How Do Energy Efficiency Labels Work?

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.

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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.

Energy Efficiency Labels Work-blog

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.

To secure the services of Electrolite for air conditioner installation in Brisbane and surrounding areas, send us an email at admin@electrolite.com.au or call 07 3712 0653.


New Mitsubishi Heavy Industries AC – Introducing the Avanti Range

New Mitsubishi Heavy Industries AC-blog

 

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.

View the Avanti Brochure

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.


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries New Bronte Range A/C

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!

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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.”

View the Bronte brochure

 

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:

  • Daikin
  • Mitsubishi
  • Panasonic
  • Fujitsu
  • Teco
  • Actron

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.


7 Signs You Need to Hire an Electrician

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.

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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

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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 admin@electrolite.com.au.


CFL or LED? Which Is The Most Efficient Light Bulb for Your Home?

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)

 

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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)

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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.

Experience Electrolite

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 admin@electrolite.com.au.


Consumer Protection – The Need For An Electrical Compliance Certificate

electrician-Certificate of Testing and Compliance

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:

Certificate of Testing and Compliance-blog

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.


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.