Find the Best Air Conditioner for Your Home: A Comprehensive Guide for Aussies
Last updated on August 25, 2023
G’day mates! Brendan here from Coalfields Climate Control in the Hunter Valley giving advice that’s probably not wanted! Any-who, ready to keep your cool all year round? We’ve got ya covered! This guide is chock-a-block with ripper info to help you pick the perfect air con for your digs.
You’ll learn all about the different types of air cons out there, like split systems, ducted units, and portables. We’ll also show you how to suss out the right size, which features to look for, and which brands are spot on.
But that’s not all, cobbers! We’ll also give ya some top-notch tips on installation and maintenance, so you can keep your air con running like a dream.
So, chuck a coldie, take a squiz, and let’s crack on!
Types of Air Conditioners
Alright, let’s talk air con types, mate! Now, ya might already know that split system air cons are tops in Oz, but have ya heard of ducted units or portables?
Ducted air cons are ace for cooling your whole house, mate. They work by pumping air through a network of ducts hidden in your walls and ceiling. They can be a bit pricey, but they’re worth every penny if ya want to stay comfortable all summer long.
And then there’s portables, which are bloody ripper for renters or folks on a budget. They’re easy to move from room to room, and ya don’t need to do any installation. But keep in mind that they can be a bit less efficient and noisier than other types.
But don’t just take my word for it, mate! According to a top air con blogger, “Split systems are the go-to choice for most Aussies, but if you want to cool your whole house, ducted air con is the way to go. And if you’re looking for something affordable and easy to install, a portable air con could be a fair dinkum option.”
And when it comes to the best brands for each type, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, and Daikin are the top dogs in the game. So, whether ya want a split system, ducted unit, or portable, these brands are your best bet.
Multi Split Systems
Anyway, back to the different types of air conditioners that you can choose from. Multi-split air conditioners are bloody ripper if you want to cool multiple rooms with one outdoor unit. You can have different indoor units in various rooms all connected to the one outdoor unit, which is perfect for those big Aussie families who like to have different spaces to relax in.
Now, if you’re on a bit of a tight budget and don’t want to break the bank, then a window air conditioner is a fair dinkum choice. They’re affordable, but you have to watch out because they can be a bit noisy and inefficient. But if you’re just after a bit of cool air on a hot summer’s day, then they’ll do the job 😉
For those of you living in the dry areas of Australia, then you’ll want to consider an evaporative cooler. They work by using water to cool the air, which is bloody good for those dry climates. However, they’re not that effective in humid areas, so keep that in mind.
Lastly, we have reverse cycle air conditioners, which are absolute legends because they can heat and cool your home. They work by reversing the cooling cycle, which means they can also pump warm air into your home during the colder months. Perfect for those chilly winter nights! As one happy customer put it, “I love my reverse cycle air conditioner, it keeps me cool in summer and warm in winter without having to switch between different systems”.
Choosing the right size air conditioner is important for energy efficiency and comfort
Air conditioners are sized in kilowatts (kW) and BTUs (British Thermal Units)
Factors to consider when sizing your air conditioner include room size, ceiling height, insulation, and more
Online calculators can help determine the right size air conditioner for your space
Oversized air conditioners can waste energy and money, while undersized units won’t cool your space effectively
A professional installer can help you determine the right size air conditioner for your home
It’s important to consider the climate and location when choosing the size of your air conditioner
Now, this might sound like a boring topic, but trust me, it’s crucial to getting the right AC for your home. You don’t want to end up with an air conditioner that’s too small and can’t keep up with the heat or one that’s too big and wastes energy and money. So, let’s dive in.
According to the experts at Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, and Daikin, the size of your air conditioner should be based on a few factors, including the size of the room, the height of the ceiling, the number of windows, and the amount of insulation in the room. As the folks at Fujitsu put it, “If the air conditioner is too small for the space, it will have to work harder to cool the room, which will increase your electricity bill and put more strain on the unit.”
To determine the right size AC for your home, you can use what’s called the “heat load calculation.” This calculation takes into account all the factors I mentioned earlier, plus a few more, like the number of people in the room and the amount of sunlight that comes in. You can either do the calculation yourself or hire a professional like us here at Coalfields Climate Control to do it for you.
Now listen up! The Coalfields blokes who know everything about air conditioners, reckon that getting the right size AC is bloody important to make sure it works like a charm and doesn’t cost you a fortune. So, don’t be a drongo and do your homework before you buy or better yet, pipe-down and let us make the decisions for you. Keep in mind that multi-split air conditioners can cool a bunch of rooms using one outdoor unit, window air conditioners are easy on the wallet but can be noisy and suck power, evaporative coolers are tops for dry areas but hopeless in humid spots, and reverse cycle air conditioners can keep you warm in winter and cool in summer.
Features to Look for in an Air Conditioner
Energy efficiency ratings, such as the star rating and EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio), can help you save money on your electricity bill
Noise level is an important consideration, especially for bedrooms or living areas
Smart features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity and app control, can make your air conditioner more convenient to use
Air filters can improve air quality and reduce allergens in your home
Dehumidifying and fan-only modes can provide additional comfort options
Inverter technology can help save energy and reduce noise levels
Timers and sleep modes can help you save energy and money
Energy Efficiency In Aircon
First up, energy efficiency ratings are blimin important if you want to save some dosh on your electricity bill. Look out for the star rating and EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) when choosing your unit.
