Updated 12 May 2015

This is one of those questions that most people only ask when they need to buy one, right? It is a simple question that has a not so simple answer.

More than one!

Even if you have no clue as to which company makes the best brands there is a good chance that you have heard some of the names before. Fujitsu, Samsung (yes, they make air conditioners too), PanasonicMitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (if I had a dollar for everyone who asks which one of those are better), Midea, Actron, Hitachi, Daikin and LG.

These air conditioning brands are pretty much the “majors” who dominate the Australian market.

And out all of them, which one is the best?

The air conditioning supply chain is mostly still working on a dealer system. Air conditioning companies align themselves with brands to gain a price advantage through higher sales but also to offer what they feel is a quality product worth selling. Nothing wrong with that. But they can’t all service every brand and hope to give each one their full attention and high sales. That’s one of the reasons you can be made to feel like they are pushing one brand over another buy telling you “they are the best”. What your not likely to hear is ” we have a warehouse full of these things we really need to get rid of “.  Although that kind of honesty would probably be appreciated by a keen buyer looking for a good price on an over stocked but decent brand.

Well……. the real question you need to ask is not just which brand is best, but also which model is best for YOU. Out of all of these top level air conditioning  brands, they all have three major features that make them a good buy.

They are the first three things that most people care about. Of course back up service is important too. They all have good back up service, but in this industry which has peak periods ( middle of summer and winter) they can all fall short from time to time. Generally they are all pretty good in responding to a service call in a reasonable amount of time. But remember, a quality brand is much less likely to cause you problems with break downs.

What are the things that might make one brand better for you over another?

  • Your budget

If you are working on a budget, be guided by that. For example, a Samsung unit will save you anywhere from $200 to $500 depending on the KW size compared to a Daikin or Mitsubishi. Some units like the Samsung or LG brands now offer wifi options for controlling your air conditioner from your smart phone. It cost a little more for thoset feature so you need to think about if you need something like that

  • The installation requirements

Where and how is it going to be installed? Some split system models will only give you 5m in pipe work length  between the indoor and outdoor unit before extra refrigerant needs to be added to the system. That will add extra installation costs, because if it is not added, your hard earned money is paying for a system that is not going to work to it’s maximum efficiency. It is important details like these that make hiring experts a wise decision.

 

  • Indoor and outdoor dimensions 

Some units are bigger than others. For example, a 5kw Samsung unit is just under 1100mm wide. But a Fujitsu 5kw unit is just under 800mm wide. Imagine buying a split system from an online or bulk store only to find your unit won’t fit in the space you want it too! Also, a Fujitsu 6.8kw out door unit is significantly smaller than most other brands. If you are locating the outdoor unit on a balcony, you may want to save on space.

  • Indoor fan power

When you get into large sized rooms that require a long air flow, some units offer a powerful fan mode. Mitsubishi Electric units (MSZ71GE) are capable of pushing air up to 12m. In those situations that might be the right unit for you. But if your room is not that long it probably doesn’t matter to much.

  • Great features

Of all the brands right now, the latest Samsung air conditioners seem to stand out as the brand that is offering consumers a great feature. Integrated wireless technology. At the moment they are the only brand that has it. Is it a gimmick? Not really. While it may seem superfluous to control your air conditioner from your phone whilst sitting in the same room as the remote controller, it certainly makes sense to be able to turn it on before you set off for home from work so you can come home to a nice warm house. Or turn your office air conditioner on whilst on your way to work. While most units do have programable timers in there remote controls, who remembers to set it? It is defiantly much easier to do it from your phone, especially when you can also set a reminder to your self to do it and you always have it on you.

  • Efficiency ratings

The efficiency ratings below give you an idea on the comparative efficiency at both ends of the price scale.

Understanding air conditioning efficiency ratings

Daikin FTXS25LVMA – EER 4.44 / COP 4.43  (more expensive brand)

Mitsubishi MSZ25GE - EER 4.46 / COP 4.38  (more expensive brand)

Samsung AQV09TW  - EER 4.42 / COP 4.54  (less expensive brand)

Midea MSCP09M4 – EER 4.42 / COP 4.54  (less expensive brand)

As you can see, the higher the price of a split system air conditioner doesn’t necessarily mean higher efficiency ratings.

 

The conclusion:

All of the major brands mentioned here are of the highest efficiency and quality. If you stick to the well known names you probably won’t have any issues with your air conditioner working properly and lasting you a long time. Brands to avoid would be sold through hardware stores and be on the cheap side. If it’s cheap. it is cheap for a reason! There are also some brands online that have units made in China and then re-branded here. Remember also that you are better of with a company that has a service network available for their units. Most cheap brands don’t.

