC unit.
Manufacturers recommend that you clean the filter/s every few weeks, however it really depends on how much you use your air con. We recommend that you at least clean your filters a few times per year – giving them particular attention before and after peak use periods like summer and winter.
Why do you need to clean the filters? Because clogged or dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce the efficiency of air con systems. They also cause dust, dirt and allergens to be circulated around your home or business.
Clean the Louvres
Depending on the make of your AC unit, you may be able to remove the indoor unit’s louvres (the oscillating blades that direct air flow). If you can remove these louvres, we recommend that you clean them (and the space behind them in the AC unit) thoroughly every 2 months or so. You can do this with a dry cloth or a vacuum cleaner.
Maintain the Outdoor AC Area
Make sure that the area where your outdoor unit sits is clear of surrounding grass, leaves, plants, vines, cobwebs and dirt, as these can interfere with the efficiency of the condenser coil. We also recommend that you run your vacuum cleaner along the air intake section, as this helps to clear dust from the inside.
Hire a Professional
There are many other components of your AC unit that need cleaning/maintaining, like the condenser/evaporator coils, coil fins and condensate drains. Although you can clean these parts yourself, if anything goes wrong you could void your warranty, damage the components or harm yourself. For ensured safety and security, we recommend that you hire a professional, who will be able to:
- Clean intricate components
- Ensure correct refrigerant levels
- Test for refrigerant leaks
- Capture any refrigerant that needs to be evacuated from the system (rather than illegally releasing it to the atmosphere)
- Check for/seal duct leakage in central systems
- Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
- Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary
- Oil motors
- Check belts for tightness and wear
- Check the accuracy of the thermostat
To keep your air conditioner in great shape, we recommend that you have it professionally cleaned and serviced every year. If you have any questions about how to clean your air conditioner – or how we can help – contact our team or give us a ring on 07 3712 065. We provide a range of electrical and air conditioning services in Brisbane West suburbs including Kenmore, Indooroopilly, Inala, Chapel Hill, Forest Lake and many others.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air Conditioners
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air-conditioners Australia Pty Ltd (also known as MHIAA) is a leading supplier of commercial and residential air conditioning products in Australia and New Zealand. MHIAA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd, which is a large and diverse organisation that has many divisions such as shipbuilding, general machinery, aerospace and, obviously, air conditioning.
The New Bronte Range
Mitsubishi recently released a new reverse-cycle air conditioner range. The Bronte collection features the latest energy efficient ‘R32’ refrigerant air conditioner, which is engineered with the same blade technology as jet engine planes. This system features the longest reach airflow available on the market, with reach of up to 18 metres. Another key feature of these air conditioners is their optional WiFi connectivity, which allows the temperature to be set from outside the home using a smartphone, computer, tablet, or smartwatch. You will never have to enter a warm or cold house again!
Bronte range air conditioners are slim, attractive and silent. They have a wide operation range, so sustained heating and cooling is possible even in extreme outdoor clients (as low as 15ºC and has high as 46ºC). According to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries manager, Graham Hamilton, “The new R32 Bronte by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries combines the latest in Japanese engineering and technical developments to provide a total climate solution, designed for our Australian climate conditions. Very quiet and powerful yet efficient.”
Electrolite Air Con Installation
Want to find out more about having the Bronte air conditioner installed in your home or workplace? Just give us a call for an obligation free chat.
At Electrolite, we supply and install a range of air conditioning brands including:
If you’re not sure which air conditioner is best for your home or workplace, we can find the best model for your needs by taking into consideration reliability, efficiency and effectiveness for your location and space. We will also advise you of optimal positioning, assess your switchboard capacity and even consider drainage for the outdoor units.
To find the ideal air conditioning unit for your home or business, contact Electrolite today.
Here in Brisbane, our air conditioners get a workout for months on end. Air conditioning isn’t cheap, so you should always ensure your unit is running smoothly and efficiently. Older units can malfunction regularly, and at a certain point it is more cost-effective to get a new model.
We have compiled a list of problems that can indicate you are in need of a complete AC replacement.
Very Little Air Is Coming out of the Vents
If you notice reduced air flow from your air conditioner while in use, the problem might be caused by a malfunctioning compressor. This can be a sign that you are in need of complete AC replacement, but you should first ensure that all filters are checked and operational. If your thermostat is set to a temperature that is not being achieved by the unit, the damage may be beyond repair.
