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Maintenance

How to Plan A Renovation Like a Professional

How to Plan A Renovation Like a Professional

By | Maintenance

Renovations are an exciting business. You only have to flick through a few TV channels in the evening to see ecstatic couples overhauling their homes. But when it comes down to it, TV programming isn’t always reality, and renovations can present a lot of challenges that you won’t necessarily see on TV.
How to Plan A Renovation Like a Professional

If you’re considering a renovation, it’s important to plan for the unexpected and to cover all bases to make your project as smooth as possible. Here are some steps you can take to help you to plan a renovation like a professional.

 

Research

Before you start anything, you need to do your research. If you don’t know what you like, how are you going to start on the design?

A good way to conduct your research is to have a look at websites such as Pinterest and Instagram and create a database of images that you think will suit your home. Also, don’t forget magazines and books, they can be a great way to get an eye for different shapes and colours, and to find themes that work well together.

Don’t rush into an idea. Try sitting on a collection of images that inspire you, and see if you still like them in a month. If you do, then great, it might be a keeper. If not, it might be time to take another look.

Write Up A Brief

Once you know what you want, you need to find a way to communicate these ideas to designers and builders. Try to concisely plan things out and take as many measurements as you can. This will mean that you can expect accurate quotes and in the end, you’ll be happy with the results.

Create A Budget

You’ve probably heard this one before, but don’t underestimate the importance of a budget. After you get a bit of an idea of what you want, you can start to request quotes, and at this stage, you need to figure out a budget.

How much money do you have to spend? You need to make sure that you have the cash for materials, contractors, appliances, walls, flooring and whatever it takes to get the job done. It’s recommended that 10-15% of your budget be set aside for emergencies and just in case situations because you never know what could happen.

Some ways to keep costs down include choosing standardised fittings and materials that tradespeople are familiar with, after all, labour costs tend to take up around a third of the budget. Not only are they easier to work with but they also are easier to replace down the track.

Think About Timing

When it comes to renovations, timing is very important. Think about when you’ll need the room/s that will be under construction. Summer can be a great time to do the kitchen, as you can use an outdoor BBQ while the renovation is underway. However, it’s recommended that you avoid January, as many tradespeople will have lessened availability.

Seasons can also your affect your budget, for example, pools are always going to be expensive during summer, when demand is high, however, you may find discounts in the winter time.

Break Your Project Down Into Manageable Sizes

When it comes to renovations, it’s usually best to focus on one room at a time. If you have a greater vision, work out how you can achieve it over time, and break it down into bite sizes pieces. Try complete one before moving onto the other. This means that you’ll have less of your house out of action at any one time. Smaller sections also means less to go wrong at any one time, and more chance of staying within budget.

Arrange a Building Inspection

Does your project require structural changes? If so, it’s probably a good idea to get a building inspection. You don’t want a contractor to start pulling a wall down, only to find that the house isn’t structurally sound. A building inspection can give you the clear vision needed to plan down to the last detail.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Not all projects are the same, and although you might think you can pull off a design on your own, it’s usually best to consult a professional. Architects and interior designers will be able to give you a better picture of what is possible. If you’re thinking of renovating a bathroom you might want to consider talking to a plumber, and if there’s electrical work, it’s best to consult an electrician.

If you have any questions about planning renovations or would like to know more about installation or maintenance of electrical items please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

With over 9 years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing air con and electrical services of the highest quality. Get in touch with us today.

Home Eco-Friendly

How to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

By | Maintenance

Making the decision to go green has many benefits, not only will you be doing the Earth a favour, but you also have the potential to save a lot of money. Becoming eco-friendly doesn’t mean you need to make sacrifices, it just means a shift in perspective towards environmental consciousness.

One of the best ways to look out for the environment, and for your wallet is by carefully considering the energy you use and looking to see if there are any improvements to be made.
Home Eco-Friendly

It may take a bit of an investment to go eco-friendly, but the results will more than make up for the expenditure in the long run.

Meanwhile, you can feel great knowing that you’ve done something awesome for the environment.

Install Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

LED bulbs are a recent technology that has been around for a little while, however, until recently they have been somewhat out of reach for most renovators price range. Luckily prices have dropped dramatically in the last 10 years, giving consumers all the benefits without breaking the bank. LEDs are hailed for being incredibly efficient, in fact, they use 80% less energy than a standard light bulb.

