Fundamental Energy
Saving you money is my business



Keep cool for less!

LED lights are cheaper to run than Compact Fluorescent lights.
Switch your equipment from fluorocarbon gas to hydrocarbon refrigerant gas to save money!

• Safe (when done by a professional with a QLD hydrocarbon refrigerant licence).
• Overall energy savings of about 30%

Phone / Message Andrew 0421164224 for a quote.




Frequently Asked Questions:


Is it safe?
Yes, as long as certain simple conditions are met. Refer to the Basic Safety Details below.

“But I rent” (Tenants):
Your landlord is only obliged to provide a working air conditioner (if it is on the contract). This service is an enhancement. If your landlord provides halogen light bulbs and you want LED light bulbs in order to save money, there’s nothing stopping you, but you’ll have to pay for them, likewise with the air conditioning. Consider how long you plan on staying there and how much you use the air conditioner.

But I have solar and batteries:
• Solar only works during the day on sunny days.
• Battery storage technology is currently very limited.
• Conserve your energy for other things!
• Hydrocarbon refrigerants present less wear and tear on the system compared to their fluorocarbon counterparts.

What about my warranty?
• The manufacturer is legally obliged to guarantee parts not related to the refrigerant circuit of the air conditioner, and is enforced by the ACCC
(read more).
• I guarantee the refrigerant circuit as I know the exact equivalent charge of gas suitable for your system - only cowboys flood compressors with too much gas.
• My original conversion (LG 7KW R410A converted to R290) is still going strong 2 years after being drastically modified (alterations to the electronically controlled metering device) and subjected to heavy use.
• If you insist on a brand new system fully guaranteed, I can offer the supply and installation of a brand new air conditioner and retrofit it with hydrocarbon refrigerant on the day of its installation, and includes a full warranty. Ask for pricing.

Phone / Message Andrew 0421164224 for pricing.


Basic Safety Details:
Hydrocarbon refrigerants are flammable but perfectly safe when properly applied by a licensed professional.
Some idiots think hydrocarbon refrigerants don't belong in air conditioning systems, but common sense and the official rules show otherwise, as long as certain safety conditions are met.

Consider:
• All air conditioners pose a risk of a gas leak.
• All other types of refrigerant gases also displace oxygen in the event of a gas leak.
• Ventilation and / or gas leak alarms are generally acceptable safety measures for hydrocarbon refrigerant (and Carbon Dioxide systems).
• Hydrocarbon refrigerants are covered in the relevant Australian Standards.
• Tools are required to access the flammable gas which is contained within a closed system.

Systems where you simply replace the gas:
These installation types naturally meet safety requirements:
• Basic back to back air conditioner installations (the pipe joins are outside).
• Heat pump hot water heaters.
• Chiller air conditioners.
• Fridges and air conditioners where the flare joins / service ports are indoors but the gas charge is less than the refrigerant practical limit (grams of gas per cubic metre of the unventilated room volume they're in).

Generic safety measures (Replace the gas only when these conditions are met):
A roof whirlybird is required.
• Ducted air conditioners also require vents in the eaves, or good roof cross ventilation.
• Split system air conditioners where pipe joins are indoors require the relevant ventilation (whirlybird and / or ceiling vent).
• Fixed speed compressor systems may require additional ventilation or different switchgear within the outdoor unit as the switchgear may arc and ignite gas.

Complex safety measures (More difficult situations):
• Walk-in cold rooms require a gas leak alarm (the alarm sounds and cuts out the system in the event of a gas leak).
• Where ventilation safety measure are impractical to implement (such as a multi head split system air conditioner in an apartment, or a walk-in cold room), a gas leak alarm can be used or charge the gas below the refrigerant practical limit (grams of gas per cubic metre) for the smallest unventilated serviced room, and top the system the rest of the way with fluorocarbon refrigerant.


Further Reading:
If you're really that interested!


Is technical support available long after the conversion is done?
Absolutely.

Can I still use my regular air conditioner servicing company after the conversion?
Absolutely. Most servicing consists of cleaning and checking general operation. They won't need to touch the refrigerant gas part of the system. Anyone with a hydrocarbon refrigerant licence can regas an existing hydrocarbon system with hydrocarbon refrigerant. A normal ARCTick AU licence holder can regas the system with fluorocarbon refrigerant.

How long does it take to pay for itself?
Not long. Usually about a year or two, depending on how much you use the air conditioner/s. Solar may impact this but the equipment lasts longer anyway.

How often does the system need to be regassed?
It shouldn't. Theoretically it shouldn’t and should only be a one off job. Systems should offer reliable operation for more than 5 years. Some circumstances may lead to a system slowly losing gas over time (like car tyres lose air) and will need testing before being regassed. The warranty means you don't lose out financially.

Is the conversion reversible?
Yes. But given all the benefits, why would you want to?

Are old air conditioners guaranteed?
Yes, with limitations. I am confident in the consistency in the products and their benefits. I run them in my own equipment of both new and old and have carried out some of the wildest tests at my own premises. Our equipment has taken a flogging and still runs strong. My warranty is my confidence of the benefits to your system.

Full warranty coverage in the first year if the system loses its gas charge from the service valve.
5 years pro rata (or 2 for commercial) if the system fails for any reason and is uneconomical to repair. Present a receipt from a qualified installer of its replacement and you will get a pro rata refund or credit of the unused portion of the warranty period towards the conversion of a new air conditioner.

In accordance with Australian Consumer Law, refunds and credits are not offered if you simply change your mind or follow the sales pitch of a company not qualified in hydrocarbon refrigerants.

