57 Bombala St, Cooma NSW 2630

What's the Difference? (Air-conditioners)

Often customers ask us about the different types of air-conditioners and are unfamiliar with many terms bandied about in the retail stores and the industry in general.  We want you to understand what it is you are getting and not be baffled by techno babble.  Here are a few of the different types of air-conditioners available:

  • Portables:  Some portable models are little more than personal coolers. Others can cool a small room (up to about 20 square metres) but need to vented to the outside. Portable units can be plugged into a normal power point. Expect to pay around $600 to $1500.
  • Window/Wall (or WRAC) models are a square box shaped air-condtioner - usually installed in a window or external wall and don't need to be installed by a licenced tradesperson (i.e. - you can do it yourself) They can cool rooms and open-plan areas of up to 60 square metres and can be plugged into a normal power point.  Prices range from about $400 to $1000 and they are much more effective than portables.
  • Hi-wall split-system - consists of a compressor unit that's installed outside, and one or more indoor "heads" mounted on a wall inside making them much quieter inside than either of the previous units.  They're usually used to heat or cool a single room per indoor head or an open-plan area, of up to 80 square metres. Costs range between $600 - $3000 and require installation by a qualified tradesperson at additional cost.  There are other types of split systems that offer different types of air-distribution but are generally used in more commercial applications.
  • A ducted split system is still the same principal as above but instead of the indoor part being visible - it is located in your roof space and connected via ducting to air outlets throughout the house. Costs start from $5000 depending on the area to be conditioned and these systems offer the best method of air distribution throughout your entire home or parts of it.
  • Inverter technology: With conventional air conditioners, the compressor is either on (working to 100% capacity) or off. Inverters can vary the compressor speed and maintain the set temperature within a narrow range. Inverter models are more efficient and reduce running costs.  Due to the Federal Governments introduction of Minimum Energy Performance Standards for air-conditioners - most units sold in Australia are now inverters.  They are also more effective in cold climates where their de-frost cycles are not as long or as noticeable as conventional air-conditioners. 
  • Cooling-only or reverse cycle: Reverse-cycle models only cost a bit more than cooling-only models, but you can also use them for heating in winter. While the purchase and installation costs can be high, reverse-cycle air conditioners are among the cheapest forms of heating to run. They cause less carbon dioxide to be produced in power plants burning fossil fuel than other kinds of electric heater. *

* Source - Choice Australia Oct 2011