Air-Conditioning Blog

Tips For Reducing, Managing & Removing Mould

Targeting Mould Sunshine Coast

High humidity, especially in January to March on the Sunshine Coast, is the recipe for an unwanted household visitor: MOULD. Suddenly, it’s everywhere.. if you find mould in your home, rest assured – you’re not alone! In this brief article, we take a look at the mould situation. What is mould? What causes it? What are the health issues? And, most importantly, what can we do about it?

What is Mould?

Mould is part of a group of very common organisms called fungi that also include mushrooms and yeast. It is present virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. There are many different types of mould, and they all have the potential to cause health problems. [SRC: health.nsw.gov.au]

What Causes Mould?

The presence of mould is caused by wet, dampness and a lack of ventilation. [SRC: ABC] This makes humid summers on the Sunshine Coast the perfect opportunity for mould to proliferate. Especially in periods of extended rainfall and high humidity, conditions are optimised for the growth of mould inside and outside the home.

What are the Health Issues with Mould?

In order to reproduce, mould produces tiny particles called spores. Spores are carried in the air and may cause health problems if inhaled by people who are sensitive or allergic to them. [SRC: health.nsw.gov.au] Examples of adverse health impacts include:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and skin
  • Allergic reaction in people with a mould allergy (e.g. asthma flare-up or hay fever symptoms).
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis—a rare lung disease where the lungs become inflamed due to an allergic reaction to certain inhaled substances (e.g. organic dust, fungus, mould or chemicals)
  • Infection.

Most healthy people will not experience health problems from contact with mould, however the risk increases for people with:

  • asthma, allergies or other respiratory conditions may be more sensitive to mould
  • a health condition or undergoing medical treatment that lowers their immunity are more at risk of infection (e.g. cancer and its treatment, organ transplant recipients).

[SRC: worksafeqld.gov.au]

Ensuring Your Air-Conditioner Is Mould-Free

Because we work with air-conditioners, it’s important to point out that regular cleaning of your air-conditioner unit is essential for mould control. Air-conditioners circulate the air you breathe, so it’s essential to ensure that they are clean and free of mould. This is particularly important on the Sunshine Coast, where high humidity, especially after rain, sees an increase in AC usage. We provide a professional clean & service for your split system or ducted air-conditioner. We recommend this service at lease twice a year to ensure your system is running optimally.

Using Dry Mode to Reduce Humidity

Some ducted and split system air conditioning units offer a mode called ‘dry mode’. In addition to their capability to provide heating and cooling for your Sunshine Coast home, this mode can also be used to humidify, dehumidify, ventilate and purify the air. [SRC: Daikin] If you’re consider a new air-conditioner on the Sunshine Coast, it’s a great idea to assess prospective units for this mode. Learn more about new air-conditioners here.

How to Prevent Mould:

Mould is caused by wet, dampness, lack of ventilation and humidity. The trick to preventing mould, or inhibiting its growth, is to prevent these conditions from arising at home. This is easier said than done when it rains incessantly for 5 months; however utilising your air-conditioner or dehumidifier during these times can also be helpful. Here are some handy tips to prevent or inhibit mould at home:

  1. Allow sunlight into your home, as much as possible.
  2. Allow air to circulate. Open doors and windows.
  3. Where does your clothes dryer vent it’s air? If possible, arrange for it to vent outside, as this air can be very humid and if vented inside, can create mould-growing conditions.
  4. Clean wet areas of the home regularly.
  5. Wipe away any moisture you find, and try to keep the inside of the home dry.
  6. Dry and air damp clothes and shoes outside if possible.
  7. Clean carpets and rugs regularly using a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Filter) vacuum cleaner.
  8. Clean evaporation trays in air-coolers, dehumidifiers and refrigerators regularly.
  9. Don’t run evaporative air cooling systems with water during high humidity (over 65%). If the air feels humid, run the air cooler without water and open the windows.
  10. Allow space between furniture and walls so air can flow, particularly wardrobes.
  11. Don’t stack boxes or other items against outside walls, especially walls that don’t get a lot of sun.
  12. Place absorbent beads in affected rooms to soak up extra moisture. You can buy these at the supermarket.

