It only takes that initial heatwave every summer to remind you that yes, in fact, you do need an air conditioner in your home. Instantly your focus turns to where can I get one, what is the best air conditioner and how do I get it installed.
It’s important to take your time to ensure you choose the correct system for your needs but also your home. You’ll want to look out for quality, performance, and efficiency, and of course, all for a great price.
If you’re worried about your bottom line, you’ll probably have realised that not all systems are created equal. An air conditioning unit that won’t break the bank but still offers the quality performance you need to get through the hotter months is possible if you do your research. To help, we’ve created this handy comparison guide of the best air-conditioners available right now. Have a read of their features and pick the one best suited to you!
What is the best air conditioner type?
Before we delve into our picks for the best air-conditioning systems on the market right now, let’s understand the two main product types – ducted and wall-mounted.
Usually more affordable to run, but they can be costly to retrofit if you are installing them in an existing home. For this reason, they are perfect for new builds or renovations and extensions.
2. Wall-mounted units
On the other hand, are often used in main rooms like the living space or bedroom to cut down running costs. This is known as split system air conditioning. it’s the most common type and best for smaller homes.
A split system air conditioner has two split units, as the name suggests. The indoor unit is responsible for blowing cold (or warm) air into the room while the condenser is the second unit, which you can typically see outside the house. These are often a lot cheaper and are quick to install.
There are actually two types as well; floor wall-mounted and ceiling wall-mounted. Depends on the room and what you’re looking for as to the right ones for you.
3. Multi-split system air conditioning
This type also has both indoor and outdoor units with several indoor units that are all connected to one single unit placed outside the house. These systems are great for heating and cooling, but in some cases, you may come across a system designed for cooling only.
4. Portable air conditioners
These are standalone air conditioning unit that provides benefit in one specific room and sometimes require an exhaust duct run through a window. They can expensive to run but if you’re renting or need it for the garage – sometimes it’s the only solution.
Once you have decided which is better suited to your situation, you can hone in on the model based on the specific features offered and then also look for an air conditioning installation expert near you.
What are some of the best air conditioner brands?
With a flooded market, it can sometimes be a good idea to stick with the tried and tested brands that have been producing air-con units successfully for many years. Here are the top choices:
Daikin air conditioners
Founded in 1924, Daikin offers a wide range of units that meet different applications and environments. From compact to large models, all cooling and heating needs can be satisfied with the brand’s energy-efficient products.
Panasonic air conditioners
Is a trusted name across a range of technological products and well known for its high-quality and reliable air conditioners. Actually they’ve been operating in the air conditioning sector for over 60 years! They have evolved to most recently, including window-type and WiFi-ready air conditioners, which are probably some of the most exciting advancements in recent times.
Mitsubishi air conditioners
Operating in the commercial, residential, and industrial verticals, Mitsubishi offers consumers everything from split systems to multi-split to ducted units for budgets of all sizes.
It is also crucial to remember that while the brand is a factor, you should also understand the type of unit that you plan to buy. Different systems will require specific maintenance and unique requirements. You will want to consider function, noise, cost, and aesthetics before you determine the air conditioning unit is the best for you. Think of it as an investment that you want to rely on for many years to come!
The best air-conditioning units on the market in 2020
We’ve selected a range of the best unit available based on factors including performance, price, aesthetics, and brand. These air-conditioners will suit a range of conditions and households so the right one for you will be easy to find.
Let this list help with your research! See the best options on the market and be well on the way to a high-quality unit. A good air-con system will help ensure your home is completely comfortable all year round.
Best wall-mounted split system air conditioners
WS split system air-conditioner with voice activation in White from LG
- Built-in Wi-Fi to control your air-conditioner remotely
- Control energy usage with Active Energy Control via ThinQ® app
- Delegate tasks or ask questions with Google Assistant
The LG WS Split System range’s major point-of-difference is its compatibility with Google Assistant so you can delegate tasks or ask questions via the Google Assistant App or compatible speaker. For example, you can give the command ‘OK Google, turn on the air conditioner’ or ‘OK Google, what’s the temperature?’
The product range offers a 10 Year Compressor Parts Warranty for added peace of mind and comes with the LG ThinQ® app, which lets you access and controls your air conditioner from your smartphone making it easy to control the system when you’re not at home.
You can view current energy usage on your air conditioner’s panel, and Smart Diagnosis provides usage tips and useful information based on your usage patterns. Active Energy Control allows you to adjust energy levels to improve cooling efficiency and help reduce power consumption.
The LG Dual Inverter Compressor™ is adjusted continuously so that speeds are varied to maintain an ideal temperature with less fluctuation than a non-inverter compressor. These units operate at low sound levels for smooth operation with a ‘Comfort Air’ option that conveniently sets the louvres to a preset position so that outflowing air is directed away from the room’s occupants for extra comfort.
Zena split system air-conditioner in Blackwood from Daikin
Available in Reverse Cycle (Heating & Cooling)
Capacities 2.5kW, 3.5kW, 5.0kW, 6.0kW
- Available in White Hair Line or Black Wood finish
The stylish Zena split system air-conditioner from Daikin is designed with energy efficiency in mind. It offers aesthetic appeal and a compact form factor available in white and black options to suit whatever theme runs throughout your home.
