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Committee FOR WASTE REDUCTION

Cairns A/C and Refrigeration - Waste Wise Business Feature by Jo Piggott

Monday, September 16, 2019 10:26 AM | Lesley Van Staveren (Administrator)

Waste Wise Business 2019

Summer is knocking on the door and we all know what that means to us living here in Cairns.

Not only does the mercury rise into the mid 30’s, which isn’t an unbearable temperature.  It’s the humidity that comes with our summer that is.  For a lot of people the high humidity and rainy season affects them in more ways than one.  It can be a trigger health conditions such as asthma, the humidity is draining and we often lose clarity in thinking. This can affect our overall well- being and happiness!  The wet season causes the onset of mould and bacteria, especially for homes that are surrounded by rainforest.

There was a recent study by the Chinese Hong Kong University that shows a direct correlation between happiness and air quality? We focus on our health and well- being, however air quality is one yet to become a priority.  We are fortunate living in Cairns, we are gifted with beautiful fresh clean outdoor air.  But what is our indoor air quality like?   Fortunately living in our modern world we can control our indoor climate with air conditioning.

This now raises many issues and questions for me as a person working in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry.

I read an article recently in The Guardian (Sunday 11th August), written by journalist Franklin Schneider, Ditch your air conditioning.  You’ll be fine.  A hot room won’t usually kill you, but a hot planet will. I quote “AC isn’t the solution it’s the problem”!

But is it the whole problem?  I believe there’s a chain reaction and it starts with people’s misunderstanding and advice from unqualified people.  You see when I receive invoices from one of my electrical wholesaler’s, the terms read “All electrical products must be installed by a licensed electrical contractor. No electrical advice can be given by any of our staff”

Which raises the alarm bells for me, why aren’t the sales of air conditioners more regulated and sold only through a licensed refrigeration and air conditioning business?

The marketing has started heavily by retailers and consumers are being talked into buying air conditioners from a retail salesperson! With the cheapest installation in town, of course with the hidden extra’s.  It’s all about the sale, not about the consumer.  I have heard stories of people going down this path and their air conditioners have been the wrong size for the room, the home was not visited by the retailer to measure and quote.  The add on’s seem endless and the consumer ends up paying a whole lot more! 

There’s the big focus on the sales, but what about the maintenance to keep these machines running efficiently.  Who is installing these air conditioners?  Are they trade qualified or are they a handy man that may release the refrigerant into the atmosphere?

In late November 2018, a new Australian standard for residential heating and cooling systems came into publication, after nine years of work and advocacy by industry organisations. The new Australian standard AS/NS 5141:2018 introduces minimum requirements for the selection and installation for air conditioning equipment and system components.  This standard ensures that the final, installed system is able to operate at its optimum efficiency, as designed by the manufacturer.

Cairns A/C & Refrigeration hold the licence for the new Australian standard that focuses on best practice installation and design to ensure energy efficiency and will have a positive impact on the HVAC + R industry’s efforts to reduce its impact on global warming.  This new standard will also cut out bad contractors that are prepared to cut corners and take the easy route.  Even just a small percentage of air conditioning systems are poorly installed and maintained, the impacts on comfort performance, energy efficiency and happiness are significant.


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