By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: A day of incredible heat in Sydney today has marked the start of the key air conditioner sales period. The mercury has hit a near-record 36° today, which is outstanding news for suppliers and retailers of cooling products.

A successful air conditioning sales season is determined not just by a hot summer, but by an early summer. Whilst Australia is known for its hot Januaries and Februaries, the Sun needs to shine most brightly in the spring in order to encourage consumers to make an investment in air conditioners and coolers. An oppressively hot October day, such as New South Wales is currently enduring, means that retailers should be bracing themselves for increased demand over the upcoming long weekend.

Talking about the impact weather has on the air conditioning market is LG Electronics category manager, air conditioning, Irena Stojceska.

“It matters a lot – heat is a massive factor, particularly with nights,” said Stojceska. “Days like the last couple, where the nights are warm are very encouraging.”

Stojceska said that whilst hot days are great, it’s sultry nights that really spur consumers into action. She was backed up LG national manager, major appliance sales, Murray Richardson, who said that three-to-four days and nights in a row of hot homes are great for business.

“It takes three-to-four days, people get relatively uncomfortable after three-to-four days,” said Richardson. “I’ve spoken to the retailers, they say one or two days doesn’t make a great difference.”

Although Sydney is the epicentre of this incredible heat, other parts of this great country are not untouched. In parts of Melbourne today, the temperature is just under 30°, whilst some regional areas of Victoria have smashed through the magical 30° mark. In Queensland, the sunshine capital Brisbane the highpoint is 29.8° in Toolara, whilst Peninsula, Gulf and central and north- western regions are all well over 30°. Adelaide and Perth are comparatively cool today, with temperatures of 20.4° and 17° respectively.

As for the future, Stojceska information is very encouraging.

“We’ve had predictions of a warm summer, and we hope these predictions are correct.

“Consistency is important. We need a really good long period of heat – it makes people take action to get a cooling unit in the home,” she said.