I’m sitting at my kitchen island typing this article now comfortably in the cool air, thanks to my 24K Starmex aircon unit installed by Harvest Aire. We had a great experience with this air-conditioning company, and this is our complete review.
Why did we choose Harvest Aire?
Reason 1. Excellent Reputation
Harvest Aire is a local company that provides air-conditioning installation, repair, and maintenance services. From what we read online, the company has excellent standards of installation and provide high quality materials (without additional fees). These are extremely important factors because if the aircon units are installed poorly and/ or the materials are inferior, it can lead to many problems such as leakage, over-heating, malfunctions, etc.
Our contact person was Win (+65 9616 6324), who provided us with wonderful service throughout the installation process. His replies were always extremely prompt, and he was very professional and polite in our Whatsapp exchanges. We highly recommend contacting him if you decide to engage Harvest Aire!
Reason 2. High Quality Materials
We were happy to know that Harvest Aire provides high quality air-conditioning materials without any additional charges. Below are the materials used for our air-con installation.
Armaflex Insulation Class 0 (1/2 Inch Insulation)
This is the black rubber foam that is used to cover the copper pipe and drainage pipe. It absorbs water formed due to condensation on the pipes. If water is not absorbed properly, it will cause leakage of the pipes. Armaflex is a popular and reliable brand of foam.
If your piping is covered by trunking (plastic casing covering the pipes) only, it is sufficient to use foam that is 3/8 inch thick. However, if your trunking is further concealed by false ceilings or walls, it is best to use 1/2 inch insulation. Harvest Aire provided us with 1/2 inch thickness at no additional cost, which was great because our trunking is concealed by a false beam.
“Class 0” and “Class 1” refer to the fire safety classification of the foam. Class 0 is a higher rating than Class 1, and it is better to use this class.
Copper Pipe SWG22
The copper pipes carry the coolant gas between the outdoor unit (compressor) and the indoor units. SWG (Standard Working Gauge) 22 and SWG23 refer to the thickness of the copper pipes: SWG22 is 0.71mm while SWG23 is 0.61mm. SWG23 (0.61mm) is usually sufficient for piping running through normal trunking. However, if your pipes are concealed behind a false wall or ceiling, it is better to use SWG22 (0.71mm). We had built a beam to conceal the trunking, therefore we were happy that Harvest Aire provided us with SWG22 pipes.
When planning the position of your aircon units, it is best to keep the copper pipe route as short and straight as possible. There are three reasons for this. Firstly, if the pipe is very long, the coolent gas will have to travel a longer distance and consequently it will take longer to cool down the room. Secondly, if the piping route has many bends, it will slow down the gas and therefore the room will take longer to cool. Thirdly, if multiple copper pipes are joined together to construct the route, it may result in condensation at the joints between the pipes.
16mm PVC Drainage Pipe with Insulation
This is the pipe used to drain water from your aircon units. There are two sizes, 13mm and 16mm. It is important to use the 16mm size because a bigger size will allow the water to drain faster and lower the risk of leakage. Harvest Aire provides insulation for the drainage pipe too to prevent condensation.
Keystone 3Core Wire Cable
3C40 (3 wire cords, each with 40 copper strands) is the wire used to connect the indoor units to the outdoor unit, and 3C70 is the wire connecting the outdoor unit to the powerpoint. Keystone is a Singapore brand known for its high quality. It is important to avoid wiring made in China.
This is the summary of our materials:
– Armaflex Insulation Class 0 (1/2 Inch Insulation)
– Copper Pipe SWG22
– 16mm PVC Drainage Pipe with Insulation
– Keystone 3Core Wire Cable
Reason 3. Extremely Reasonable Price
And of course, an important factor was price too. Out of all the suppliers we contacted, Harvest Aire provided us with the best quotation. In fact, the price quoted by them was cheaper than others by around 5% to 10%, which was quite a significant amount.
