Installation & Placement of Air-con Units

Related Posts
1 Choosing an Air Conditioner
2 Energy Saving Tips for Air Conditioners
3 Installation & Placement of Air-con Units
4 Air Conditioner Cooling Algorithm

Insulation
Ever wondered why there is condensation on aircon trunking inside the home?

If the insulation material used to cover the copper pipe is not effective or thick enough, water will condense around the plastic trunking in the home as the climate here is very humid and hot all-year-round.

The dealer knows about the condensation problem. But instead of doing a proper aircon installation, some dealers provide inferior (read: cheaper) or inadequate insulation foam knowing the consumer will experience the condensation problem subsequently - hoping to entice the customer into paying more for the proper (read: specified or correct) insulation material.

This is outrageous!

Every consumer, I believe, has the right to expect an air con to be installed correctly and properly (read: as specified by the aircon manufacturer) to meet local environmental and climactic conditions. And that includes proper insulation so that water condensation problems do not occur on the trunking. If a dealer uses substandard materials during installation, and there is water condensation on the trunking, the dealer should rectify and correct the installation.

Far from it -- instead of admitting responsibility, the dealer is quick to lay the blame on the consumer.   The dealer will brazenly tell the consumer that because he did not agree to pay for thicker insulation material, inferior insulation material was used, resulting in condensation on the trunking. Outrageous!!

And so, in the absence of strong consumer protection laws here, consumers have no choice but to timidly pay up for the proper (and manufacturer specified) insulation foam.

What will dealers think of next to inflate profits?  Extended warranty?  Thicker copper piping? Leakage prevention?

Trunking for Pipes

So like everyone else, I paid up meekly for 1/2-inch Armaflex insulation foam because I know full well the consequences of  not having the proper insulation foam for my aircon trunking.  But not before I checked that I got what I paid good money for.

Quality Materials Used

As the materials used will be concealed inside the trunking, check the materials for quality and specifications, such as 1/2-inch Class 1 Armaflex insulator foam, before installation commences.  Armaflex is a registered trademark of Armacell, the world's largest and foremost insulation manufacturer.



Indeed, I found that Armaflex is the registered trademark of Armacell, the world's leading producer of insulation foam.  Armacell is the global market leader in foams technology. The company invented Armaflex®, the world's best known and most trusted trademark in elastomeric foam insulation. With more than 50 years of experience in foams, Armacell manufactures foams and expanded rubber products for automotive, industrial, sports, leisure and packaging industries -- in addition to mechanical insulation.

Class '1' Armaflex (Fire Performance, BS 476 Part 7 1997) is a dust free, fiber free CFC & HCFC free (ozone depletion potential of zero), flexible, black, closed cell, elastomeric nitrile rubber insulation providing a highly efficient method of controlling condensation and insulating against both heat loss and heat gain.

Placement of Air-con Units
Before you call in the aircon installers, you should study your apartment interior to decide where and how you want to run the trunking.  This is important particularly for those living in flats where the trunking is exposed and not concealed behind a partition board or wall.

Living Area: MSXY-GA26VA Starmex 26,000 BTU Inverter R410A Fancoil Unit

To minimize the risk of water flowing back into the fancoil unit and dripping onto the floor, I generally prefer to run the trunking along the bottom near the floor line.  You should also check that the installer uses a water or spirit level to ensure the proper gradient of the piping so that water flows properly to the drainage outlet in the bathroom.

To minimize heat gain, the fancoil units, where it is practical to do so, should be sited as near as possible to the compressor.

Finally, place the fancoil so that the blower fan blows directly into the area you wish to cool.  A central location along the wall near the ceiling is preferred to a corner location in this respect.

You don't need to locate the 15-amp socket near the compressor but you need to locate the 15-amp socket along the trunking so that the electrical wire could be concealed in the trunking.



Drainage pipe
Don't let the installer decide without seeking your direction on where and how to run the drainage discharge pipe.  You let them be, and they will simply install wherever and whichever is most convenient for them.  In my case, I specifically directed them to install the drainage pipe so that the water is discharged as near as possible to the bathroom drainage hole.  What they had wanted to do was to run the drainage pipe to the near end, instead of the far end, of the bathroom.  The near end meant less work for the installer, and the water would flow across the bathroom floor to the far end where the bathroom hole was located.

Drainage Pipe

The installer used a blow-torch to soften the plastic pipe (which was pointing upwards!) and bent it downwards so that water will flow smoothly out to the drainage hole.

Installation
Usually the location for the compressor is pre-determined for you if you live in a HDB flat. Such as a specially constructed air-con compressor ledge, usually located in the kitchen yard or on an external window ledge.

Installation - getting down to work

In my case, my flat was built in the early eighties when an aircon ledge was not provided for in the basic design of the apartment, and so I had to decide where to place the compressor.  I could place the compressor outside the MBR, for which HDB had provided a cut-out hole in the wall.

However, I decided to site the compressor below the window in the dining room.  That way we would not be disturbed by the sound of the compressor operating in the night outside the bedroom window.  Moreover, the dining room location was less exposed to direct sunlight and more "centrally" located to all the fancoil units.  This resulted in a shorter trunking (read: less heat loss, more effective cooling) between the fancoils and the compressor.

Some have advocated placing the fancoil so that the cool air does not blow directly on the occupant(s).  This is bad advice!  Very bad advice indeed. You know what? I site the fancoil so that the cold air blows directly onto the occupants who wanted cooling!

The purpose of installing an aircon is to cool down the room quickly and effectively, and then to maintain the room at an optimum and comfortable level i.e. neither too hot nor too cold.  If the air con doesn't blow directly at the space you want to cool, but instead blows the cold air somewhere else, it will take a longer time before the room becomes comfortably cold enough for you.

In the past, aircons did not have vanes that automatically direct the airflow around the room, so that once the room had cooled down, cold spots would develop as the aircon continued to blow directly at the same spot in the room.

Or even where the vane swung from side-to-side, the occupants would feel frigid and uncomfortable when the cold air continued to blow on them after the room had cooled down sufficiently.  This was because there was no mechanism to reduce the airflow automatically and to reset the room temperature automatically once the room has reached the desired (cold) temperature.

Today, however, air cons are designed with a host of new innovations: not only do aircons have vanes that swing left and right, they also rotate up and down.  And some are linked to fan motor speeds: to "push" out a higher or lower volume of cold air as the occasion warrants it.

I mounted the Starmex fancoil unit, for instance, directly above the MBR window, which was a short distance to the compressor. Now, with this placement, if I feel uncomfortably hot as I go to bed, I could turn on the aircon, and it will immediately shoot out a direct blast (because I set it so) of cold air to cool me down fast as I lie on the bed. Refreshing!

MBR: MSXY-GA10VA Starmex 9,000 BTU Inverter R410A Fancoil Unit

Few minutes later, after my body has cooled down, I will set the remote control to "I Feel.." auto operation mode.  That automatically sets the aircon to produce the optimum room condition for sleep with a one-touch operation.  And I could not hear any motor sound from the fancoil, only feel the cool air.  Amazing! I really love my Starmex !


Related Posts
1 Choosing an Air Conditioner
2 Energy Saving Tips for Air Conditioners
3 Installation & Placement of Air-con Units
4 Air Conditioner Cooling Algorithm

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