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lagimoana
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air conditioning questions

Postby lagimoana » Wed, 22 Mar 2017 8:55 am

We are moving to Singapore next month and I have been looking at different types of accommodation, but photos for all of them show split-system air con units and fans??

Is ducted air con not popular in Singapore?

Are there any tips on what to look for (age of units, last service, etc.) when looking at aircon in a rental?

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Re: air conditioning questions

Postby bgd » Wed, 22 Mar 2017 9:56 am

Some of the more expensive builds have ducted air, but in my experience, it's not common.

Test all the units, ask to see the receipt for the last service and if they are too old get them replaced. It's a renters market these days so use that to your advantage.

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Re: air conditioning questions

Postby Sporkin » Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:58 am

Isn't ducted air cons less hygenic than separates? Some articles linked aging ventilation systems to an increase in particulates and microbes that is dentrimental to well being

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Strong Eagle
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Re: air conditioning questions

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 22 Mar 2017 9:54 pm

Sporkin wrote:Isn't ducted air cons less hygenic than separates? Some articles linked aging ventilation systems to an increase in particulates and microbes that is dentrimental to well being

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If that's true, we're all doomed in the USA. Only smaller houses/rooms have single unit air conditioners, split units are non-existent, and 95 percent of all households and businesses have ducted aircon systems.

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Re: air conditioning questions

Postby Sporkin » Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:06 pm

If I remember correctly it was some studies done on 'sick building syndrome'

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Re: air conditioning questions

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:14 pm

Sporkin wrote:If I remember correctly it was some studies done on 'sick building syndrome'

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Yes, that's possible, especially if there is a buildup of mold. But, the same holds true for the very common split units in Singapore. The interior unit does not draw air from the outside, only from inside the room.

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Re: RE: Re: air conditioning questions

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:36 pm

Ducted, you mean chiller plants ? They are complicated for home use. Especially in apartment environment.

Hence the preference for Split units.

If you are concerned about mold etc, just engage service for a chemical clean and you are good.

If you are allergic, post clean, stick a 3M filter on top of the evaporator and you are good.

Nothing to fret about.

In fact, split units are easier to maintain and clean, unlike ducted plants, which are real breeding grounds for mold. And ducted systems are real pain to fully clean. And newer splits do UV filtration and are more efficient in heat absorption, and ... less energy consuming.

That's coming from an Air con apprentice.

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Re: RE: Re: air conditioning questions

Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 23 Mar 2017 1:29 am

ecureilx wrote:Ducted, you mean chiller plants ? They are complicated for home use. Especially in apartment environment.


Chiller plants? No. Exactly the same compressor/evaporator setup as in a split unit. It's larger, of course, to cool all rooms. But, you still have the compressor outside and the evaporator coils and fan inside, usually in the attic.

All modern apartments (and I'm talking about apartments constructed in the last 40 years) in the USA are also ducted systems. It makes sense. The USA is a temperate climate and the system needs to provide heat as well as cooling.

Don't forget that construction techniques in Singapore are far different than in the USA where walls are made from 2 x 4's and covered with drywall. Because it is much easier to create small spaces with wood, it's much easier to create runs for hidden ducting.

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Re: air conditioning questions

Postby lagimoana » Thu, 23 Mar 2017 7:13 pm

Thanks everyone. I wouldn't have thought that a condo or house ducted from its own independent ac units wouldn't be too bad in terms of mold spores, but I could well be wrong about that!

Good to know the tips about checking maintenance receipts and asking to have them replaced. It's going to be hard adjusting to the heat and I need to be able to depend on some kind of respite, even just one room in the house.

Is it common to use fans because the air con units are not sufficient to cool the space to a comfortable level? Or is it because they are cheaper to run?

Even in high end condos I keep seeing pedestal fans in a lot of the photos.

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Re: RE: Re: air conditioning questions

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 23 Mar 2017 7:40 pm

lagimoana wrote:Thanks everyone. I wouldn't have thought that a condo or house ducted from its own independent ac units wouldn't be too bad in terms of mold spores, but I could well be wrong about that!

Good to know the tips about checking maintenance receipts and asking to have them replaced. It's going to be hard adjusting to the heat and I need to be able to depend on some kind of respite, even just one room in the house.

