A guide to air con sizes and costs

Choosing the right air conditioner can be a daunting task when you’re searching for the most energy efficient unit to cool an area of your home. The first thing you need to get right is to buy the correct size unit.

When shopping for a new air conditioning unit there is more to consider than just the cost of the unit itself. The kilowatt capacity for the size of room that it’s tasked with cooling is much more of a priority. You could be saving yourself the heartache of a high electricity bill by carefully choosing the best air conditioner for the space it’s intended for.

Here we match the right air conditioner for the size of room in your home:

Room Size Room Examples Air Con Kilowatt Capacity
10-25 square metres A small kitchen, bedroom, study, small lounge, small office 2.5kW
25-35 square metres Bedroom, small lounge, small room with a high ceiling, office, mid-sized kitchen 3.5kW
35-60 square metres A large bedroom, bedroom with an ensuite, mid-sized lounge 5-6kW
60-80 square metres Large lounge, large open plan area, small shop, office 7-8kW

Air conditioner reviews and ratings

How much will the air conditioner cost?

When you’re sizing up rooms for the right air conditioner you want to make sure that you’re going to get value for money in the purchase price and running costs. Here we breakdown the average costs for you in a simple way:

Kilowatt Capacity Average Price
2.5kW $500 to $1,000
3.5kW $750 to $1,500
5-6kW $1,000 to $1,800
7-8kW $1,500 to $2,000

Energy costs of running an air conditioner

Canstar Blue research has found that Australian households spend an average of $239 each month on electricity in summer. Many people believe that running an air conditioner is essentially burning money the longer you run it, but you might be surprised to find the average energy costs of running an air conditioner are relatively low. According to data from the South Australian Government:

  • A window or split system air conditioner can cost 11-16 cents per hour for a 12m² room, 38-54 cents per hour for a 36m² room and 53-75 cents per hour for a 50m² room
  • A ducted system for a whole house (200m²) can cost between $2.26 and $2.67 per hour for energy

How can an air conditioner be more efficient to run?

The efficiency of your air conditioner depends on a number of factors, including the effectiveness of the components inside and how warm it is outside. Keeping your air conditioner well-maintained will enhance its efficiency. If the air conditioner’s coils become trapped with dirt, then the airflow will reduce and it will be unable to absorb heat. By cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils once a month, during the hotter months, it will run more effectively.

Check the energy rating on the unit before you buy – the more stars the more energy efficient it will be to run.

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