Is it time to service your air-conditioner?

By The Asian Parent

Living in Singapore, we get a good dose of warm sunshine throughout the year. However, we all know that the weather can get quite hot and humid, especially towards the middle of the year.

Because of this, air-conditioning has become a necessity for many Singaporean families. The truth is, most of us savour the feeling of walking into a cool air-conditioned room after being out in the hot sun.

But like any other piece of electrical equipment, air-conditioners (or aircons, as many of us like to call them) need to be well-maintained to make sure they function properly.

How often should you go for aircon servicing?

How often you should service your aircon depends on how frequently you use it. For example, if you use it on a daily basis, then bi-monthly servicing is recommended. However, if you only use your aircon occasionally, then quarterly servicing should be adequate.

When aircon servicing is neglected, dirt accumulates on the air filters, impeding proper airflow and leading to increased energy consumption and high energy bills.

Because of this, it is really important to service the air filters once a month and clean or replace them as necessary. Besides the air filters, the condition of other components of an air-conditioner system such as the refrigerant, pipes and motors also affects its efficiency.

Regular aircon servicing can ensure all these parts are in top working condition.

Signs that your aircon needs to be serviced

So how do you know when you need to give your aircon some loving? Here are some signs to look out for:

1. The air-conditioner turns off and on very frequently

Some air-conditioners (especially those with an energy-saving mode) are able to self-regulate, i.e., they turn off when the room is at the desired temperature and turn on again when it starts getting warm.

However, if your aircon turns off and on very frequently, then you probably need to service it. Likewise, if your air-conditioner keep shorting out the fuses or circuit breakers, you will need a professional to check it out.

2. It doesn’t cool the air as efficiently

An air-conditioner that is in good working order will usually take a short time to cool a room to the required temperature, compared to one that is faulty.

If you notice that your aircon is taking a longer-than-usual time to get things nice and chilly, then it’s highly likely that it’s time for aircon servicing.

3. An aircon with an energy-saving mode runs almost continuously

If you have an energy-saving aircon that runs continually and you need to turn it off manually, then it’s probably time for some aircon servicing.

Continuous running may mean that either the cooling ability of your air-conditioner has been reduced, or the temperature sensor is not working. You can end up with some very high power bills with this.

4. The aircon makes unusual or excessive noises

New and well-serviced air-conditioners run almost silently. But over time and as you continue to use it, the aircon may start wearing out. As a result, you may notice that your air-conditioner is getting rather noisy.

5. There might be lessened air flow from the vents.

One of the most noticeable warning signs that indicate the need for aircon servicing is a reduction in the amount of air-flow coming out of the aircon vent.

Additionally, if you notice water or refrigerant leaking from the air-conditioner, call a technician without delay.

Some more expert tips 

  • Aircon experts recommend washing the aircon filter often. After popping out the front grill of the unit with a putty knife, remove the mesh filter. Wash it together with the grill in a mixture of warm, soapy water and bleach to remove any mould.
  • Put your aircon on fan mode for 15 minutes to blow dry the aircon before shutting it off. This will prevent unpleasant smells emitting from your aircon.
  • Check the seal between the air-conditioner and the window frame to make sure it is in contact with the unit’s metal case. If there is a gap, cool air will escape from your house.
  • To make the most of the cool air provided by your aircon, keep some blinds down or curtains drawn. Needless to say, you should never have any windows open while your aircon is running!
  • Having a fan on while the aircon is running will ensure that the cool air is circulated more effectively.
  • If you’re purchasing a new air-conditioner, ensure that it scores high on energy efficiency and look for one with an energy-saving mode. Experts say that a good energy rating helps to save electricity, money and you also do your part to protect the environment.

Original article:


Should you have your Air Conditioner Serviced? If so, how often?

By Home Heating Service, Inc

We get this question a lot in our industry and especially in Colorado where air conditioners are sometimes considered optional. The simple truth is you absolutely should have it serviced and ideally it should be done once a year.

There may be a lot of you out there that fall into the “If it aint broke, don’t fix it” crowd. I would ask these people if they would drive their car 100,000 miles before servicing it. The idea of waiting until something is completely broken before doing anything about it is absurd. Waiting not only can cause any repairs to be two, three or even four times more expensive, it can also cause permanent damage to an air conditioner!

