Air conditioners up to 65kW
Air conditioners help regulate the temperature of an indoor space to make it more comfortable. They come in models that offer:
- cooling only
- heating only
- heating and cooling – known as reverse cycle systems.
Air conditioners can also be known as heat pumps.
This page is for air conditioners with a cooling or heating capacity equal to or less than 65 kW. There are separate requirements for air conditioners with a capacity of greater than 65 kW.
At a glance
Minimum Energy Performance Standards
Energy Rating Label
Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Air Conditioners up to 65kW) Determination 2019
In Australia, this product is regulated under the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012.
In New Zealand, the relevant legislation is the Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Regulations 2002. Visit the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority website for more information.
What products are covered?
Products covered by this Determination are single-phase and three-phase air conditioners that have a rated standard cooling full capacity, or for heating only products, a rated standard heating full capacity, of 65 kW or less. The Determination also covers multi‑split outdoor units and single‑split outdoor units.
The Determination only covers air conditioners that:
- are capable of cooling, heating, or both cooling and heating, a conditioned space using a vapour compression cycle driven by an electric compressor
- contain one or more condensers, one or more evaporators, and one or more fans, and
- are designed for cooling, heating, or both cooling and heating, of a conditioned space primarily for human comfort.
Air conditioners that have a rated standard cooling full capacity, or for heating only products, a rated standard heating full capacity, of greater than 65 kW are covered under the Air Conditioners above 65 kW Determination.
Refer to Part 2 and Schedule 1 of the Determination for more details on what is covered.
What products are not covered?
The following products are not covered by this Determination.
- Close control air conditioners (these are covered under a different Determination).
- Liquid-chilling packages (these are covered under a different Determination).
- Evaporative coolers or any other cooling systems that are not of the vapour compression type.
- Ground-water air conditioners or ground-loop air conditioners.
- Spot coolers.
- Air conditioners powered by mains electricity specifically designed and sold only for installation in end-use mobile applications, such as caravans, mobile homes, camper vans, boats and rail cars.
- Air conditioners powered by mains electricity specifically designed and sold only for installation in specialised high temperature industrial applications, such as crane cabins used over blast furnaces.
- Air conditioners that do not condition air sourced from within the conditioned space, but instead condition air sourced from outside the conditioned space, and deliver that air to the conditioned space.
Refer to section 17 of the Determination for more details.
For technical requirements regarding air conditioners, including testing requirements and Minimum Energy Performance Standards, review the relevant Determination and standards.
The following standards are referenced in this Determination and are available for purchase online. The version of the standards that apply are the versions that existed when the Determination was made on 25 March 2019.
Air-conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute
AHRI 1230:2010 means Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute Standard 1230 Performance Rating of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Multi-Split Air‑Conditioning and Heat Pump Equipment.
Standards Australia Limited
- AS/NZS 3823.1.1:2012 means Australian/New Zealand Standard 3823.1.1:2012 Performance of electrical appliances – air conditioners and heat pumps – Part 1.1: Non‑ducted air conditioners and heat pumps – Testing and rating for performance (ISO 5151:2010, MOD).
- AS/NZS 3823.1.2:2012 means Australian/New Zealand Standard 3823.1.2:2012 Performance of electrical appliances – air conditioners and heat pumps – Part 1.2: Ducted air conditioners and air‑to‑air heat pumps—Testing and rating for performance (ISO 13253:2011, MOD).
- AS/NZS 3823.1.3:2005 means Australian/New Zealand Standard 3823.1.3:2005 Performance of electrical appliances – air conditioners and heat pumps. Part 1.3: Water-source heat pumps—Water-to-air and brine-to-air heat pumps—Testing and rating of performance (ISO 13256-1, Ed. 01 (1998) MOD).
- AS/NZS 3823.1.4:2012 means Australian/New Zealand Standard 3823.1.4:2012 Performance of electrical appliances – Air conditioners and heat pumps. Part 1.4: Multiple split-system air conditioners and air-to-air heat pumps–Testing and rating for performance (ISO 15042:2011, MOD).