 

 

installation research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Most air conditioning units carry out the same functions and the brand you choose is largely down to personal preference. I agree, the best brands are Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Samsung, Toshiba, LG, Hitachi and Daikin.

  2. devineairconditioning

    Thanks for sharing these valuable tips. I must say that, from where you purchase the product that seller must be best service provider also. Installation, maintenance everything is very important. You can go here:

      • We have a carrier – and unfortunately would never buy that brand again. Nearly everything in it has been replaced and most of that before it was five years old. We turn it off on cold nights as it just blows cold air (this week we have only been able to run it from around 11AM to around 6PM). In summer it can’t cool to a comfortable temperature once the temperature is above 37 or 38. It has always been and still is serviced every year.

  3. Buying a new air-conditioner requires research so you know that you are getting what you paid for. I agree with what you said above. One needs to consider a few aspects before finally purchasing an air-conditioner. Samsung’s Integrated wireless technology is a nice addition. I hope that others brands would add this useful feature too.

  4. Wayo.. There is verities electrical air condition.

    Daikin FTXS25LVMA – EER 4.44 / COP 4.43 (more expensive brand)

    Mitsubishi MSZ25GE – EER 4.46 / COP 4.38 (more expensive brand)

    Samsung AQV09TW – EER 4.42 / COP 4.54 (less expensive brand)

    Midea MSCP09M4 – EER 4.42 / COP 4.54 (less expensive brand)

    I have already used Midea MSCP09M4 it looks good.

  5. Summer is predicted to be a scorcher. The best way to escape the heat is in your own home with an air conditioner. Air conditioning is a luxury you cannot go without. A wise consumer should consider several factors when selecting or buying air conditioning brands. This post will help you determine which unit is better and which is more efficient.

  6. Thanks for sharing your guide
    This information is extremely useful for anyone who wants to buy a Mitsubishi air conditioning in Bulgaria this brand is very common and even says that it is better than Daikin

    Sorry for my bad English

  7. I’ve worked on a lot of brands for Air-Conditioning and I see some of these brands you mentioned are actually accurate. Some brands are easier to install, maintain and repair and some brands are just a pain. But, in general, this piece helps us look for a decent type of Air-conditioning that’s well within our budget. Finding a reliable and honest Air-conditioning maintenance service will be a challenge. So look out for that, too!

  8. Im definitely impressed on how details and tips were presented in this blog. Im planning to buy my 1st Split type 1.5 HP for our room. Ive been getting great deals and offers from popular brands here in Phil.
    Im hoping to get more help from experts like you guys. Getting an efficient and less expensive unit is trickier than i expect.

  9. What a great blog as it is actively encouraging comparison between brand.

    How good would it be if there was blog that did and air-conditioning shootout comparison test of all the major band like they do in car and bike industry.

  10. christine markulev

    we are in the process of buying a split system air conditioner and we live by the seaside and have a system called Actron does anyone know about this.
    thanks

  11. Hi
    Looking at possibly purchasing a split system. We live in Melbourne and have a 30yr old ducted heating system and a evaporative system.
    Getting older and can’t take the heat.
    So do we upgrade the ducted system to include heating and cooling or do we go the split system avenue.
    Are ducted systems effective.
    Hopefully you can assist.
    Thanks
    H

    • Hi H, it is definitely worth upgrading a 30 year old system! Either option for a new air conditioning system would be effective. Split systems are highly efficient and versatile and can heat and cool separate rooms only when needed, great for saving on running costs. Ducted systems can have the same effect by using zone motors to turn rooms on and off. Ducted systems will most likely cost more to buy and install. Be guided by your budget.

  12. These are the Best quality brands of air conditioners for heating and cooling in Australia. Air Conditioners have become an essential part of our everyday life, for balancing the humidity and temperature.

  13. I think the best choice is DAIKIN.
    URURU SARARA it’s made in japan. It has such functions that other ones don’t have.
    Humidity and ventilation function.
    I would say it’s number one.

  14. Still confused. Been quoted on a fujitsu and another cotractor on panasonic. But now samsung has popped up. Have been looking and trying to research on ducted systems for around 4 rooms with a passage.question is what is most efficient ,doesnt break down and has a good service of a problem. Im in adeliade.

  15. Daikin Inverter AC, which air conditions your house or office by consuming lesser power, and this has been their weapon to beat any other brand when it comes to quality and affordable service for people.

  16. I’m looking to get two air conditioners installed in my home. The well know brands all seem to perform well. I’ve been recommended Panasonic but online reviews indicate quite clearly that their customer service is dreadful if there is a problem. So which has excellent customer service in the event something does go wrong? I’d rather know I’ll get great support if need it.

  17. Hi,
    thank you for the useful info above.
    Any thoughts on which of the following is better?

    Toshiba 2.5kW RAS-10G2AVP-A
    vs
    Fujitsu 2.5kW ASTG09KMCA

    Many thanks!