Servicing your air conditioner helps to make sure it is operating at peak performance and can alert you to any problems that may be rectified before something breaks down. Most service companies will also offer to wash your condenser for you which can save many headaches and money in the future. Something as simple as not washing your condenser can cause your system to not work at all and has the potential to ruin your compressor (~$1500-$2500 part).

The most important thing you can do as a homeowner for your air conditioner is change your filter. I would argue that changing your filter every 30 days is more important for the air conditioner than the furnace.

So keep changing those filters and give your air conditioning service company a call once a year!

*As a side note, your Freon (or Puron as the new refrigerant is commonly called) should not have to be topped off once a year! We hear this a lot, however if this is truly the case you have a leak and that should be addressed before dumping money and refrigerant into a system. A properly operating system should not need the refrigerant charge to be adjusted.

Original article:

How America became addicted to air conditioning

It is an integral part of modern life, but now the US is waking up to the environmental cost of such massive energy consumption

By in Los Angeles

The Guardian

Monday 26 October 2015

t was a sun-drenched afternoon, with another autumnal heatwave cooking the concrete of Los Angeles, but Joanne Pilecki hugged her green fleece close as she stepped into a cinema foyer.

“I don’t take the cold too well,” said the 61-year-old, adjusting to the abrupt drop in temperature. “I have a sweater with me all the time.” Without it she would feel like an icicle by the end of The Intern, even though it was supposedly a heartwarming comedy. “I’m always cold. On planes I bring my own blankets.”

Other cinema-goers, in contrast, came precisely because it was cool, said Cerise Cobbs, who was manning the ticket booth at the Third Street Promenade shopping centre in Santa Monica. “Folks who don’t have good air con at home come, especially at weekends – they say they’ve got to get out of the house.”

Too hot, too cold, just right – Americans may differ over where to set the dial but they agree air conditioning is integral to modern life.

It is ubiquitous, whirring in homes, offices, stores, schools, elevators, factories, cars, trains, gyms, stadiums, tunnels, a communion of cool stretching from California to New York.

“It’s made its way into American life,” said Salvatore Basile, author of Cool: How Air Conditioning Changed Everything. “This idea for millennia that God made hot weather so you should put up with it – that attitude has relaxed.”

But with the vertiginous rise of the “cold economy” – and the energy it demands – becoming more and more visible, there is finally a growing awareness of the problem in the US.

New York City recently passed a law that will oblige nearly all shops and restaurants to keep front doors and windows shut while air conditioners are on, a response to the practice of wooing sweaty passers-by with the promise of chilled respite. Innovators are promising more efficient devices in the next decade, including one that makes and stores ice cheaply at night to cool buildings during the day, from a California firm called Ice Energy.

Only now is the US waking up to the environmental cost of such massive energy consumption – and to the chilling prospect that the rest of the world may follow its example. The proportion of homes in Chinese cities with air conditioning rocketed from 8% to 70% between 1995 and 2004.

US statistics are bracing. A nation with 318 million people accounting for just 4.5% of world population consumes more energy for air conditioning than the rest of the world combined. It uses more electricity for cooling than Africa, population 1.1 billion, uses for everything.

Vehicle air conditioners in the US use 7bn to 10bn gallons of petrol annually. Each home with an air conditioner emits about two tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air each year, according to the US department of energy.

Air conditioners employ the same operating principles as refrigerators: transfer heat from the cool interior, be it a fridge, room or building, to the relative warmth outside.

This can contribute to an urban heat island effect. A study found that AC units in Phoenix, Arizona, heat the night-time air temperature outside by up to 2C which, of course, encourages residents to blast even more air conditioning to compensate. New York’s subway stations bake in summer at more than 48C, partly because air-conditioned trains are pumping out heat.

Freakishly hot weather across the US increases the temptation to ratchet up air conditioning, especially in California, which has endured record heat along with massive wildfires and a drought. During the summer, energy providers often implore people to reduce their use of air conditioners and other devices to avoid crashing the grid.

Silicon Valley is another guzzler. The water used to cool California’s estimated 800 data centres each year could fill approximately 158,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Reducing energy consumption can be tricky, according to Aaron James, a professor of philosophy and ethics at the University of California, Irvine. “People often feel a sense of entitlement about what they have become accustomed to. So even if it wouldn’t be asking much – a small behavioural change in the face of a severe problem – it can make us feel morally defensive.”

