What are NON-PREMIUM MATERIALS used for aircon installation?

Today when buying an aircon, most aircon contractors don’t state what kind of materials are used when installing the aircon in your home. Does it matter? Let us take a look on what happens when non-premium materials are used for your aircon installation.


Nowadays, we no longer need to attend Expo’s or Trade Fairs to look-out for the best aircon deals. All we need to do is simply do a Google Search or some aircon related advertisement would appear on our Facebook or Instagram newsfeed. Shopping at the touch of our fingers. 

When looking at aircon promotions online, we usually look at price 1st. Being in Singapore, there’s nothing wrong with this as we are very price sensitive as everything around us is pretty expensive. We do live in one of the most expensive cities in the world after all. We all know to avoid prices that are too low as it seems fishy and to avoid prices that are too high as we usually think they are over-charging. Then we start looking at the prices hovering around the middle-ground. Is this the right way to consider a purchase? Especially for an aircon for the home which costs thousands of dollars and at least hundreds more per year just to maintain? 

What we should be doing is to look at what’s included 1st and understanding if it matters. For example, there are aircon companies/dealers selling a whole-home system 3 Mitsubishi Electric Starmex at only around $2xxx. But the general market price is around $3xxx. Almost $1000 worth of difference! Why?

For example, a Mitsubishi Electric Starmex System 3 aircon comes in various models. There are higher specifications and lower ones. Next would be the cost of installation. Most aircon companies offer FREE AIRCON INSTALLATION. But many don’t and they don’t state it because they know that consumers only like to look at cheap prices. When you start to buy from them, then you realised that installation cost is different, upgrading to premium materials for installation is another cost and choosing a reliable brand when using premium materials is another set of cost. After adding everything up, it costs much more than other companies that offer a slightly higher price but with everything included.

Then comes the warranty. Everyone offers a warranty. But do they really honour their warranty? Or is it easy to claim a warranty? Ask yourself these questions before making a purchase.

Buying an aircon with premium materials isn’t something that consumers can take for granted because most companies don’t offer premium material installation as it is quite costly. But you can get them cheaper in an all-inclusive package.

So, what are premium materials installation? Does it matter?

Image of premium materials. Source: www.lifestyleguru.com.sg

First, let us take a look at the wires used for installation. The usual aircon installation uses low-grade Copper wires (China Made Wires).

Why are low-grade copper wires bad?

Copper content is mixed in low proportions. Due to the low copper content, the wires will start to disintegrate after some time. That is when the circuit will break and become an open circuit. What happens when you have an open circuit? The signal to the aircon is cut-off and suddenly aircon cannot turn on. It could also lead to household fires due to short circuit. When this happens, the cost of repair will definitely “break the bank”.


Next, let us take a look at the non-premium type of copper pipes used for installation.

The common copper pipes used are of 23 swg Standard. They have thinner copper walls which after some time, it will corrode causing the walls to become thinner. Once the copper corrodes through, gas leakage occurs.


Next, let us take a look at the non-premium insulation used.

The common type of aircon Insulation used is only 3/8 inch which is thin. Living in Singapore, we all know that our humidity level is high. With higher humidity, the amount of condensation on insulation is higher. This results in mould and fungus growing in and out of the aircon trunking. Over time, the leaking from trunking starts to go through the wall. 

So, what type of insulation should be used? 

The best insulation for installation would be Armaflex brand. It is highly recognised by the aircon industry. Sometimes, an unknown brand is used but the thermal material may be of a lower specification. 

Why Armaflex insulation? It has one of the highest specifications which results in an increased resistance to water vapour, minimise long term heat gain resulting in reduced energy costs.


Next, let's take a look at the material used for trunking. The common material used is UPVC trunking. If a poor quality trunking is used, it will harden and crack after sometime. A good UPVC trunking will stay flexible over the long run and doesn’t crack easily.  


Lastly, let’s take a look at the water pipe.  A non-premium material water pipe is usually only 13mm wide. As the width is small, there’s a tendency for choking to occur resulting in water leakage over a long period of time. The premium material water pipe is at least 16mm wide. 


Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge on what a good aircon installation consists of, time to choose the right contractor to get the job done!

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