Is it common to use fans because the air con units are not sufficient to cool the space to a comfortable level? Or is it because they are cheaper to run?

Even in high end condos I keep seeing pedestal fans in a lot of the photos.

Just to clarify, there's no duct in split units, so achieving best clean air is possible.

Some folks can't live without Air con, some save money and use fans.

Lot of landlords forget to include ceiling fans when they designed their interior, hence the pedestal fans

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Re: air conditioning questions

Postby lagimoana » Thu, 23 Mar 2017 8:52 pm

We've always had to supplement our split system air con here in Sydney with pedestal fans but it does leave us pretty uncomfortable. But it looks like the temperatures aren't as bad as the height of Sydney's summer, when temperatures are 38, 39 etc. Sydney also has a winter, so ducting comes in handy for heating as well.

Thanks very much for your advice! I think split systems will be fine and I will look out for ceiling fans as well.

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Re: air conditioning questions

Postby x9200 » Thu, 23 Mar 2017 9:57 pm

lagimoana wrote:Thanks everyone. I wouldn't have thought that a condo or house ducted from its own independent ac units wouldn't be too bad in terms of mold spores, but I could well be wrong about that!

Just imagine, the standard humidity is such, if you leave your apartment windows sealed all will be in mold within a week.

lagimoana wrote:Is it common to use fans because the air con units are not sufficient to cool the space to a comfortable level? Or is it because they are cheaper to run?

Even in high end condos I keep seeing pedestal fans in a lot of the photos.

You will have to live here for a while to figure out how your organism adapts. I don't like hot weather at all, yet normally I don't use any aircon and rely on fans only. It's not uncommon. I guess majority of the expats have the aircon on overnight only with very very few running it all the time - few hundred $$$ a month extra to your utility bill pretty much guarantied.

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Re: air conditioning questions

Postby lagimoana » Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:12 pm

x9200 wrote:Just imagine, the standard humidity is such, if you leave your apartment windows sealed all will be in mold within a week.


:o :o :o I hate mold. I am planning to buy a dehumidifier for each bedroom (over time - one per month) and one for the living room, just to help dry the place out. And use a lot of bleach. Sydney can be very humid, too. We are running our one large dehumidifier on a rotating basis right through the house at the moment, so much rain. Without it I can smell how damp everything is. I empty a full 2L tank every 12 hours. :shock:

x9200 wrote:You will have to live here for a while to figure out how your organism adapts. I don't like hot weather at all, yet normally I don't use any aircon and rely on fans only. It's not uncommon. I guess majority of the expats have the aircon on overnight only with very very few running it all the time - few hundred $$$ a month extra to your utility bill pretty much guarantied.


Good to know that we might be able to get buy without air con all the time. I don't think it's sustainable to run it all the time, but if we are really hot, it's nice to be able to turn it on and cool down for a while.

I can see that the maximum temperatures aren't too bad, compared to what we're used to, here. So maybe we'll be OK with just fans most of the time.

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Re: air conditioning questions

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 24 Mar 2017 3:50 am

I lived in a four bedroom semi-D for 8 years. For the majority of the day we opened all windows and doors and used our ceiling fans.

My office was in a west facing room, and most afternoons I would close the door and turn on the aircon in this room only at about 2 PM.

We would use aircon in the evenings in our living room while watching TV or reading, and we always slept with aircon.

Mold can be a problem on the walls, and, we solved that problem by once every six months, using a paint roller to roll a bleach solution over the affected walls. 5 or 10 minutes max.

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Re: air conditioning questions

Postby x9200 » Fri, 24 Mar 2017 7:11 am

Typical temperature range inside a non-aircon room is 29-32C. When the temperature outside drops below 27C hardly anybody goes to swimming pools. 24-25C is the lowest outside temperature I ever experience in Singapore and if it drops to ~26 (mornings) it feels really cold. It defies common sense. I remember my impression when I arrived in Singapore fro the first time: it was like hitting against a physical wall of hot, sticky humid air. After 2 weeks any perception of it completely disappeared.

Mold, yes, no way to avoid it other then running humidifiers or aircon 24/7. This thing is everywhere. You touch a DVD with a bit sweaty hands, leave it in the box, on the shelf for a few months and you may find mold spots on it.
Darker, less ventilated rooms will have such spots practically everywhere.


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