Jump to content

Air-conditioning
the good the bad the ugly..


  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#1 mpoppins92

Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:22 PM

Dp and I are building our first house and although we are at the earliest stages of construction, we are thinking about air con (so we can save for it), and have discussed with some friends, only to find their advice completely useless and sometimes just plain odd. (We were told to get a pool instead... in our tiny courtyard.. with our oodles of money?  rolleyes.gif )

So I turn to EB where I am assuming many a member has advice to offer me on the air con issue.

Here is some information which you may or may not need..

-The area we are building in is pretty hot, although we are under 2kms from the beach so the sea breeze is nice.

-The house is smallish.. 3x2 with a theatre

-I was thinking of wall units in the master (front of house) family/kitchen area, and 2 smaller bedrooms

-People have told us not to worry about the smaller bedrooms as we wont sleep in them. However, this house will eventually be a rental and I think tenants would prefer aircon in those rooms, especially if they are kids bedrooms, which is highly likely in the area as it's very much families with young kids friendly

-DP thinks evap is useless without ceiling fans, I hate ceiling fans because they're ugly (to me)

-I'd like to be able to only operate air con in the room we are in, there's only two of us and if we're both asleep it seems silly for the rest of the house to be cooled aswell..

So sell me your air cons! And if you rent, how high do you rate air cons? In which parts of the house are they most important?

Also renters feel free to tell me other things you do or don't appreciate

biggrin.gif TIA

#2 GoBack2Bed

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:17 PM

I personally have rented places with refrigerated air cons and these give me chest infections every time so we prefer evaporative. The downside is really humid days it's practically useless but our climate is generally fine. We love it as it cools the house without the noise or full on fans blowing.

#3 -Belinda-

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:24 PM


We have evaporative with no ceiling fans and it works just fine. In Melbourne though, so not many humid days. Is cheap to run and quiet, so able to leave on low all night when needed - great for the kids. Gets the house down to about 25 degrees, which is enough.

#4 sandy_1985

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:25 PM

We’re renters; DH won’t consider a house without one! Must have one in the living areas. Portable fans are good for night time sleeping and can be picked up from electrical places cheaply.
Are you in a humid location, I recall someone telling me that Evaps don’t work when it is humid?

#5 *LucyE*

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:32 PM

I'd get a zoned ducted system.

It may seem like over kill but it is fabulous. I'm in QLD where the humidity makes evaporative air con next to useless on the hot days where you really want it.

Ours is zoned so we only turn on the rooms we want. Also the rooms can be individually adjusted for temp. It can't be too great a difference, eg heating one room but cooling another, but it can be altered so one room is warmer and another not so warm but still with it on for airflow.

We have found it is cheaper to heat/cool our whole house with the inverter ducted than previously with our split systems that was only on in the living rooms.

#6 mpoppins92

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:41 PM

Sorry should have said, in WA so yes it is humid

#7 amabanana

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:46 PM

I have a few friends and family with evap cooling and TBH I really dislike it.  I much prefer aircon.  We rarely use it but when it's really hot I just find evap too humid and therefore sticky.

#8 Lyra

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:48 PM

If you are building could you look at making the cooling passive? ie verandahs, lots of insulation, windows facing in the right direction to take advantage of the sun in in winter but not in summer

My mind is going blank at the moment but I know there are lots of things that you can do as you build to minimise the need to have aircon later

#9 Shellby

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:21 PM

If I was building I would go for ducted as well with zones - really the price difference of that to putting in units in different rooms isn't really that different. I guess the downside is when ducted dies you have no A/C until repaired whereas different units means you still have a room cold.

Either way I would be putting A/C in all the rooms - I feel for my boys in summer as we have A/C and they don't and get really hot. I'm trying really hard to save for A/Cs for their rooms before next summer.

Evap cooling is no good with humid weather - that's why it does well in southern areas of Australia but not the rest of Australia. I find when I go somewhere with it I'm just as hot unless I sit right in front of the vent to get that tiny bit of cool air before it disappears into the heat of the room.


#10 Julie3Girls

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:27 PM

I'd go zoned ducted, and make sure the house was designed so you can close off areas.
I'd also make sure I did all the right things with insulation etc to minimise the NEED for the air con. And most of those sorts of things make the air con more efficient anyway, for both heating and cooling.i

#11 Lyn86

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:30 PM

I wouldn't bother putting in individual sitcoms in the minor bedrooms. Can you position the living room ones so that if the doors are open it will flow through, then just put ceiling fans in the minor rooms for airflow?

#12 cinderellainsydney

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:40 PM

Another vote for ducted. I can select areas - which is great, because I love the heat, DD finds it unbearable, and the rooms can be at different temperatures!

In the design stage passive heating and cooling are so important, and so is insulation. Get the suppliers involved at the early stages to help with the design so that you get the most out of it. Otherwise, they can recommend crucial changes but it may be too late...

Ultimately, it doesn't matter even if you have a top of the range system, if all the cold air is leaking out through cracks in your walls, floors, windows and roof you are effectively cooling your neighborhood instead of your home - this is a waste of energy and money. It is more important to ensure the home is well built and insulated, because even a cheap crappy air con can make a huge difference in a well insulated home.

