Aussies favour efficiency over price with air conditioning

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Panasonic air conditioners rated highest in customer survey

With all this talk of rising power prices, more Australians are looking at purchasing an energy efficient air conditioner, rather than a cheap one.

A Canstar Blue survey of 611 adults across the country found that 45% listed energy efficiency as their deciding factor when purchasing an air conditioner, as opposed to 44% for price. This is a slim margin, but compared to Canstar Blue’s findings in 2016, customers are spending more. In 2017 the average spend was $1,981, compared to $1,901 in 2016. Consumer habits may also be changing. A quarter of respondents (24%) left their air conditioner on when leaving the house, compared to 29% in 2016. 41% in 2017 also leave their air conditioning on when going to sleep, compared to 52% in 2016.

With many customers set to pay more in electricity bills this new financial year, energy efficiency is the main factor that dictates air conditioner use. 62% of survey respondents reduced their use of their air conditioning in the last year to save money on power bills. 69% also believed that air conditioning was the single biggest hit to their power bills.

Head of Canstar Blue Megan Doyle said, “Having an air conditioner is a necessity for much of Australia throughout the summer months, but many consumers are changing the way they use them. Fewer people are leaving their air conditioner running all night, or leaving it on when out of the house. Air conditioning is still as popular as ever, but consumers are using their air conditioner with energy efficiency in mind, and even though price is still a major factor influencing purchasing decisions, many are willing to spend more upfront to avoid increased energy use in the long term.”

Top-rated air conditioners

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The research formed part of Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction review for air conditioners, with Panasonic achieving top marks, rating five-stars for overall satisfaction. This is the second year in a row that Panasonic has been rated five-stars for overall satisfaction. Six air conditioner brands in total received the minimum sample size to be included in the ratings. Panasonic was the only brand to be rated five-stars, with three brands rated four-stars, and two three-stars.

Canstar Blue’s ratings for air conditioners are based on factors such as value for money, after sales service, reliability, ease of use, functionality and noise while operating, as well as overall satisfaction. Overall satisfaction is not an average score of these other categories.

Jack Tey, Product Marketing Manager-Air Conditioning, Panasonic, said: “Our customers continue to show their confidence and trust in the Panasonic Air Conditioning brand with this five star rating from Canstar Blue. We focus on delivering a product that offers quality and durability, and keeps consumers comfortable and healthy in the home. And with rising electricity prices hitting Australians in the hip pocket, Panasonic prides itself on providing smart features to support energy efficiency.”

Panasonic is the only air conditioning brand to have topped Canstar’s ratings three times – in 2017, 2016 and 2014. For information on the latest survey see https://www.canstarblue.com.au/appliances/cooling-heating/air-conditioners/

The survey also found that consumers are keeping their air conditioner for a fairly long time, with their previous air conditioner seeing out 8.1 years of service. A lot in the air conditioning world has changed in eight years, and it’s perhaps no surprise why energy efficiency is the major purchasing factor.

“With a lot of air conditioners costing over $2,000, purchasing an air conditioner is an investment for the long-term,” Mrs Doyle said, “Customers don’t just want a ‘cheap and cheerful’ air conditioner; they want one that’s energy efficient to see them through years of service, and electricity price hikes.”

About Canstar Blue

Canstar Blue was launched in July of 2010 by CANSTAR – Australia and New Zealand’s premier researcher of retail finance information for more than 350 institutions across the finance sector. Canstar Blue measures and tracks Australian and New Zealand consumer satisfaction across over 100 different categories to help consumers make the best purchasing decisions for their needs.

What are the Canstar Blue ratings?

Canstar Blue researches, compares and rates products and services according to customer satisfaction across categories including banking, telecommunications, appliances, electronics, utilities and FMCG. Results are freely available to consumers who are encouraged to use the ratings as a guide to product excellence. The full range of results can be seen on the Canstar Blue website at www.canstarblue.com.au.