Small air conditioners review 2009

Reverse-cycle air conditioners are the most efficient form of electric heating, as well as being effective coolers.
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  • Updated:6 Mar 2009


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Test results for 12 reverse-cycle inverter air conditioners priced from $840 to $1761

See our latest reports on small air conditioners and large air conditioners, as well as our free buying guide.

Air conditioners are usually thought of as a summer appliance, but a reverse cycle model can also be an efficient and effective way to heat your home in winter. They’re ideal for a large bedroom or small living area and compared to other electric heating options, they’re cheap to run.

Inverter air conditioners vary their heating or cooling output to match the room conditions. This is a more efficient approach than older, non-inverter models, which alternate between 100% capacity or off. The current Australian standard for air conditioners covers reverse cycle but not inverter technology, and our test method for these models is tougher than that used by manufacturers for energy star ratings.

Please note: this information was current as of March 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market. For more recent information, see our Small air conditioners review 2012.

Our testing

CHOICE tested 12 small air conditioners (five of which were previously tested models) which claimed to deliver around 3.5kW for cooling and 4kW for heating. Each unit was tested at its maximum temperature and fan setting for both heating and cooling. Our tester also looked at noise levels, airflow and how easy each unit was to use

Our test results clearly break down the merits of each unit. So whether your priority is heating, cooling, or both, we can recommend a machine that will suit your lifestyle.

CHOICE independence guaranteed

These independent ratings are only available through membership with CHOICE Online because no one test products like we do. Arm yourself with our unique and exclusive information and make your next purchase with confidence.

Brands tested

  • #Daikin FTXG35FVMAW / RXG35FVMA
  • #Daikin FTXS35EVMA / RXS35EBVMA (A)
  • #Fujitsu ASTB12LDC / AOTB12LDC
  • #Kelvinator KSV35HRA / KSV35HRA
  • #LG R12AWN NB9 / R12AWN UB9
  • #Panasonic CS-E12HKR / CU-E12HKR
  • #Samsung AQV12NSBN / AQV12NSBX
  • Carrier 42NQV035M-A / 38NYV035M-A
  • Fujitsu ASTA12LCC / AOTR12LCC
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries SRK35ZGA-S / SRC35ZG-S
  • Toshiba RAS-13SKV-A / RAS-13SAV-A
  • Toshiba RAS-13SKVR-A / RAS-13SAVR-A

(A) Discontinued and replaced by the FTXS35EVMA / RXS35EVMA.
# Newly-tested models



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