Air conditioner vs Electric heater

Did you know than an air conditioner is at least 3 times more efficient as an electric heater?

To get a bit technical with this, A normal bar heater draws 2 kW of power for 2 kW of heat. A reverse cycle air conditioner which has a cooling and heating function, requires only 0.6 kW of electrical power for 2 kW of heat! This means that an air condition beats old fashioned heating methods hands down!

How does a reverse cycle air conditioner work?

A reverse cycle takes free heat from the air around us and a fan forces air across an evaporator that contains a very cold liquid refrigerant. The heat in the air warms the refrigerant and changes it to a gas. This gas is circulated by a compressor and the increasing pressure causes the temperature of the gas to rise further. The high temperature gas then goes to a condenser where the heat is transferred to the air. The refrigerant cools to a liquid and the cycle starts again.

So, you may want to reconsider your heating methods in your home or office this winter. You could save a whole lot of money by simply using your air conditioner over a normal old heater!

Benefits in using an air conditioner

There are more benefits to be got from the air conditioner:

  1. The air is distributed evenly throughout the room. Many air conditioner brands now have 3D air distribution that circulates the air to the corners. In the case of electric heaters it is hot near the heater and cold in the rest of the room.
  2. Thermostatically controlled so no electricity is wasted by overheating.
  3. In summer the air conditioner is used for cooling whereas the electric heater sits dormant in storage.
  4. Electric heaters have safety issues. A 2 kW electric heater can overload electric circuits especially in older houses. Overloaded circuits can cause fires. In addition the high radiant heat close to the heater can cause clothing to catch fire.

Want to find out more about air conditioner heating solutions? Feel free to contact us on 033 345 3135 or email us at We look forward to hearing from you!

Are you sure you are Insured?

Property insurance has become tradition in South Africa, a vast majority of South African citizens discern some tranquillity from the thought of being covered should anything happen to their property or assets. Customary property installations such as Air Conditioning and Refrigeration units are seldom considered when insuring property. However, years of faithful Insurance instalments can prove despondent without a valid Certificate of Conformity.

What is a Certificate of Conformity?

A Certificate of Conformity (COC) for Gas installations is a legal document which must be obtained whenever a gas system or appliance is installed, modified or repaired and should be retained for probable future requirement.

According to the Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER), refrigerators and air conditioning units that use refrigerant gas should meet the specified standards to ensure safety.

These regulations set out the requirements regarding the design, manufacture, operation, repair, modification, maintenance, inspection and testing of pressure equipment. When a COC is issued for an installation, this proves that the installation is safe and compliant with the regulations set.  In terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993, the PER also requires persons handling the installation of any gas systems to undergo specific training and to be registered with the South African Qualification and Certification Committee – Gas (SAQCC Gas). Only a Registered Gas Practitioner can issue a COC for any air conditioning or refrigeration units installed.

COC and Insurance Pay-outs

Commonly, people are oblivious to the significance of having a valid COC for all air conditioners or/and refrigeration units on their property, insurance companies often omit this kind of information when sealing an agreement. It is an overwhelming fact that you could be faithfully paying insurance instalments yet end up receiving no aid due to the absence of a valid COC. This truth should incite owners to use registered gas installers and demand a COC upon conclusion.

The majority of insurance companies would require this certificate to prove that the installation was safe and had been serviced regularly.” Lanice Steward- managing director of Knight Frank Anne Porter

Should there be no valid Certificate of Conformity, many insurance companies will not accept liability for costs of damage caused to property or assets. The loss and damage suffered by an owner/user due to an air conditioner or refrigerant unit installation for which a valid COC has not been issued, falls entirely on the owner. Regardless of cost of reparation, the insurance will most likely not cover it.

Energy efficient air-conditioners in South Africa

Air conditioners can be one of the major consumers of energy in households, and consumers should carefully consider their choice of air-conditioner before making a decision to purchase because of the significant life time costs of operating an air-conditioner. It currently projected that in the long-term shifting to more energy efficient air-conditioners in South Africa will collectively save 400,000 MW of electricity annually.

To protect consumers from purchasing inefficient air-conditioners Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) have been set for air conditioners. Currently, only air conditioners with an Energy Efficiency Rating of Class B or better can be sold.