[SRC: ABC]

How to Remove Mould

  1. Obtain personal protective equipment, including half-face disposable respirators with P1 or P2 filters, to avoid inhaling mould spores when cleaning. You’ll find these at hardware stores.
  2. Place drop sheets on the floor and exclude people from the affected area if they’re not performing the work.
  3. Get 2 buckets: 1 for cleaning solution and 1 for clean water.
  4. Wipe the area clean with a microfibre cloth and cleaning solution. Don’t put dirty cloths back in the solution; rinse them in the clean water to avoid cross-contamination.
  5. After cleaning the area with the solution, wipe the surface with a damp cloth. Use a different cloth to the one you used with the solution.
  6. Wipe the surface dry with a clean cloth.

[SRC: qld.gov.au]

Making Mould Remover

Here are some tips for removing mould from qld.gov.au. They’re particularly useful because they include different options, so depending on what you have in the kitchen, you may not need to go shopping to get started.

Remove mould using a suitable mould remover, such as:

  • a solution of 3 parts vinegar and 2 parts water
  • a solution of 70% methylated spirits and 30% water
  • a solution of tea tree oil and water
  • commercial products from the supermarket. Follow the safety instructions to protect your eyes and skin.

Mould Removal Tips

Why shouldn’t I clean mould with a dry brush or broom?

This could release spores into the air, which may cause adverse health affects and spread mould to other areas. [SRC: qld.gov.au]

Why shouldn’t I clean mould with bleach?

Using bleach is not recommended because it’s not an effective mould killer. However, bleach will help to eliminate other disease-causing organisms that may be present because of contaminated floodwaters. [SRC: qld.gov.au]

Why should I keep changing cloths when cleaning mould?

Always use a different cloth with each process and throw them away after, or the mould spores will spread and mould will reappear. [SRC: qld.gov.au]

Why should I wear personal protective equipment when cleaning mould?

Our immune system does not like mould. It is not meant to be breathed into our lungs. [SRC: qld.gov.au]


Further Reading

Why Air-Conditioners Should Be Cleaned

Air-Conditioners need to be cleaned on a regular basis. There benefits include health, efficiency and longevity. In this brief article, we demonstrate the two reasons why this is essential, provide (pretty unpleasant) images of air-conditioners which we have cleaned. Let’s go! Why Air-Conditioners Should Be Cleaned There are three main reasons why you should arrange…

Continue Reading Why Air-Conditioners Should Be Cleaned

Air-Conditioner Energy Optimisation

On the Sunshine Coast, Air-Conditioners are the most popular solution to keep living and working conditions bearable, especially during the summer heat. In this exciting article, we take a look at how to optimise AC usage to make sure we’re getting the most chill for the lowest cost and energy usage. If you’re interested in an air-conditioner solution for your home or business, don’t hesitate to contact our team – we’re experienced with all aspects of air-conditioning and service Noosa and surrounding suburbs on the Sunshine Coast. 

Reducing Air-Conditioning Running Costs with Solar

Using solar power to run your air-conditioner is a long-term solution that can help to reduce costs in the long-term. Over time, a key benefits is being able to run your appliances during the day without paying for power from the grid. Meanwhile, if you already have solar, it’s important to maximise solar power usage for your AC (as opposed to power from the grid). An example might be cooling down your rooms before the evening comes – instead of waiting until it’s dark, when you will need to use power from the grid.

Using Optimal AC Modes

AC units have a wide variety of modes and on a hot day it can be tempting to hit ‘Siberia’. However, launching into the coldest and most powerful mode is not the most efficient way to use your air-conditioner. Economy modes optimise the way the air-conditioner works to get a great result without redlining power usage. For example, Daikin’s Econo Mode [SRC: Daikin ] prevents excessive cooling and only uses 70% of the appliance’s capacity. This achieves cooling without wasting electricity.

Air-Conditioning Solutions – Noosa & Surrounding Suburbs

Awareness of Modern Features

If you’re looking to purchase an air-conditioner, it’s important to come at it from an energy-efficiency point of view. Pay attention to your prospective machine’s features. For example, some Daikin split systems come with ‘Intelligent Eye’, which monitors whether a room is being used, and adjusts the AC delivery to suit usage. 