  18. Hi Jason,
    I have learned a few things over the past month or 2 regarding a lot of the points that you made.
    The most vital point as a consumer for me was the fact we live on the Sunshine Coast in Qld. This means that back up service is crucial to that decision on what brand to choose.

    Back in 2012 we renovated and installed 3 X Daikins, and 3x Hitachis by Shannon’s who “serviced” each unit twice a year .One of the Hitachis (the largest 7.1kw) has recently died, after Shannon’s new staff broke the blades and refused to replace them. Hence the need for research.

    After several quotes and 2 X techs to look at the issue I have totally differing diagnoses, which is a frustrating and costly venture.

    My findings are as follows.
    Daikin is on par with Hitachi and Mitsubishi in supply and install price depending on who you choose to install here on the coast.

    The main consideration for me when replacing a full unit is considering any pipe work that is built into the walls, like our dead Hitachi is. I have learned according to Daikins head office and speaking to a “technician” that Daikin use R32 gas pipes, which apparently is old tech and old style gas according to their competitors.
    Depending on who you speak to, Daikin will only honour warranty claims with pipe work that their approved distributors install (as stated by head office). So I asked for quotes from their “approved installers” and every one of them did not require changing the pipe work. I still have no idea what type of pipe work our Hitachi RAS-70YHA2 has or even it is compatible with a 7.1Kw Daikin Cora.
    Efficiency in operation was the next big requirement, and I found after reading thru all the literature that for me Daikin outshone all their competitors. Today being Feb, 2016 their units are all smart phone friendly as well. Sadly non of them have sexy looking outdoor units or even offer sexy looking thermal covers with holes cut out for airflow…they are all butt ugly .

    The 3rd consideration was longevity, I need to know how they all stack up on lifespan, so I read blogs, spoke to technicians on what brand they service the most etc and found that Daikin tend to require the mother board or compressor to be replaced after 10years on average, which is twice the lifespan of all their competitors at needing to be totally replaced after 5 years on average.

    We can all extend the life of our aircons by doing the following.

    1 . Have your units serviced and cleaned by a company that actually does these things. Our experience was paying Shannon’s every year the same price for each unit to do a 5 min “clean” that we paid Sanitair to spend 90mins on each unit. Sanitair pulled the entire cover off the wall, put a full collar around the unit, used Ecco friendly chemicals to clean and flush the unit. They then spray into the whole unit a metal etching chemical that kills mould for up to a year.Our units had been “cleaned” by Shannon’s 3 days prior to Sanitair and every unit was packed with dirt and mould…not very efficient. Check out the roller drum that spits out the air on yr unit. See what colour it is. Ours are all now blue, not black.

    When “servicing” a unit some companies do a refrigerant gas check. Shannon’s like a lot of service companies release some gas to check the pressure.This gas is released and is not replaced, unless you have the unit totally regased.
    More aware companies test by using a thermal gauge on the outside of the gas container and compare the temperature inside the container to the ambient temp outside to calculate the gas level inside, I think I have that right. Do your homework and ask for a list of every task that is included with your servicing, also ask if there is a call out fee on top.
    Here on the coast a call out fee ranged from $80 to $165 for the first hour.

    2. Most aircon failures in hot climate areas according to blogs and 3 technicians I spoke to, are due to the computer board being fried by geckos , so get online and buy some moth balls and keep replacing them when required. Place them under the unit outside, so the whole floor span is cornered with balls..geckos hate strong smells. Fresh egg shells can also work, yet are you really going to replace them every 3 X weeks.

    Backup service here on the coast can range dramatically.

    For Samsung and Fujitsu according to Temperzone you must wait 2 weeks for an agent to call you just to make an appointment, now I don’t know if this is fact . For Hitachi you definitely need to wait 48 hours for temperzone (hitachis Aust distributor) to call you to make an appointment. There are 2 other companies that service Hitachi and both have a huge backlog of appointments, which also tells me to avoid buying another Hitachi.

    I had no problems having Daikin people coming to quote, they didn’t seem to be as busy as their competitors.
    Here on the coast the most efficient at quoting were $1700 cheaper than their Daikin competitors for the exact same unit and install requirements. Now to us that’s the cost of another unit, actually it is more than the 3.5kw Daikin Cora I’m having installed downstairs.

    I hope some of these points can help someone.
    Stay Cool !

    • We are in the process of buying Air con units. In your last paragraph you mentioned you were quoted $1700 less. Can you please forward me the installers information .
      Thanks very much….

  19. Hi sir please tell me, what is the best ac?
    With all features including power,inverter,star rating… every thing please suggest

  20. nathaniel DANIELS

    The brand of the air conditioner that you’ll gonna buy should depend on how you will use it for better efficiency. Also all the units are as good as the installer

  21. Sometimes I do agree that the brand should be considered as a buying factor. It’s probably because brands are usually associated with durability.

