HOT SUMMER: Check out and think about your cooling needs before you turn on.
HOT SUMMER: Check out and think about your cooling needs before you turn on.

What will it cost to run your air conditioner this summer?

SUMMER is here and so it's time to reach out for the air conditioner controls. But can you afford to run one or more in your home?

Before you turn on, or buy a new one, consider using the Federal Government's online calculator to compare the cost of running different air conditioners. 

Mark Padwick, president of the Air-conditioning and Equipment Manufacturers Association of Australia said, "The timing is perfect as air conditioners have never been more efficient and effective. They will keep you cool, while using less energy than ever before.

"Over the life of an air conditioner, the cost of running it can well exceed its purchase price.

That makes energy efficiency an important consideration when making your purchase." 

However, Mr Padwick warns, if you are buying, it's important to take care what you buy.

"There are some air conditioners on the market that do not deliver what they promise," Mr Padwick said.

The Department of the Environment and Energy, which runs Australia's energy efficiency programs, has over the past few years tested air conditioners that claim "amazing" performance from "revolutionary" technology. 

AREMA's advice is some of these products have failed to meet minimum energy performance levels and came nowhere near reaching what they promised.  

How do you protect yourself?

Before you buy, ask two important questions:

  • Does the manufacturer promise some radical new technology, delivering unbeatable performance? 
  • Is the brand familiar or one you have never heard of before? 

And then check the performance of the product by looking at its energy star label and comparing that with other makes and models.

Mr Padwick said if the "unbeatable performance" claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

"If the brand is an unknown, then you have a right to be sceptical," Mr Padwick said. 

"The cost of buying a poor performing product can be significant and you may not get the cooling you need."

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