Most of us can’t live without one of these three essential electrical items at home – the fan, refrigerator, and air-conditioner – to cool down when the mercury rises. We’ve put together a handy guide to the three of them, so you’ll know everything there is to know, at a glance!
HOW THEY WORK
Fans circulate air, and efficiently distribute it throughout a space. As the blades rotate, air is circulated in a direction which pushes cool air down and hot air up – or vice versa, depending on the blades’ direction. Therefore, they don’t so much lower the ambient temperature as they do create a cooling effect, by drawing heat away from the skin.
SAVANNAH BY SPIN Savannah features acrylic blades in a walnut grain finish – it’s stylish and easy to maintain, as acrylic blades do not rust when exposed to sunlight or rain. It is equipped with Spin’s trademarked Ultra Dynamics DC, which promises to save electricity by 80 per cent. Get them from Spin, #05-01, 994 Bendemeer Road. Tel: 6298-1038.
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Downrod-For a ceiling fan to work efficiently, the height between the fan and floor should not be too distant. So, homes with high ceilings will need a downrod to lower the fan while keeping it stable. Homes with low ceilings, will need a hugger installation – this keeps the fan as close to the ceiling as possible. Ceiling type –Know the surface you’ll be installing the fan on. A false ceiling usually requires reinforcement to strengthen the mounting spot. Measurements –Don’t just consider the measurements of the fan itself. Buyers need to know the size of the room to determine the number, size and angle of the fan’s blades. For instance, flat blades generate wind within the fan diameter, whereas a blade with a steeper angle covers a wider area. Direct Current Motor (DC) –This is a bi-directional motor which is light, compact, and energy-efficient. The Alternating Current Motor (AC), on the other hand, is uni-directional, heavier in weight, and consumes more energy.
T60AW BY KDK The T60AW is designed for HDB flats or apartments with low ceilings less than 3m high. It is also equipped with the 1/f Yuragi function, which creates a wind flow that mimics a natural breeze. T60AW is available at KDK stores. Visit www.kdk.sg for store locations.
HOW TO MAINTAIN
Cleaning fan blades by sliding each one within a pillowcase promises mess-free results. For blades made of organic material such as bamboo, such as those on Haiku fans, do not use water or cleaning liquids as this will result in mould growth. If your fan is noisy or wobbly, it is due to incorrect installation. Contact experienced installers and professional cleaning experts to fix the problem. Consider buying a new fan when your fan blades start drooping. This typically happens to fans with blades made of thin metal sheets.
BLACK MATRIX COMPOSITE BY HAIKU If you’re looking for the strong and silent type, opt for this Haiku model. Its blades are made of a durable glass matrix composite and, like every Haiku fan, it has been tested to ensure the quietest operation. Check out Haiku fans at the Big Ass Fans warehouse, #06-07, 18 Tampines Industrial Crescent. Tel: 6709-8500.
HOW THEY WORK
The aircon extracts heat from indoor air and expels it outdoors, using three main parts; a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator. Hot indoor air passes through the evaporator coil, which is filled with a heatabsorbing chemical called the refrigerant. The fan blows the cooled air into the room. In the compressor, the heated refrigerant (now a gas) is compressed into liquid form again, making it ready for another round of heat extraction. The heat generated by the compression is then blown outdoors via condenser coils and another fan.
ART COOL BY LG This energy-efficient and silent aircon features the H1N1 filter, which has been proven to eradicate 99.9 per cent of the virus within 24 hours. In addition, smartphone users can use the Artcool Premium Smart Service app to request non-on-site support from LG aircon technicians. The new LG Artcool Platinum series is available from selected Courts, Gain City, and Harvey Norman stores.
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Indoor/outdoor units – Indoor units are the physical aircon units themselves, which house the fan and evaporator coil. The outdoor unit, often called the compressor, works outside the home.
Systems 2 to 5 – Think of systems like a package – if you purchase a System 4, you’ll be paying for four aircon units (indoor units) and one compressor (outdoor unit). Pick the system according to how many rooms you want cooled. For example, to cool three bedrooms and one living room, pick System 4.
SILVERE NVI BY DAIKIN Silver Envi’s inverter system comes with a two-area intelligent eye, a sensor which switches to energy-saving mode when the room is unoccupied for more than 20 minutes, as well as a 3-D air flow system, which distributes the air evenly throughout the room. The curved front panel design is also a stylish element. Silver Envi is available at Daikin Proshops. Visit www.daikin.com.sg for store locations.
Inverter aircons – Inverter aircons are equipped with a compressor which operates at a range of speeds, from slow to fast, to meet the selected temperature. This means the aircon cools only what is needed and is more energy-efficient, compared to conventional units which operate at only one speed. The latter overworks the aircon and wastes energy. R410A – Aircons use chemicals called refrigerants to effectively cool the room. R410A is a type of refrigerant, which is more eco-friendly and efficient compared to the previously popular refrigerant, R22.
