Over the past decade, the demand for split system air conditioners has increased steadily in the Australian market. The yearning is most pronounced in the residential sector, where over 600,000 homes have bought A/Cs annually. As per market experts, this trend is still thriving and will continue to soar in the coming times.
Take a Look at what Google Trends has to show:
However, along with the rising needs, the complaints, too, are cropping up. Problems are arising due to improper installation and noisy operation of these machines. This is indeed harming the livability of the country by large.
Our only saviour is none but us. Manufacturers or suppliers, installers or consumers, everyone needs to follow the best practices for installation of A/Cs in residential sectors.
Here are some of the government-approved and expert-suggested advices to support the use of these cooling devices without making the environment stress out. Read on.
Plumbing Rules for Split System Air Conditioners in Melbourne:
The rules have been laid especially for the safe discharge of the machine’s condensate and to ensure the proper fixing of the condenser unit. According to the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), which is a part of the Plumbing Regulations 2008, installation of sanitary plumbing systems is necessary for split system air conditioners in Melbourne.
The code says, a residential air conditioning device should be compliant with HB 276: A Guide to Good Practice for Energy Efficient Installation of Residential Heating, Cooling & Air Conditioning Plant & Equipment.
• The drain material must fit the purpose. For instance, if plastic is used, it should be sustainable in direct sunlight.
• Sometimes, the condensate of the indoor unit needs to be pumped till its ‘drainage termination point.’ In such a case, the pump should be easily accessible for service and maintenance.
• Discharge of condensate can be done onto a garden bed, concrete surface, downpipe, or even a sanitary draining system through a tundish to a fixture trap.
• As a bare minimum, the surface used for discharge should be far from the place where the AC has been installed, lest it creates ponding.
• Also, the discharge should not pose a threat to pedestrians or alter the moisture conditions of nearby buildings.
• Condenser units mounted on balconies can also lead to discharge nuisance. So, a safe tray should be provided so that ice buildup can be prevented and drainage can be proper.
• The edge of a balcony when used as a discharge location, turns into a nuisance as well. Instead, the drain should be extended to a stormwater or sanitary system.
• If you are placing the condenser unit of a metal deck roof, make sure that the structure can support the weight.
• If you are using timber as support, it should be red gum so that the roof does not stain. For further protection, the red gum can be coated with paint.
• Never place timber bearers in blocks. Rather, put a large, solid mass.
• Outdoor unit mounted on the ground should have enough space for ventilation and secured to the wall with the help of brackets.
Wiring Rules for split system installation in Melbourne
According to the Australian Standard for Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000:2007), all electrical contractors are required to work in compliance with the set guidelines relevant to split system installation in Melbourne. This holds true for domestic as well as commercial installations.
The latest amendment to the AS/NZS 3000:2007 was made in December 2012; the focus was primarily on heat pump systems and air conditioners. As per the amendment,
• Cooling devices like ACs and heat pumps that have compressors should be incorporated with ‘lockable isolating switch.’ This switch should be placed next to the unit.
• In split systems, this switch should be installed in the outdoor unit.
• Additionally, it can also be installed in the switchboard, if the latter is entirely devoted to the functioning of the device.
• An ‘isolator’ needs to be installed in all ACs regardless of the product or the type of power connection used (whether 2-pin or 3-pin). The isolator should be installed near the compressor unit.
• Only electrical cables that are enclosed in conduits should be connected with the pipe work. Use of plastic cable bindings and PVC tapes is no longer acceptable.
• Last, but not the least, the electrical setup for an AC must comply with the instructions laid by the manufacturer. This is the sole responsibility of the contractor.
Source: Wiring Rules
Guidelines on Noise Reduction in ACs
A noisy AC is enough to piss of neighbours and lower down the standards of daily activities. It is a public nuisance which is even harmful to human health. The Environment Protection Act 1997 and the Environment Protection Regulation 2005 needs consumers to follow certain legal obligations.
Accordingly, noise zones have been defined keeping in consideration the Territory Plan. For instance, 60 dB (A) noise is acceptable in Civic Centre and other major areas from 7am to 10 pm on weekdays and 8am to 10pm on Sundays and public holidays. The noise level lowers to 50 dB (A) from 10pm to 7am on weekdays and 10pm to 8am on Sundays and public holidays.
Similarly, Group Centres have the acceptable limits of 55 dB (A) and 45dB (A) respectively. Smaller local centres have 50dB (A) and 35dB (A), and Residential Zones have 45dB (A) and 35dB (A).
How To Shop For An AC In Australia
- Check the labelled sound power level. Smaller the number, quieter would be the device.
- Compare levels in ACs of the same capacity.
- A 60 dB device can still meet the noise limits of 45 dB (A) because the power level will decrease with an increase in the distance from the unit.
Source: Installation of air conditioners
The rage of air conditioners Australia will exponentially grow as the mercury acts funny in the country. Gather as much knowledge about the legal and suggested best practices you can find and gear up for the installation of a cooling device that is environmentally agreeable.
Remember, the problems with machines are always human-created and only humans can set them right.