It Simply Isn’t Cold Enough
For most Australians, AC is used to take the edge off the heat in summer. If your unit cannot maintain the low temperature you desire, the underlying cause might be low refrigerant levels caused by a leak. This can be a dangerous repair job, so ensure you get a professional to inspect the unit. If the leaks are significant enough and your unit is getting old, AC replacement might be the better long-term option.
Your Energy Bill Is on the Rise
Have you noticed an inexplicable spike in your electricity bill? If you consider all factors and come to the conclusion that your AC is the culprit, there can be a number of causes. If the cooling capacity of your unit has decreased, it will have to work harder and expend more energy to produce the same results. You can attempt to clear the air vents or replace filters to uncover an underlying problem, but very often it is simply because your AC is nearing its use-by date and is not performing as efficiently as it once did.
It’s Emitting Strange Smells, Moisture or Noise
It goes without saying that this is a bad sign. If your AC is producing particularly unusual noises such as grinding or wailing, switch the unit off and get in contact with a repairer ASAP. Unusual smells can be equally dangerous, as they are often caused by insulation damage or mould and mildew inside the unit. Mould being circulated in the air can make occupants of the house sick, so do not use the unit until it is properly inspected. Water or refrigerant leaks must also be promptly investigated by a repairer, given the obvious danger.
The Temperature Is Inconsistent in Different Rooms
If one part of your house is very cold while other rooms are warm, it is likely you can attribute the problem to your thermostat or air leaks in your duct system. Such issues are often symptomatic of a dying unit, so AC replacement may be your best option in the near future.
You’re Getting Repairs Done Yearly
If you are getting too acquainted with your AC repairer, it might be time to bite the bullet and shell out for a new air conditioning unit. Generally, your AC unit won’t last much longer than 10 years before it needs replacement, and the amount of repairs required dramatically increases towards the end of this shelf life. AC replacement might be the more cost-effective option at this time, as new units are generally more efficient and often have extended warranties to protect from further expenses.
AC Repair from Electrolite Electrical Contractors
If you are experiencing minor AC problems or want a problem investigated, Electrolite can service customers in Brisbane and surrounding areas. Call us on (07) 3712 0653 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are any number of electrical problems that can present a serious risk for your home and your family, and the warning signs are not always obvious. We have put together a list of seven of the most common household electrical problems that signal you need to hire an electrician. Remember, unlicensed or DIY electrical repairs are illegal, so always ensure you engage the services of a licensed professional.
1. Your Circuit Breaker is Constantly Tripping
We’ve all lost power at one time or another simply by plugging in the toaster, but consistent circuit breaker tripping can be a sign of serious electrical problems. While it can be caused by an appliance, tripping is often a sign that circuits are drawing more current than they should be.
2. Your Lights Brighten and Dim of Their Own Accord
If the light produced by your fittings is inconsistent, or flickering occurs just after you’ve switched a light on and is present in multiple fittings, there is likely an underlying wiring issue that needs attention. Wiring can deteriorate over time, and minor problems like this can be a sign that you need an upgrade if you own an older house.
3. You Can Smell Burning
You can’t really mistake the smell of an electrical fire; an acrid, pungent smell that pervades your house. If you experience it, endeavour to find out what is causing it immediately or you could have a house fire on your hands. If you’re lucky, it will only be localised to a singular outlet or appliance with minor discolouration or charring – if it’s coming from an outlet or fitting, you’re going to need to call an electrician immediately to find out the cause.
4. You Get an Electrical Shock, Minor or Major
If you experience a minor shock when flicking a switch or plugging in an appliance, it is often caused by frayed wiring causing the circuit to short out. Never attempt to rectify an issue like this yourself – the prudent course of action is calling in an electrician to fix the problem safely and ensure there is not an underlying cause.
5. You Rely Heavily on Powerboards and Extension Cords
Electrical fires are often attributed to overloading of circuit boards. If your number of appliances significantly outweighs the number of outlets you have, contact an electrician to add more outlets. While powerboards and extension cords can be a good temporary option, they can cause your appliances to short-circuit or potentially cause fires long-term.
6. You See Sparks or Smoke
Smoke emanating from your skirting boards or sparks from outlets or appliances are certain indicators of trouble. If possible, switch off your main circuit breaker immediately to determine the cause of the problem before contacting an electrician.
