Choosing the right air conditioner

January 2012

Households generally look to purchase a new air conditioner in summer but it’s important to choose an efficient model and one that suits your needs.

Ausgrid’s energy efficiency expert Paul Myors said new Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows about three quarters of Australian homes now use air conditioners or evaporative coolers but size was the key to staying cool in summer.

Air conditioners that are either too big or too small can have a big impact on energy bills, so it’s important to choose an efficient model that suits your home and budget.

As a rough guide, multiply the number of square metres you want to cool by 125Watts and compare this to the air conditioner’s output. Air conditioning specialists take into account your floor space, window area and insulation levels.

The most popular models are wall mounted reverse cycle units, which can cost up to 70 cents to run per hour and can add more than $150 to your summer energy bill.

The star rating of air conditioners has improved and it’s good to know that each extra star will give you about 10% lower running costs and greenhouse emissions.

It’s also important to set the right temperature. Each degree of cooling can add 10% to your running costs. So its best to keep your temperature setting between 23 and 26 degrees in summer, use the recirculate setting and close doors to keep the cool air in.

For more tips on how to stay cool during summer check out Ausgrid's summer cooling guide.

Air-conditioning star rating