Since 1994, the most popular system of cooling in Australia has been reverse cycle/heat pump air conditioning (61% in 2008, up from 57% in 2005 and 50% in 1994) (graph 4.5 and table 4.12). In every state and territory except the Australian Capital Territory, the proportion of dwellings mainly using reverse cycle/heat pump cooling has increased by more than ten percentage points between 1999 and 2008. However, in the Northern Territory, the refrigerated system (59%) was the main system of cooling in 2008, although this has declined from 77% in 1999.
There was a substantial increase in the proportion of dwellings with split system coolers as their main cooling system, from 18% in 2002 to 30% in 2005 to 40% in 2008. Increases were seen in every state and territory, in particular in Queensland (from 47% in 2005 to 59% in 2008) and New South Wales (30% in 2005 to 40% in 2008) (table 4.13). Ducted coolers were more common in South Australia (45%), Western Australia (43%) and the Australian Capital Territory (39%).
Not surprisingly, the Northern Territory used coolers for a longer period compared with other regions of Australia (graph 4.6 and table 4.14). In the Northern Territory, more than a third (35%) of households used their coolers for 6 months or more in a year, whereas more than half the households in Tasmania (55%) used their coolers for less than one month in the year.