7. Your Power Switches are Warm or Discoloured
Take the time occasionally to go around your home and press your hand to outlets and other electrical surfaces. If they are warm or hot to the touch, or if there are signs of plastic discolouring or even melting, get in touch with an electrician ASAP. Loose or deteriorating connections just behind an outlet can cause wiring to heat up over time.
Your Trusted Solution for Electrical Problems
For the most reliable and efficient electrical testing Brisbane has to offer, make a connection with Electrolite Electrical Contractors today. With more than 20 years’ combined electrical experience, we have the answer for any of your commercial and residential needs. Contact Electrolite now on 07 3712 0653 or email us at email@example.com.
You don’t need a light bulb moment to realise that lighting contributes significantly to your power bill. With traditional incandescent light bulbs no longer sold in Australia, two energy-efficient alternatives have emerged. While both CFLs and LEDs are a big improvement over incandescent bulbs in terms of cost and efficiency, we have compared the merits of the two to determine the best option for homeowners going forward.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
CFLs are basically smaller versions of full fluorescent lights, the kind you would see in classrooms as children or office buildings now. Modern CFLs produce a warmer light than these examples, and can be difficult to distinguish from traditional incandescent lights. After incandescent lights were phased out, CFLs emerged as the preferred alternative for most as they could screw directly into lamp sockets and produce similar results.
In terms of efficiency, CFLs are a huge improvement over incandescent lights, producing the same light while using approximately one-fifth of the energy. CFLs are also good at producing light that radiates spherically, in a similar way to incandescent bulbs. For this reason, they are considered ideal for living rooms and table lamps. At present CFLs are the cheaper option, and while that means a smaller bill when fitting out your house, it’s worth considering that LEDs last significantly longer and will save you money into the future.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
In simple terms, LEDs are just tiny light bulbs that are easily fitted into electrical circuits. When arranged in a cluster inside a bulb, LEDs produce a surprising amount of light, and as they don’t have a filament they do so without generating much heat.
LEDs are growing more and more popular as they become cheaper to buy. While your initial outlay with LEDs is higher than with CFLs, LEDs will prove cheaper in the long run as they are extremely durable and long-lasting. LEDs also use marginally less watts than CFLs to create the same amount of light, making them the more efficient option in the short and long term.
The light produced by LEDs is more directional that CFLs, so they don’t illuminate entire rooms quite so well. We feel this is a small price to pay though when considering the savings. Also, LEDs produce light immediately, whereas some CFLs take up to three minutes to ‘warm up’ and reach their full brightness.
Efficiency Means Savings
On balance, we feel the financial savings, durability and ever-improving manufacturing of LED light bulbs make them the superior option.
For those who want more information, energyrating.gov.au have produced a Light Bulb Buyers Guide that tells you all you need to know when considering the two products.
In the past we would look to the amount of watts used to determine the brightness and function of a light bulb. These days, the ‘lumens’ produced by a bulb is much more relevant than the watts. When searching for bulbs that suit certain rooms or applications, the lumens figure is what you need to pay most attention to. Both CFLs and LEDs are offered in a range of ‘colour temperatures’, allowing you to customise your home to your own preferences.
For any electrical services in Brisbane, Kenmore, Chapel Hill, Forest Lake or surrounding areas, get in touch with us here at Electrolite. Experience the difference offered by our team of reliable, dedicated professionals by calling us on (07) 3712 0653 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the nights get colder and energy usage increases, now is the perfect time to ensure your electrical systems are safe and up to scratch.
But for those who have never hired an electrician before, some questions may linger. How do I know I’m getting what I paid for, and what proof do I have that the work has been fully completed and that there have been no corners cut? Everyone knows a horror story involving shoddy or incomplete work from a tradie, but in electrical contracting there is an important safeguard for Australian customers.
Certificate of Testing and Compliance
Whenever any electrical work is conducted in Australia, the contractor must provide the customer with an electrical compliance certificate detailing exactly what they have undertaken.
In Queensland this document is known as a ‘Certificate of Testing and Compliance’ for installation work, or a ‘Certificate of Testing and Safety’ for equipment work. In the same way you get a receipt with major purchases, this certificate gives you peace of mind and clear proof that the work has been undertaken by an accredited electrician.
The document looks like this:
Why must contractors provide a certificate?