Filling a recycling bag that neighbours may see, for instance, can feel more important and virtuous than lowering the AC. “In the US there’s not an established awareness of air conditioning as a climate change problem,” said James, the author of Assholes: A Theory.

Air conditioning, it should be stressed, is an important economic and social technology. It saves lives. An average of 618 people in the US die each year from exposure to excessive natural heat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a far cry from a century ago when heat killed thousands. It also cuts absenteeism and raises productivity. In a 1957 survey, 90% of US firms named cooled air as the single biggest boost to their productivity.

Nelson Polsby, a political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, who died in 2007, suggested air conditioning also reshaped American politics by enabling Republican pensioners to migrate to southern and western states, paving Reagan’s way to the White House.

“Air conditioning probably did foster migration in the Sun Belt,” said Jack Pitney, a politics professor at Claremont McKenna College. “How many people want to endure Orlando in mid-August without air conditioning? Without it, Disney World would be more like Devil’s Island.”

The technology also influenced the Hollywood blockbuster. In the early 20th century few braved sweltering cinemas in summer. That changed once they installed air conditioning – an innovation advertised with letters dripping with icicles. It remains a selling point to this day. AMC Theatres, the US’s second largest cinema chain, keeps the temperature at 21C in winter and 23C in summer.

Bar Armageddon, the technology is here to to stay, said Basile. “It’s not possible to go back once you’ve been going forward. From a philosophical standpoint I, an air-conditioning junkie, can’t tell someone they can’t have it.”

He feels, however, that the US overuses the technology. “I noticed that cooled spaces in the UK were comfortable, but nowhere near as icy-frigid as their American counterparts.”

With billions of people in warm climates wanting “bearable lives”, the race for efficiency is rather urgent, according to Basile. He is optimistic. “We will get more bang for our buck.”

Original article:

Women shiver at work in ‘sexist’ air conditioning

Women find air conditioning chilly in the summer because their metabolic rate is slower than men’s, a study has shown

By , Science Editor

Telegraph UK

Women may have finally smashed through the glass ceiling to join men in the boardroom but when it comes to office temperatures they are yet to come in from the cold.

A new study has shown that air conditioning units are designed for the body temperature and metabolism of men and leave most women shivering .

Most climate control systems in modern offices are based on the resting metabolic rate of a 40-year-old man, which runs up to 30 per cent faster than a woman’s.

So while men are comfortable in the workplace, the majority of women would need conditions to be nearly four degrees warmer, leaving them forced to don jumpers and cardigans in the summer to keep warm.

“The main message is that in the current standards the value for the heat load of a building is based on an average male. This overestimates the metabolic rate of women on average by 20 to 30 per cent,” said lead author Dr Boris Kingma from Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands.

“We do not recommend a specific range of room temperatures, instead we point out how metabolic rate differs between males and females, and how important it could be to take this into account when defining indoor climate standards.”

The issue of gender bias in air conditioning was thrown into the public consciousness in July when Washington Post journalist Petula Dvorak wrote a column claiming office heating was ‘another big sexist plot.’

“It’s the time of year desperate women rely on cardigans, pashminas and space heaters to make it through the workweek in their frigid offices,” she wrote.

But while supporters across the world applauded her comments, others were quick to blame women for wearing too few clothes in the summer.

“Gosh, it’s almost as if the people wearing heavier clothing might be warmer than the women in linen dresses would be,” said New York blogger Cassy Fiano.

However the new study suggests women really are suffering in a chilly workplace.

When researchers tested young women performing light office work, while dressed in a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, they discovered that their optimum temperature was 75F (24.5C). Men, in contrast, were happiest at 71F (22C)

Current air conditioning standards are derived from research conducted in the 1960s which was based on the resting metabolic rate of one 11 stone, 40-year-old man.

Men typically have more heat generating muscle than women and so feel comfortable at cooler temperatures. Metabolic rate also lowers with increasing age which means that an older workforce is likely to need higher office temperatures.

The authors have called for a new system that takes into account gender differences, as well as age and physiological characteristics such as being lean or obese.

“The current standard does not include a variable to account for body composition of building occupants. We show how this could be done in the future,” added Dr Kingma.

They claim it would not only make staff more comfortable but could also cut emissions.