- AS/NZS 3823.1.5:2015 means Australian/New Zealand Standard 3823.1.5:2015 Performance of electrical appliances – Air conditioners and heat pumps. Part 1.5: Non‑ducted portable air-cooled air conditioners and air-to-air heat pumps having a single exhaust duct – Testing and rating for performance.
- AS/NZS 3823.4.1:2014 means Australian/New Zealand Standard 3823.4.1:2014 Performance of electrical appliances – Air conditioners and heat pumps. Part 4.1: Air‑cooled air conditioners and air-to-air heat pumps–Testing and calculating methods for seasonal performance factors – Cooling seasonal performance factor (ISO 16358‑1:2013, (MOD)).
- AS/NZS 3823.4.2:2014 means Australian/New Zealand Standard 3823.4.2:2014 Performance of electrical appliances – Air conditioners and heat pumps. Part 4.2: Air‑cooled air conditioners and air-to-air heat pumps–Testing and calculating methods for seasonal performance factors – Heating seasonal performance factor (ISO 16358‑2:2013, (MOD)).
European Committee for Standardization
- EN 12102:2013 means European Standard 12102:2013 Air conditioners, liquid chilling packages, heat pumps and dehumidifiers with electrically driven compressors for space heating and cooling. Measurement of airborne noise. Determination of the sound power level.
- EN 12102-1:2017 means European Standard 12102-1:2017 Air conditioners, liquid chilling packages, heat pumps, process chillers and dehumidifiers with electrically driven compressors - Determination of the sound power level - Part 1: Air conditioners, liquid chilling packages, heat pumps for space heating and cooling, dehumidifiers and process chillers.
- EN 14511:2018 means European Standard 14511:2018 Air conditioners, liquid chilling packages and heat pumps for space heating and cooling and process chillers, with electrically driven compressors.
International Organization for Standardization
- ISO 5151:2017 means International Organization for Standardization Standard 5151:2017 Non-ducted air conditioners and heat pumps - Testing and rating for performance.
- ISO 13253:2017 means International Organization for Standardization Standard 13253:2017 Ducted air conditioners and air‑to‑air heat pumps - Testing and rating for performance.
- ISO 15042:2017 means International Organization for Standardization Standard 15042:2017 Multiple split-system air-conditioners and air-to-air heat pumps - Testing and rating for performance
Minimum Energy Performance Standards
The Minimum Energy Performance Standards for this Determination are established in Division 2 and Schedule 1 of the Determination.
Depending on the product class and type of air conditioner, the air conditioner must meet minimum annual coefficient of performance (ACOP) or coefficient of performance (COP) values for heating, and minimum annual energy efficiency ratios (AEER) or energy efficiency ratios (EER) for cooling.
AEER is defined as the ratio of the cooling capacity to the effective power input for cooling plus standby power. EER is the ratio of the cooling capacity to the power input.
ACOP is defined as the ratio of the heating capacity to the effective power input for heating plus standby power. COP is the ratio of the heating capacity to the power input.
Testing your product
Your product must be tested in accordance with Determination to ensure it meets the relevant requirements. The testing requirements for air conditioners up to 65 kW depend on the class and characteristics of the model, and are established in Schedule 2 of the Determination.
Simulation software can be used to test certain types of air conditioners, if it has been approved for use. See Simulation software to test air conditioners for more information.
The Zoned Energy Rating Label
The performance of air conditioners is affected by the climate in which it is operating. For this reason, since 1 April 2020, most newly registered air conditioners must have a special Zoned Energy Rating Label.
Current models for sale in stores may have older registrations that run through to 2025, which can continue to use the old Energy Rating Label until their registration expires. Once these registrations expire and the products are re-registered, they will need to display the Zoned Energy Rating Label.
Reading Zoned Energy Rating Labels
At the top of the label, output capacity is provided for heating at two outdoor temperatures and cooling at one outdoor temperature.
Estimated annual energy use in kilowatt hours or kWh is provided on the right of the label, for heating (red) and cooling (blue) in each climate zone.
In addition, there are noise indicators at the bottom left to show the volume in decibels (dB(A)) of the internal and external units of the air conditioner.
