Domestic single phase, non-ducted air conditioners must carry an Energy Rating Label. Labels on ducted systems are voluntary, so not all products will have one. You can still view their energy efficiency performance on the GEMS Registration Database.
Generally cheaper air conditioners have a lower energy rating. With air conditioning equipment, the old saying "you get what you pay for" really does apply. In manufacturer’s literature they may refer to energy efficiency ratios (EER) and co-efficients of performance (COP) which are the efficiency ratings for cooling and heating respectively. They are simply a ratio of the output (capacity) divided by the power input. They may also mention an annualised version of these metrics (AEER and ACOP). These are virtually the same thing, but deduct standby power. The Energy Rating Comparison Tool provides the power input and outputs for all products, even unlabelled ones. This allows you to calculate the EER and COP yourself.
For non-ducted household air conditioners, you can still compare models online or using the free Energy Rating app, but you can also use the label. Air conditioner labels are a little bit different to labels for other household products and have some product specific information on them. Also there is a Zoned Energy Rating Label being introduced in January 2019. While each air conditioner will only have one energy rating label during the transition period you may see both types of labels on display in a store. As always it's best to do your own research then come and see us in store. Our team is here to help!