Our review compares air conditioners on customer satisfaction, so you can find out what other Aussies think about the compared brands before you go ahead with a purchase. Think of it as like asking hundreds of your closest mates which air conditioner they think is best!
Canstar Blue surveyed 936 Australians for their feedback on the air conditioner(s) they’ve purchased, installed and used in the last three years.
The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.
Find more detailed information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was rated five stars for performance, ease of use, value for money, features & functionality, design and overall satisfaction, with four stars for quietness.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries offers a range of wall-mounted split systems, with cooling capacities ranging ranging from 1.7kW up to 10kW. Some common features include multiple timers, automatic mode for precise temperature control and ‘Clean Air Technology’ which aims to capture and neutralise allergens, odours, bacteria and mould, with Wi-Fi connectivity on select models. The Avanti PLUS series includes features such as energy-saving motion sensor and eco mode, along with LED brightness adjustment, and are ideal for smaller areas or bedrooms.
For those looking to cater multiple areas of the house, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries also offers multi-split system models which range from 4kW up to 10kW, as well as ducted systems which offer up to 28kW of output to deliver air to multiple spaces via ducting and grilles.
Samsung was rated five stars for design, with four stars for features & functionality, value for money, quietness, ease of use, performance and overall satisfaction.
Offering a wide variety of air conditioning options for single rooms or the whole house, Samsung’s line-up includes ducted air cons, split system models along with cassette air conditioning systems and DVM-Variable Refrigerant Flow system to help you find something that suits your needs and climate. Samsung’s split system range is primarily built around the GEO WindFree model, with models ranging from 2.5kW to 8kW units, with additional features including fast cooling, Wi-Fi compatibility, sleep mode, auto clean function and heating options for when the cooler months roll out.
Those looking to fit out multiple rooms might be more interested in a ducted air con model, with Samsung offering models ranging from 5.8kW to 20kW outputs, with the Samsung Duct S2+ including a splittable design to fit easily in available roof spaces, Wi-Fi compatibility and an operating range between -20°C through to 50°C, ideal for harsh Aussie environments.
Daikin was rated five stars for features & functionality, with four stars for design, value for money, quietness, ease of use, performance and overall satisfaction.
Daikin offers a variety of wall-mounted split system air conditioners, multi-split air con models and ducted air conditioning units. Its split system range includes several collections, including Zena, Alira, Cora, Lite, XL, and Super Multi NX systems. These are generally available as reverse cycle units, although some offer cooling-only alternatives. Most series offer capacities between 2kW and 9.5kW, except for the Zena line which maxes out at 6kW.
If you’re on the market for an air conditioner that’s suitable for people with allergies or asthma, most Daikin split system air cons are approved by the National Asthma Council Australia as part of the Sensitive Choice program. Some models also contain a heat exchanger with a slit fin design, which the brand claims can help with energy performance and capacity output.
Fujitsu General was rated four stars for performance, ease of use, quietness, value for money, features & functionality, design and overall satisfaction.
Fujitsu General produces different types of air cons, including wall-mounted, multi-type systems, ducted, cassette, ceiling and floor-standing models for single-room, multi-room and whole-house air conditioning. Within its offering for the most popular type (wall-mounted), there are multiple ranges to choose from – Classic, Lifestyle, Comfort and Designer. In each, a choice of reverse cycle or cooling-only options means that you can save the money, with the Classic range featuring All DC inverter technology to lower power consumption.
The Lifestyle range is slated as Fujitsu’s most energy-efficient, while the Designer sits at the higher end of the price range, with a sleek, modern finish and extra features. Across the ranges, many models include a ‘human sensor control’, which automatically turns the air conditioner off if there’s no detected movement for 20 minutes. When someone re-enters the room, the sensor picks up the movement and switches the air conditioner back on. Additionally, some models feature a built-in wireless LAN interface, allowing you to remotely control the air con.
Mitsubishi Electric was rated five stars for ease of use, quietness and features & functionality, with four stars for design, value for money, performance and overall satisfaction.
Not to be confused with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, this is another brand carrying the Mitsubishi name. Covering both domestic and commercial sides of the Australian market, Mitsubishi Electric is a one-stop shop for wall-mounted, ducted, console split, bulkhead, ceiling mounted and multi-head air conditioning systems. Many of the brand’s air conditioners feature horizontal vanes to supposedly create wide and long airflow patterns, helping push air further into the room.
Some common features include voice control, Google Assistant and Alexa compatibility, i-Save Mode to save preferred settings, Long Mode to distribute the air more evenly throughout the room, and a blue fin condenser to slow down the corrosion process on the heat exchanger of the outdoor unit. Certain Mitsubishi Electric air conditioners are also regarded as Demand Response Enabling Device (DRED) compatible, so the range may be worth looking into if you want to get more control over your energy consumption.
Panasonic was rated four stars for design, features & functionality, quietness, ease of use, performance and overall satisfaction, with three stars for value for money.
Well-known for home electronics, Panasonic offers a wide selection of products to suit single-room, multi-room, and whole-house air conditioning. Different types of models include wall-mounted split system air conditioners, ducted air conditioners, inverter, and ceiling-mounted cassette air conditioners.
Panasonic’s single-room air conditioning range includes the HZ, Z, RZ or U Series, with most models within the ranges including Active Air purification nanoeX functionality, purifying the air to help keep your environment clean and cut down on allergens in the home. Most models also feature voice control compatibility, Wi-Fi and app compatibility, humidity sensors and long-distance cooling with larger AEROWINGS providing an increase airflow throughout the space.
Kelvinator was rated five stars for value for money, with four stars for features & functionality, design and overall satisfaction, with three stars for quietness, ease of use and performance.
