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Air conditioner reviews

Find out which air conditioner is best for your home - whether you want to heat up a single room or a large living area this winter.
 
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01.Introduction

air-conditioners-lead

We compare more than 130 reverse-cycle split-system inverter air conditioners, with capacities from 2kW to 9.4kW.

Our review reveals which air conditioners have the best:

  • cooling and heating performance
  • airflow performance
  • brand reliability

On this page, you'll find:

This comprehensive review covers models suitable for spaces from a single room to a large open-plan living area. It includes all sizes of reverse-cycle split-system inverter air conditioners, grouped into:

  • Small - cooling capacity less than 4kW
  • Medium - cooling capacity from 4kW to 6kW
  • Large - cooling capacity from 6.1kW to 9.4kW

Saving on power bills

As electricity prices keep rising, it’s more important than ever that appliances are as efficient as possible. Air conditioner efficiency has improved year on year thanks to the government's Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) program, but cooling and heating accounts for about 38% of an average household’s energy usage; that can add up to hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars over a year.

  • The first step to reducing your cooling and heating costs is to make your home thermally efficient; see our cooling options guide for more advice.
  • It’s vital to match the capacity of the air conditioner to the size of the room; you can use our calculator to do this. Air conditioner suppliers and installers should also be able to help.
  • For ducted (whole house) systems, see our buying guide.
  • To help reduce the impact on the electricity grid at times of peak demand - such as on scorching summer days when everyone wants to run their air conditioners - without impacting too much on the unit's performance, many models are now equipped with a Demand Response Enabling Device (aka DRED, or PeakSmart). 

For more information on Home cooling, see Heating and cooling.

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Brands and models reviewed

  • Braemar HSU-012HEK03/R2(DB)
  • Braemar HSU-09HEK03/R2(DB)
  • Braemar HSU-18HEK03/R2(DB)
  • Braemar HSU-24HEK03/R2(DB)
  • Convair HSU-012HEK03/R2(DB)
  • Convair HSU-09HEK03/R2(DB)
  • Convair HSU-18HEK03/R2(DB)
  • Convair HSU-24HEK03/R2(DB)
  • Daikin FTXS20LVMA
  • Daikin FTXS25LVMA
  • Daikin FTXS35LVMA
  • Daikin FTXS46LVMA
  • Daikin FTXS50LVMA
  • Daikin FTXS60LVMA
  • Daikin FTXS71LVMA
  • Daikin FTXS85LVMA
  • Daikin FTXS95LVMA
  • Daikin FTXZ25NV1B
  • Daikin FTXZ35NV1B
  • Daikin FTXZ50NV1B
  • Daikin FVXS25KV1A
  • Daikin FVXS35LV1A
  • Daikin FVXS50LVMA
  • Daikin FVXS60LVMA
  • Daikin FVXS71LVMA
  • Fujitsu ABTG18LVTA
  • Fujitsu ABTG24LVTC
  • Fujitsu AGTV09LAC
  • Fujitsu AGTV14LAC
  • Fujitsu ASTG09KMCA
  • Fujitsu ASTG09KUCA
  • Fujitsu ASTG12KMCA
  • Fujitsu ASTG12KUCA
  • Fujitsu ASTG18KMCA
  • Fujitsu ASTG18KUCA
  • Fujitsu ASTG22KMCA
  • Fujitsu ASTG24KMCA
  • Fujitsu ASTG30LFCC
  • Fujitsu ASTG34LFCC
  • Fujitsu AUTG18LVLA
  • Fujitsu AUTG24LVLC
  • Haier HSU-012HEG03/R2(DB)
  • Haier HSU-09HEG03/R2(DB)
  • Haier HSU-18HEG03/R2(DB)
  • Haier HSU-24HEG03/R2(DB)
  • Hitachi RAF-50NXA1
  • Hitachi RAS-25YHA4
  • Hitachi RAS-35YHA5
  • Hitachi RAS-50YHA3
  • Hitachi RAS-60YHA3
  • Hitachi RAS-70YHA3
  • Hitachi RAS-80YHA3
  • Kelvinator KSV26HRC
  • Kelvinator KSV35HRC
  • Kelvinator KSV53HRC
  • Kelvinator KSV62HRC
  • Kelvinator KSV70HRC
  • Kelvinator KSV80HRC
  • LG E09AWN-13
  • LG E12AWN-13
  • LG E18AWN-13
  • LG E24AWN-13
  • LG E28AWN-13
  • LG E32AWN-13
  • LG R09AWN-13
  • LG R12AWN-13
  • LG R18AWN-13
  • LG R24AWN-13
  • LG R28AWN-13
  • Midea FMV09
  • Midea FMV12
  • Midea FMV18
  • Midea FMV24
  • Midea MORC09 
  • Midea MORC12
  • Midea MORC14
  • Midea MORC18
  • Midea MORC24
  • Midea MORC28
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZEF25VEBKIT
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZEF25VESKIT
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZEF25VEWKIT
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZEF35VEBKIT
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZEF35VESKIT
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZEF35VEWKIT
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZEF42VEBKIT
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZEF42VESKIT
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZEF42VEWKIT
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZEF50VEBKIT
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZEF50VESKIT
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZEF50VEWKIT
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZGE25KITD
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZGE35KITD
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZGE42KITD
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZGE50KITD
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZGE60KITD
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZGE71KITD
  • Mitsubishi Electric MSZGE80KITD
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK20ZMA-S
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK25ZJ-S1
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK25ZJX-S
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK25ZMA-S
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK35ZJ-S1
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK35ZJX-S
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK35ZMA-S
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK50ZJ-S1
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK50ZJX-S1
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK50ZMA-S
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK60ZJX-S1
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK63ZK-S
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK63ZMA-S
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK71ZK-S
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK71ZMA-S
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK80ZL-S
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK80ZMA-S
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK92ZMA-S
  • Panasonic CS/CU-E12PKR
  • Panasonic CS/CU-E15PKR
  • Panasonic CS/CU-E18PKR
  • Panasonic CS/CU-E21PKR
  • Panasonic CS/CU-E24PKR
  • Panasonic CS/CU-E28PKR
  • Panasonic CS/CU-E9PKR
  • Samsung F-AR09FSSSBWK1
  • Samsung F-AR09FSSSCWK1
  • Samsung F-AR12FSSSBWK1
  • Samsung F-AR12FSSSCWK1
  • Samsung F-AR18FSSSBWK1
  • Samsung F-AR18FSSSCWK1
  • Samsung F-AR24FSSSBWK1
  • Samsung F-AR24FSSSCWK1
  • Samsung F-AR30FSSSBWK1
  • Samsung F-AR30FSSSCWK1
  • Teco TWS-TSO24HVC
  • Teco TWS-TSO41HVC
  • Teco TWS-TSO50HVC
  • Teco TWS-TSO60HVC
  • Teco TWS-TSO70HVC
  • Teco TWS-TSO80HVC