Since there is still a large range in the relative efficiency of air conditioners, it is good idea to carefully consider the energy consumption of an air conditioner prior to purchase. The South African Energy Efficiency Label that will be shown on an air conditioner in the showroom or online provides key information on the energy efficiency rating of the air conditioner and its projected annual energy consumption (details on how to read the label are discussed below).

One of the key decisions a consumer needs to make when purchasing an air conditioner is between an inverter air conditioner and a non-inverter air conditioner. The motor of the compressor in an inverter air conditioner has variable speed, while the motor of the compressor in a non-inverter air conditioner has a fixed speed. This difference means that a censor in the inverter air conditioner can adjust the speed of the motor depending on the room temperature, while a non-inverter air conditioner can only operate at one speed. In addition to being more energy efficient, inverter air conditioners keep the temperature of the room much more consistent by making fine adjustments compared to a non-inverter air conditioner which constantly has to turn the motor of the compressor on and off, leading to large temperature fluctuations.

Understanding the energy efficiency label

Air conditioners being sold must be labelled with a South African Energy Efficiency Label to help consumers understand the relative energy efficiency of different air conditioners. The image below shows a sample of a label for an air conditioner with an explanation of the key elements of the label.

Calculating how much the appliance will cost to run

The kWh figure for annual energy consumption that is shown on the label is designed to assist you to calculate how much it may cost to run the air conditioner on an annual basis. However, it should be noted that most consumers use air conditioners very differently and as a result the actual use is likely to vary considerably. The figure on the label assumes using the air conditioner at maximum power for 500 hours in a year (i.e. an average of 82 minutes a day). If you anticipate using the air conditioner more frequently than that, the cost of running the air conditioner will increase accordingly.

To calculate the annual running costs of an air conditioner, multiply the kWh figure for annual consumption by the cost of electricity in your municipality. You can find the kWh cost of electricity in your municipality by looking at your electricity bill. For example, if the label indicates that the air conditioner will use 1500 kWh per year and where you live a kWh of electricity costs R2 (including VAT), the cost of running the air conditioner will be R3000 for the year.

Appliance Energy Calculation Tools were created to aid consumers to make more informed decisions by calculating the long term cost for running an appliance. Click here to calculate the running costs and CO2 emissions for air conditioners.

What size air conditioner do I need?

What size air conditioner do I need?

Choosing the right size can save you money and reduce your energy use

No matter how hot under the collar you get, buying an air conditioner should never be an impulse purchase. It’s an expensive, long-term commitment that has big implications for your power bill and comfort levels alike – so it’s important to do your homework before installing one. While it’s tempting to just opt for the biggest air conditioner you can get, bigger isn’t always better. So how can you find out the capacity you need? We’ll talk you through it.

The big four
While room size is an important consideration, every home is different and there are many other factors that will impact your air conditioning capacity requirements.
“Take some time to assess the room and figure out which size air conditioner you need,” says CHOICE’s air con expert Chris Barnes.
I saved hundreds on my last air conditioner purchase by calculating that a smaller capacity model would suit my home.

1. Room size:

What’s the length, width and ceiling height? While floor space is important, so is total volume – a room with high ceilings will require more energy to cool.


Are the ceilings and walls insulated? What’s underneath and on top of the room? Ceiling insulation is one of the biggest factors in making your home thermally efficient.

3. Location:

Room in Durban will need a more powerful air conditioner for cooling, compared to an otherwise identical room in Pietermaritzburg. 


Which way does the room face? A large north- or west-facing window can let in a lot of heat in summer, whereas a shaded, southern-facing window will be cooler. 


Ceiling insulation has the biggest impact on how big an air conditioning unit you’ll need. If you don’t have roof insulation, consider installing it – it’ll save you money in the long run, as you can get away with a smaller, cheaper air conditioner, as well as ongoing running costs.

Air conditioning capacity requirements per room size

Here’s our rough guide to the air conditioner capacity (size) you’ll need to cool a particular room size

Size matters

This is a ballpark guide, but we recommend that you do an accurate calculation so you don’t end up with a system that’s drastically over- or under-sized. Don’t be tempted to go smaller to save money, or larger to keep your house feeling like a fridge.
“Bigger isn’t always better, and smaller isn’t always more economical,” says CHOICE’s air con expert Chris Barnes. “Aim for the sweet spot.”