Noise Levels In Air Conditioning
But it’s not just about saving money – you want to be comfortable too, right? That’s why you need to consider the noise level of your air conditioner, especially if you plan on putting it in your bedroom or living area. No one wants to listen to a noisy unit all bloody night.
Smart Features In Air Conditioners
If you’re after a unit that’s a bit more high-tech, check out the smart features available. Some air conditioners have Wi-Fi connectivity and app control, making them bloody convenient to use. You can drive, eat, do your lippy AND flick your aircon on at the same time remotely. You shouldn’t, but you can.
Air Filters In Aircon
Air filters are another thing to keep in mind. They can improve air quality and reduce allergens in your home, which is especially important if you suffer from allergies or asthma.
Other features like dehumidifying and fan-only modes can provide additional comfort options. Inverter technology can also help save energy and reduce noise levels, while timers and sleep modes can help you save even more energy and money.
They’re the main ones to keep in mind. Don’t buy a cheapie, you’ll regret it, I promise!
Air Conditioner Installation and Maintenance
Annnnnnndd, when you’re thinking of getting a new air conditioner, it’s important to remember that professional installation is highly recommended, ideally by us at Coalfield Climate Control, and especially for ducted system units. Installations done proper can ensure your unit operates like a pearler and your’re taking full advantage of efficiency, saving you money on them damn energy bills. But it doesn’t stop there, do us a solid and book us in for regular maintenance. It’s important. Do as you’re told!
You can DIY on the basic maintenance till the cows come home. Cleaning air filters yourself, it’s all yours, but remember it’s not a professional clean. Get a Coalfields professional check your unit annually or bi-annually (that means twice a year cobber) to ensure everything is running smoothly.
A tickle here and there and bit of maintenance goes a blimin long way. Cleaning air filters, checking refrigerant levels, and cleaning coils are just some of the common maintenance tasks we do. Regular checkups help prevent breakdowns, sweaty nights that might break up your marriage and you’ll probably reduce your energy consumption. As they say on the official Mitsubishi Electric website, “Maintenance is key to ensure the best performance from your air conditioner and to extend its life.” So, take care of your unit and it’ll take care of you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will me wallet hurt for an AC installation?
Installing an air con can set you back a few bob. Costs vary depending on the unit and complexity of installation, but expect to pay between $600 and $5,000, with the average being around $1,500.
How long can I expect this bloody thing to last?
Your air con’s lifespan is like a game of bloody cricket, mate, and can vary depending on usage and maintenance. On average, you can expect it to last around 10 to 15 years.
You’re welcome to have a crack at installing it yourself, mate, but fair warning, you’re taking a big risk messing with electricity if you’re not licensed and you’ll void the manufacturer’s warranty . Leave it to us, the professional so it doesn’t turn into a bloody disaster.
What's the sweet spot temperature to set my air con to, mate?
The best temperature to set your air con depends on personal preference, but we recommend setting it to around 24-25 degrees Celsius during the day and 18-20 degrees Celsius at night for a good night’s sleep.
Oi, how often do I need to clean or swap out the filter?
She’ll be right if you clean her or replace the filter every three to six months, depending on usage. But remember this isn’t a proper service.
Can this thing even heat me up in the winter or am I stuck shivering?
You betcha! Many air cons come with a reverse cycle feature, which means they can heat your home in the winter and cool it in the summer.
How do I troubleshoot when this bugger's giving me a headache?
When in doubt, give it a good smack with a hammer. Just kidding, we recommend checking for basic issues like a clogged filter, low refrigerant levels, or a tripped breaker. If all else fails, give a licensed technician a call.
What's the warranty and what can I expect it to cover?
Your warranty can vary depending on the manufacturer and model, but typically ranges from 5 to ten years for the decent brands. It usually covers parts and labour for repairs or replacements due to defects. If you want an extended 2 years, that’s something we can arrange.
How do I avoid cowboys and pick an installer to do the job right?
When looking for an installer, make sure they’re licensed, insured, and have a good reputation. You can also check if they’re a member of the Air Conditioning & Mechanical Contractors Association (AMCA) or the Housing Industry Association (HIA).
You beauty, mate! There are government rebates and incentives available for purchasing energy-efficient air cons. Check out the government website or speak to a licensed installer for more info.
Once again, Brendan from Coalfields Climate Control in the Hunter Valley here, with some green and gold advice on air conditioners to keep you cool all year round. In this guide, we’ve gone through the different types of air cons, including split systems, ducted units, portables, and more. We’ve also given you some ripper tips on sizing your air con, so you don’t waste energy and money. Remember, oversized units will leave you high and dry, and undersized ones won’t do the job. So, if you’re still reading this long and hopefully humorous blog I’ve written, enjoy that smug feeling because you’ve just earned yourself a $100 discount on any aircon installation you book with Coalfield’s Climate Control. Just let us know you’ve read this. I’m impressed!
Brendan Ward is a senior HVAC+R contractor, renowned in his industry as the go-to person for advice, design and planning of commercial air conditioning installations. Brendan has been a qualified professional in both the residential and industrial refrigeration and air conditioning sector for almost 25 years, and has owned Coalfield's Climate Control, a leading air conditioning company in the Hunter Valley for over a decade.