GRANDE BY YORK Awarded a four-tick energy efficiency rating by the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Grande inverter aircon comes with built-in negative ionisers for the removal of dust and smoke. To prevent the growth of mould and bacteria, it uses a self-cleaning function which dries out the coil when the unit is switched off. Visit www.johnsoncontrols.sg for store locations.
Cooling capacity – This refers to how much cooling load is required for a particular room or area, and is measured by the British Thermal Unit (BTU). An aircon with 9,000 BTU per hour is sufficient for a standard HDB master bedroom. To prevent a hefty bill, choose the right BTU for each room so you can keep cool without overworking your aircon. You can also install blinds or window films to prevent sunlight from heating the room.
AMBI CLIMATE BY AMBI LABS Ambi Climate is a smart add-on gadget for remote-controlled air conditioners, and it works through a phone app. With sensors that monitor aircon performance and your environment – such as humidity levels and outdoor weather – Ambi Climate can alleviate energy-wasting problems such as overcooling, and control your aircon unit while you’re overseas. Ambi Climate is available at Challenger stores.
HOW TO MAINTAIN
Common problems include aircons that leak or do not produce cool air efficiently. A leaking vent means the temperature is too cold (causing condensation), so turn up the temperature or increase the fan speed. Leaking on the unit itself might mean the drainage is blocked, and requires servicing.
The easiest way to improve the output of cool air is to clean the filters! Dirty filters also force the aircon unit to use more energy and can shorten its lifespan. Soak the filter in soapy water for five to 10 minutes, gently rinse and let it dry. Replace the filter if dirt can no longer be washed or brushed off, or if it has holes.
HOW THEY WORK
Much like how an aircon works, cooling in a refrigerator involves compressing the gaseous refrigerant, and pushing it out to the condenser coils outside of the fridge, where it becomes a liquid when it meets the cool air of the kitchen. This then flows into the evaporator coils inside the freezer and fridge, absorbing the heat and cooling the air. The refrigerant evaporates into a gas again, flows back to the compressor, and the cycle begins again.
ELECTRIC TOUCH SYSTEM BY ELECTROLUX It’s important to keep different types of food at their ideal temperatures, and with a touch of a button on models with this system, you can adjust the temperature for individual compartments – whether it’s for a quick freeze, or vacation mode. Electrolux refrigerators with this system are available at all major home electronics stores.
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No Frost – The cool air circulation eliminates moisture from freezer and refrigerator compartments, preventing the accumulation of frost on food, as well as ice on interior walls. It also keeps power consumption low. Inverter technology - Like in aircons, the inverter technology changes the operation rate of the compressor to allow less energy consumption. Ideal temperature – Each type of food requires a different temperature. For produce, it is 4 to 7 deg C; eggs, 3 to 4 deg C; dairy, 2 to 4 deg C; meat and poultry, 0 to 1 deg C; and fish and shellfish, -1 to 1 deg C.
DOOR - IN - DOOR SERIES BY LG LG’s door-in-door series allows users to reach for their food and snacks without having to open the main refrigerator compartment. This feature provides a smarter way of organising your food, and prevents too much cold air from escaping, allowing food inside to be kept fresher for longer. LG Door-in-Door refrigerators are available at Courts, Gain City, Harvey Norman, and other LG authorised retailers.
Refrigerator types – Top-mounts feature the freezer on top, which may vary in size, from a small compartment to a 50-50 split. Bottom-mounts have freezers at the bottom, which are usually equipped with pull-out drawers. Typically more expensive than top-mounts, these have a larger refrigeration portion. Side-by-sides offer organised storage and shelves for both refrigerator and freezer sections. French-doors, by definition, have a side-by-side top with a bottom freezer. It lets you see most foods, shelves, and crisper drawers, at eye level. However, there is a lack of organised storage space.
WMX410BT/SS BY WHIRL POOL This refrigerator’s fruit crisper comes with Micro Block technology, which releases antimicrobial additives to disrupt and prevent up to 99.9 per cent of bacterial growth. It is also equipped with Fresh Flow flexi-vents, with antibacterial filters that ensure the air in your fridge remains clean and fresh. WMX410BT/SS by Whirlpool is available at APS Lifestyle Gallery, 9 Muthuraman Chetty Road. Tel: 6233-0593.
HOW TO MAINTAIN
Remember to clean the back and bottom of the fridge regularly. Use a dry towel for the exterior, and a soft towel, neutral detergent, and clean water for the interior. Do not splash water directly on the refrigerator, or on any light and electrical panels.
Spilled oil or seasoning? Clean it immediately as set stains may crack the plastic shelves. Banana oil, alcohol and soap powder may also damage the plastic components.
Consider replacing your refrigerator if the cost of repair is half the price of a new model. It is also more economical to get rid of your 20-year-old fridge – even if it is running well! – for a newer, more energysaving machine.