“These findings could be significant for the next round of revisions of thermal comfort standards – which are on a constant cycle of revision and public review – because of the opportunities to improve the comfort of office workers and the potential for reducing energy consumption,” said Dr Joost van Hoof, from Fontys University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.

“A large scale re-evaluation in field studies may be needed in order to sufficiently convince real-estate developers, standard committees and building services engineers to revise their practises

The research was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Original Article:

Flat catches fire while owner is abroad

Flat catches fire while owner is abroad

By The New Paper, Dec 16, 2015

Mr Lee Bon Huan, 62, had just returned from his daily morning walk at Punggol Waterway, yesterday.

But as he exited the lift to head to his flat on the 13th storey, there was an acrid smell in the air.

When he saw black smoke coming from the corridor near his corner unit flat, he thought his flat was on fire.

Speaking to The New Paper (TNP) in Mandarin, the retiree said: “It was really very smelly, like the stench of burning plastic, and I initially thought that my flat was on fire.” But as he sprinted down the corridor, he realised the smoke came from his neighbour’s home.

The fire broke out yesterday around 10am at Block 122B, Sengkang East Way.

No one was injured.

TNP understands that the fire originated from an air-conditioning unit.

Mr Lee said: “I knew that my neighbour had not been home for a few days, but I was worried that the fire was big and would spread.”

He told his wife to call the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

When they arrived shortly after, Mr Lee and his family of four were told to evacuate the block, along with about 20 other neighbours.

The owner of the flat, whom Mr Lee said is in his 40s, was not home as he is currently on holiday in New Zealand and fire fighters had to force their way into the unit.

The SCDF received a call at 10.05am and dispatched two fire engines, a Red Rhino, two fire bikes and two support vehicles.

The fire, which was in the living room, was extinguished immediately with one water jet.

A housewife living on the same level was at home with her grandson at the time of the fire.

Madam Tan, 60, had heard the fire engine sirens and assumed the fire was at another block.

She was alerted to the fire only when she opened her front door and saw firefighters trying to break into the unit two doors away.


Mr Alan Chin, 39, the owner of I-Cool Air Conditioning, said that people should turn off electrical outlets at home before leaving for long periods of time.

“If possible, turn off the main electric board so you can isolate the electricity, even the fridge, because that might catch fire too,” said Mr Chin, who has 17 years of experience.

“(Such fires happen) when the plug and wire are of low quality as they might overheat (and catch fire).”

He also advised people to service their air-con units every three months to ensure they are working well.

A friend of the owner of the affected unit came to check on the flat at around noon. She declined to be named but said: “It’s fortunate no one got hurt. The owner will be back on Friday.”

OCT 2015

A fire broke out after an air-conditioning unit on the second storey of a terrace house near Holland Road, short-circuited. No one was hurt.

Neighbours said the affected house was badly burned and the fire had damaged the roof.

JULY 2015

An air-conditioning unit caught fire in the bedroom of a five-room flat in Woodlands Circle. The flat was badly damaged.

No one was hurt, but the family of four decided to spend the night outside their home at the narrow staircase landing as the SCDF had advised them against staying in their flat because the soot could cause breathing difficulties.

MAY 2015

A fire at a POSB branch in Rivervale Plaza in Sengkang started in an air-conditioning unit and burned itself out before fire fighters arrived at the scene. No one was injured.

About 20 people in the area evacuated on their own.


– Original Article:

Quality Aircon Repair Service Guaranteed

It is a fine Sunday afternoon and you are just relaxing, enjoying a coffee. And suddenly, you start to feel that the room is growing hotter and more humid. You get tensed and search about your house to find as to what has happened and then you discover it! Your air condition is malfunctioning and hence the situation.

Aircon Servicing Singapore- Very important to keep cool!

This condition can be a dreadful matter for anyone and everyone, especially, when the sun has started scorching the Earth in the dry seasons. This is the exact time when you need the services of an aircon repair Singapore firm that will be able to save you from the terribly uncomfortable situation. Contacting professional aircon repair services will ensure that you do not have to bear with this situation for long and respite is quick at hand.

If you are wondering why you should spend money for an aircon repair Singapore service when you do most of your bits and odds yourself, then it will suffice to say that an air conditioner is quite complex in its built and hence a small slip could make the appliance totally unusable forever. That is not what you want!