Not only do they use less energy, but LED lights also last longer, with most manufacturers claiming their lights will clock in upwards of 50,000 hours. So they use less energy and don’t need to be changed as often, which means less waste, however, they also use less harmful chemicals than other types of light bulbs, it’s a triple win!

Install Solar Panels

Solar panels are one of the first things many people envision when they hear the term eco-home. They provide clean green energy and in the best conditions can allow you to sell power back to the grid. Living in Australia means we have the perfect climate to make the most of solar panels, and in fact, we clock in one of the highest amounts of sunlight hours in the world. A consideration is that unlike LEDs, solar panels will take a fair bit longer to pay themselves off, however, when you consider the benefit to the environment you can see the positives in a long term investment.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Heating and cooling your home is one of the biggest ways to use energy and at times it can be pretty easy to leave your air con on for longer than you really need, particularly in those chillier winter months. The best way to avoid wasting energy through unnecessary heating is by installing a programmable thermostat which keeps your temperature steady when you need it most.

Keeping your temperature at a nice steady 23 degrees saves a lot more energy than blasting your aircon on cool mode for short periods of time. Thermostats can also be programmed to turn on when you need them most and turn off when you don’t need them. Imagine coming home to a nice cozy home that warms up just before you put the keys in the door, and cools down after you get tucked into bed.

Insulate

Insulation is one of the most intelligent ways to boost your home’s green rating. It provides a barrier between you and the great outdoors and makes the most of your air conditioning by trapping in the temperature that you desire.

Insulation isn’t just about what’s between your walls, it can also come down to curtains, windows as well as rugs, which prevent heat transfer through the floor.

Make Good Choices in the Kitchen

There are a lot of things you can do in the kitchen that will help the planet in the long term. Composting is an obvious one, which can be used to fertilise soil for growing your own veggies. Utilising reusable bags, containers, bottles and coffee cups is a great step that drastically reduces your footprint by cutting down on disposable waste.

Also, consider energy usage. How are your fridge and oven rated? Some appliances use more energy than others, so doing a bit of research before buying appliances can be very beneficial. Consider small steps such as keeping the oven closed while cooking. Opening an oven for a small amount of time can cause it to lose a significant amount of heat, meaning it will have to work harder to heat up again. The same goes for your fridge, try not to leave it open for any longer than necessary.

If you have any questions about becoming eco-friendly or would like to know more about installation or maintenance of energy efficient electronics and appliances, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. With over 9 years experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing air con services of the highest quality. Get in touch with us today.

Electrical Safety Tips

Watch Out! Electrical Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

By | Maintenance

Electricity is one of the most useful things in our lives, it helps us cook dinner, light our homes, and connects us to the internet. It is, however, a very powerful energy and if it isn’t used with safety it can be potentially hazardous. Electrical devices and appliances as well as cords, outlets and adapters, need to be well maintained and located in areas that are constantly safe and out of harm’s way.
Electrical Safety Tips

Electricity is no doubt very useful, but it also needs to be treated with respect. Here are some safety tips that everyone should follow when using electrical devices.

 

Don’t Piggy Back or Overload Adaptor Cables

Adaptor cables should never be ‘piggy backed’ or ‘daisy chained’. Plugging one adapter into another is a huge risk for electrical fault and should be avoided at all costs. Similarly overloading an adaptor can put too much pressure on a single outlet which can also cause a fault.

Powerboards should never be used as a replacement to powerboards and if you find that you are constantly in need of them to use all of your appliances, it’s probably best to hire an electrician to install more powerpoints. Another point to consider is that some powerboards do not have surge protection, which can trip your circuit, leading to blackouts and in the worst case fires.

Watch Out for Damaged Electrical Plugs, Sockets and Cables

Electrical cords don’t last forever and just like most things in life, they need replacing. Electrical power cords can fray over time and extensions and plugs can crack with overuse, so it’s important to keep checking electrical goods to make sure that they are in proper working condition. Outlets should always be cool to touch, so if you ever notice any heat, it’s a good indication that something isn’t right.