Here's what can happen if you super-size or skimp on your air con:

Too big: the unit may run frequent short cycles to achieve the target temperature. This can mean:
• The room gets too hot or cold
• The unit doesn’t dehumidify the air enough (so the room feels less comfortable)
• Power use increases
• Running costs increase
• More wear and tear on the system
• Too small: the unit may have to run at maximum output more often. This can mean:
• The unit dries out the air too much
• More wear and tear on the system
• Power use increases


Choose a model with capacity that’s either just right, or slightly more than you’ll need for the room. For example, if the room needs a 6kW model, then go for a unit with a rated cooling capacity in the range of 6 to 6.5kW

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Samsung’s air conditioners can help you beat the cold this winter

Samsung’s air conditioners can help you beat the cold this winter

With winter in full swing in South Africa, keeping your home or office space warm is essential to not only staying comfortable, but protecting your health. An air conditioner is one of the most effective ways to regulate the temperature inside your house or workplace – whether you need it to be warmer or cooler. Samsung’s wide range of air conditioners available in South Africa provide excellent performance and reliability for this purpose. This makes them ideal for not only cooling your living areas down during summer, but also warming things up in the of winter months.

Full temperature control

Samsung air conditioners ensure that room temperatures remain regulated according to your preferences. Whether your require heating or cooling, it is also important that the airflow of your air conditioner is optimised. Samsung’s Wind-Free Cooling technology is designed to gently disperse air through 23,000 micro air holes so that you do not have to feel wind blowing onto you. It’s further designed to cool or heat wide and large areas, meaning the temperature of your entire room can be managed easily. Good Sleep mode is another innovation that automatically manages the temperature of your room while you are sleeping to optimise the various stages of your sleep cycle.

Energy efficiency

While air conditioners are typically bad news in the energy efficiency department, Samsung truly sets itself apart from competitors in this area. Samsung air conditioners use less electricity than its rivals and are therefore perfect for the South African customer. The air conditioners employ energy saving techniques to reduce power consumption – saving their owners money. The digital inverter 8-pole used by Samsung consumes only 32% of the energy used by conventional air conditioners. It also maintains the desired temperature without the need to turn the air conditioner on and off – meaning there is less power fluctuation in the home.

Germ-free air

Another consideration when purchasing an air conditioner is the quality of the air it is emitting – an even more important factor in winter. Samsung aircons use high-quality filters to keep your air fresh and the inside of the unit clean. As well as capturing dust, its unique coating may eliminate certain kinds of viruses, bacteria, and allergens as they pass through its dense filter mesh. Additionally, the High Density filter is washable, meaning that you can clean it manually to continue breathing clean air.

Cooling demand surging and industry reforms required says WRD founder

Cooling demand surging and industry reforms required says WRD founder

Society does not realise anymore how reliant technology and basic services are on cooling and refrigeration. Image credit: Cold Store Construction UK

Industry experts argue that there is no single ‘silver bullet’ approach to meet demand for cleaner, greener cost-effective cooling in reflection of the vast role of refrigeration in modern life.

Growth of the global cooling sector will be vital to protect people and economies around the world, but such an expansion must be met responsibly, according to Steven Gill, founder of World Refrigeration Day.

Gill, speaking at a webinar ahead of World Refrigeration Day, said that exponential growth for cooling technologies worldwide reflected the challenges posed to everyone from global warming. “Increases in average global temperatures were increasingly impacting people in both developing and developed countries”, says Gill. He added, “We do have to grow this responsibly. We just cannot carry on doing more of the same. That is just not possible both from an energy side and the climate impacts. So yes, the demand for cooling is growing. The demand for cooling as we know it, as we’re doing it right now, no, we cannot continue like this.”

Gill was joined during the webinar by Julie Murray, Chair of the Institute of Refrigeration Scotland. Murray said that the coinciding International Women in Engineering Day, that remained a stigma that specialist engineering sectors such as refrigeration were a ‘man’s job’, despite the examples of experts operating across a number of sectors.

