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Archive for the ‘Living Room’ Category

Air Conditioner Installation – Comment to Post

Posted by Vivek on October 10, 2007

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Hi Everyone. Sudarsan posted a nice comment on how installation of air conditioners. This post is just a recap of the same.

Installing AC

Window AC– Need to have a cut-out for the AC to be installed. Usually Flat builders provide a rectangular opening beneath a window to facilitate this. My advice is to plan on an opening as suggested by the Aircon manufacturer (AC away from the floor would not suck-in the dust near the floor, and more importantly cold air moves towards the floor, while hot air rises up, so having AC above the ground gives better cooling efficiency). Coming back to installation, the space around the AC at the opening, is closed with a plywood frame or alternate materials. Window AC’s need stabilizers depending on the tonnage. Installation expenses would be about Rs.300, plus carpentry/masonry related expenses towards the AC opening.

Split AC – While Split AC gives the flexibility to install at a convenient position in the room, Split AC sales comes with 5m Copper tube only, for additional ducting you would have to pay Rs.400-500/m of copper tube. Indoor units are wall mounted and at about 5-6 feet from the floor. The outdoor unit can be floor or wall mounted and the key efforts in the installation is to have good insulation for the copper piping between the Outdoor and Indoor units. Installation for each split unit ranges from Rs.1000 to Rs.1300.

Nowadays the Voltage stabilizers come as a part of the Split AC package itself, even otherwise stabilizers upto 5 KVA should cost in the range of Rs.1000 to Rs.1500 only.

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Posted in air-conditioner, Appliances, Bedroom, Living Room | 1 Comment »

Air Conditioning

Posted by sudarsan on October 3, 2007

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I made this write-up over this long weekend….it should be useful if you are planning on air-conditioning your home.

Air Conditioners (ACs) are available in two form-factors,

a. Room AC – This is the traditional AC, where the cost ranges from Rs.8,000 to Rs.35,000 depending on the brand, features and tonnage.    

Window AC

Image Courtesy : alibaba.com

b. Split AC – Here the Cooling unit (condenser, coil+fan apparatus) are separated from the Room-unit (Blower & Exhaust), thus eliminating noise from the Cooling unit.  More importantly Split AC, allows you to install the AC at the place you require.  Also recent models have a good spacing between exhaust and blower allowing better cooling efficiency on the room.

 Split AC

Image Courtesy : germes-online.com

Having made up my mind on Split AC, I looked into Cooling capacity (measured in BTUs, or in simple language Tonnes), EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio), Fan speed, Filter mechanisms and Noise level. 

For an average Indian bedroom 0.75 Tonne to 1 Tonne should do, and for a hall 1.5 Tonne to 2 Tonnes are required.  For now we wanted to AC only 2 adjacent bedrooms and I was contemplating between,

a. Buying 2 Single-split systems of 1.5 Tonne each – Onida (Rs.24K, for Deco Flat model) & Samsung (Rs.24.5K for Turbo Compact model) which includes everything other than mounting brackets and installation.

b. Buying 1 Multi-split from Hitachi of 2.0 Tonne capacity (Atom2 at Rs.52,000)

 Though popular sales talk is to go for two 1.5 tonnes as it costs lesser than the 2 Tonne Multi-split and gives you the option of 1 unit working in case of machine failure, I opted for the Hitachi Multisplit for two reasons,

a. This system has a single compressor that can supply 2 Tonnes to one bedroom if the other bedroom is not used, this flexibility comes in very handy in Summer.  Also if you have a combo of a hall and a bedroom, its better to go for this system than having two 1.5T single splits.

b. Hitachi’s system comes with proven durability (5 years warranty and I somehow trust compressors Made in Japan than elsewhere) and has the best EER and lowest noise levels.

Anyway I would have considered inverter type air-conditioners (30-40% power savings) and a 5 split AC, as abroad.  But  since these systems are neither popular nor cost effective in India, had gone for Hitachi Atom2 for my bedrooms.

I have personally used so far – Carrier (5 split), General & Hitachi (room AC) and the experience has been very good so far, and hoping the same out of this Hitachi (2 split).

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Posted in air-conditioner, Appliances, Bedroom, Living Room | 4 Comments »

Ceiling Fan

Posted by Vivek on September 23, 2007

Hello readers. A hot and sultry Sunday evening in Chennai prompts to me to write about “Ceiling Fans”.

Digging up some information from Wikipedia I am made to believe that ceiling fan is an American invention. I am not sure about this yet.

Ceiling Fan

Image Courtesy: global-b2b-network.com

Fans (as known widely) are electrical appliances which are used to circulate air within a room. If the temperatures are not too high and if the humidity is in check, fans do their job well of cooling the room.

These appliances are available in both 3 and 4 blade variants. In my personal experience I have only seen the 3 blade version to be widely used in India. The reason is again a mystery to me.