Awareness of Ratings

For new air-conditioners, pay attention to energy rating labels. These give an indication of both energy efficiency and energy consumption, helping you to appreciate how a specific appliance compares to its peers.

Use the Right Air-Conditioner

While there are many different types of air-conditioners, some are more energy-efficient than others, depending on the type of premises you are cooling. For cooling bedrooms and larger rooms, small, portable air-conditioning solutions are generally the least energy efficient appliances. Split systems are the recommended solution in most cases, since they are more energy efficient, and can achieve and sustain comparable cooling without requiring as much power. However, they do cost more upfront and they’re not portable. 

Optimising Usage

An important step towards optimising your air-conditioning is to only cool the required rooms, and for these rooms to be sealed from the outside. If you’re cooling the entire house, and all of the doors and windows are open, you might as well just throw your wallet out the window – which won’t be a problem, since the window is already open. Using air-conditioners minimally and within sealed rooms is effective an effective way to cool the home that won’t require the AC to use its full power. 

In Conclusion

Like any appliance, air-conditioners can and should be optimised. With AC, this process starts right at the beginning – selecting an appropriate system for your home – and then operating the system in an efficient manner. If you’d like to know more about AC on the Sunshine Coast, contact our team – we are here to assist.

When is the Best Time of Year to Clean my Air-Conditioner?

Have you ever wondered when the best time of year to clean your AC might be? We recommend Spring – between September and November. If you live in Noosa or nearby on the Sunshine Coast, please contact our team for assistance with giving your air-conditioner a Spring Clean. Our team is licensed and experienced, and ready to assist with your AC solution.

The Benefits of Cleaning Your Air-Conditioner

There are three main benefits of cleaning your air-conditioner unit on a regular basis: health, efficiency and longevity.

Health Reasons

Over time, use of your air-conditioner creates a build-up of dirt and mould inside the unit’s filters. After a point, this buildup begins to affect the quality of the air being moved through the unit. This happens faster in places of high humidity such as the Sunshine Coast, due to high humidity / moisture in the air.  Take a look at some ‘before’ pictures of air-conditioners below (prior to cleaning). Imagine breathing air that has run through these machines! Regularly cleaning the filters, which is part of an air-conditioner clean and service, resolves the problem.

Efficiency Reasons / Running Costs

A buildup of contaminants such as dirt and mould in your air-conditioner’s filters affect the efficiency of your air-conditioner. As the buildup increases, the machine needs to work harder to move air through the filters. This additional load increases running costs. Meanwhile, the machine is circulating sub-optimal air. These problems can be resolved with an AC clean and service.

Longevity Reasons

Regular cleaning and servicing is necessary for your air-conditioner to enjoy a long life. Restricting the airflow in the unit makes the unit work harder which will shorten its lifespan. Keeping your air-conditioner clean will help it to last longer.

How Often Should Your Air-Conditioner be Cleaned?

Air-Conditioners should be cleaned at least once per year, or more often if used frequently. This maintenance should be done even if everything appears to be working normally. The cleaning and servicing process will help you with the benefits described above – health, efficiency, and longevity benefits.

Do All Types of Air-Conditioners Need to be Cleaned?

Different types of air-conditioners, such as ducted or split system air-conditioners, need to be cleaned and serviced. Regardless of the type of air-conditioner, the filters get dirty over time and need to be professionally cleaned on a regular basis.

Signs Your Air-Conditioner Needs Cleaning

We recommend annual cleaning and servicing of your air-conditioner even when there are no signs of any problems. However, if left unattended, problems will eventually arise. These problems may include:
 
a. Functional problems / error codes
b. Weak performance
c. Bad smells
d. Strange noises
e. Inefficient operation
f. Increased electrical bills / power consumption

What Will Happen if You Don’t Clean Your Air-Conditioner?

Regularly cleaning and servicing will help you to avoid the problems discussed above – health issues, efficiency issues, and longevity issues. Air-conditioners are a device that need to be regularly cleaned and serviced for them to operate optimally.