The global campaign day is therefore part of ongoing work to expand and build public awareness of the employment opportunities for women in the fields of engineering and other vital areas of businesses and planning.

Murray said, “The refrigeration and cooling sector still continues to be taken for granted, despite the huge number of applications it will continue to have in safeguarding many vital aspects of modern life from food supply, to technology, infrastructure and healthcare.”

Graeme Fox, head of certification body Refcom, said that focuses such as World Refrigeration Day on building public awareness of the various aspects of cooling were hugely important for the future of the sector.

Fox added, “We as a sector have fingers in so many pies that people just aren’t aware of.  The fact is so much of modern life is just not possible without some form of refrigeration.” Fox cited the growing reliance on webinars was an example of how cooling supported huge swathes of technological innovation, such as in ensuring data centres continue to function.

No silver bullets

The webinar was also used to ask the panel of experts what the future of cooling might look like amidst an industry acceptance of the need to reduce its overall environmental impacts and specifically asking for examples of what the major technological breakthrough to come from industry might be to address the sector’s operational and sustainable ambitions.

The panel accepted that the best answer to such a difficult question was that there would not be no single ‘silver bullet’ solution to address the challenges facing the sector and industries dependent on cost effective and energy efficient cooling.

Fox said, “I think one of the problems we have had as a sector for a long-time is that we, and I say we but this is long before my time, continually have had lots of breakthrough inventions that have sadly turned out to be not so great for the environment. This had made us a bit hesitant, if you like, to bring forward some of the changes. “

An obvious and significant recent change that he said was now going ahead was the plethora of new refrigerants being developed to try and address environmental concerns around cooling technologies.

Fox added, “One of these issues that this development has obviously brought is the need for professionalism. We are obviously now dealing with flammable refrigerants and very high-pressure gas and things that maybe industry hasn’t been used to. If there would be any ‘silver bullet’ invention to come in the next ten years, it would probably be a lovely, environmentally friendly refrigerant that doesn’t have high pressure, isn’t toxic and isn’t flammable. Whether that is possible within the laws of physics is another question.”

Seven ways to celebrate World Refrigeration Day

Seven ways to celebrate World Refrigeration Day

On June 26, the global HVAC&R community will be rallying around a common cause in celebration of World Refrigeration Day (WRD 2020).

This year, the scale and means of marking the occasion has been restricted by the pandemic, but WRD founder Stephen Gill says there is still plenty going on.

“WRD 20 is going to be very different from WRD 19 but the desire to raise awareness of our industry remains the same,” says Gill.

“The level of interest is significantly higher than it was last year. Even in these dark days, everyone I speak to wants to get involved and do something.  Their resources may be significantly less than last year, and quite a few have been severely impacted by budget reductions or even freezes on spending, and yet their passion and enthusiasm shines through. It is both dazzling and humbling to behold at times.

“WRD 20 should not be a year measured in numbers, but one marked by the passion, creativity and resilience of this industry and the remarkable people in it.” 

We’ve picked out seven examples of how the industry is getting behind WRD 2020.

The wonderful world of refrigeration

Australian retailer Woolworths planned to offer a tour of its transcritical CO2 systems, as it did last year. But with pandemic restrictions in force, they decided instead to produce a video and called out to industry stakeholders to provide input. The response was extraordinary.

“We had over 80 clips submitted by enthusiastic stakeholders both from within the Woolworths community but also from our suppliers and technology partners,” says Woolworths Sustainable Innovations Engineer Dario Ferlin, M.AIRAH.

The Woolworths team produced a short clip that captures the world of refrigeration through its many people.

Spreading the word

The UK-based Institute of Refrigeration (IOR) has developed several initiatives linked to WRD. One of them is an online campaign that encourages HVAC&R stakeholders in the UK to post on social media.

Besides posting Twitter hashtags – such as @thecoolinghub, #refrigerationheros #openforcooling and #wrefd20 – respondents are asked to provide examples of how the cooling industry has been providing essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic in areas such as food supply, medical facilities, hospitals and building operation.

