Negotiating furnishing of condo

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x9200
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Post by x9200 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 11:51 am

The parts that get dirty in a typical aircon are the filters, the in-room air/cooling fluid heat exchanger and maybe the drainage. There is nothing like this in a typical fridge so you are comparing apples to pokemons. Closer than this analogy would be to compare AC to a vacuum cleaner.

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 12:25 pm

x9200 wrote:Closer than this analogy would be to compare AC to a vacuum cleaner.
And the landlord makes you pay S$150/Qtr to prove you've had an engineer empty the bag, even if you haven't used it?




:???:

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 12:44 pm

JR8, you make an excellent justification why the status quo is like this. How can they trust some average Joe to arrange for the work/service as it is appropriate and required if a well spoken, intelligent expat, a person who is a professional LL thinks that AC is nothing but a fridge or an oven and money-wise (so in terms of assets risk management) it is the same as a vacuum cleaner? :)

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 12:59 pm

Why is air-con servicing apparently required, but fridge/freezer servicing not?

After all, air-con is simply the equivalent of a wall-mounted fridge.

:)

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Post by PrimroseHill » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 1:14 pm

In my previous London house, we were fully air con and no, I only had it serviced once a year. Just as my gas / radiators / boiler is serviced once a year at the onset of winter.
In, London,in terms of curtains - I have it professionally dry cleaned before the new tenants move in. At the end of the tenancy, the tenants will have it dry clean as well.
The same goes for having the entire flat professionally cleaned and the carpet cleaned as well.
In terms of wear and tear, its like paint gotten dirty that sort of thing.

Here in SG, its a mug's game. We rented the apartment for 18months, the flat has not been renovated since 1980s other than paint. When we left, other than the TV bracket in the wall, my daughter used blue tack on her walls, so we took that out.
All the air con in the apartment blew up one after another during our stay. I had complained bitterly during our stay that air con is dripping water. Air con is in really bad condition etc, no avail.
When eventually, we moved out , I was charged with with re-painting due to the drips and there were bits of blue tack (little dots of it)

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Post by SINexpat » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 3:56 pm

x9200 wrote:The parts that get dirty in a typical aircon are the filters, the in-room air/cooling fluid heat exchanger and maybe the drainage. There is nothing like this in a typical fridge so you are comparing apples to pokemons. Closer than this analogy would be to compare AC to a vacuum cleaner.
That's not how a mini-split works. It's a scam and a way for A/C companies to get people to pay for needless "service".

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 6:24 pm

Perhaps you could enlighten me how does it really work and why is it a scam?

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Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 21 Jan 2014 2:07 am

x9200 wrote:Perhaps you could enlighten me how does it really work and why is it a scam?
A refrigerator and a split aircon are very similar in operation. The "in room heat exchanger", aka the "evaporator coil" also exists in the refrigerator in the freezer compartment, and most modern refrigerators also have a small fan to move air across the evaporator coil. And, there is a drain hose to carry condensation to a drain pan.

Similarly, both the refrigerator and the aircon have a condenser coil. In the fridge, it is on the back or on the bottom and usually does not have a fan to drive air across it, relying upon natural circulation instead. The aircon condenser coil will have a large fan driving air through it.

The chief difference is capacity: aircon units have far larger cooling capacity and far more air driven across the coils. Otherwise, they operate identically.

As for the scams:

a) It is already "scammish" to require that they be cleaned once a quarter, especially if they are infrequently used. Every six months would be enough for the majority of aircon units in Singapore.

b) Finding mold or mildew and then stating that an entire expensive chemical wash is required to make the aircon work properly or to prevent health problems.

c) Failure to regularly blow out the drain hose from the evap coil, then claiming there is a leak in the system that needs to be fixed, when in reality, a two minute job would do the deal. (Also causes mold and mildew).

d) Claiming the aircon is not cold enough and the freon needs to be "topped up".

e) Claiming that a leak has been found in the compressor or evaporator coil that will soon cause the aircon to fail.

f) Insisting that filters need to be replaced when virtually every aircon filter in split units is of the washable variety.

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Post by x9200 » Tue, 21 Jan 2014 8:37 am

Strong Eagle wrote:A refrigerator and a split aircon are very similar in operation. The "in room heat exchanger", aka the "evaporator coil" also exists in the refrigerator in the freezer compartment, and most modern refrigerators also have a small fan to move air across the evaporator coil. And, there is a drain hose to carry condensation to a drain pan.

Similarly, both the refrigerator and the aircon have a condenser coil. In the fridge, it is on the back or on the bottom and usually does not have a fan to drive air across it, relying upon natural circulation instead. The aircon condenser coil will have a large fan driving air through it.

The chief difference is capacity: aircon units have far larger cooling capacity and far more air driven across the coils. Otherwise, they operate identically.

It's not in capacity, this can be similar for larger fridges and smaller aircons (I have a 1.5kW fridge at work). It is in the volume of air passing through the heat exchanger.

There is no heat exchanger for such process (large air volume) in the fridge. Many if not most standard, low-middle end fridges has not a single fan. It is not needed because the cooling space is limited, insulated and the natural convection does the job.
This is not the case for an aircon. There is a dedicated air to liquid heat exchanger with high in air surface area (high density of the "ribs") and work chiefly on the based on enforced convection. Nothing like this you will find in any fridge. There is simply no need for it in the fridge.
This higher surface area combined with large volume of air passing through it is what creates the maintenance problem. If it's used frequently all sort of flying particles with get deposited onto the filter and some small part on the heat exchanger as well. No such a risk for the home fridge.

