The Energy Rating Label is a Government regulated labelling system that represents the energy efficiency and running costs of appliances. Efficiency is rated by stars; the more stars, the higher the efficiency. When an air conditioner has a high star rating for energy efficiency it will be able to reach desired temperatures using less power, therefor have lower running costs than an air conditioner with a low star rating.
Tip: Choose which size and unit type that is best suited for your property, then use the star rating to compare them.
There are various types of air conditioner systems that come with several different functionalities and features. What air conditioner unit will be best suited to you will be dependent on factors such as;
To help you decide read our Quick & Easy Aircon Buying Guide
To ensure optimum comfort and energy efficiency you’ll want to consider the size space or room size that you are looking to install your new air conditioning unit in. In general, residential air conditioning units will range from 2kW – 9kW.
A low powered air con unit in a large space will struggle to maintain a desired temperature and therefore must work harder, shortening its lifespan. A larger system in a small room will not be cost efficient due to higher upfront and running costs.
As a basic guide it is recommended that an air conditioner should have approximately 125 watts of power for every square meter of area it supposed to cool/heat.
Use the below formula and table to help assist in determining what size will be suitable for your space.
m² X 125watts = Recommended Air Con Unit Size
|Size Room Or Space||Air Con Unit Size (approx.)||Aircon Unit Type|
|< 20m²||2kW-4kW||– Portable
– Small Split System
– Window Box
|20m²-40m²||4kW-6kW||– Window Box
– Split System
|40m²||6kW-9kW||– Split System|
|Multiple rooms or entire house||9kW+||– Multi Split
The ARC Tick is an accreditation given to applicable businesses by the Australian Refrigeration Council, indicating they, and their staff, are appropriately licenced and authorised to complete refrigeration and air conditioning works.
Businesses and electricians with the ARC tick are required to comply with the legally mandated standards of how to treat the release of fluorocarbon into the environment. Using a business accredited with the ARC tick helps protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from refrigerants.
The lifespan of an air conditioner system will be dependent of a few factors including; unit type, model, brand, average usage, maintenance etc. However, the typical air conditioning system will have a lifespan from 10- 20 years. There are a few warning signs that will indicate it is either time to have your air conditioner serviced or replaced.
Things to look out for are;
These can all be minimised by:
A Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner, or Reverse Air, is another term for a heat pump system which refers to a unit that functions for both heating and cooling.
Air conditioners inverters will the system the functionality to alter their speed in response to cooling demand. Some will have an initial period where they’ll run at a slightly higher or lower temperature for a set time to bring the area, room or house to your desired temperature. When it reaches the desired set temperature, it reduces the capacity to maintain the consistency of that set temperature, without cycling [on and off] as much as a non-inverted unit would.
EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio
An air conditioner’s efficiency is measured by the energy efficiency ratio (EER). The EER is the ratio of the cooling capacity (in British thermal units [Btu] per hour) to the power input (in watts).
Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) specify the minimum level of energy performance that appliances, lighting and electrical equipment (products) must meet or exceed before they can be offered for sale or used for commercial purposes.
Having the air conditioner on dry mode uses less energy, meaning it costs less to run. However dry mode doesn’t act like a dehumidifier so it will be limited in its ability to reduce humidity levels.
Indoor units should be installed in a central in the room and high up on the wall, so it provides airflow throughout the room evenly. Try install in a location that you can reach for cleaning if needed.
Outdoor units for split systems are generally installed against the outside wall of the room being air conditioned. A qualified installer will assist in ensuring the unit is installed in an area where it won’t vibrate or break noise pollution laws.
The outdoor unit of a split air conditioner system needs to have adequate clearance around it to ensure it operates correctly. A qualified installer may be able to provide some recommendations to conceal the outdoor unit safely
An air conditioner’s filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its life. Neglecting maintenance will result in a steady decline in the air conditioners performance and lifespan. At a minimum you should clean your air conditioner’s filters every 2 weeks, as any build-up of dust or dirt will restrict airflow and reduce the energy efficiency and capacity of your system.
In the operation manual that comes with your air conditioner there should be instructions on this. Most air conditioner units will require you to remove the front panel of the unit, then vacuum dust and wash the air filter with natural detergent and water. Allow the filter to dry outside in a shaded area before reattaching.
For outdoor units you should wipe them down every few weeks and ensure no leaves are getting caught up near.
Air conditioner repairers will usually charge per hour and some may also have a call-out fee. Typically, per hours costs range from $60-$110. The duration of time spent repairing your air conditioner will be dependent on whether you require a routine service or a complicated repair.