The IOR is also hosting a webinar on WRD called “Beyond Refrigeration – the challenge to achieve net zero heating and cooling for the UK.”

Virtual Industry Showcase

The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (AIRAH) will be staging its first ever Virtual Industry Showcase on June 26 to celebrate WRD 2020. Forming part of AIRAH’s Centenary celebrations, the exhibitor showcase and networking event is open to organisations, professionals and practitioners working in HVAC&R.

The free-of-charge virtual event features an exhibitor showcase in the morning and Q&A sessions in the afternoon. It’s scheduled to run from: 9am–5pm (AEST) | 8.30am–4.30pm (ACST) | 7am–3pm (AWST).

Cold Chain 4 Life

This year’s WRD theme is Cold Chain 4 Life, and is aimed at raising the profile of cold chain technology, along with its associated benefits and challenges such as food waste/loss, health, environment and energy considerations.

As part of 2020 celebrations, the WRD Secretariat, ASHRAE, European Partnership for Energy and Environment (EPEE), International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR), and UNEP OzonAction are campaigning to address the importance of the Cold Chain sector and its vital contribution to food safety and security as well as public health and wellbeing.

Under the auspices of the campaign, an international webinar will be held on WRD targeting the public, governments and industry professionals.

Founding of a pan-African refrigeration association

The first ever pan-African refrigeration association has been created in time for World Refrigeration Day 2020. The association will be inaugurated with the formation of U-3ARC, the Union of Associations of African Actors in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.

The group, consisting of 25 association from 24 countries, will hold its first General Assembly on 24-26 September in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. The group has been welcomed by international contractors’ group AREA, which helped with its establishment.

“We look forward to seeing how we can support the development of this Union and working together to achieve our common goal of advancing the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump industry,” says AREA president Marco Buoni.

“This is such a bold development in the region that will have a lasting legacy. Although different to how others are celebrating WRD, I can’t help but be inspired by it,” says Gill.

Celebrating on socials

This year, Actrol, along with Reece HVAC and Metalflex, are taking their celebrations online, with a social media competition and customer giveaways throughout the day.

“For those in the industry who want a chance to win, it’s as simple as posting a HVAC&R-related picture on Instagram or Facebook showing what they have been doing to help the world keep its cool,” says Reece. “This could be anything from an installation they are proud of or even an awesome worksite shot.”

Winners will be announced on June 26.

Weekly facts on natural refrigerants

HVAC manufacturer CAREL is celebrating WRD 2020 by starting an awareness campaign around the topic of natural refrigerants. Every week, the company will reveal a few facts about natural refrigerants on its website.

Ranging from simple concepts to more complex notions, the information will reflect the different levels of detail possible and the paths that can be taken to understand more.

On June 26, CAREL will publish a summary infographic that puts together the pieces of the puzzle, as well as an educational video that explores the world of natural refrigerants.

From HVAC&R News, happy World Refrigeration Day!

Can ventilation help improve building safety?

Can ventilation help improve building safety?

Service, maintenance and regular filter cleaning of the ventilation system are the simplest ways to maintain building health and for designers these applications are key considerations. During, and even after, the current coronavirus pandemic, the ventilation sector can help make buildings healthier to aid in the fight against many similar viruses, or pathogens. As a virus, there is still much to learn about Covid-19 and unfortunately a lot of information is raising anxiety levels for the public as businesses transition again to full operations.

Ventilation is seen as playing a potential role to help with overall well being in buildings at a time when millions are being asked to self-isolate in their homes, alongside following advice on social distancing and the importance of regular and thorough handwashing when leaving and arriving at a property.Even without the current government recommendations for as many citizens to stay home as possible – except for a single form of daily exercise, or to get essential food and medicines – the public already spends an estimated 80 to 90% of their time indoors.

A building’s indoor air quality (IAQ) will therefore clearly have a significant effect on their health and wellbeing. There are ways that the HVAC industry can help building owners improve the health of their buildings, which in turn will improve the health of their employees and increase productivity. Measures such as improving filtration, installing demand control ventilation, maintaining the system and increasing ventilation rates in lone with system design can improve the health of a building. This is seen as an important focus particularly amidst public concern about Covid-19, and similar occurrences in future.

