We’ve covered a lot of ground in our Ultimate Guide to Buying an Air Conditioner – from an overview of the different types, to choosing the best one for your home without adding costly features you don’t need. To wrap up we’re going to look at where to buy your air conditioner and who to have install it.
Where to Buy
Some high street department stores sell portable air conditioners and wall splits but these are not always of the highest quality.
Electrical retailers usually sell portable, wall splits and window wall air conditioners of varying quality but don’t provide installation and offer limited advice on sizing and location. Good deals can be found on the unit but make sure you know what the installation is going to cost before you buy. Verify installation exclusions and avoid installers unnecessarily upselling wall brackets. Check the unit and installation warranty coverage.
Specialist Air Conditioning Dealers
Specialist air conditioning dealers sell the full range of split systems and/or evaporative air conditioners. Dealers:
- Provide free quotes. They come to your home to measure up or work from house plans. The salesperson should check your roof space if quoting a ducted system.
- Specialise in designing air conditioning systems.
- Explain which type of air conditioner, brand, features, options and design best meet your requirements.
- Organise the delivery, installation and in some cases remove the rubbish.
- Provide a warranty on the installation – 1 to 5 years usually.
Choosing An Air Conditioning Dealer
- Look for a dealer that offers a range of brands so they don’t just sell you their brand but the best one for you. Generally, evaporative air conditioning dealers are only allowed to sell evaporative air conditioning brands by one manufacturer.
- Ensure your quote is sufficiently detailed so you can compare quotes on a like for like basis.
- To cut costs, budget dealers selling ducted air conditioners may scrimp on the components. This is a false economy as you want your air conditioner to be as efficient as possible. Look for Airstream components with ducted reverse cycle air conditioning as they are guaranteed not to leak air. Check the thermal rating of the ducting – it should be a minimum of R0.6 for evaporative and R1.0 for ducted reverse cycle systems.
- Ask for customer testimonials. These are best from an independant source. Bear in mind that some online reviews are false.
- Be comfortable that the design and system meets your needs and home – particularly with zoned ducted reverse cycle systems where the correct design saves significantly on the purchase price and running cost.
- The installation should be on time, clean and tidy, the system commissioned and any issues rectified promptly. You should be shown how to operate the unit. Ask the dealer what processes they have in place to ensure this happens.
- A copy of the installation warranty should be included with the quote.
- Ask about the insurance coverage, police clearance and licences for the installers.
- Look at the dealer’s working displays so you know what you are getting.
- Get details of after sales service – warranty coverage on the unit, components and installation, and whether the dealer offers servicing.
What the Quote Should Cover
- Pricing with optional extras and exclusions clearly detailed and priced.
- Unit – brand, model, unit size, inverter or non-inverter, controller, warranty, brochures.
- Components (ducted systems) – thermal rating of ducting, outlet type, warranty, brochures.
- Design – unit and outlet location. Ducted reverse cycle should also cover rooms included in each zone and heat load (correct unit sizing and which zones can be run simultaneously).
- Installation – whether an isolation switch or aero stands are included as standard with your air conditioner. Is the installation warranty included with the quote?
- Service – is interest free finance available and terms and conditions of sale.
We have long hot summers in Australia, so there’s no time like the present to prepare your home for the heat we’ve come to know so well. To get an air conditioner that best suits your needs and is cost efficient, you should carefully consider the points we have covered in our four part Ultimate Guide to Air Conditioning. We hope it has been useful and lets you find affordable air conditioned comfort for many years to come.
If you would like to talk to us about finding the right system for your home in Perth, feel free to call us, Air and Water Residential, on (08) 6363 5343.
This guide was written by Don Curnow owner of Air and Water Residential. Don has 18 years experience in the air conditioning industry in Perth and Melbourne. Air and Water Residential supply and install evaporative, ducted reverse cycle, wall splits and all other types of split system air conditioners for homeowners and businesses in Perth, Western Australia.