Is it cheaper to buy an air conditioner in winter?

Is it cheaper to buy an air conditioner in winter when demand is low, or in summer when demand and competition are high and sales must be hot?

If you think that logic says it should be cheaper to buy in winter, then you’d be right.

While there can be huge discounts on air conditioners and other household appliances in November and December in the lead-up to Christmas, the bigger discounts seem to be during the end of financial year sales in May and June, as the thermometer is starting to drop and demand for cooling units … cools down.

Stores don’t want to be stuck with a lot of old stock when the new models arrive in-store in spring, so they can offer good discounts to move the older models.

If you live in a seriously cold area, experts even advise that you buy an air conditioner cover if your unit is going to be sitting in the snow for a while before you actually use it!

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But hold your horses. The cheapest time to buy is not the same as the cheapest time for installation.

Tradies in the cooler southern states tell us they are just as crazily busy installing furnaces and split system air conditioners in May as they are installing air conditioners in November. Although the sales are in June and December, April and October may be the best times to catch a tradesman with time on their hands to install your new system for you. The less busy they are, the cheaper you are likely to find their service to be.

The situation may be slightly different in balmy Queensland, the Northern Territory or northern Western Australia, with their mild winters. Many people in these climates don’t go in for big heating systems at all, preferring instead to use standalone heaters to heat one room at a time when necessary.

So what’s the answer? Perhaps consider buying one in the end of financial year sales and waiting to install it in the spring, rather than making summer busy for you and your tradie, or waiting until your machine breaks down to replace it. As always, however, we just do the research; the decision on how and when to stay cool is up to you.

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