The simplest steps to take to improve existing ventilation are to service and maintain the mechanical ventilation system, including checking the filters. Some ventilation systems, such as Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) and Demand Energy Recovery Ventilation (D-ERV), not only extract harmful pollutants, but also direct the air coming into the building through filters, taking out harmful airborne bacteria and dangerous contaminants.It should be considered important that industry opts to use higher grade filters and ensure they are maintained. Dirty filters will affect the efficiency of the ventilation system which reduces its effectiveness, and filters should be checked regularly to see if they need cleaning or replacing.

Source: David Cook, technical product manager at Vent-Axia

How Samsung’s Wind-Free™ Air Conditioner Keeps Your Home Comfortable, Cool and Healthy

How Samsung’s Wind-Free™ Air Conditioner Keeps Your Home Comfortable, Cool and Healthy

While staying cool when it is hot outside is a priority, there is more to air conditioning than just bringing down the heat. Not only does the Samsung Wind-Free™ Air Conditioner let you maintain a stable home temperature via remote control optimized to your daily schedule, its world-first Wind-Free™ Cooling technology keeps you pleasantly cool while cleaning the air and saving energy.

Stay Comfortable While Keeping Cool

Samsung’s Wind-Free™ Cooling technology is able to provide you with an effective cooling experience without the unpleasant sensation of harsh, cold air blowing directly onto your skin. Once you set your desired temperature, Wind-Free™ Cooling will quietly and gently disperse cool air through 23,000 micro air holes to ensure you are met with no cold draft.

Furthermore, Wind-Free™ Cooling’s advanced airflow cools the room 43 percent faster,1 and thanks to its low air speed and minimized noise emissions, you can enjoy a cooler living space without disruption – wherever you may be in a room.

Breathe Easier with Triple Air Care

Samsung’s Wind-Free™ Cooling technology not only keeps your room temperature comfortably in check, it also includes a specialized filter to keep the air in your home clean and hygienic.

This Tri-Care filter* is made up of three layers that reduce harmful particles to help maintain healthy indoor air quality and has been certified by Intertek to reduce 99.9% of bacteria and viruses that get caught inside of it.2 Each layer captures large dust particles, fibers and even animal hairs, and also includes a Zeolite Coating Filter that reduces viruses, bacteria and allergens.

Enjoy Effortless Cool with Enhanced Smart Operation

Samsung’s Wind-Free™ Air Conditioners come with an AI Auto Cooling feature3 that makes it easier to stay cool. With artificial intelligence, the devices analyze room conditions, user-preferred temperatures and cooling modes, and even the climate outdoors to automatically switch to an optimal room setting. The unit also features a Motion Detect Sensor that will register when there is no one in a room, subsequently switching modes automatically to reduce energy waste.

Wind-Free™ also works with the SmartThings app, so users can turn the air conditioner on and off, schedule operations, switch settings, and even monitor power consumption remotely from their smartphone.

Save Energy Without Compromising Performance

*40% reduction in the 1kHz noise band (4.5dB↓)

**Tested on the AR09MSPXASINEU model compared wiith the Samsung conventional model AQ09TSLXEA.

With the Samsung Wind-Free™ Air Conditioner, all of this leading performance not only keeps you breathing cool, fresh air, it also does its part to protect the planet by reducing the impact of climate change. The Samsung Wind-Free™ Air Conditioner features the next-generation R32 refrigerant, which helps conserve the ozone layer and has a low impact on global warming compared to conventional refrigerants.

The Samsung Wind-Free™ Air Conditioner is an eco-friendly option for those looking for a powerful air conditioner experience with a reduced environmental impact. Additionally, its energy-efficient Digital Inverter Boost technology will maintain your desired temperature with less fluctuation, reducing energy usage by up to 73%. For more information on the Samsung Wind-Free™ Air Conditioner and its leading technologies, stay tuned to Samsung Newsroom.

1 Tested on the AR12TXCAAWKEU model compared with the Samsung conventional model AQ12EASER.

2 Tested on Samsung AR9500T. The antiviral air filter (Tri-Care Filter) can remove up to 99.9% of the viruses based on Intertek Test.

3 Available for Wi-Fi enabled models