#13 mpoppins92

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:47 PM

Thanks for all your replies ladies!

As for naturally cooling the home, we've been very involved in that process, it's part of the requirement of building where we are and a relative is in the building industry and has given us lots of help on that side of things. The house is designed to make the sea breeze flow through from the alfresco, we had to flip the house so this could be possible, but it means the living area will be coolest.

As we are first home owners I wanted to have to use A/C as little as possible but the heat is pretty unbearable during the Dec - Feb periods. We currently live close to our block and we're finding we need it on to be able to sleep comfortably.

I love the idea of zones.. Just hope it doesn't cost the earth

Lyn 86, the bedrooms are off a hallway so not sure if the air would flow, the hall way needs to be there, or the dining room table would look into the bathroom/toilet.

#14 ~*Amethyst*~

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:33 PM

One of our best investments was our ducted, zoned system - it's a Daikin.

XxxAmethyst

#15 Propaganda

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:40 PM

We have a zoned ducted.

The main "zone," is our bedroom and the living areas (so kitchen, dining and living rooms, there are no doors between these rooms). The other 2 bedrooms can be turned on and off at will.

I love our ducted, and would not consider another house without one.

I do like having ceiling fans too though, for when it's a little bit hot, but not enough to require the air con unit to be one. Ceiling fans are always nicer than pedestal.

#16 roses99

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:55 PM

Definitely zoned ducted.

It might seem more expensive, but as soon as you're considering four split system units, it really does start to become pretty even cost-wise. And, since you've got the benefit of being able to install it as you build, I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up being the cheaper option.

#17 *LucyE*

Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:36 PM

QUOTE
If you are building could you look at making the cooling passive?

We have a lot of those features which is great for most of the year, but when it gets stinking hot, it is soooooo good to be able to turn on the refrigerated air con for some relief.

If you can afford it, put it in and you won't regret it. Ours is a Fujitsu and has been great.

#18 belindarama

Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:46 PM

We have zoned ducted as well. Personally I hate sleeping with the aircon on. I agree that ceiling fans are not the prettiest thins in the world but I would reconsider them. We mostly sleep with the ceiling fans on. They make a huge difference and are incredibly cheap to run in comparison.

They are much nicer than pedestal fans, they give an even breeze and are quiet.  If you work out bed placement and put them over the bed they are fantastic. We also have one over the main sitting area in the family room.

The last hot day here (43 degrees) I couldn't justify turning on the aircon as I was home by myself. Between the design features we used for passive cooling and the ceiling fans I was fine without the aircon on.

#19 unicycle

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:02 AM

we live in a hot, humid area and the  5 split system units are brilliant and cheap to run because: they are inverters ( whatever that means) and the outside parts of the units are in a shaded area that gets a breeze, making the system not have to work nearly so hard.

#20 CharliMarley

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:38 AM

I have just come home to Victoria from Canberra and my daughter's house has evaporative cooling, and I thought it was absolutely useless. Give me refrigerated air con any day. I just didn't feel cool in that house and I cannot see why everyone in Canberra seems to install these useless conditioners. Perhaps it would have worked if they had fans, but I don't know. I was glad to get home to my cooler house.

#21 MrsLexiK

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:55 AM

QUOTE (mpoppins92 @ 03/02/2013, 10:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for all your replies ladies!

As for naturally cooling the home, we've been very involved in that process, it's part of the requirement of building where we are and a relative is in the building industry and has given us lots of help on that side of things. The house is designed to make the sea breeze flow through from the alfresco, we had to flip the house so this could be possible, but it means the living area will be coolest.

As we are first home owners I wanted to have to use A/C as little as possible but the heat is pretty unbearable during the Dec - Feb periods. We currently live close to our block and we're finding we need it on to be able to sleep comfortably.


I am so greatful to the people that built our house doing this, it has meant that even though they are not the prettiest things in the world the ceiling fans have gotten us through the summers perfectly fine.  There is one room which is not designed fantastic and we have chosen that by next year we will have an air con but that is only due to having a baby and most probably spending the most time in that room.  (I believe the other people had the set up a little different to us) At present we just go to the other living area which is fine with the sea breeze and the fan.

I wouldn't bother putting AC in every room, I would only put it in the main living area and maybe your room.  Honestly if it is that hot the kids could bunk out in the living room.  When renting the only thing we worried about was the AC being available in at least one area, be that our bedroom or the living room.  But I don't feel the hot (well this is the first summer I have felt the heat) and don't mind being warmer then a lot of people.

#22 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:21 AM

QUOTE (mpoppins92 @ 03/02/2013, 08:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry should have said, in WA so yes it is humid

if it's humid, evaporative cooling would not be a good choice.

Like other PP have said
- think about passive cooling strategies when building (orientation, window placement and size, insulation, eaves, cross-ventilation, etc)
- they might not be ideal, but ceiling fans are good value.  At least consider them for the bedrooms
- ducted zoned AC sounds like the way to go.  

