Over the last few years, Australia has moved through some of the hottest, driest summers on record.
How did you fare?
What’s for certain is that many people without air conditioners, cooling systems or other HVAC solutions installed in their home are finding it harder than ever to keep comfortable.
If you’re considering replacing an existing unit or planning for a more sustainable, energy-efficient new build, now is the time to start educating yourself on the basics of how to get maximum efficiency from your new AC unit.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most important questions to ask yourself during the process of selecting the best HVAC solution for your home, including:
- What types of air conditioners are available?
- Which type of air conditioner is the cheapest?
- Which AC solution is most energy-efficient?
- Which air conditioner is the best?
- Where should I install my new AC unit?
Ready? With over 15 years of expertise in the art of inspiring, high-quality HVAC solutions, our award-winning G Store HVAC team is ready to guide you!
Let’s get going.
What types of air conditioners are available on the market?
The type of air conditioner best-fit for your needs depends on a number of factors, including:
- Your budget
- The style, size and layout of your home
- Your specific requirements including the functionalities you require in a new AC unit (e.g. heating as well as cooling, air filtration, and more)
- Your standards around energy consumption
Once you consider your situation in relation to these considerations, it’s important to note that a number of different HVAC options exist, including:
- Split-system air conditioners: Great for smaller spaces and for efficiently heating and cooling a single room or small space
- Multi-split system air conditioners: Multiple split system units running off a single external unit, which is great for heating and cooling multiple individual rooms
- Ducted air conditioning systems: Offers zoning control for multiple areas around your home
- Hydronic heating/cooling systems: The most efficient HVAC solution for homes and can be run off a heat pump system
- Portable air conditioners: Often the least energy-efficient HVAC solution, but can be ideal for situations in which particular building regulations prevent you from installing a split or multi-split system
- Window air conditioners: This type of system is older in style and involves a single unit installed in place of a window, sometimes secured by plyboard or glass (they can be noisy, and grow unsightly as they age and gather dust)
To understand more about the types of AC and HVAC solutions on the market, check out our dedicated blog here.
Where should I install my new air conditioner?
The location of your new air conditioner installation depends on various factors such as the layout of your home, the type of air conditioner you have, and your cooling requirements.
Here are some general guidelines for understanding the options available to you. Of course, if you need any help with this, our award-winning team is just a phone call away!
Indoor vs. Outdoor
Depending on the type of air conditioner you have, you may need to install it either indoors or outdoors.
Split-system air conditioners have an indoor unit that houses the evaporator coil, and an outdoor unit that houses the compressor and condenser. Window air conditioners, on the other hand, are installed entirely indoors, as are ducted and hydronic heating/cooling systems (aside from the heat pump which must be housed externally).
If you’re installing a split-system air conditioner, you’ll need to consider the size of the room and the cooling requirements to determine the appropriate location for the indoor unit.
If you’re installing a window air conditioner, it’s important to choose a window that’s the appropriate size for the unit. Make sure the window can support the weight of the air conditioner and that there’s enough space to install it.
Likewise, understanding, appreciating and disclosing to your installer the size of the room(s) you wish to heat/cool with your new unit will help your installation experts understand your needs, and match you to a system that’s best-fit for your specific needs and interests.
Sunlight and shade
This is an important one: note that the location of your air conditioner can affect its efficiency.
Installing particular makes and models in direct sunlight, for example, can cause them to work harder and consume more energy, while installing it in a shaded area can help it cool more efficiently. Consider the location of windows and other sources of sunlight when deciding where to install your air conditioner.
HVAC solutions driven by solar or a heat pump, however (such as solar hot water and/or hydronic heating/cooling systems) may well do better if their external units/components are located in a sunny and airy position – it’s best to speak to our friendly G Store team about the options best-suited to your specific needs.
For the longevity and easy maintenance of your AC unit, it’s important to make sure that the location you choose is easily accessible – especially for the purpose of servicing and repairs.
If you’re installing a split-system air conditioner, the outdoor unit should be installed on a flat, stable surface with enough space around it to guarantee access. Likewise, the unit should ideally be accessible from ground level – or, at the very least, safely accessible from above.
The final key factor to consider when deciding where to place your new AC unit is a tricky one: noise.
As useful as AC units are, they can often be noisy – especially so if you’re choosing a lower-quality model (which we don’t recommend).
Overall, it’s important to consider the location of your unit in relation to your living spaces. Regardless of the solution you choose, you may want to avoid installing it in a bedroom or other area in which you require the quietest-possible conditions.
Which brings us to this important point:
Which air conditioner is the cheapest?
When it comes to air conditioners, lower-quality, cheaper options tend to be:
- Less energy-efficient
- Riskier in terms of warranty
- More prone to breakage and repairs
This is why our team at G Store always advises our valued customers that the benefits of a cheap, upfront cost often only last until installation is complete. From that point onwards, you’ll often be paying more in electricity bills, maintenance and repairs.
The AC units with the lowest upfront cost tend to be:
- Window air conditioners: Easy to install, but often unsightly and highly energy-inefficient
- Portable air conditioners: Great for small apartments that cannot have an external unit installed, it’s still the case that these units eat up electricity unlike solar or hydronic options
- Multi-split air conditioners: These units are also known as ductless air conditioners and consist of an indoor unit and an outdoor unit connected by a small conduit they’re more expensive than window air conditioners and portable units but can be less expensive than central air conditioning systems, especially if you only need to cool a few rooms.
Overall, what is the best air conditioner?
When it comes to “best”, it doesn’t take an expert to understand that this is subjective, and often dependent on your specific circumstances, needs and requirements.
However, if you’re to consider the factors that generally contribute to overall quality of an AC unit including:
- Long-term cost-savings
- Quality of technology
- Attractiveness of design
…then you really can’t go past the Panasonic nanoe™X.
Until now, no air conditioning unit has combined powerful air purification technology with the ability to cool and heat your home or office.
The specific functionalities that make this technology so impressive relate to its ability to inhibit bacteria and viruses – both on surfaces, and in the air.
Unlike standalone air purifiers, Panasonic nanoe™X actively spreads ions through the air and onto surfaces. These ions reach deep into the fibres of clothing, sofas and carpet to stop up to 99% of airborne and surface-located bacteria and viruses.
The other benefits of nanoe™X include:
1. Active deodorisation
Penetrating into the deepest parts of fibres, nanoe™X eliminates frequently encountered odours, creating cleaner and fresher spaces.
2. Inhibition of bacteria and viruses
nanoe™X envelops and inhibits the activity of airborne and adhered bacteria & viruses, common mould, pollens and allergens.
3. Moisturises and hydrates
Unlike other air conditioning units and systems which can leave your skin feeling dry and chapped, nanoe™X combines with natural sebum (natural skin oils) to coat the skin, leading to a smoother, well-hydrated complexion.
These benefits stand in stark contrast to other split-system and multi-split system solutions which, while handy and largely energy-efficient (depending on the model), can end up recirculating odorous and/or unhealthy air.
Overall, nanoe™X is an incredibly impressive, multifunctional design that can offer you a huge range of benefits.
And, especially so if paired with an incredible solar system by our partners, SunPower, plus membership to our Virtual Power Plant (VPP) program with Simply Energy!
Ready to get some real, reliable, award-winning advice on the best air conditioning option for your specific needs?
We can’t wait to chat with you.