Choose the right air-conditioner for your home

December 2010

Those first few hot days of summer are often the trigger for households to purchase a new air-conditioner. 

Ausgrid’s energy efficiency expert Paul Myors said air-conditioners can have a big impact on energy bills, so it’s important to choose an efficient model and one that suits your needs.

The most popular models are wall mounted reverse cycle units, which also provide efficient heating in winter.

A good rule of thumb when buying a unit is to have 1 kilowatt (kW) of output for each 8m2 of floor area.

It’s important to choose the most efficient model within your budget – the higher the star rating the better. Each extra star will reduce running costs by around 10 per cent per year.

The energy efficiency of new air-conditioners is improving and the star rating system has recently been revised so a model that previously achieved 6 stars will only achieve around 3 stars under the new scheme.

Reverse cycle air-conditioners can cost up to 70 cents to run per hour and can add around $250 to your summer energy bill so it’s important to run them efficiently.

Setting the temperature between 23 and 26 degrees will help ensure you are comfortable without over-cooling your home. Running costs can increase by up to 10 per cent each time you lower the temperature by one degree.

For a detailed comparison of the energy efficiency of different air conditioner makes and models go to www.energyrating.gov.au.

Air-conditioning star rating