Leaving aside the basic principle which is of course the same, the technological similarity between the fridge and the A/C roughly ends within the compressor area - there is another heat exchanger there and it does not need some frequent maintenance.
Strong Eagle wrote: As for the scams:

a) It is already "scammish" to require that they be cleaned once a quarter, especially if they are infrequently used. Every six months would be enough for the majority of aircon units in Singapore.

How do you know this? Do you use it frequently by yourself? We use one in the kids room overnight, every night and it definitely needs servicing every 3-4 months. 3 different condos, same conclusion. Beside, put yourself in the shoes of a LL. What would be a be the better way to ensure it is properly maintained?

The rest points from the list has nothing to do with TA.

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Post by JR8 » Tue, 21 Jan 2014 10:26 am

x9200 wrote:Beside, put yourself in the shoes of a LL. What would be a be the better way to ensure it is properly maintained?

The rest points from the list has nothing to do with TA.
Why does it matter if the a/c is 'properly maintained' when that applies to nothing else in the property? How is the a/c different?

Why should it be 'maintained' if it is not used?

The condition of the property and other fixtures/fittings is judged at the commencement of the tenancy, and again at the end. All apart that is, from the air-con.

Is it that this is a mythical need for maintenance that landlords have taken on board (hook, line and sinker, just with the tenants being stuck for the obligation)? I still don't get it :???:

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Post by x9200 » Tue, 21 Jan 2014 11:02 am

Because it is an expensive piece of equipment as (for example) compared to the mentioned vacuum cleaner and there is no other easy way to see if it was properly maintained.

Why should we pay taxes for the police?
Why should you pay 3rd party liability car insurance if you seldom drive?

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Post by SINexpat » Tue, 21 Jan 2014 11:37 am

x9200, in the US it's never required to "maintain" the coils of our A/C units. Only time a repairman makes a visit is if the A/C fails to cool. My A/C system in my house has two condensors (one for each floor) that are much larger and expensive than any mini split and never require "servicing"

This is one of those paradigms where people have convinced themselves it's needed and propogated by A/C companies. 100% waste of expense.

And the little filter on the inside unit can be rinsed out in 1 min. Doesn't take $25-50 SGD to do it. Need about $0.000001 SGD in tap water.

Go look in the operator manual of an LG or Mitsubishi and you won't see a recommended quarterly cleaning. In fact in the US if that was the case nobody would buy them.

Absolute SCAM. Shocked that someone in SG has not exposed it as an needless expense and effort.

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Post by kookaburrah » Tue, 21 Jan 2014 11:58 am

I am actually on the side of x9200 on this one, and I can usually be relied to be on the opposite camp.

You cannot compare the US to Singapore. Simply cannot. Since he has no other way of ascertaining this, a LL in Singapore must assume that ALL A/C units in the flat they are renting will be working 24/7, 365 days a year. To assume anything less would be foolish, given that a 4 unit A/C system costs upwards of 5000 dollars (I know, I've just had one installed - and that was just the units and compressors, not the pipes). Based on this usage, I'm afraid any recommendations in a manual would be unreliable.

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Post by JR8 » Tue, 21 Jan 2014 12:11 pm

The fridge in a rented place is working 24/7/365, doesn't mean the tenant has to pay to maintain it.

An irony is that here, re: air-con, a tenant has to 'maintain it', yet a landlord is on the hook to repair it. Conflicting interests?

Why is the air-con the only fixture/fitting/furnishing a tenant has to provably 'maintain' during the term?

A condo/house full of curtains, counter-panes and blinds costs a lot of money. But I only need to prove I've had them cleaned at my point of departure.

It doesn't appear to make sense.

@ KKBH
------------
'Since he has no other way of ascertaining this, a LL in Singapore must assume that ALL A/C units in the flat they are renting will be working 24/7, 365 days a year. To assume anything less would be foolish, given that a 4 unit A/C system costs upwards of 5000 dollars'
------------

You provide a property 'as is'. This is abasic foundation of Landlord and Tenant law. That means if it comes with working air-con, the landlord is on the hook to ensure the ongoing provision of said air-con. Flip-side: you can't let out a house and garden, then build a block of flats on the garden after 3 months ... > = loss of amenity.

The 6-pane sliding glass doors to our roof terrace must cost ... maybe $10k? But there's no requirement for us to service them... nor the fridge, freezer, oven, hob, HW system, lighting, wiring, flooring, decoration, sinks, showers, toilets ..... and on and on and on ... nothing it seems, apart from the air-con, that we don't use.

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Post by SINexpat » Tue, 21 Jan 2014 1:10 pm

kookaburrah wrote:I am actually on the side of x9200 on this one, and I can usually be relied to be on the opposite camp.

You cannot compare the US to Singapore. Simply cannot. Since he has no other way of ascertaining this, a LL in Singapore must assume that ALL A/C units in the flat they are renting will be working 24/7, 365 days a year. To assume anything less would be foolish, given that a 4 unit A/C system costs upwards of 5000 dollars (I know, I've just had one installed - and that was just the units and compressors, not the pipes). Based on this usage, I'm afraid any recommendations in a manual would be unreliable.
Oh really? Most A/C are shut off here during the day or when people are out. In the US I live in a cold climate yet the A/C runs 24/7 from April to October as it's not just for colling but humidity control. Would not be surprised if my total system run time is equivalent to that of many systems used "part-time at night" only compared to many warm climates in the Southern US.

5000 dollars? My A/C system was 20k with all the latest efficiency bells and whistles and guess what? It will never require BS "maintenance" to clean coils. Never.

It's a ridiculus paradigm. An old saying that rings so true here, "Never mistake activity for achievement".

Go look at the operators manual. Does not require quarterly services.

Be a great news story for Singapore exposing a needless effort.

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