Brands not mentioned
Not all brands respond to our survey. Without full information on specifications and ongoing availability, we haven’t been able to include these brands, but hope to do so in future updates. Also, some brands supply details for models that we can't find on the market, so we do not include those models either, as we don't want to report on models that our members are not able to actually buy.

How we test

Air conditioners sold in Australia must be tested to the Australian standard AS/NZS 3823.2 and registered in a government database at energyrating.gov.au, to ensure they meet the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and qualify for a star rating label. 

In 2013 we changed our test method and now source data on the models directly from manufacturers and cross-check it against the government registration database. Scores are then calculated in a similar way to previous CHOICE tests, but can’t be directly compared with previous tests.

Brand reliability is noted in model profiles in the What to buy list and in the tables; this is based on our 2014 member survey. For more details see What to look for.

Why we changed our test method

In the past, time and money constraints meant CHOICE was only able to review a very small number of models – about 20 per year, even though there are a few hundred split-system inverter models on the market at any one time. We could also cover only one size category at a time – typically small (3.5kW and below) or large (7kW and higher) models. So the number of models we could report on was only ever a very small fraction of the market.

Also, we often had trouble sourcing models for testing as we needed to test well ahead of the season, and manufacturers often did not have their new-season models available in time. Add in the fact that it cost us about $160,000 to buy and test those 20 models each year and you can see why we thought it time to find a better value proposition for our members.

Our new method means we can bring you information on more models than ever before. We have eliminated ease of use testing, as it would be unmanageable for so many models, but have previously found most models good or OK in this respect. Use our What to Look For tips to choose a model with a good remote.

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Polls

 
 

When buying an air conditioner, the usual first considerations are finding models with the right capacity, good energy efficiency (and lower running costs), from reliable brands and at a suitable price. You’ll also want good installation and repair service. For the air conditioner model itself, which of the following is the next most important consideration for you?

  
37%
 
Ease of using the remote control and accessing the filters for cleaning
  
17%
 
Good range of air flow settings from gentle low fan speed to powerful high speed
  
3%
 
Good range of features such as a timer and sleep mode
  
42%
 
Noise of the indoor and or outdoor units
  • 1422 votes

 

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