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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about refrigeration, air-conditioning and appliance repair.

RefrigerationAir ConditioningAppliances

Refrigeration
Is it okay to turn on my new fridge immediately after delivery?
No, you should let your fridge stand for at least 1 hour after delivery, to let any displaced oil can run back down to the compressor. When carrying a fridge on its side, the oil can run out of the compressor. This means you need to give the oil time to run back down, when the fridge is placed upright. The oil in the compressor is vital for lubrication and efficient running. Failure to let your fridge stand for a while could seize the compressor – a costly repair!
Will load shedding damage my fridge or freezer?
No, load shedding will not damage your fridge or freezer. However, turning a fridge off, then immediately on again can put strain on the compressor and damage it, so it’s always advisable to wait at least 15 minutes after turning it off (or if the power trips, etc), before turning it back on. This is because the gas pressure needs to equalise/settle in the gas pipes before turning it on, or else it puts strain on the valves inside the compressor.
I'm going on holiday. Should I unplug my fridge or leave it running while empty?
Leave your fridge running. Fridges consume very little power, especially if the doors are not being opened and closed, and your door seals are in good condition. Keeping the fridge on keeps the oil running through the pipes, which protects from rust and internal corrosion. Also, blockages often occur when a fridge sits dormant. This often leads to repairs being necessary.
How much ventilation space does a fridge/freezer need?
Ventilation is really important in commercial applications like restaurants/hotels/bars. Underbar/undercounter units often have goods stockpiled on top or around them, and the air cannot flow from the fan that delivers cold air through the system. This leads to overheating and poor refrigeration efficiency. It is also necessary to ventilate where frost-free fridges or freezers are used. As long as you don’t pack goods right in front of the air ventilation areas and allow general flow area it can be packed mostly full.
Why is it important to make sure the seals on my fridge are in good condition?
Damaged or brittle door seals allow air to get in, which makes the fridge overwork to reach the correct temperature. This can also cause ice build up in freezers and moisture in water puddles inside your fridge.
Air Conditioning
How do I work out what size/BTU air conditioner I need?
Check out our handy table on our Air Conditioning Sales & Installation page. This page also explains how to  adjust your BTU calculation  for non-standard room factors, like extra doors and windows, very sunny rooms, usage in kitchens, etc. Learn More
Will load shedding damage my air conditioner?
No, load shedding will not damage your air conditioner.
Can I plug my air conditioner into a plug socket, or do I need a dedicated power supply?
Yes and no. Air conditioners that are  larger than 12 000 BTUs need a dedicated power supply  as they draw a high current when they start up. The dedicated power supply should have an isolation switch in an easily reachable area, to allow you to turn off the power if necessary. Smaller air conditioners might get away with using an extension cord, but always check the manufacturer’s manual for recommendations on this. If the current is too high, the extension cord may overheat and cause an electrical fire.
What should I look for when buying a new air conditioner?
When buying a new air conditioner, I’d recommend going for quality names that are reliable, since this will be a permanent fitting in your home once installed. Also, look for a rust-treated outside condenser unit – this prolongs the life of the unit considerably, especially on the coast.
Are inverter air conditioners really better?
Inverter air conditioners are more expensive initially but they use 30-50% less energy to run. We’ll write a full article on this soon – keep an eye on our Articles page.
Appliances
Will load shedding damage my appliances?
No, load shedding should not damage your domestic appliances. However, power surges/spikes cause damage to PC boards and “fancy electronics” (in some newer washing machines, etc), so it is advisable to plug these devices into a surge-protection plug.
How can I self service my washing machine?
Using a small cup of bicarbonate of soda in an empty load and turning the temperature setting to high (around 80°) once every 2 months cleans out the inner mechanisms where things like fabric softener build up and can cause damage over time.
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