In our build, we will be having 2 systems - one for the bedrooms, and one for the main living/communal areas.  Reason being is that it need to be one powerful system to do the whole lot.  In the long term for us, we have decided it is better to have 2 smaller systems.  Plus, we can put the ducting in for the bedrooms while we are building (cheaper do it it then) and connect up the AC unit at a later date, IF we decide it's needed.

#23 Soontobegran

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:24 AM

QUOTE (Winterdanceparty @ 04/02/2013, 09:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have just come home to Victoria from Canberra and my daughter's house has evaporative cooling, and I thought it was absolutely useless. Give me refrigerated air con any day. I just didn't feel cool in that house and I cannot see why everyone in Canberra seems to install these useless conditioners. Perhaps it would have worked if they had fans, but I don't know. I was glad to get home to my cooler house.


My brother lives in Canberra and has ducted Evapourative and it is super good because it is not a terribly humid climate...in fact he says it's rare for it to be humid.
The trouble is that people get evapourative and never service them. The pads get dirty and won't let the water flow through thus creating a useless cooling system. Evap should be serviced and cleaned in the very least every 2 years and it will work very efficiently unless in a tropical environment.

You do not need fans with evapourative, it has it's own fan. Get your DD to check the condition of her Evap WDP.

#24 Kafkaesque

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:38 AM

WA isn't really all that humid. There are periods where it is but it is usually only a few days.  You talk about the cost and I think if that's an issues for you then refrigerated be it ducted or small splits will
be an ongoing issue. I know a number of people who sit in hot houses because it turns out they can't afford the running costs.

#25 sophiasmum

Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:34 AM

If you want it in so many rooms, I would consider ducted instead of all those units.

Or get air con for the living area & ceiling fans for the bedrooms. That's what we have & those ceiling fans are awesome to sleep with, a lovely breeze above you.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

A mum's tragic battle against inflammatory breast cancer

At just 37 years of age, with two young sons, Vicki was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. Now her family wants all women to know the symptoms.

The business of babies around the world

Pregnancy and birth is an intriguing process no matter where you are in the world. One soon-to-be father gleans wisdom from a new guide.

Finding a positive path through IVF

It’s not surprising that IVF is often seen as a negative journey towards the ultimate positive, but having a glass-half-full approach can make a big difference to the experience.

Giving strangers the gift of parenthood

A mum explains why she and her husband are choosing to gift their leftover embryos to help strangers achieve their dream of parenthood.

Does morning sickness get better or worse with each child?

Just as every baby is unique, so is every pregnancy. And that means morning sickness can vary a lot, too.

What's so wrong with looking 'mumsy', anyway?

Why is it that the word ‘mumsy’ has connotations of such a negative nature – but seems to be the only other option apart from ‘yummy’?

Trying to speed up the inevitable

As the waiting game of late pregnancy continues, this mum considers a few things that might hurry things up a little.

One month later: where is William Tyrell?

It has been a little over a month since William Tyrell disappeared from his grandmother's home, 33 long sleepless nights for his family as they mourn the absence of their cheeky young boy.

Winter's child less likely to be moody: study

Babies born in the summer are much more likely to suffer from mood swings when they grow up, while those born in the winter are less likely to become irritable adults, scientists claim.

Single mum of two creates award-winning baby app

Suddenly single with a baby and an 11-year-old son, Tara O?Connell developed an app to improve the lives of mothers who were similarly overwhelmed.

Food for thought: looking after yourself as a new mum

As soon as your baby enters the world, everything else takes a back seat - even the necessities of daily life such as eating are severely compromised, right when you need energy the most.

'Grabbable guts' campaign aims to cut toxic fat

The Live Lighter campaign will take people inside the human body to show the internal dangers of being overweight.

The best and worst month of my life

A new mum's first month of motherhood didn't pan out as expected when she lost a family member weeks after her baby's birth.

Facebook and Apple offer to pay female staff to freeze their eggs

Facebook and Apple are hoping to provide women with the freedom to build their careers without the added pressure of having children at or by a certain age.

How a pregnancy contract could work for you and your partner

The idea of making a 'pregnancy contract' with your partner may sound a bit silly at first, but it can help make the transition to parenthood a lot smoother.

Finding a mum-friendly personal trainer

Burping babies vs burpees – yes, new mums and personal trainers live in different worlds. But they can work together - once you find the right match for you and your lifestyle.

Alleged baby snatch incident a ?misunderstanding?, say police

Police say that an incident in which a man pulled on a woman?s pram while walking a popular Sydney route late last month was a misunderstanding.

Ebola killed my aunt and is shutting down my country

Three weeks ago, my auntie, a midwife, developed a fever. Sitting here in Sydney basked in Australian sunshine, that shouldn't be big news.

The night my ovary burst

One mum shares her frightening experience and vows to never take her health for granted again.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win 1 of 5 Canon Powershot D30 cameras

Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

Best and worst potty party cakes

It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Great birthday party buys from Etsy

Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.

Creative storage ideas for the kids' rooms

Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

New mum Megan goes topless

Megan Gale has posed topless for magazine's 'sexiest people' issue, five months after welcoming her son.

To the mum in the doctor's waiting room

Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.

10 space-saving nursery ideas

Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.

 

What's in a name?

Baby Names

Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.