Panasonic have been manufacturing air conditioners for many years and they produced their first room air conditioner in 1958. Technology has changed much since this time and Panasonic has becoming one of the leading names in air conditioning. The current range of Panasonic air conditioning systems includes cooling only and reverse cycle inverter split systems, ducted and cassette air conditioners. There are 33 different models on the market, but many of these are simply variations in capacity/cooling ability (rated in kW). We are going to take a close look at the current range and share our thoughts about each model.
Split systems make up the largest proportion of Panasonic’s air conditioner range. There are currently 17 split system models on the Australian market. The current range features five cooling only models, five reverse cycle models and seven new energy efficient reverse cycle models. All Panasonic split systems in Australia use inverter technology, which makes them more efficient that the older style split systems.
We were very impressed with the new Panasonic split system air conditioners. They were whisper quiet and very efficient at cooling out test environment. The settings allowed for many adjustments to the running and operation and the remote control was very responsive. The main downside was found in the reverse cycle models, which were not as effective at heating a room as we would have liked. Overall the products we tested were very good with only minor flaws, but if heating is important to you it might be worth considering a different brand.
There are eight models in the ducted range, including three models that feature three phase operation. All of these air conditioners feature inverter technology. The smallest unit is the 60PE1R5, which is a 6kW system, and the largest model is the 140PE1R5, which is a 14kW system. A ducted system is a good choice because it can cool a whole house and air outlets can be placed where needed. The outside unit can be placed almost anywhere and provides whisper quiet operation.
The ducted system that we had the opportunity to test was very efficient at cooling both the smaller rooms and larger living areas. It was quiet and any operating noise quickly blends into the other household background noises. The energy use of the new inverter ducted system was phenomenal and Panasonic told us that the inverter technology saves more than 50% of the total energy usage. We have nothing negative to say about the ducted systems and if you are searching for a total house air cooling and heating system then you should consider this model!
There are eight cassette air conditioner systems in the current Panasonic Australia range. Three of these models are three phase operation. They are available in the same kW ratings as the ducted systems and all models feature inverter technology. They offer high airflow and can be installed in almost any ceiling height. These have a maximum pipe length of 75 m, which means that they can be used in almost any building!
Cassette systems are best known for their ability to pump out some serious airflow and the test model that we had access to didn’t disappoint. Again, noise was minimal and under normal operation the sound was not an issue. The inverter technology helps save 50% for cooling and 64% for heating. The heating and cooling both performed adequately. This would be a great option for those needing high airflow and/or with high ceilings.
Suitability for Solar Operation
Panasonic have also recently introduced reverse cycle inverter split systems with patented ECONAVI technology. This is a system of dedicated intelligent sensors that cooperate to reduce energy usage. The manufacturer states that as much as 38% (cooling) and 45% (heating) of energy can be saved with this technology. This means that the ECONAVI range of Panasonic air conditioning systems would be perfect to operate with a whole house solar install. Many standard Panasonic air conditioners can be converted to full solar or hybrid solar, but this is almost certainly going to void any warranty.
Panasonic offers a generous 5 year warranty on their air conditioners from the date of purchase (not from the date it was installed). Panasonic offers a home service warranty, which means that an authorised and qualified repairer will come to your home to make repairs. However, it is worth noting that you may be charged a travelling fee if your home is outside the operating area of a Panasonic Authorised Service Centre. As with any warranty there are some restrictions and you should carefully read the conditions of warranty before making a claim. You can make a warranty claim by calling Panasonic on 132600.
The MRRP for the various split system models ranges from $1154 for the 2.6kW cooling only model through to $3487 for the 8kW ECONAVI reverse cycle. This pricing does vary and discounts are offered by large retailers from time to time. Pricing on the ducted and cassette systems vary depending on the type of install and should be confirmed with your local dealer.
- Inverter technology throughout the range.
- Many models to choose from.
- Eco focused model (great for those with a solar system).
- Whisper quiet.
- Long 5 year warranty.
- Priced at the more expensive end of the market.
- Heating capability of the reverse cycle split systems could be better.
Panasonic is offering a great range of air conditioners in the Australian market. The quality and long warranty mean that most buyers are satisfied with their purchases. The Panasonic reverse cycle air conditioner was awarded the best Air Conditioning Product of the Year at the Product of the Year Awards 2014. It just goes to show that almost 50 years experience in the market has made Panasonic a top name in air conditioning. If you are searching for a new or replacement air conditioner then the Panasonic range should feature in your considerations!