Do I Need a New Air Conditioner or Not? Decide With These 5 Quick Questions – AEF | Australian Energy Foundation

Do I Need a New Air Conditioner or Not? Decide With These 5 Quick Questions

It’s the middle of summer, but your reliable air conditioner is doing its job. Even on the most sizzling days, it keeps you & your loved ones cool & comfortable — all at under $400 for the entire season.

Unless…it’s not.

Maybe you’ve noticed your energy bills are higher than in previous summers — but there’s no new appliance to suck away that much energy.

Or maybe your air conditioner sometimes chooses to pump out warm air instead of cold, even when it’s over 30 degrees.

Maybe it’s been having trouble turning on and off. Or making strange clunks, clatters and other unwelcome noises.

Your family may have noticed mysterious draughts, odours, or areas that remain always cold or always hot.

Whatever the reason (or reasons), at this point you’re wondering whether a service call will do the trick, or whether it’s time for a new aircon.

The good news is that many of these problems can be fixed by a licensed, experienced air conditioner professional. So yes, the first thing to do (if you haven’t already) is to have a well-qualified technician examine the air conditioner and make any needed repairs.

But some of these, like a consistently higher energy bill, may indicate that a new energy-efficient aircon will actually save you money and lower your electricity bills.

So to help you decide between keeping your current aircon and searching for a new one, we’re sharing our 5-question checklist from our free downloadable ebook, “The Complete Guide to Choosing Your Home Air Conditioner:


Beginning of excerpt from our free guide:
The Complete Guide to Choosing Your Home Air Conditioner

Depending on your current air conditioner and its condition, you may not need a new one at all. Sometimes, all an air conditioner needs is a repair. Other times, repairs won’t save you anything; they’ll only delay the inevitable (and cost you an extra repair visit on top of it).

Here’s how to tell whether you need a repair visit or a new air conditioner:

1. Is Your Current Air Conditioner 15+ Years Old?

Yes: New Air Conditioner

The most efficient 2003 air conditioner wouldn’t even be allowed on the market today, and for good reason.

While 15+ year old systems typically use 6,000 watts/hr of electricity to cool an average-sized house, typical modern air conditioners can cool the same house with a mere 1,710 watts/hr.

Moreover, an air conditioners’ lifespan is about 15-20 years, and as they age they grow less and less efficient.

So even if your old air conditioner is still operating, it’s already costing you more per month. It’s time for a new one that does more with less.

No: Proceed to Question 2

If your current air conditioner is under 15 years old, it might be able to work just fine for your home.

However, if you’re having multiple air conditioner problems or high cooling bills, it’s time to double-check whether your air conditioner needs repairs, maintenance, or replacement.

2. Has It Received Regular Service Visits Per Year?

Yes, and has no problems: Keep It

If you’re happy with your air conditioner’s current performance, there’s no need to read any further — enjoy your cool home.

(Although you might want to read on, just to double-check that your idea of energy-efficient lines up with today’s higher standards.)

Yes, but still has problems: New Air Conditioner

If it’s still having issues even though your local air conditioner technicians have examined your unit and done all necessary maintenance, it might be time for a new air conditioner.

Common problems include:

  • Undesired air temperature (hot instead of cold, or cold instead of hot)
  • Odours
  • Excessive noise or strange sounds
  • Poor circulation (sometimes this can be fixed with a simple filter change)
  • Struggling to turn on and/or off

No: Have It Serviced & Proceed to Question 3

Regular professional maintenance is imperative for air conditioner efficiency, so have your local air conditioner maintenance company do a check-up. They’ll identify and resolve any simple issues.

3. Has Your Electricity Bill Risen Unexpectedly?

Yes: New Air Conditioner (Possibly)

If your electricity bill is rising with no other explanation, it could be your air conditioner’s fault. Have it professionally checked and repaired if necessary; if your air conditioner is still losing efficiency after that, it’s time for a new one.

No: Repair

If something else is off with your air conditioner (dust, odours, noises, etc.) but it still runs efficiently, see if your maintenance professional can fix the issue before paying for a new one.

4. Has Its Warranty Run Out?

Yes: New Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner’s warranty is expired, replacements and repairs will be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.

No: Repair

If your air conditioner’s warranty is still covered, have it checked and repaired before thinking of replacement.

But speaking of repairs…

5. Has It Required Multiple Repairs in the Past 2 Years?

Yes: New Air Conditioner

Unfortunately, if your air conditioner is regularly maintained but keeps acting up every few months, that probably won’t stop any time soon. The inconvenience of repeated air conditioner issues and the expense of continual repairs make a higher-quality air conditioner a wise choice.

No: Repair

No air conditioner is perfect — dealing with an issue once every few years doesn’t justify a new purchase unless you answered “yes” to one or more of the other questions.

If you’re wondering why new energy-efficient air conditioners are so improved from older ones, it’s because the Australian government introduced Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for aircons in 2001 and has raised them several times since.

During that time, manufacturers have drastically improved their air conditioner models’ efficiency and environmental impact:

  • Unlike its bleach-including predecessors, the current refrigerator coolant R32 doesn’t harm the ozone layer
  • Inverter-driven motors are 50% more efficient than previous motors
  • Automatic & WiFi-connected systems put control in your hands (literally), reducing cost without compromising comfort & convenience
  • New materials and designs have maximised air conditioner efficiency

So if you’re considering a new air conditioner, now’s a better time than ever before.

End of excerpt from our free guide:
The Complete Guide to Choosing Your Home Air Conditioner


This quick checklist will give you a good idea of whether it’s time to start looking at new air conditioners, or stick with the one you have.

And if you’re thinking a new aircon could be right for you, make sure to download a free copy of our guide “The Complete Guide to Choosing Your Home Air Conditioner.” This thorough, reader-friendly guide gives you all the tools you need to find the best, most efficient and budget-friendly air conditioner for your individual home.

Prefer to talk with a live person? Our experienced cooling & heating experts are happy to guide you through the purchase & installation process with one-on-one advice & support.

Just call us at 1300 23 68 55 or contact us online.

And if it turns out you need a new air conditioner, just complete this short form to get a free, no-pressure quote from a thoroughly vetted energy-efficient aircon installer.

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