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Last updated: 22 May 2019

We review reverse-cycle split-system inverter air conditioners, ranging from small 2kW models suitable for a single bedroom, up to large models of 10kW or more, suitable for a large open-plan living area.

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It's essential to figure out the right size or capacity for your room. To pick the best models in the capacity you need, you can just pick a Recommended model in that size. Or you can use the filters to select the best models based on:

  • Brand reliability the brands that rate well in our member surveys.
  • Running costs – the better the cooling and heating efficiency score, the lower the running cost.
  • Noise  for the indoor and outdoor units. Where possible we show the quietest indoor fan setting.
  • Airflow – it's good to have a useful range of fan speeds, from quiet breeze to powerful blast.

While all the different sizes are included here, scores are not comparable between size groups. For example, it's unfair to expect the same level of efficiency from a large model as for a small one – larger models aren't as energy efficient, but they can cool or heat a much larger space.

Our review is based on data provided by manufacturers, cross-checked against the government registry database. See how we test for more details about our review method.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

    Price

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    The recommended or typical retail price at time of publication. You can often get a better price by shopping around.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 599 and 5519

    Recommended products

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    Member only

    This test score is for members only. Join now to unlock our expert results.

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    Rated cooling capacity (kW)

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    The rated cooling output of the air conditioner in kilowatts. The higher the number, the greater its cooling capacity and (in theory) the bigger the space it can effectively cool.

    enter value/s in increments of i between 1 and 13

    Rated heating capacity (kW)

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    The rated heating output of the air conditioner in kilowatts. The higher the number, the greater its heating capacity and (in theory) the bigger the space it can effectively heat.

    enter value/s in increments of i between 2 and 15

    Unit type

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    High wall: the indoor unit is mounted high on a wall so its air flow can easily blow across the room. Floor-mounted: the indoor unit is at floor level, which may be better suit some rooms. Cassette: the indoor unit is mounted in the ceiling. Floor/ceiling: can be mounted on either the ceiling or the floor.

      Size

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      To help you narrow your search, we class air conditioners as small (up to 4kW cooling capacity), medium (4 to 6kW) and large (over 6kW). Scores are only comparable between models in the same size category, as it's not realistic to compare the efficiency of models with very different capacities.

        Included in this review

        Members-only access
        • Overall score
        • Recommended
        • Yearly running cost
        • Cooling efficiency score
        • Heating efficiency score
        • Airflow score
        • Brand reliability score
        • Owner satisfaction score
        • Good points
        • Bad points
        • Price
        • Brand
        • Model
        • Status
        • Size
        • Noise indoor (dB)
        • Noise outdoor (dB)
        • Rated cooling capacity (kW)
        • Rated heating capacity (kW)
        • Star rating cooling
        • Star rating heating
        • Stated standby power consumption (W)
        • Unit type
        • Number of fan speeds
        • Operating temperature range (°C)
        • Fast mode
        • Quiet mode
        • Fan only mode
        • Sleep mode
        • Sleep mode auto temperature adjustment
        • Human presence sensor (energy saving)
        • Dimensions indoor unit (cm, H x W x D)
        • Dimensions outdoor unit (cm, H x W x D)
        • Refrigerant
        • Wi-fi control
        • Demand Response feature (DRED)
        • Indoor unit model
        • Outdoor unit model
        • Contact

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