It is a legal requirement for all electricians operating in Queensland to provide an electrical compliance certificate to customers as soon as possible after the completion of their work, in addition to keeping a copy of the certificate on file for five years. Queensland electricians are permitted to use their own version of this form, as long as it contains all of the necessary information listed above, including;
- The customer’s name and address
- As much detail as possible on the work undertaken
- The date the work was completed
- The license number of the electrical contractor who completed the work
For more on Queensland’s electrical safety standards, visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au.
Contact us at Electrolite
Our team of master electricians can offer you a wealth of experience and peace of mind for all your commercial and residential electrical needs. Don’t hesitate to call us on (07) 3712 0653 for more information. We service locations across Brisbane, including Chapel Hill and other Western suburbs.
When you sleep, your sense of smell does too – which means you can easily be overcome by toxic fumes during a fire. This is why effective smoke alarms are so important.
From the 1st of January 2017, new smoke alarm regulations were put into place for homeowners, landlords and property managers. Under these new regulations, every Queensland residence needs to be fitted with photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms in all bedrooms as well as in hallways or between areas containing bedrooms. Find out more about photoelectric alarms.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said the changes followed the recommendations handed down after the 2011 Slacks Creek fatal house fire. These regulations are intended to ensure that Queensland’s households are among the safest in the country. He said a 10-year rollout will give Queenslanders sufficient time to ensure they have the right smoke alarms installed in their property.
What do these smoke alarm regulations mean for existing properties?
From 1st January 2017:
- Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms which comply with Australian Standards (AS) 3786-2014. (Note: the date should be stamped on the back).
- Smoke alarms that do not operate when tested must be replaced immediately.
- Existing hardwired smoke alarms that need replacement, must be replaced with a hardwired photoelectric smoke alarm.
- It is also recommended that:
- smoke alarms be either hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery; and
- ionisation smoke alarms be replaced with a photoelectric type as soon as possible.
- For the best protection smoke alarms should be installed on each storey:
- in every bedroom
- in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling
- if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey; and
- if there are no bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm should be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.
- All smoke alarms should be interconnected.
- To get everyone out safely during a house fire, it is essential to also have a well-practised fire escape plan.
From 1st January 2027:
- All private homes, townhouses and units will require hardwired photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms. If a hardwired smoke alarm cannot be installed, non-removable 10-year battery smoke alarms can be installed in place.
- The legislation requires smoke alarms must be installed in the following locations:
- on each storey
- in each bedroom
- in hallways that connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling
- if there is no hallway, between the bedroom and other parts of the storey; and
- if there are no bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.
- When it is time for your property’s alarms to be upgraded, those alarms must:
- be photoelectric and comply with Australian Standard 3786-2014
- not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
- be less than 10 years old; and
- operate when tested; and
- be interconnected with every other ‘required’ smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.
Electrical accidents in Australian homes cause 15 deaths and over 300 injuries every year. Most of these accidents can be avoided by installing safety switches. Although it is now law for new properties to be fitted with safety switches, there are many Australian homes that don’t yet have them.
Safety switches are often confused with circuit breakers and fuses, but they actually perform a different task. Fuses and circuit breakers protect against short circuits and current overloads, whereas only safety switches can protect people from electric shock.
What is a safety switch?
Safety switches monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit and turn off the power in a fraction of a second if a leakage of current is detected. Safety switches provide personal protection against electric shock – these simple and inexpensive devices can save lives.
The are three main types of safety switches:
- switchboard safety switches
- power point safety switches
- portable safety switches
How many safety switches do you need?
At the very least, your home should have safety switches installed on all the main power circuits. For optimal safety, they should be fitted to any area that has a circuit point within your home. This includes circuits that control hot water, air conditioning, stoves and lighting. A good electrician will advise you on where you need to install safety switches.
Test your switches
You need to test your safety switches every 3 months, to check that they are working properly.
What you need to do:
- Let everyone know you are about to test your safety switches, especially if they’re using a computer or recording something on TV – the testing process will cut power to those circuits connected to the safety switch.
- At the switchboard, press the T’ or ‘Test’ button located on the safety switch. If it flicks off and cuts the power, it is working. Check to see which lights or appliances are now off – these are protected by the safety switch. If it has not cut the power to the connected circuit, then you are no longer protected and should talk to a licensed electrician as soon as you can.
- After testing, turn the safety switch back on. Depending on the safety switch type, push it back upwards or twist it into the ‘on’ position. For circuits with a refrigerator or air conditioner, wait for two to three minutes before resetting to avoid possible appliance damage.
