Essential Advice for Selecting an Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning Unit

Looking for your Australian home's most energy-efficient air conditioner (aircon)? This guide provides essential advice to help you choose the most efficient air conditioner that meets your needs and saves you money on energy bills. Learn about key factors like energy efficiency ratings, inverter technology, and system types to find the most energy-efficient air conditioner for your climate and budget.
energy efficient air conditioner

Australia’s hot and humid climate makes air conditioning (AC) a vital part of everyday life for many households. However, the constant use of AC can significantly impact your energy bills and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. 

Choosing an energy-efficient air conditioner is crucial for reducing your environmental footprint and saving money on electricity costs. This guide provides essential advice to help you navigate the market and select the most efficient air conditioner.

Switching to a better plan? You may already have an energy plan but want more power or to shop for a better deal.

Energy Matters‘ “Free Energy Bill Comparator” is a cutting-edge energy bill tool that compares your area’s most competitive retail offers. We collect the data from our wide range of trusted retailers, allowing you to decide on the switching plan and find the best deal for your needs.

If your goal is to get more electricity and minimise the cost of your gas and electricity bills, switch to a better plan now!

Understanding energy efficiency ratings

Energy rating label

Look for the yellow and green Energy Rating Label attached to every AC unit in Australia. This label displays the unit’s star rating, ranging from 1 star (least efficient) to 6 stars (efficient air conditioner), with a 10-star rating of “super efficiency” or the most efficient air conditioner for appliances with a rating of 7 or above. Higher star ratings indicate lower energy consumption and running costs.

most-efficient-air conditioner

Factors to consider when choosing an energy-efficient AC

Inverter technology

Inverter technology adjusts the compressor speed to match cooling demand, resulting in more efficient operation compared to traditional on/off models. While inverter units typically have a higher upfront cost, they can save you significantly on energy bills in the long run.

Size and capacity

Opt for an AC unit with a capacity that matches the size of your home. Oversized units will cycle on and off more frequently, wasting energy. Consult a qualified technician to determine the appropriate capacity for your specific needs.

Climate: Consider your local climate when choosing an AC unit. Split systems are generally more efficient in hotter climates, while reverse cycle air conditioners offer heating and cooling functionalities. The following three climatic zones:

  • Hot: Darwin and Brisbane in northern Australia
  • Average: Australia’s middle region, which includes Sydney, Adelaide, and Perth
  • Cold: Canberra, Tasmania, southern Western Australia, southern Australia in which includes Melbourne and the eastern state mountain regions of Australia

Features: While additional features like timers and remote controls can enhance convenience, they may contribute to slightly higher energy consumption. Choose features that align with your needs and prioritise energy efficiency.

Installation: Proper installation is crucial for optimal performance and energy efficiency. Ensure your chosen AC unit is installed by a licensed, qualified technician who adheres to best practices.

Reverse cycle technology: Consider a reverse cycle air conditioner that can also provide heating in winter. This eliminates the need for separate heating and cooling systems, offering improved efficiency and cost savings.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER): This ratio indicates the amount of cooling produced per unit of energy consumed. A higher EER signifies better efficiency. Look for units with an EER of at least 10, with higher values even more desirable.

most energy efficient aircon

Additional tips for saving energy with your AC

  • Seek professional advice: Consult a qualified air conditioning specialist who can assess your needs, such as the best type, size, and location of your AC and recommend suitable energy-efficient air conditioners.
  • Compare models: Research different models online and compare their star ratings, EER, features, and prices before making a decision.
  • Set the thermostat wisely: Adjust the thermostat to a comfortable temperature between 24°C and 26°C. Raising the temperature by just a few degrees can significantly reduce energy consumption.
  • Utilise natural ventilation: Open windows and doors during cooler times of the day to take advantage of natural ventilation and reduce reliance on AC.
  • Upgrade insulation: Improve your home’s insulation to prevent heat gain and loss, minimising the workload on your AC unit.
  • Invest in smart controls: Consider installing smart thermostats or timers to automate temperature control and optimise energy usage based on your occupancy schedule.
  • Government incentives: Check for government rebates and incentives for purchasing energy-efficient air conditioners in your state.
  • Consider long-term savings: While the initial cost of a most energy-efficient air conditioner might be higher, the long-term savings on energy bills can outweigh the upfront investment.
  • Regular maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance for your AC unit to ensure it operates efficiently. Clean filters, check coils, and address any minor issues promptly.

Sources: CHOICE,

most efficient air conditioner

Making an informed choice

Choosing an energy-efficient air conditioner is a responsible decision that benefits your wallet and the environment. Following the advice in this guide and conducting thorough research, you can confidently navigate the market and select the energy-efficient air conditioner for your Australian home, ensuring comfortable cooling while minimising your environmental impact.

Remember, the initial investment in the most efficient air conditioner may be slightly higher, but the long-term savings on energy bills and the environmental benefits make it a worthwhile choice.

Considering solar? Get an instant assessment

Use our easy-to-use solar power and battery storage calculator to determine the cost of your solar system with storage or even an EV charger! Our solar calculator will generate performance information and potential savings. 

We can send this information to 3 trusted local installers in your area to receive obligation-free solar quotes.

Find out how much you can expect to pay for solar

Solar Calculator Price

Ready to find out more? Get FREE quotes for solar, batteries + more

CTA quote form

By submitting your contact details provided on this form you are giving consent for one of our Solar Partners to contact you by Phone, Email, or SMS for a period of 90 days to discuss the solar-related products you have enquired about today. Your consent can be revoked at any time by either verbal or written confirmation.

*Prices quoted are to be used as a guide only and do not factor in state and other rebates and incentives. Includes STC discount.

Get a quick solar quote, or contact us today toll free on 1800 EMATTERS or email our friendly team for expert, obligation-free advice!

Other Energy Matters news services: