Air conditioners glossary

Get to grips with the technical terms of air conditioners

A typical wall-mounted air conditioner.

A typical wall-mounted air conditioner.

What is a condenser? How do thermostats work? What does an inverter do? We'll answer all of these air conditioning questions for you.

Automatic de-icing: Automatically defrosts built-up ice on the heating coils of air conditioners.

EER: The Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) indicates how good an air conditioner is at turning electricity into cooling. If the air conditioner is reverse cycle the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) indicates how good an air conditioner is at turning electricity into heating. The more blue stars the more efficient the air conditioner is at cooling. The more red stars the more efficient it is at heating.

Filter: Clean air is essential for efficient operation. Look for units with filters that can be easily cleaned or replaced.

Inverter: A specialised fan and motor system that cools and heats rooms at varying speeds for more efficient energy consumption.

kW: An air conditioner's output capacity is measured in kilowatts (kW). Kilowatts measure the amount of heat that will be removed (cooling) or added (heating) to the room/s in your house. As the kW rating increases, generally so does the size, weight and cost of the air conditioner.

Restart delay: Air conditioners are not designed to be turned off and immediately back on. So if the power is accidentally shut off, the restart delay function will safely start the air conditioner after a couple of minutes.

Reverse cycle: A function that lets air conditioners both heat and cool rooms.

HEPA: This is the abbreviated name for high efficiency particulate Air which is a type of filtration used in some air conditioners.

Air flow: This refers to the quantity of air that a unit can blow into a room. As a rule of thumb, the higher distribution and movement of air flow the better.

Condenser: A device that removes unwanted heat from the refrigeration system and generally uses a combination of air and water to absorb the heat then releases it at a disposal point.

Thermostat: This is a temperature control device. A thermostat regulates temperature by stopping or starting the supply of heating or cooling from the air conditioner.

Split System: This refers to a central air conditioner consisting of two or more major indoor and outdoor components. The compressor unit is installed outside while two or more units indoors distribute air.

Ducted System: This system is composed of one outdoor motor that pumps air to multiple rooms in your home through ducted ventilation shafts.

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