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Air Conditioner Heating Mode Vs Electric Heater… which uses more power?

Air Conditioner Heating Mode Vs Electric Heater… which uses more power?


The majority of people think that their air conditioner heating mode is more expensive to use compared to an electric heater.

As home air conditioning experts, we’re here to explain why this is not the case!

Given that it takes approximately 2kw of power to generate 2kw of heat, an electric heater is around 100% efficient…surely you can’t get more efficient than that, right?


To supply 2kW of heat, a reverse cycle air conditioner only needs 0.6kw of electrical power.

That’s because the air con’s heat pump extracts a lot of FREE heat from the air.

This ambient heat warms the normally chilled liquid refrigerant and converts it into a gas, after which the force of the compressor causes it to get even hotter.

A condenser then transfers the heat from the gas into the expelled air…and hey presto, warm air at literally a third of the cost of an electric heater!

So let’s say you ran your electric heater on and off throughout the South East Queensland winter and the corresponding power bill was $300 – with an air conditioner in heating mode, your bill would only be around $100.

That’s a great reason to put your electric heater out to pasture and opt for reverse cycle air conditioning. See our free, downloadable Buyer’s Guide for more info!

5 other reasons to use your air conditioner heating mode instead of an electric heater

#1 – Not only are electric heaters two-thirds more expensive to run, but they waste electricity by overheating the room. Not so with an air conditioner, thanks to its innovative thermostat which shuts off when the desired temperature has been reached.

#2 – With an electric bar heater, it’s super-hot nearest the heater and not so hot the further you move away from it. Compare this to your air con which pushes the warm air evenly throughout the room.

#3 – Electric heaters aren’t nearly as safe. They can burn kids and pets who get too close, cause curtains and other materials to singe and catch fire, plus heaters are notorious at overloading circuits so there’s a further risk of fire – particularly in older-style Queenslanders. (If you live in a Queenslander and use an electric heater, we strongly suggest you get one of our home electricians to check out your wiring, safety switches and smoke alarms.)

#4 – Modern air conditioners are more controllable, thanks to things such as timers and sleep mode

#5 – Electric heaters are only heaters, while air conditioners cool as well. In South East Queensland, where it can get freezing cold AND unbearably hot, this is probably the biggest reason of all. Well, the second biggest after that massive saving on your power bill!

Want to learn more about home air conditioning? Just speak to us!

For more information about your air conditioner heating mode – or any question about air conditioning for that matter – simply click here to contact us.