As featured in The Messenger – April 2016
OFTEN we ignore the little things that really make a difference. For example the simplicity of an evaporative airconditioner means many homeowners think it’s a set-and-forget system.
An evaporative airconditioner uses a combination of air and water to cool a building. A pump draws air through a damp cooling pad, which evaporates the moisture and a fan disperses it as cool air. But ignore maintenance and safety checks and you risk increased costs and reduced efficiency in the future, owner of the Sharpe Group David Sharpe says.
The industry standard practice recommends the cooler be professionally serviced at least at the start and finish of each operating sea- son. The end-of-season shutdown involves disconnecting all power to the unit, removing sediments from the system, draining water and disinfecting the system, and fitting a waterproof cover to the external unit. “While the professional is there, request that the unit is checked to confirm it is up to standard and also the condition of the ducting to en- sure the system will work at peak efficiency next season.
“Never assume that your system is up to standard because it hasn’t given trouble over recent years. An extreme example of this was a $150,000 fire at a Perth primary school late last year. It was blamed on a faulty evaporative air-conditioning unit,” David says.
Evaporative airconditioners have been around for decades. They remain popular because they use much less power than refrigerative airconditioners. Installation costs are also comparatively lower. Maintenance and replacement of components is cheaper too as the system uses simple pumps and fans.
Evaporative airconditioners are also good for youngsters, asthma sufferers and the elderly as the air they circulate isn’t dried out.