  22. Brand company air conditioners are always best quality air conditioners. My opinion on best brands are Fujitsu, Panasonic, Daikin, Toshiba and Samsung.

  23. We are currently looking to get a new ac installed. So far Daikin and Carrier are the ones being offered. I’m wondering your thoughts on Daikin. Thanks.

    • Hi Leslie, Daikin are a top quality brand and a better choice than the carrier range. It all depends on your budget as the Daikin units are more expensive by far than Carrier. You can browse around at the top brands on the market here to help with your research.

  24. Hi Jason,

    Please advise on which one of the following ducted reverse cycle air conditioner would be better for a large house 580 sq mt house in terms of efficiency, low noise and warranties;
    TOSHIBA 20 .0 Kw (3-phase)with 6 zones v/s DAIKIN 20.0 Kw (3-phase) with 6 zones.

  25. Good brand air conditioners have more benefits. Benefits include mobility, easy installation, cost and convenience. If you are thinking of purchasing a new air conditioner try to go for high star products because they have high energy performance.

  26. Most people say that a good air conditioner is one that provides efficient cooling. But don’t you think that besides providing efficient cooling air conditioner should also consume less electricity?

  27. If you have geckos or lizards of any sort do not touch Fujitsu have a look at the new Mitsubishi units. Insurance will not cover your unit for vermin damage. All of the companies are aware of their electrical units vulnerability. They have done very little about it.

  28. I have a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 7KW aircon for two years. Does a great job heating and cooling. Have had no problems.
    Considering another air con 2.5kw for the bedroom. Have been quoted for a Carrier brand unit. Carrier is a well known brand and has been around forever BUT I cannot find any reviews. The ones I have found are for different ducted systems in the USA. And I may add they are unfavourable.
    Does anyone have knowledge on the performance of the domestic 2.5kw Carrier air conditioner?

  29. Do not use Fujitsu. If there are any gecko’s in your area it is only a matter of time before you blow one of your boards. This will take approximately 2 – 4 weeks to get repaired. I have had multiple problems with my Fujitsu AC units in two locations. Fujitsu’s warranty service is terrible. Their agents are incompetent and they regularly refuse to honour the warranty charges. DO NOT USE THEM!!!!

  30. Great info and amazing thread too!!!…..but still need guidance….please help. I am looking at spending about $1300 – $1800 (plus fitting) to get a split system in the lounge/kitchen which is 45sqm. I am told a 6 would do, but 7 would be better??….but not sure on what is the best value for money in my price range. Any suggestion on units? Thanks

  31. i am looking a for a air condition for my kitchen who does get vey hot like sauna, . we are confused which one to choose Daikin or Mitsubishi electric please help me choose

    Mitsubishi Electric 5.0kw wall system MSZ-SF50VE2-E1/MUZ-SF50VE-E2

    Daikin 5,0kw wall system FTXB50C/RXB50C

    • Hi Tina, both brands are of top quality so you really can’t go wrong. Personally the mitsubishi electric air conditioners are my choice, we have sold them for years and have very few issues with them.

  32. i want to buy a 1 hp aircon inverter split type. what brand do you recommend. its only for a room with a measurement of 3090 x 3200.

    • A 2.5kw unit is fine for a space of that size. Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Panasonic, LG are all brands that are well worth buying. Be guided by your price and you should be all good.

  33. Hi just recently bought AC split type inverter MIDEA brand for my room and they’ll set up unit the next day ..hoping it’s a decent brand and efficient… Never thought of reading reviews about it until I’ve found this blog.. I’m still crossing my fingers though I’ve read not the best brand but it’s good one hoping this will work well.

  34. We have had some quotes previously about a year ago regarding reverse cycle ducted aircon to the upstairs area of our house in WA approximately 180m sq Upstairs and they suggested 14 kw system one of the installers who we are more keen we had a quote on previously 11,000 dollars aprox for samsung with a wifi e zone controller we have lso been recommended LG brand and this year the company is plugging the fujitsu as a brand as they are official installers.

    Which brand would you recommend go with and would you bother having seperate temp sensors for different rooms so we can set the temp for different locations etc. is the ezone contoller worth it over the manufacturer premium controllers wifi control?

    • Hi Clive, all three brands you mentioned are good brands. I would say Fujitsu are a good ducted system and also Mitsubishi Electric.It is worth getting the system zoned for flexibility and long term running costs but it really comes down to wether that kind of functionality is important to you in regards to the seperate temperature zoning. Is a couple of degrees here or there worth it?

  35. Great information. You gave good ideas in the content. This information is beneficial for anyone who wants to take the convenience of air conditioning within their budget.

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