Aircon Servicing Singapore
Aircon Servicing Singapore- Best Aircon servicing and repairs

When you call in the professionals from the aircon repair Singapore firm, you can rest assured that the item is in good hands. The following features will give you an understanding why it is best to hire the aircon repair Singapore firm:

  • Knowledgeable: The experts from the firm have been trained in the trade at the professional level and hence they ensure that their aircon repair Singapore service is the best in the class.
  • Experience: Being in the field for several years has made these professionals, complete experts. They have come to amass an experience that will guarantee that the aircon repair Singapore service provided at your house is the best in the market and you can enjoy your aircon for a longer time than that would have been possible with the service of some other individual offering aircon repair Singapore.
  • Using The Best Tools And Equipments: In the repair of an AC, not only does the expertise matter, but also the tools that are being used for the aircon repair Singapore must be of the best quality. They do exactly the same and always take care that the most sophisticated and modern equipment are being used by the workmen to achieve the goals of a hassle free repair.
  • Excellent Customer Support: Although most companies try to avoid providing a diligent support to their past clients, but that is not what the firm does. They believe that solving any issues that may arise after an aircon repair Singapore is the most important duty of a firm towards its clients and they strive methodically to achieve this goal in the best way possible.
  • Competitive Quotes: Whatever may the problem with your aircon be, one thing is sure; when you call the firm, they are sure to provide the most lucrative deal for the aircon repair Singapore.
  • Satisfaction: When you entrust your needs with this aircon repair Singapore firm, you are guaranteed to get a 100% satisfaction out of the deal.

Choosing Professional Aircon Servicing In Singapore

Air conditioners have become an inevitable part of most homes today as the heat of the sun in Singapore has become almost unbearable. Not only that, the aircons are good for other times too, as they help in maintaining the temperature at a level that is most suited to all members of the family. The essence of this is that the use of aircons has increased many-fold in the past years, which is why the need for aircon servicing Singapore has increased quite dramatically in the recent years.

Aircon Servicing Singapore
Aircon Servicing Singapore- Best Aircon servicing and repairs

To ensure that your room and house remains in right temperate and you can enjoy your stay in the house, your aircon must always be functioning properly. There must not be any sort of breakdown or even the slightest lag, as that can be quite uncomfortable. To ensure that, it is advised that you hire an aircon service Singapore professional, more often than not.

If you think that just the running of the AC is just good enough for you and you do not need the assistance of an aircon service Singapore expert, then you are just fooling yourself. ‘Working’ is not enough when it comes to an AC, it must work properly. Like all other appliances that run for the whole day, like fans, refrigerators and such, your AC too needs time to time care provided by the aircon service Singapore expert.

This is something that you cannot do yourself and you obviously need the help of an aircon servicing Singapore firm that knows its job. Assistances that the aircon service Singapore will provide are as follows:

  • Cleansing and washing of the AC filter
  • Checking and cleaning the evaporator coil
  • Flushing the drainage system
  • Cleaning of the condenser unit and the fan blade and blower wheel
  • Lubricating the motor bearing for minimizing noise issues, if any
  • And a whole lot of other bits and bobs that make your AC function perfectly.
Aircon Units need regular servicing and repairs.
Aircon Repair and Servicing in Singapore- Aircon Units need regular servicing and repairs.

The Benefits of Choosing an Aircon Service Singapore

  • Among a lot of benefits that aircon servicing Singapore offers, the first and the foremost is the enhancement of efficiency of the appliance. Servicing at regular intervals ensures that all the parts of the appliance are in a good condition and you are getting the best service out of the appliance.
  • The second most important factor why one should opt for aircon servicing Singapore is to save on the electricity bills. A well-maintained aircon will eat up less energy than an old, cranky one.
  • Timely servicing of your ACs will go a long way in enhancing the life of the device and its various functional parts. A regular tune up will help in minimizing the wear and tear of the device and it will able to keep working 24*7 for a longer period of time than expected.
  • Taking regular help of aircon servicing Singapore can also minimize the occurrence of frustrating situations like water leakage from the appliance and causing long-term damages to the surroundings of your home.
  • Getting assistance from the aircon servicing Singapore experts will also ensure that you are not only making your home environment better, but also contributing towards a cleaner, greener environment.