Price guide:
• Bedroom (wall mount split system) air conditioners (up to 3.5Kw): $200
• Loungeroom (wall mount split system) air conditioners (up to 7Kw): $250
• Wall mount split systems larger than 7Kw: $300
• Washbag clean of wall mount split systems: $100
• Ducted systems and ceiling cassette systems from $500
• Indoor ceiling vents (if needed): $70 each
• Outdoor eave vents (if needed) (single storey): $70 each
• Outdoor eave vents (if needed) (two storey): $100 each
• Fridges (Plug in portable types) (must already be in working order): $200 each
• Walk-in coldrooms from $1100 each
• Travel: $1.30 / Km (round trip, road route distance) (eg. A distance of 100km which is a 200km round trip would be $260). Travel costs are waived in the area surrounding Eastern Heights (Ipswich).


Fridges can be done too!
The dirty secret of fridge manufacturers:
After the manufacturer puts gas in a fridge in the factory, they crimp the copper piping (with no additional seals!) to try and stop the gas from getting out. It is possible the gas could slowly leak from this crimped area over time. Installing a service valve means technicians can readily access the gas system and easily service the fridge. When a problem arises, people usually set the fridge to its coldest setting and this often permanently damages the compressor motor, rendering the fridge uneconomical to repair.
Give your fridge a new lease of life before it dies out and gets you!
Get your fridge/s done on the same day as your air conditioners!

Is it safe?
Absolutely, if it is done by a licensed professional in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards. The internet trolls who disagree don't have the relevant qualifications. The Australian Standards outlines the safety requirements (including the 5149 series, 60335.2 series, ISO 817, 2430.3 series, and 60079.10 series).
There is a limited quantity of gas contained in a closed system, accessible only with tools. A gas stove / oven / heater poses greater risk.
Ventilation is key to safety.

How do I know the conversion is safe?
The Australian Standards and "Flammable Refrigerant Safety Guide" documents outline the safety requirements.
Gas leaks can happen, it's a part of life. There's some simple rules to ensure safety. The only incidents that have happened relating to hydrocarbon refrigerants are related to those who are not qualified to work with hydrocarbon refrigerants or those who are negligent in their duty of care.
Simple back to back air conditioner installations of inverter systems require no further works to ensure their safety. The flare joins are outside of the building.
Complex installations of wall and ceiling mount inverter systems require room ventilation and at least one whirlybird installed on the roof. Other options include cross ventilation in the roof space, or welding / press clamping of pipe fittings. If the flare join is located inside the room being air conditioned, you'll need a small passive ceiling vent to vent some of the air into the roof space.
Ducted inverter air conditioners require at least one whirlybird installed on the roof. Other options include cross ventilation in the roof space, or welding / press clamping of pipe fittings. The same is true for in-ceiling cassette air conditioners.
Fixed speed air conditioners may need the contactor to be replaced with a solid state or encapsulated type of contactor.
Walk-in cold-rooms are not practical to ventilate and instead need a gas leak sensor alarm. These are kind of like a smoke alarm, but for detecting gas leaks, and a sign is placed next to it telling you what it is and means. The sensor alarm usually needs to be replaced every few years and will go off by itself as a warning of its need for replacement. Learn more about the gas safety sensors >

Do manufacturers endorse these conversions?
No, however, the service I offer you is guaranteed under Australian Consumer Law as being safe, offering comparable performance, and offering energy savings. You get a warranty against the lack of any of these. It is highly unlikely you'll need the warranty and instead enjoy the air conditioning as offered and intended. The gas conversions offered here are considered repairs, which are only required to be carried out in a safe manner (for which the technician is responsible for). The reason manufacturers don't endorse the conversions is that they have to pay lots of money for a second set of energy efficiency tests and certification under a second set of Australian Standards as a mass produced product a consumer can purchase. All manufacturers are required to undergo certification for mass produced products. In my opinion, the manufacturers are probably also paid out by the fat cats in the synthetic fluorocarbon refrigerant industry too (who in my opinion appear to have a bogus charity and fudged financial figures). It is probably in their best financial interests that they don't endorse hydrocarbon conversions. The manufacturers will eventually have no choice but to change their stance on this as consumers vote with their wallet.
Pioneer branded air conditioners are the only hydrocarbon air conditioners to have EESS certification (which all manufacturers of electrical equipment for the QLD market are required to have) and this precedent and design / build similarities implies that other air conditioners can be safely retrofitted.

Getting your air conditioners done:
Location and service areas:
• Base location: Eastern Heights (Ipswich).
• Preferred service area is Ipswich and surrounding regions.

Are you located outside the preferred service area?
As a last resort. My services are still available for a price. It is best you try and find another licensed hydrocarbon technician.
Alternatively: If a few of you in a region organise conversions around the same time, discounts are possible (due to reduced travel costs).

I live outside of the service area. Can I get someone else who is local to me to do the conversion?
Yes, as long as they hold a QLD hydrocarbon refrigerant licence and the knowledge to do the job correctly. Technical support is available.
I can help you find a local hydrocarbon refrigerant licence holder. Not all hydrocarbon licence holders are willing to or are comfortable in performing these conversions, so it is best to call around.

Contact:
• www.fundamentalenergy.com.au
• Phone or message Andrew on 0421164224

Flexible payments (Coming soon):
Can’t afford the up front costs? Get the savings now and use them to pay off the conversion and come out in front financially in the long run. There’s no extra cost but additional paperwork is required and conditions apply.

Qualifications:
ARCTick: L128108
ARCTick: AU46090
Hydrocarbon Lic# H31294

QBCC: 15234844