Blowing Hot Air? Six Signs That It’s Time for an AC Replacement

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.

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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.

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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 admin@electrolite.com.au.


New QLD Smoke Alarm Regulations in Place

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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.

Find out the new smoke alarm regulations for new builds or renovations and properties for sale or lease.

Contact Us

To find out more about these new smoke alarm regulations visit QFES and don’t hesitate to contact us.


Why Your Property Needs Safety Switches

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Image from www.sa.gov.au

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.


5 critical situations where you’ll need an electrician in Brisbane

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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.

 

Overheated appliances

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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.

 

Installing A/C

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.

 

Renovations

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

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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.


Your guide to split system air-conditioner installation

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.