Faults in the insulation of cables can prove to be hazardous, as they will no longer provide protection for electric shock. A single exposed strand can cause burn or shock, so be sure to replace any damaged cords.

Appliances Need Air Circulation

Appliances need space to breathe and without adequate room, electrical equipment can quickly overheat. Appliances that get hot are a hazard, they can short out, and in the worst case, cause fires, so make sure that they have enough space for proper air circulation.

Avoid using electrical items in cupboards and also be sure to keep appliances away from fabric items as they will tend to overheat easily. A common malpractice is running cables under rugs, or carpets. Not only do they damage easily and provide a tripping hazard, but they will also overheat much faster.

Water and Electricity Don’t Mix

It’s a well-known fact that water and electricity aren’t the best of friends and there are a few things you can do to make sure that they don’t have a dangerous encounter at your home. Electrical equipment should be kept away from all sources of water or moisture, such as sinks, plants, showers and taps.

Another tip to consider is to always make sure that your hands are dry before plugging or unplugging devices. If your home ever experiences a leak, there is the potential for it to reach power circuits in your home, so be sure to contact a licensed plumber.

If Your Not Using it Unplug It!

If you’re not using an appliance, the best thing to do is to unplug it. Energy can drain even when a device isn’t in use, this is called ‘phantom draining’, but aside from saving you money, it could also save your appliance in the advent of a power surge.

Keep Your Cords Safe

If a cable isn’t in use, it should be stored away safely. Kids and pets have a hard time distinguishing power cables with toys, so the best bet is to safely wind the cable and store it in a cupboard.

Cords should never be stretched or placed somewhere where they will conduct unnecessary heat. This can lead to damage in the cord’s insulation, as well as the wires within.

Get a licensed electrician to do your wiring

If you’re unsure about an electrical issue, or if you think you may need new wiring or repairs, always call a licensed electrician, no matter how minor the job.

If you have any questions about your electronics at home or would like to know more about installation or maintenance, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. With over 9 years experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing air con services of the highest quality. Get in touch with us today.

What to do When a Circuit Breaker Trips

What to do When a Circuit Breaker Trips

By | Electrical, Maintenance

Tripping a circuit breaker is a relatively common problem. It’s probably just the result of vacuuming, using a blender and a toaster at the same time and you just have a busy morning routine, so there’s no need for alarm.

A circuit breaker will cut off an overloaded circuit to prevent damage to the system, turning it back on again isn’t too hard. Most of the time all it takes is a reset of the circuit breaker, however, sometimes the issue can be a bit more problematic.
What to do When a Circuit Breaker Trips

Tripping a circuit breaker is normally just the result of an overloaded circuit and probably isn’t a big deal, however, sometimes it can be a bit more complicated and it’s best just to call an electrician.

 

Why has my circuit broken?

• Overloaded circuit – An overloaded circuit is the most common cause of a broken circuit. The basic premise is that there is too much current flowing through the circuit and to prevent any damage or fires it simply shuts off. The solution here is to remove any extra appliances on the overloaded circuit that do not need to be there.

• Short circuits – This is a bit more of a problem. The cause is two hot or black wires or one hot and one neutral wire touching. There will be a burning smell or melted plastic covers, and the best fix is to call an electrician.

• Ground Fault – If it’s not one of the first two problems it’s likely you have a ground fault, which occurs when a hot or black wire touches the ground or the metal case of the box. This case will also require an electrician.

How do I reset the Circuit Breaker?

If you’ve only overloaded your circuit, there will be no need to call an electrician and you should be able to handle the problem yourself. Just follow these steps.

Turn off all the lights and appliances in the room that has lost power. This is important because if you reset the circuit while it’s still overloaded, it will likely blow all over again.

Go to your electrical panel, which is usually found under a hatch outdoors, in a basement or in a utility room. Make sure you have dry hands and turn off the master switch off to be safe, this will cut the power to all the circuits, so that if there is a problem with the switchboard you won’t get an electric shock.

The next step is to find the breaker on the board that has moved to the off position or is sitting halfway between the two. Flick it all the way ‘off’ then to ‘on’. Finally, reset the master switch.

Start by testing the circuit with a couple of appliances. If the circuit breaks again it may be a more serious problem and it’s probably best to call an electrician.