This unit also offers built-in WiFi connectivity, so you can control the temperature of your home from a smartphone even when you are out and about! This means you can ensure you always return home to the optimal conditions, no more waiting for the house to cool down.
Panasonic inverter RC split system air-conditioner in White from Bing Lee
- Next-gen technology to remove dust, inhibit the growth of bacteria, mould, and viruses, and deodorise, ensuring quality air
- Connectivity with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
- Shower/fast cooling, quiet operation and energy efficiency
The Panasonic inverter RC split system air-conditioner features the nanoe™ X next-gen technology which focuses on creating high-quality air by removing dust while inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mould and viruses.
Panasonic air conditioning’s market-leading connectivity is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. It is able to purify the air in your home consistently, 24 hours a day, at only 35W/Hour, leaving you with cleaner and more comfortable spaces.
This unit offers quiet operation and energy efficiency along with an inverter control that varies the rotation speed for higher energy savings. This can go even further with ECO Mode, an extra energy-saving mode that automatically adjusts the set temperature by up to 2ºC for gentle cooling and heating.
Finally, there is a Fine control, which helps prevent a rapid decrease in room humidity while maintaining a set temperature and the ability to preset two different sets of start/stop operation timers (hour and minute) within a 24-hour time frame.
Rinnai inverter split system reverse cycle air-conditioner from Harvey Norman
- The latest in 3D airflow technology
- Turbo Mode boost for quick cooling
- 24-hour delay timer
The Rinnai 2.5kW Inverter Split System Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner uses the latest in 3D airflow technology. This means it produces wall-to-wall comfort via cooling or heating. It operates noiselessly with its ‘quiet’ mode to provide total relaxation.
Featuring a 24-hour delay timer, the Rinnai Inverter Reverse Cycle allows you to set it to run at your exact preferred time in the day. Built with a fresh and sleek design, it seamlessly combines with various room interiors.
This unit is outfitted with a Turbo Mode boost, supplying you the benefit of arriving at your desired temperature with ease. It also offers more comprehensive control and comfort, thanks to its innovative sleep mode.
The RinnaiAir Conditioner also showcases a translucent set temperature display, enabling you to monitor temperature status easily even at night. It is also Wi-Fi-enabled, so you can use your smartphone as a remote through an app to control the temperature.
Hisense reverse cycle split system air-conditioner from The Good Guys
- Silver Ion Filter uses Negative Ions to eliminate air impurities
- I FEEL Mode automatically adjusts the room temperature
- Optimised air tunnel design for reduced volume without reduced power
The Hisense C3.5kW H4kW Reverse Cycle Split System uses inverter technology to keep the energy bills down. It has a 4-star energy rating for both heating and cooling.
The unit also features Smart Mode that will automatically set the temperature and airflow direction. This ensures optimal performance, while I FEEL mode utilises a temperature sensor that automatically adjusts the unit. All of this makes it easy to keep your home comfortable all year long.
The built-in Negative Ion Filter will keep your air refreshing, and the removable Panel, with a fully Washable PP Filter, make cleaning simple.
A night of great night sleep is guaranteed thanks to the Sleep Operation or Quiet Mode. There is also a 24 Hour timer that ensures this reverse cycle split system will never be left on unnecessarily. It’s simple to be both cost and energy-efficient with this unit.
Lifestyle range wall-mounted reverse cycle air-conditioner from Fujitsu General
- Swing louvre that automatically moves up and down
- Automatic restart for a temporary loss of power; the unit will restart itself in the same operating mode once the power is restored
- Sleep timer which gradually changes the room temperature, allowing you to sleep comfortably at night
The Fujitsu General Lifestyle range offers a stylish, standardised design across the brand’s most energy-efficient air conditioner options. Fujitsu has designed units that also feature a human sensor control that delivers optimum efficiency and temperature control.
The timer-settings are also second-to-none. With a fully customisable schedule, you can set-and-forget. This ensures perfect temperatures, 24-hours a day, without wreaking havoc on your energy bills.
Mitsubishi Electric 7.8kW reverse cycle split inverter air-conditioner
- Smart design for easy cleaning, which reduces energy consumption and extends the life of your air conditioner
- Energy-efficient thanks to advanced inverter technology for high-speed cooling and heating
- A 24-hour timer allows you to set the time of day you would like the air conditioner to switch on or off
The Mitsubishi Electric 7.8kW reverse cycle split inverter air-conditioner uses R32 refrigerant, which creates a reduced risk of harm to the environment. It has a “Quiet Mode” setting to ensure super-quiet operation, making it perfect for installation in the bedroom.
The smart settings include an “i-save” mode. this clever setting recalls your preferred temperature at the press of a button. It’s easy to ensure you have the most suitable air conditioning settings for reduced power consumption.
The larger 71/80 models feature a “Wide-vane” mode. This setting adjusts the direction of airflow to reach any corner of the room, and a “Long” mode to push air out further, helping to provide a more even air-conditioned experience.