When is the Best Time to Clean Your Air-Conditioner

The best time to clean your AC unit on the Sunshine Coast is in Spring: between September and November. The benefits of this approach include:

  • Ensuring your AC is ready to circulate clean air during the peak season (Summer)
  • Proactively resolving any problems with your AC before the peak time
  • Avoiding last-minute / urgent problems during the busy holiday period (Christmas, New Years, etc)

Book an Air-Conditioner Clean and Service

Book your air-conditioner clean or service with the link below. Our team is licensed and experienced. We service Noosa and surrounding suburbs on the Sunshine Coast. We look forward to assisting with your air-conditioner.

Appliance Repair Vs Maintenance

When it comes to residential electrical appliances, have you ever considered the difference between repair and maintenance? How proactive is your approach? In this quick article, we explore appliance repair and maintenance to help you find the best way forward to give your appliance a long and useful life. If you live in the Noosa area on the Sunshine Coast and need assistance in this area, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We are experienced in all aspects, offering warranty and non-warranty servicing for most major brands since 1973. 

Repair Vs Maintenance – What’s the Difference?

While repair and maintenance are related, the difference is significant. Repair is responsive – an action taken as a result of appliance failure. Maintenance is proactive. It refers to actions designed to keep your appliance in good working order. While repair and maintenance are both necessary functions, a well-maintained appliance is generally less likely to break down and need repair.  

Sunshine Coast – Seasons & Appliances

On the Sunshine Coast, appliance usage varies at different times of year. For example, in Summer air-conditioning is used more, and in winter hot water systems and heaters get more of a workout. Meanwhile, coffee machines are on the go all year round! With this in mind, a proactive approach can be aligned with many appliances to ensure they are ready to deliver when needed most. 

Do All Appliances Need Maintenance?

While repair and maintenance are related, the difference is significant. Repair is responsive – an action taken as a result of appliance failure. Maintenance is proactive. It refers to actions designed to keep your appliance in good working order. While repair and maintenance are both necessary functions, a well-maintained appliance is generally less likely to break down and need repair.  

Keeping Up with Important Maintenance

Some types of electrical maintenance are more important than others. Smoke alarms, RCD switches, and air-conditioner cleaning needs to be done regularly. A great way to stay up to date with your electrical maintenance is to book a free reminder with our team. We’ll contact you each year to let you know it’s time to undertake your annual maintenance tasks, helping to ensure your home is up to date, compliant and safe. 

Costs of Repairs Vs Maintenance

The cost of repairs and maintenance for appliances on the Sunshine Coast will depend on the specific appliance. However, it is worth pointing out that regular maintenance, being proactive, is less likely to leave you high and dry during the peak time when you need your appliance most. Furthermore, most appliances require regular maintenance to ensure they continue to function properly. For example, if you don’t have your air-conditioner regularly cleaned, you will most likely end up circulating contaminated air due to the clogged and dirty filters.  

In Conclusion

Repair and maintenance are both essential undertakings for appliance management. In order to optimise appliance longevity and functionality, a regular maintenance schedule will help to proactively resolve appliance issues. We offer a free reminder service for important scheduled maintenance for smoke alarms, RCDs, switchboards and air-conditioner cleaning and servicing to help you stay up to date with your residential appliance safety and compliance.

Appliance Error Codes

Noosa Electric Co specialises in appliance repairs for household appliances such as air-conditioners, washing machines, dryers, coffee machines and microwave ovens. When something goes wrong with your appliance, error codes provide clues to the origin of the problem. In this brief article, we take a look at error codes – what they mean, when they are shown, and what the best course of action is. If you’re in or nearby Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, please contact our team for any assistance with your appliance issues. We’ve been servicing and repairing appliances since 1973, and our team are licensed, qualified and experienced. 

Appliance Repair Warning

Appliance repairs should only be undertaken by a licensed and qualified professional. Please contact our team if you need any assistance with your appliance repair. We service Noosa and surrounding suburbs.

Useful Information to Note

If you experience an error code with your appliance, it’s useful to note the setting / part of the cycle you were using at the time, and to take a note of the code itself. This information is helpful for our technicians to resolve the problem with the appliance.

How Error Codes Are Helpful

Appliance error codes are helpful for these reasons:

1. They let you know there is a problem to be addressed – enabling action to be taken before a small problem becomes a big problem.

2. They may bring something to your attention that requires a simple and obvious solution, that does not require technical expertise.