If you have any doubts with your electric circuit it’s always the best bet to call a professional to take a look.

With over 9 years experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing fast and efficient service of the highest quality. If you have any questions regarding electricity in your house or are looking for a quote for electrical installations, repairs, or general maintenance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with HunterCon today.

Air Conditioning Service and Maintenance

Air Conditioning Service and Maintenance

By | Air Conditioning, Maintenance

Quality air conditioning service and maintenance is extremely important for extending the lifespan of your AC system. Without hands-on maintenance and taking care of breakdowns and other faults with the right expertise, you can significantly compromise the wellbeing of your unit.

Continual service is a hallmark of the HunterCON experience, and we strive to ensure all of our customers are satisfied from the first phone call, right through to ongoing maintenance, developing preventative maintenance plans that are specifically tailored to you, and taking care of all kinds of breakdowns.

Air Conditioning Service and Maintenance

Air conditioning service and maintenance is extremely important for extending the lifespan of your AC system. Get in touch with HunterCON today.

Service & Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your AC system will ensure that it’s in optimal condition all year round, meaning you will never get stuck in the heat or cold without it. Even with normal usage, your system will collect dirt, dust and allergens, and general wear and tear will eventually get the better of your unit without maintenance, so it is important to keep routine checkups scheduled.

Benefits of Preventative Maintenance

Being proactive with a preventative maintenance plan provides improved comfort levels along with increased efficiency and reliability, ultimately leading to a reduction in repair costs, lower electricity bills, and an increase in the life expectancy of your system.

What’s Involved

Servicing and maintenance of air conditioning units involves a number of processes. We have a wealth of experience with systems of all kinds, so no matter the size of the job we can help.

• Filter maintenance
• Refrigerant leak test
• Drain Maintenance
• Electrical component test
• Check insulation on refrigeration lines
• System operation
• Inspecting electrical connections
• Thermostat operation

Air Con Regassing

A properly-installed home or commercial air-conditioner should not lose much of its refrigerant over its lifespan. Connections where refrigerant could escape from are sealed mechanically, and AC piping is made from non-porous copper. However, it does happen, particularly with older units. In this case, it will need to be regassed.

We are highly experienced with regassing all types of units from all popular brands, and when we re-seal the connections, you can be assured they will never leak again.

Our Guarantee

Trust is a hallmark of the HunterCON experience, and we strive to ensure all of our customers are satisfied right from the first phone call. All of our AC installations come with a 5 year warranty. We also include all of our customers in our preventative maintenance program, this way you never need to worry about remembering to have your unit serviced – we remind you when it’s due!

Types of Air Con

We can handle the installation of a wide range of air conditioning systems to suit your home or business. This includes split systems, multi-split systems, and ducted systems.

Split systems – Split systems are an excellent for choice for homeowners looking to stay comfortable all year around. They are designed to either cool or heat residential areas of all sizes. The system consists of two units: a sleek indoor unit that controls the climate of the room it is in, and an outdoor unit. This is an efficient, unobtrusive way to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter.

Multi-split systems – Multi-split systems are similar in that they have both indoor and outdoor units. However, multi-split system have multiple indoor units that are connected to a single outdoor unit. These are suitable in homes and businesses that require multiple rooms to be cooled or heated.

Ducted systems – Ducted systems are more common in commercial spaces, but are also suitable for larger residences. Ducted AC systems have a unit installed internally. From this central unit, a series of ducts cools or heats rooms individually.

Importance of Using a Certified & Qualified Installer

As with any trade, is extremely important to work with a certified and qualified air con installer, not only to ensure peace of mind during the installation process, but to know you won’t have to worry about your system ever again.

Licensed installers carry an ARCtick number, meaning they are qualified to handle the dangerous materials involved with air conditioning units. This also means they are fully qualified to advise on how the system works, general upkeep, formulate preventative maintenance plans and service your system when it needs it – nobody knows you system like the person who installed it!

We are fully licensed air conditioning installers (and electrical specialists) with a wealth of industry experience. We’re located in Sydney’s Inner West, and we service the greater metropolitan area, including the Eastern Suburbs, Lower North Shore and South West.

Get a Quote

With over 8 years experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing fast and efficient service of the highest quality. If you’re looking for an air con installation quote, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.