This innovative technology also connects your domestic Mitsubishi Electric air conditioner to your smartphone, tablet, or online account. Therefore you can fully control each unit on-the-go via any internet connection.
Kelvinator cooling only split system inverter air-conditioner from Appliances Online
- Auto-restart function protects against sudden power failure
- 24-hour timer for running to specific time frames
- Sleep mode designed to help you rest more comfortably
The Kelvinator Cooling Only Split System Inverter Air Conditioner offers a sleek, contemporary style. Designed to improve the quality of the air in your home, this unit has HEPA and ion filters, and a remote control with back-lid LCD and luminescent keypad.
Inverter compressor technology means greater comfort and control for you with the added bonus of excellent energy efficiency. There are eleven fan speeds for perfect airflow; a Follow Me command that sets the temperature based on a sensor and a 24-hour timer to set the air conditioner to your schedule.
These units offer improved air quality thanks to three combined filters. These filters work to collect dust, purify the air, and eliminate 95 percent of bacteria via the air in your home.
Best portable air conditioners
COOL FOCUS portable air conditioner from Close Comfort
- Three-speed operation
- Easily portable with four wheels and carry handles
- Temperature control
Close Comfort’s COOL FOCUS is like a fridge that is portable, efficient, and ready to plug in and go with no need for an exhaust hose, installation, or window kit.
The idea with this particular unit is to cool people, not rooms, making it suitable for bedrooms, offices, sheds, tents, boats, or anywhere else with 240V power that needs a little cooling down. The unit also works with batteries, solar with an add-on inverter, or small generators. This is the perfect unit for direct cooling to comfortable in just about any location.
It is capable of operation from a remote control, comes with a focus enhancer, and the functionality to switch between refrigerated air conditioning and a fan. The unit is compatible with 220 – 240 Volts ~50 Hz and uses just 300 watts of electricity, roughly 75 percent less than a standard portable air-con unit.
Esatto 4.1kW portable air-conditioner in White from Appliances Online
- Simple interface designed to make adjusting settings easy
- ION feature for quality air
- Four different cooling programs to suit all your air conditioning needs
The Esatto 4.4kW portable air conditioner range is suitable for large bedrooms or medium-sized lounges and simple to install. All that is required for set-up is an appropriate window for the exhaust.
The swing functionality cools efficiently with sleep mode, which adjusts the temperature overnight. In addition, the ION feature helps to remove air impurities for clean air and relief through the warm months.
The simple interface is designed for ease of use. Included is a handy remote control that lets you choose from four different cooling programs (Auto, Cool, Dry, and Fan). The Timer feature also allows you to control the unit in half-hour increments for up to 10 hours. You can move to 1-hour increments for up to 24 hours as well.
Excelair portable air-conditioner from Bing Lee
- Three different fan speeds
- Remote control included
- Only weighs 35kgs
This portable little unit offers 4.7kw 16,000 BTU Cooling Capacity and an Auto Evaporation System to keep you feeling comfortable in a range of locations.
It features an LCD Remote Control, a three-speed fan (High, Medium, and Low), as well as a variety of cooling and fan functions, making it a very versatile unit.
Frequently asked questions
Should I choose a ‘Floor Standing’ or Wall Mounted’ system?
As each home and its requirements vary, choosing the right air conditioner will depend on many factors. To decide which is best for you, you should consider the difference in features, capacity range, and the appropriate location of the installation.
What should I do if I want to air condition multiple rooms in my home?
These days, most models offer a flexible range of air conditioning technologies. This provides you with a number of options for air-conditioned comfort throughout your home.
Multi-split systems are explicitly designed using one outdoor unit connected to multiple indoor units that work to cool or heat between two to five rooms at the same time.
You can install separate split system air conditioners in each of the rooms that require cooling or heating. Either of these options gives you the ability to set individual room temperatures for each indoor unit.
On the other hand, there is the option of ducted systems that are ideally suited to providing air-conditioned comfort to the entire home.
How does an air-conditioner work?
Air conditioners are usually associated with making conditions in a room cooler. Interestingly, the science behind making a room cold using an air conditioner actually involves the transfer of heat from the inside of a building to the outside.
An air conditioner uses refrigerant contained within its system to absorb excess heat from a room, which then pumps out through a network of pipes to an outside coil.
A fan blows ambient air over this hot coil. The coil contains the refrigerant, transferring the heat from the refrigerant to the outdoor air.
The refrigerant is then pumped back indoors, and the process begins all over again.
The heat is removed leaving only cold air for your comfort. This is then blown back into the room, thus cooling the indoor area further. This process is reversed to heat a room using an air conditioner.
I need a new air conditioner, should I replace the old system with a new one of the same capacity?
If the requirements of your home have changed, it may be time for a re-think. Have you changed your general floor plan or home insulation? This can affect the output requirements of your system.
Even if your home remains the same, consider the ever-changing landscape of air conditioning technology. There are advancements in each unit meaning there may be a more efficient and effective air conditioning solution for you. It is vital to make sure you are choosing the best system based on what the present has to offer.
Now that you’ve picked out the best air conditioner for your needs. Don’t forget to keep your maintenance with regular air conditioning cleaning, it means you’ll have fewer issues in the long run.