For example, a washing machine error code may indicate there is a problem with a water supply, or an appliance may need to be turned off and on again to reset the system. If in doubt – contact our team.

3. Error codes may bring to your attention that a technician is needed for your appliance repair. This type of situation may involve a part replacement or technical procedure to fix the problem. 

Appliance Error Code Standards / Conventions

Unfortunately, there isn’t a standardised appliance error code convention – error codes have different meanings for different types of appliances and brands. For example, depending on your appliance, an ‘E1’ error code might mean a flood fault, an electrical short, insufficient air flow, or a range of other possibilities, depending on the brand and model. With this in mind, it is necessary to look up your appliance error code to understand the specific issue you’re dealing with.

How to Look Up Your Error Code

Here are three easy ways to look up your appliance error code:

a. Look up your error code in the manual that came with your appliance. 
b. Look up the error code online. The important thing is to ensure you’re looking up the correct error code. Make sure it is the same brand and model as your appliance.
C. Contact our team for assistance with your error code. 

Warranty and Non-Warranty Repairs

The repair process may be approached in different ways depending on the brand, model, and warranty status of your appliance. When you contact our Sunshine Coast appliance repair team, we will help you determine the appropriate process for your repair. This will enable the accomplishment of your repair in the most efficient way. 

Multiple Error Codes

The only thing worse than a single error code are multiple error codes. Multiple error codes may indicate the presence of multiple errors, or the possibility of a single error triggering other errors. In this situation, it’s best to contact our technicians for assistance. 

Intermittent Error Codes

Intermittent error codes are error codes that don’t appear all the time. This can make it difficult to know if there is something wrong with the appliance or not. In these cases, as mentioned above, take a note of the error code and the way the appliance was being used at the time. Contact our team with this information – it will help to find the origin of the problem. 

In Conclusion

1. It’s frustrating when your appliance has a problem, but error codes are the key to diagnosing and fixing the problem. 
2. When you experience an error code, it’s helpful to take a note of the way the appliance was being used, or the part of the cycle, during which the code was displayed, and also the code itself. 
3. There are different processes for arranging a repair of your appliance depending on whether it is under warranty or out of warranty. Either way, our team can help you with the correct process to arrange your appliance repair. 

For assistance with your appliance repair or maintenance in Noosa and nearby on the Sunshine Coast, please contact our team!

Book a Free SMS Safety Reminder

In many cases, electrical work requires a regular check-up to ensure effective operation, safety and compliance. After all, you wouldn’t want to find out your smoke alarms or RCDs (electrical safety switches) aren’t working on the day they’re needed most. We have a solution – Book a free reminder SMS with our team. We’ll let you know when it’s time to undertake your important annual tests and checks, including: 

  • Essentials: Smoke Alarm & RCD Testing
  • Electrical Safety Testing & Switchboard Check
  • Air-Conditioner Cleaning & Servicing
  • Emergency Light Testing

Note: This service is available in Noosa and surrounding suburbs on the Sunshine Coast.

HomeownersLandlordsProperty Managers / ResortsCommercial
Essentials
Smoke alarm & RCD Testing
RecommendedRequiredRequiredRequired
Electrical Safety Testing & Switchboard ChecksRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Air-Conditioner Clean & ServiceRecommendedRecommendedRecommendedRecommended
Emergency Light TestingNANARequired, Bi-AnnuallyRequired, Bi-Annually

Reminder Benefits

The benefits to taking a systematic approach to your electrical maintenance include:

Smoke Alarms & RCD Testing

Smoke alarms and RCD switches require testing on an annual basis for safety and compliance. In addition to this work, we can help ensure your smoke alarms are compatible with the new legislative requirements.

Learn more about the importance of smoke alarms here

Electrical Safety Testing & Switchboard Checks

Our team will review your switchboard and ensure everything is in order. We will use our circuit testing equipment to review your electrical circuits and provide a professional status report of your system identifying any concerns before they become a safety issue.

See example report
Learn more about switchboard checking & testing

Air-Conditioner Cleaning & Servicing

Regular cleaning and servicing of your air-conditioner is essential to ensure you are circulating clean air and your system is running efficiently. We recommend annually, or every 6 months if you are using the unit regularly.

Learn more about why you should clean your AC regularly