The accompanying device for a Fan is the speed regulator. This device regulates the speed of the fan having some pre-defined settings.


Image Courtesy: cglonline.com

The speed settings are ranging from 0(off) to 5(high speed). Settings 1,2,3 and 4 offer increasing levels of RPM (revolutions per minute).

Essentially regulators like the one shown above reduce/increase the voltage that goes to the fan.

 In the last few years, these ‘resistor” based bulky box regulators are being replaced by electronic, solid state regulators. These are nothing but light dimming switches.

Electronic Regulator

Image Courtesy: Amazon

I have heard that just using dimmer switches to control the speed of the fan is not a good idea and that one should use dedicated electronic fan regulators for this job. The former, I believe delivers too less a voltage for the fan to function properly and can result in damage to the motor of the fan.

The most failing item in a fan which is used excessively is the Capacitor. The first signs of its failure are reduced speed of operation or completely dead fan.

A ball bearing is also used in fan to reduce the friction. Wear and tear in this can produce unwanted noise. So make sure you check these out.

Cleaning fans is probably one the most difficult task at home because it is hard to reach!

We try to cover more details on this in the coming days.

enjoy your Sunday !!


Posted in Ceiling Fan, Living Room | 8 Comments »

Home Theatre Sound Systems – Continued

Posted by Karthik on September 14, 2007

You can find the first part of this article here. This is the second part.

Choosing one:

 Some of the factors you should consider while going in for a home theatre system are: The budget and the room in which you want it installed. Remember it’s ok to have mind blowing sound as long as it doesn’t blow your neighbors brain away. So either soundproof the room or go in for less wattage. If you are brand conscious, then you may go with the brand of your choice. If you just want to experiment with the concept of home theatres, my suggestion (to people living in India) would be Philips as they are cheap and perform pretty well too.

 For people who own a projector, a home theatre is a natural choice as the projectors support only the visuals. For someone owning a TV and isn’t really bothered about the sound quality and clarity, home theatre wouldn’t be a necessity. But then do note that most TVs support stereo at the most. So even if you are to buy an authentic disk, chances are you can’t experience the movie the way the disk manufacturer meant for you to with the TV speakers.

Setting Up The system:

 Once you have bought the system, setting up is the next thing you want to do. Wireless models are available, but you may want to check with the band of frequencies in which they operate as this may interfere with some other appliances. As for the wired ones, the connection itself should be easy as most manufacturers take the pain to even color code the wires to different channels so that people like me and you can set it up. However the acoustics of the room needs to be worked out, and you may want to consult a sound engineer for it. Else just set it up and if it works fine, forget it.


Image Courtesy : http://www.national-tech.com

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Home Theatre Sound Systems – An Introduction

Posted by Karthik on September 11, 2007

Just the other day I was having a real bad headache. So bad that I wasn’t even in a mood to appreciate a good movie. And here I was in my living room experiencing or rather hearing Die Hard 4.0 that my neighbor was watching. That’s when I realized how commonplace the “5.1” has become and how incredibly affordable too. (Not to mention how noisy!!) Here’s a take on home theatre sound systems.

 Home theatre systems weren’t all that common say 5 to 10 years back. But all of a sudden middle class homes are inundated with 5.1 surround systems. (Often kept on one table!!) Even my friends PC boasts of a 5.1 surround. So what’s a home theatre system anyway and what’s all the fuss really?

  Home Theatre

Image Courtesy : onkyo.com

 We shall discuss the acoustic side of the home theatre system. (Remember that the article was inspired by a headache in the first place.)  Home theatre systems are supposed to recreate the movie experience at home. Of course you need disks supporting surround sound. (This means multichannel sound). So the mp3 you ripped off the net or the divx movie that you just finished downloading or that DVD you bought near the pavement wont work the same way a authentic DVD (or a proper copy of that) works.

Popular Channel Profiles:

 5.1 is not the only format, but definitely the most popular of the lot with two front, two rear speakers, one central speaker and one sub-woofer. 6.1 is available which has a rear central speaker as well. 2.1 systems are also prevalent. The ones from BOSE claim to be better than most 5.1s (and expensive too.) Each has its own way of decoding the sound and sending them to the different speakers. This needs what we commonly refer to as the amplifier system, No need to bother, it comes packaged with the speakers. 2.1s are also popularly available for PCs from manufacturers like Logitech, though these lack the associated electronics (amplifier).

Sound Formats:

Some of the popular sound formats include mono, stereo (I suggest the song “bang bang” by ‘Nancy Sinatra’ to fully appreciate the effect of stereo format), Dolby, Dolby Digital DTS…Etc. In the multichannel format, the sound for each channel is recorded separately and based on the band of the frequencies is played back by the appropriate speaker.

Posted in Appliances, Audio, Home Theatre, Living Room | 1 Comment »