For more information, see Worksafe QLD.
We can install or update your safety switches
Our residential and commercial electricians can make sure that your home or workplace is as safe as possible by installing or updating your safety switches. Contact us on 3712 0653 to find out more.
Are you tired of spending way too much money on running your air conditioning? But maybe you just can’t see yourself giving up the A/C completely? Here are some tips for running your air con efficiently AND saving money on those monthly bills.
Want to know how much your A/C costs to run? You can calculate your annual appliance running costs on the Government of South Australia website.
You don’t need to be freezing, you just need to be comfortable!
We know it’s hot, but that doesn’t mean you need to set your thermostat to 15 degrees! Set the temperature to the highest you can stand. The best temperatures to go by are about 25ºC in summer and 19ºC in winter. Even a small adjustment to your usual temperature can make a big difference to your monthly bills. According to Ergon, every one degree cooler in summer adds around 10% to the amount of electricity the aircon uses, and this can add up really quickly!
Maintain your A/C unit
Making sure that your air conditioning unit is properly maintained can not only make your air conditioner more efficient, it can also reduce your electricity bill. What can you do? At the very least, make sure that the filter is regularly cleaned or replaced (you should be cleaning it about once a month) and dust the vents and any exterior components often. If you don’t have the time (or the inclination) to keep your air conditioner well-maintained, have a professional carry out a service.
Close your windows and curtains
Close your windows and curtains and blinds when using your aircon, as a window that lets in sunshine will heat up the thermostat and force your aircon to work harder than necessary to cool your room. Closing the curtains/blinds also insulates the space and stops the cold air from escaping.
Location is key
The location of your air conditioner has a big impact on its energy efficiency. If you rent a property you don’t have much control over your A/C positioning, you can skip this tip!
While it may seem convenient to place your unit in a position that won’t tarnish the exterior of your home, your unit should be in a shady spot that is away from direct sunlight, and it should not be obstructed by any plants/shrubs or other objects. Although A/C units aren’t the prettiest accompaniments to your home, making sure the outdoor unit is free to breathe will improve its ventilation and make sure it runs efficiently. Also, make sure the thermostat is positioned away from any other appliances that create heat – if the thermostat gets hot, it won’t control the temperature properly.
Put it on ‘dry’ mode
Not all air conditioning units have a dry feature, but if yours does, you will see a small water drop symbol as well as the common snowflake. Dry mode lowers warm temperatures by reducing the humidity in the air, and is particularly helpful in tropical climates where the humidity is awful but the temperature isn’t actually too bad.
Dry mode uses much less energy than cool mode because the compressor runs at a slower pace. How does dry mode work? Well, the aircon doesn’t actually blow out any cold air. Instead, it works like a dehumidifier – the air in the room passes through the A/C unit and the water vapour condenses on the evaporator. Dry air then exits the unit and flows back into the room. Using dry mode is a really effective way to keep your home temperature comfortable.
A few more air conditioning tips…
- Don’t run the aircon unless it’s really necessary
- Turn the A/C off (or up the temperature) overnight
- Try to only cool the room to 8 degrees lower than the outside temperature
- If possible, don’t do things that will increase the room’s humidity (i.e. avoid taking a hot shower, using a dryer or cooking a roast!)
- Use ceiling fans! Fans use much less energy than air conditioning units. When used in tandem with your A/C, fans also circulate the cool air and make the room feel much cooler (even when your aircon is blowing at a reasonable 25ºC).
Getting an electrician in can sometimes seem pretty routine. A simple job needs doing, or an uncomplicated problem needs fixing – it’s nothing worth thinking about too much.
But there are some instances in which getting an electrician can save you a lot of money in the long run – or potentially even save lives.
Sound dramatic? It is!
Read on for 5 common situations that call for a professional electrician.
The only way to find out if your electrical appliances and systems are overheated? Get a professional electrician to perform comprehensive thermal scanning and imaging throughout your place.
There’s simply no way to tell if your appliances are running hot otherwise, and if you don’t get it checked fairly regularly, these problems can escalate into a catastrophe.
Find out more about our thermal scan services and get your home checked.
When you’re leasing property
It’s a requirement for landlords or the Body Corporate to properly maintain your tenants’ electricity. It’s also a surefire way to keep your tenants happy. Luckily, Electrolite specialise in maintaining rental properties for a wide range of clients.