Zoned Energy Rating Labels for portable air conditioners
Upon registration of a portable air conditioner, the Energy Rating Product Registration system will generate a Zoned Energy Rating Label for that air conditioner. If the portable air conditioner has:
- only one duct (a single duct portable air conditioner), the Zoned Energy Rating Label will display no stars
- two ducts (a double duct portable air conditioner), the Zoned Energy Rating Label will achieve at least half a star for each climate zone.
This is because single duct air conditioners are not efficient at cooling a room. While it may feel cool directly in front of the air conditioner, the appliance reduces air pressure in the room, drawing warmer air from other areas, which counteracts the cooling effect from the air-conditioner.
More information on Zoned Energy Rating Labels
What does power input or energy use mean?
The energy use or power input of an air conditioner is the amount of electricity consumed by the air conditioner during operation. This is measured under conditions specified in an Australian Standard.
The Zoned Energy Rating Label shows the energy use (in kWh per year) for heating and cooling for each of the three climate zones. This is the estimated annual energy consumption of the air conditioner in that climate zone.
Because the heating and cooling requirement is affected by climate and this varies substantially across Australia and New Zealand, an annual energy consumption figure was not shown on the old Energy Rating Label. Instead, the cooling and/or heating output and the power input was shown on the label at rated capacity (the units on the label are in kW). This is the amount of power used to produce the heating output.
What does capacity mean?
The measure of energy service for an air conditioner is the rated cooling and/or heating capacity output of the air conditioner, usually specified in kilowatts (kW).
The heating capacity output of a reverse cycle air conditioner is the heat that can be put into a room. Similarly, the cooling capacity output is the heat that can be removed from a room. The higher the value, the more heating or cooling the air conditioner is capable of.
The rated values shown on the label are declared by the manufacturers under the test conditions defined in the Australian/New Zealand Standard.
Where can I find more information?
The following resources are available to help you understand the Zoned Energy Rating Label.
- Read the guide for installers and suppliers - The new Zoned Energy Rating Label.
- Download the fact sheet - How to read the new Energy Rating Label for air conditioners.
- View the video on Energy Rating Label - What Retailers Need To Know.
- Watch the recordings from the Information sessions on the new Zoned Energy Rating Label.
- Check the Q&A - Questions and answers about the Zoned Energy Rating Label.
Energy Rating Labels are required to be displayed for products that:
- are single‑phase
- are non‑ducted
- are air-to-air unitary air conditioners or single-split systems
- have a rated standard cooling full capacity or, for a heating‑only product, a rated standard heating full capacity, of less than 30 kW, and
- are not a single‑split system that has a ceiling cassette as the indoor unit.
Energy Rating Labels may be displayed, but are not required, for any other air-to-air unitary air conditioners or single-split systems with a rated standard cooling full capacity or, for a heating‑only product, a rated standard heating full capacity of less than 30 kW.
Energy Rating Labels must not be displayed for any other products.
Displaying the label
If you are required to (or have chosen to) display the Energy Rating Label for an air conditioner, it must be included on or in the packaging of each unit of the product.
If there are units of the product on display in a retail store, you must make sure that at least one Energy Rating Label is clearly visible in relation to the display. If all units on display are packaged, an Energy Rating Label must be on the outside of each package. If one or more units are not packaged, an Energy Rating Label must be on or attached to each unpackaged unit.
For more information, see sections 28 and 29 of the Determination.
If sales literature provided when supplying (or offering to supply) a product includes a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating, it must indicate:
- whether the SEER rating is a commercial SEER rating or a residential SEER rating
- the temperature zone (hot, average or cold) to which the SEER rating applies.
In addition, if a star rating is included in the sales literature, it must indicate the temperature zone to which the star rating applies.
See section 34 of the Determination for more information.
Access to standards
Complete national and international standards can be purchased online within Australia.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios Calculator is an Excel spreadsheet that allows air conditioner companies to enter test values and calculate seasonal energy efficiency ratios (SEER ratings) based on AS/NZS 3823.4:2014.
The consumer page for air conditioners provides information for consumers on how to choose a product to meet their needs and how to use these products efficiently
Registering a product
Visit the How to register a product page for information about the registration process and requirements.
Other regulated air conditioning products
Visit the Air conditioners above 65kW product page.
Visit the Liquid-chilling packages product page.
Visit the close Control Air Conditioners product page