While arguably more well-known for its range of fridges, Kelvinator offers a number of air conditioners, with its range divided into split system models and window air conditioners. The split system line-up ranges from 2.5kW to 9kW outputs, with some featuring reverse cycle functionality, while others feature wireless connectivity, HEPA and ion filters, multiple fan speed settings, a dimmable digital display as well as ‘Follow Me’ command that follows you around the room to help keep you cool.
Kelvinator’s range of window or wall units is larger than its split system range, with models ranging from 2.2kW to 6kW of output, with some fitted with reverse cycle functionality. However, you can opt for a ‘cooling-only’ model, with most coming with a remote control, auto swing functionality, sleep mode, as well as corrosion resistant heat exchanges to counter the Aussie climate.
Hisense was rated four stars for features & functionality, with three stars for design, value for money, quietness, ease of use, performance and overall satisfaction.
At the time of writing, Hisense doesn’t have the range of other brands, offering the V Series reverse cycle air conditioning unit, with power outputs ranging from 2.5kW to 8kW. It also comes equipped with HI-NANO technology to help eliminate airborne bacteria and cut down on allergens around the house, along with Wi-Fi connectivity, voice control technology, a 360-degree DC inverter technology to help with energy efficiency. It also features multiple fan speeds and modes, along with a washable filter, self-cleaning evaporator and hidden display to fit into your interior design vision.
LG was rated three stars for all categories, including performance, ease of use, quietness, value for money, features & functionality, design and overall satisfaction.
LG offers several split system air conditioners, multi-split system air cons as well as cassette and ducted air conditioning systems for larger open areas, with some models also including reverse cycle functionality to help keep you comfortable year round. The Active Energy Control function is a standard feature across the brand’s collection and allows you to set a cap on the unit’s energy consumption to improve efficiency, allowing you to enjoy the cool breeze without having to worry too much about your next energy bill.
Other features across the LG range include vertical and horizontal airflow adjustments, Wi-Fi capabilities, voice control, Smart Inverter Compressor to help combat Aussie climates at a comfortable noise, with a remote control available on select models.
Not all brands in the market qualify for our ratings (based on minimum survey sample size), but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. Here are several more brands to check out before making a purchase decision.
To help cool your jets while you search for your dream air con, we’ve put together a buying guide that breaks down major areas to consider.
There are multiple types of air conditioners available to purchase and install in your home, but not all may suit your needs and available space. Below is a breakdown of the major air conditioner types:
Split system air conditioners: condition the air in a single room by blowing in cold air and sucking out the heat. They consist of an indoor wall-mounted unit and an outdoor standalone compressor that dissipates the heat from the cooled area. Split systems are generally quieter than other systems as the compressor (the loudest component) is placed outside. However, these units are not powerful enough to cool an entire house. These cost from around $600 to $2,800.
Reverse system air conditioners: can be used all year round as they can heat and cool a room. These systems are generally a little more expensive than pure cooling systems, but might be ideal for those living in temperamental climates. Expect to pay around $800 to $3,000 for a reverse system unit.
Portable air conditioners: are designed for small areas. These units can be moved relatively easily and are readily available. The downside is that portable air conditioners have a limited range and will prove ineffective in larger areas. Portable air conditioners can be had for as little as $400 and as much as $1,200 (with no installation costs).
Wall/window systems: are less common but can still be relied on to cool medium to large areas. The unit inside the home conditions the air and pumps the hot air outside, through an outlet or hose. They are generally more powerful than portable air conditioners. The downside is that some run on outlet power, requiring cumbersome extension cords and the units themselves can be large and noisy. They can also be expensive to run due to the amount of power they use. These units cost around $400 to $1,200.
Ducted air conditioning: uses ducts in the walls and ceiling to distribute conditioned air across an entire home, making it more efficient in cooling large areas than any other system available. This is usually how large establishments such as hospitals air condition their buildings. However, it’s the most expensive type to install, generally costing $5,000+.
One of the first steps to finding the right air conditioner for your home is measuring the size of the space you wish to cool. This can help give you a better idea of the air con size unit (i.e. kilowatt capacity) you’ll need to look for when shopping, to ensure your new air conditioning system will be powerful enough to cool your whole house.
To do so, multiply the length of the room by the width. Ceiling height may also be considered if you have particularly high ceilings. Typically, you need a minimum of 1kW to 1.5kW of cooling capacity per 10m² of space that needs to be cooled. As a general guide use the following chart:
Air conditioners usually retail between $600 and $4,000, with window air con units being the cheapest installable option. When you’re sizing up rooms for the right air conditioner, you’ll want to make sure that you’re going to get value for money in terms of both purchase price and running costs.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Site Editor, Dean Heckscher. He’s our resident expert on all things automotive, health & fitness, streaming and more. Dean is also one of Canstar Blue’s customer research report producers, helping to turn complicated subjects into easily-digestible information for our readers. He’s passionate about helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services.
Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.
Here are the past winners from Canstar Blue’s air conditioner ratings:
Appliances - November 29th
Australian summers can be unforgiving, so which air conditioner is best for you – a split-system or portable air conditioner? Canstar Blue’s review can help.– Read more
Appliances - November 6th
Ducted air conditioning is indisputably the pinnacle of household heating and cooling. Unlike conventional air conditioners which can usually only cool one or two rooms, ducted air con uses vents (or ducts) in the walls …– Read more
Best-Rated Air Conditioners - November 3rd
What temperature should you set your air conditioner too? Does air con temperature affect running costs? Read more at Canstar Blue.– Read more
See our Ratings Methodology.
*Product availability and price range are current as of the stated date, may be subject to change.
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