Customer Service Enquiries 1300 522 722

Air conditioning types – which is most efficient?

Are you considering getting an air conditioner, but don’t want any shocks when the electricity bill arrives? It’s important to find the most efficient option for your situation, because selecting the wrong air conditioning solution can add significantly to your energy costs. When it comes to air conditioning, there are many different types to choose from, and it can be hard to figure out which is the most efficient.


Don’t worry, because this guide will clear everything up and should help you in making an informed choice on the right air conditioner for your needs.


Window Air Conditioners

Some of the most common and basic types of air conditioners are Window units. These are typically used to cool single  rooms. Window units tend to be easy to install, because they are louvered and sit in your window. These units are often considered to be a good choice for renters, as they can generally be moved without too much hassle.


These types of units are generally less efficient than Split Ducted systems, but they tend to have significantly lower upfront costs. There can be a wide variance in efficiency between the models, so it is important to consider your purchase carefully.


Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners tend to be the least efficient, and they are only recommended for small spaces or for situations where other choices aren’t an option. They can be very expensive to run if you try to use them in a larger area.


There are two main types, single and dual hose. A single hose portable air conditioner uses one hose to move the hot air outside of your home. This reduces the air pressure inside your house, which in turn sucks in hot air through all of the gaps in your doors and windows. Because of this, the air conditioner has to work harder and harder to cool down the warm air that is sucked in. It makes these types of systems quite inefficient in comparison to other options available on the market.


Dual hose units work differently. Instead, they cool the hot air that is inside the house and then return it back where it came from. They have another pump that takes hot air from outside and then pushes it back out again. This helps to cool the air conditioning unit. Because this system doesn’t alter the interior pressure of the home, they tend to be much more efficient than single hose systems. However, they also tend to be more expensive than single hose units, although the reduction in electricity consumption means that they can work out to be cheaper in the long run. With all of that being said, dual hose units still aren’t very efficient when compared to most of the other choices available to you.


Split System or Wall Hung Split Air Conditioners

These are one of the most common options for cooling homes. They are also sometimes known as ductless air conditioners, because they use hoses rather than complex ducts to transfer the air.


Split system air conditioners are great for cooling your whole home, or just large areas of it. They involve both an indoor and outdoor unit, and typically have higher purchase and installation costs than wall or window units.


Wall Hung Split air conditioners are normally more efficient than either Window or Portable units. It’s important to understand that each model on the market is different, so it is important to seek out the right option for you. When considering your purchase make sure to ask yourself important questions like whether the unit is made by a reputable manufacturer, or whether it will work well in Australian conditions.

Split system air conditioners can also come as ‘Multi-Split’ or ‘Multi-Head’ systems, which allow you to have numerous indoor units attached to the single outdoor unit. This allows you to cool and heat multiple rooms in your residence, oftentimes allowing you to select different temperatures in the different rooms. It’s important to note that while this provides greater choice and comfort, it also consumes more energy than just the single unit option.


Ducted Air Conditioning

Ducted air conditioning tends to be the most efficient option available in the residential market, but also usually involves the highest upfront costs.


Ducted air conditioning, sometimes also known as central air conditioning, involves an internal fan coil in the roof space that is connected to each conditioned room or zone of the house through ducts. Depending on your system, these separate ducts can also allow each room to be zoned to an individual temperature.


The installation price of Ducted air conditioning depends on a number of factors. For example, the size of the area that needs to cooled plays a large factor in determining the final price due to all of the ducting that needs to be installed. Whilst Ducted air conditioning usually is more expensive than the other options listed above, it is normally much cheaper to run in large spaces that would otherwise require two or more split systems. Ducted air conditioning tends to be more powerful, more flexible, and more efficient.


So which air conditioner is right for me?

As you can see, purchasing the right air conditioner is quite a complex matter. There are so many different choices and factors to consider. In general, ducted systems are the most efficient, but that does not necessarily make them the right solution for all situations. Ultimately, it’s about selecting the right air conditioner based on your specific requirements.


If you do need to cool down a warehouse or a larger home, than Ducted air conditioning is often the best solution. If you only need one or two rooms cooled, then Wall Hung Split units are often the best solution, even though they may be comparatively less efficient.


There are many factors that will determine which is the best air conditioning system for you, and energy efficiency is just one of them. Of course, there are also financial and installation requirements to consider. As such, this article can’t give you any clear conclusions or recommendations on which air conditioner to purchase. Despite this, we do hope it has a top-line understanding of the various types of air conditioner available.


Whatever your choice, make sure that you are ready for summer with an efficient air conditioner suited to your needs. You don’t want to faint when the electricity bill comes.