Mitsubishi Electric Starmex System 3 (2 ticks)
After some research, we decided to go with the Mitsubishi Electric Starmex System 3 (2 ticks). We chose Starmex because we had read many positive reviews of it online. In particular, it is known for being extremely silent. While it might be slightly more expensive than other brands, we decided that it was worth paying a slight premium for better quality. There are even more expensive brands but we felt that ME was the best value-for-money brand. Below are the models of our outdoor unit (compressor) and indoor units:
2 ticks vs 5 ticks
“2 ticks” and “5 ticks” refer to the energy ratings of the aircon system. A “5 ticks” system is supposed to be more energy efficient, but it is also a lot more expensive. In addition, this is a relatively new and unproven system. Therefore, we decided to just go with “2 ticks” instead. “System 3” simply refers to the number of indoor units, which is three in our case.
Deciding the BTU
As for the indoor units’ capacities, we decided to go with 24,000BTU (24K), 13,000BTU (13K), and 10,000BTU (10K). The bigger the number, the stronger the cooling capacity. We used 24K for our living room/ kitchen, 13K for our Master Bedroom, and 10K for our study room. Initially we had considered installing two indoor units (18K and 10K) for the living room because we have an open-concept kitchen. However, we found out that based on the combined size of our living room and kitchen (around 52 square metre or 560 square feet), a 24K unit would be more than sufficient.
It is important that you do not install an indoor unit with an overly-high BTU because this would cause the room to cool down too fast before moisture can be removed. This would result in a very cold room with high humidity. Other than being uncomfortable, it may cause your walls to become damp and result in mold growth. On the other hand, an indoor unit with an overly-low BTU would need to work extra hard to reach the desired temperature, which would result in high electricity charges. You can refer to this guide to gauge the appropriate BTU for your aircon unit.
Free Site Visit by Harvest Aire
Win came to my house for a free site visit shortly after I contacted him. He advised us on the appropriate aircon system for our house. We also had a preliminary discussion on the piping route.
First Installation: Piping and Trunking
Living Room Piping
Master Bedroom Piping
Study Room Piping
Renovation worker (from our ID company) installing beam to hide the aircon trunking. You can see the exposed trunking on the top right of the picture.
A few weeks later, we informed Win that we had decided to engage Harvest Aire for our aircon installation. He told us that there would be two installations. The first installation would be of the piping and trunking, while the second installation would be of the aircon units after painting works are done.
He came down to our house a few days before the first installation to discuss with our ID the piping route and indoor units’ positions.
I was not physically present during the discussion, and the aircon positions and piping route were almost finalized wrongly. Luckily, I managed to clarify with my ID and Win before the installation. Therefore, my advice is that you should try your best to be present during the discussion of the indoor units’ positions and piping route. It would be a big headache if the piping route was installed wrongly since it is very difficult to change.
Second Installation: Outdoor Unit (Compressor) and Indoor Units
The second installation took place after completion of the painting works. This was to install the outdoor unit (compressor) and the indoor units. The Harvest Aire workers wrapped the indoor units with plastic after installation to protect them against dust from the renovation works.
Aircon Performance (so far)
We have been using our Starmex system for about one month, and so far it has been working perfect! The indoor units are extremely silent and we can barely even hear them at all. Capacity-wise, the units work perfectly for the Master Bedroom (13K) and Study Room (10K). As for the living room / kitchen, the kitchen usually takes a little longer to cool down because the aircon unit is installed in the living room. However, it is just a slight time difference (5 to 10 minutes) and I am sitting in the kitchen now enjoying the cool air.
I am glad that we engaged Harvest Aire for our aircon installation! Win provided great service, and we were happy to get high quality materials at no extra charges at all. Harvest Aire also charged the lowest price for installation among all the companies we contacted. We will update this article again after a longer period of using our Starmex air-conditioning system.
Address: 31 Woodlands Close #02-09 Woodlands Horizon Singapore 737855
Win’s Number: +65 9616 6324
Service Hours: | Mon to Sat 8.30am – 5.30pm |