Have a look into our rental property maintenance services.
Unfortunately, installing an air conditioner isn’t quite as simple as plugging it in and letting it rip. You’ll need an experienced technician to guide you through the process and fix up any loose ends that come about.
Experienced technicians can even help you determine the right brand and the right model for your needs. This is particularly important, because when you’ve got the right model, you can keep running costs to an absolute minimum.
Read about our air conditioning services and see if they’re right for you.
If you’re planning on major home renovations, pay attention to what’s happening with your electrical setup. Does it need to be changed or upgraded? Does anything need to be moved around? If so, you need an electrician.
And… basically always
In Australia, it’s illegal to perform DIY electrical renovations. Even if you think you know what you’re doing, you’re putting your safety, as well as your insurance, at risk.
For this reason, you need a professional electrician whenever you’re updating your appliances or planning to make changes to your electrical systems at home.
Get an electrician
If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you and you need an electrician in Brisbane, contact Electrolite today. We’ll be more than happy to help with any of your electrical needs.
The five things you must know this summer
In South East Queensland, summer seems to arrive earlier every year! And that means it’s more important than ever to make sure you have the right split system air-conditioner installed for your home.
Get the wrong split system installed, and you could be paying for the decision for years. Higher power bills, inefficient heating and cooling, and an air-conditioner that works harder than it needs to (resulting in a shorter service life) are just some of the problems that can commonly occur.
So how do you go about choosing the right split system for your needs? We asked the Electrolite team to share their top five tips for finding the right air-conditioner for summer.
1. Consider EVERY aspect of the room you want cooled
Just about every air-conditioner installer will take into account the size of the room you want cooled. But there’s a lot more involved in getting the ideal split system for your needs.
It’s important to take an in-depth look at your situation, and consider every variable of the room to be air-conditioned. For example, air-conditioning installers should look at the aspect of the room – if the main wall faces west your air-conditioner will tend to use a lot more energy to cool the room in the afternoon sun.
We’ll think about the number of windows in the room and even whether you have curtains, to calculate how much energy is lost through your windows. And we’ll talk to you about the way you live in both summer and winter, to ensure you get a reverse cycle system that will keep you comfortable all year round.
2. Get advice from a qualified electrician
There are good reasons why it pays to choose a qualified electrician to install your air-con. For example, if you’re installing a brand new air-conditioner in your home, it will add an additional burden to your home’s switchboard. Is it capable of handling the extra load?
As qualified electricians, the Electrolite team can assess your existing switchboard and advise you on whether it is sufficient to safely handle the new electrical load, or whether you would be better off having a new switchboard installed.
3. Consider the placement of indoor and outdoor air-con units
Of course, a split system air-conditioner uses an indoor and an outdoor unit – and both of them will benefit from a little care and thought before installation.
For example, your outdoor air-con unit should be positioned so that noise doesn’t unnecessarily impact your neighbours. Wall mounting the outdoor unit at least 2 metres off the ground gives room to sweep or hose beneath.
Inside your home, it’s important that the indoor air-on unit is installed neatly, straight and level, with its filters easily accessible for maintenance. All these little things can add up to make a big difference to the liveability of your home.
4. Choose the right brand of air-conditioner for your needs
Our Electrolite air-con installers have wide experience with all brands of air-conditioner. We’ll be happy to advise you on which air-con brands offer the best efficiency, reliability, and effectiveness for your home.
While we supply and install all air-conditioner brands, we are happy to recommend Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as a consistent performer across all these criteria. Talk to Electrolite to find out more.
5. Look for an air-con installer with real attention to detail
Your home’s split system air-conditioner is a long-term investment. So when you’re having it installed, it pays to do the job right and work with proper attention to detail.
Things like correctly installing the air-conditioner drain into your home’s downpipe, or making use of a plumbing tundish to ensure that waste water can’t re-enter the air-con system. Or taking into account the prevailing winds around your home, so that your air-conditioner fans don’t have to work harder than they have to.
Talk to Electrolite to find your ideal split system air-conditioner
For advice and assistance on finding the ideal split system air-conditioner for your home, talk to the experienced Electrolite team. We will be happy to come to your home to carry out an in-home inspection, and advise you on the best air-conditioning solution for your needs.
Call Electrolite on 3712 0653 or get in touch today using the form below.