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Home air-conditioning | Buying guide

Need a cooling/heating solution? Portable or installed? We break down common air-conditioning buying questions.

By Carly Nichols

20 November 2020

There are many solutions on the market when searching for an air-conditioning unit. To make sure you are purchasing the right air-conditioning unit ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need to cool your home in summer and heat it in winter?
  • Are you able to install a unit or is portable your only option?
  • What is your natural climate? Do you need to have your air-conditioning on more often?
  • What direction does your room face? A north-facing room will heat up more than a south-facing room

Prior to purchasing also make sure:

  • That you have insulated your home to prevent loss of cool or warm air
  • That you know the size of your space you are trying to heat or cool.

A few key terms you will hear:

Reverse cycle: provides both heating and cooling capabilities.
Inverter: provides constant airflow for improved temperature regulation.
Smart AC: connect to your home network so you can control and monitor output through an app.

Types of air conditioners

Split System: Made up of two components, one installed inside and one installed outside the home. Split systems generally are more quieter, and are used to cool down entire homes

Window or wall: Can be a more affordable option than split system, although best to be used for cooking down one large room, rather than the whole residence.

Ducted air conditioning: The entire unit is concealed, and the cooled air is directed to multiple zones throughout the home using concealed ducting.

Energy efficient air conditioning

It is related to a unit’s efficiency, established through the ratio of power input to cooling and heating capacity. 

What size capacity do I need?

Room size


Up to 20 sq m


20–40 sq m


40–60 sq m


60–80 sq m


80+ sq m


(CHOICE, 2020)

The information provided in this article is general in nature and does not constitute advice. Please consider your own personal circumstances prior to making any decisions