Given the importance of efficiency, value and cost when it comes to an air conditioning unit, Direct Air understand the necessity of a good air conditioning design. An ill-designed air conditioning system not only costs you more on your energy bill, but it also makes it more difficult for our technicians to repair and maintain during service calls.
To this end, if you’re a custom home builder, or simply want to design an efficient home comfort system within your existing home, Direct Air technicians are exceptionally qualified and professionally trained for the job.
One of the first things you need to have performed for good air conditioning design are load calculations. This further entails proper utilization of computer software programs in understanding the parameters of the system you have designed – so that everything comes out correctly and that the physical system operates properly once installed.
Air conditioning system design hinges on a properly-designed duct system. If anything goes awry here, the entire system is compromised, and you’ll experience operational inefficiencies that only get worse; costing you money every moment.
The ducts are responsible for moving conditioned air throughout your house after the AC unit removes the heat from it. Direct Air’s certified technicians always make sure to adhere to the computer-rendered optimal system design, so that you don’t experience higher energy bills, poor air quality, loud noises and general discomfort. Having the right-sized ducts placed correctly is essential to the air flow in the system.
These systems are not typically the most efficient choice but can deliver good comfort regardless of climate. Both efficiency as well as outright purchase cost can vary a lot from one unit to another, so careful consideration of the optimum unit size for your home is important.
Inverter technology has been a major step forward for Refrigerated Coolers and can deliver energy savings of up to 40 percent. Whether your choice is hi-wall split, ducted or multi-split, these systems must be installed by a Direct Air licensed refrigeration mechanic and electrician.
With the indoor unit mounted either on the wall or floor remote from the outdoor compressor unit, Split Systems are some of the most efficient domestic air conditioners, particularly those using inverter technology. As the name implies, multi-splits run more than one indoor unit from a single compressor.
For large areas or whole homes, ducted air conditioning systems are a discreet and efficient choice. How the ducting is installed is vital to efficiency – joints must be carefully sealed, and insulation rated to at least R1.5. It is also a great benefit if the roof has foil insulation installed. These systems can be zoned to cool only rooms or areas that are in use and zoned flexibility also allows different air conditioning to be applied in various rooms, say for sleeping.
How does a unit that supplies cool air…also heat your home?
Reverse cycle air conditioners, for both cooling and heating, use an air-to-air heat exchanger, like that used in a refrigerator. They shed heat extracted from the room to the outside environment when cooling, and from the outside air into the room when in heating mode.
Evaporating water naturally creates a cooling affect – and this is at the core of all Evaporative systems. This is why these systems are at their best in warm, dry climates with low humidity. Evaporative Cooling systems deliver far fewer satisfying results in humid climates. Evaporative Cooling relies on having some doors or windows open so that warm air can escape from the house.
Low operating costs are a benefit of Evaporative Cooling because only the fan and a small water pump use energy. It is always best to be careful to choose a unit with an efficient fan design. Evaporative systems have a side benefit you may not have considered – they create a mildly ‘pressurised’ environment inside a home that can help keep out insects and dust.
‘Out of season’ an Evaporative system can lose a lot of air through the cooling unit in the room, so it is wise to check that the unit you choose has an efficient sealing mechanism to prevent this, as well as ceiling ducts that can be closed.
A great advantage of both efficient Reverse Cycle Air Conditioners and Gas Heaters is that they produce only around 33 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions created by old-fashioned electric heaters. In fact, reverse cycle units rated at 5 stars or above are even more efficient, emitting less than a fifth of the greenhouse gases that ordinary electric heaters do.
Comparing is simple – Reverse Cycle Air Conditioners and Gas Heaters each have energy rating labels that act as an at-a-glance guide.
So, do you want to heat your entire home, or just a couple of rooms? Perhaps even just one room? The decision regarding the areas you wish to heat is a huge influence on the air conditioning design of your system.
Often, Central Heating systems heat the while home, regardless of whether some individual rooms are occupied or not…not an efficient move. Space Heating generally heats only the room where it is installed. The best rule of thumb, of course, is ‘heat only the rooms that are in use!’ The ideal paths to efficiency are Space Heating of just the occupied rooms, or zoned Central Heating that gives you the flexibility to ‘switch off’ rooms you don’t have to heat at any given time.
Generally speaking, Central Heating uses more energy than Space Heating because as a rule, it’s used to heat more of your house – a bigger area. Having said that, a home that is energy-efficient and uses Central Heating will often burn less energy than an inefficient house with Space Heating. But efficiency is more than just, say, open windows or draughty door gaps. Sub-standard quality Central Heating installations can lose energy through poor distribution systems – needlessly long ducting that is leaky or poorly insulated.
Likewise, properly insulated houses that benefit from some sunny rooms don’t always achieve comfort with a centrally located thermostat, because rooms with different aspects or window positioning will cool down faster than others.
Ducted heating systems circulate hot air through ducts in the roof or under the floor, using either gas or Reverse Cycle air conditioning to provide the heat.
Control is vital for best efficiency – good air conditioning design and an efficient home needs the flexibility to shut heating off in unoccupied rooms. Ducted gas systems rely on an electric fan to move the heated air around the home. The highest rated systems use very efficient motors and fans with controllable speed to help reduce the electric component of your running costs.
Size matters, too – choosing the right size unit for your home is another important step in efficient air conditioning design. Ducts need to be the correct size, too (this affects efficient air flow), joints must be well sealed, and the ducts need to be rated at R1.5 as a minimum.
While floor outlets can have an advantage because hot air naturally rises, properly designed ceiling outlets can also work well in homes that are free from draughts and air leaks.
Every system needs to be able to breathe, so returns from all outlets back into the intake circuit of the system are important. Without returns warm air escapes and the system breathes in cold air, ruining efficiency.
If you are planning to upgrade your existing air conditioning system or about to build a new home, air conditioning design is a vital step to efficiency, value and cost. Call your local Direct Air dealer for a free over the phone or in-home quote and advice, call 1300 000 120 or click here to contact us.