The Best Split System Air Conditioner in Australia [2020 Guide]

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A split system air conditioner is just what you need in the middle of summer when the weather sweltering. They are the most efficient way to cool down both small and large internal spaces thanks to their unique ability to transfer heat from inside to outside.

You’ll also appreciate the way reverse cycle split systems can quickly warm your home in winter.

If you’re making the investment but aren’t sure where to start, then keep reading. Below we list the top models in Australia and discuss their pros and cons. After that, we’ve included a buyer’s guide so you know what to look out for.

Here are the best split system air conditioners in Australia:

1. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries C7.1kw Split System (Top Pick)

A favourite amongst Australian households, the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries air conditioner has a 7.1kW cooling capacity so it will keep your room comfortably cool even on the hottest summer days.  

It has a three-star energy efficiency rating for both cooling and heating and runs very quietly. Because of the large capacity, this unit is ideal for open areas where it’s difficult to keep a uniform temperature. 

The filters are very effective at catching dust and allergens, and the self-clean feature makes this unit very easy to maintain.  

This is one of the best split system air conditioners around and will make any home much more comfortable.

What We Like:

  • Powerful capacity
  • Energy efficient
  • Excellent filters

What We Don’t Like:

  • May be too powerful for the average home

2. Panasonic Reverse Cycle Split System & Air Purifier

This Panasonic air conditioner is another powerful system with a 7.1kW capacity. It has a built-in 24-hour air purifier that is super effective at removing dust and bacteria from your home. It is also approved by the National Asthma Council of Australia so you can be sure that it’s reliable.

In operation, it’s whisper-quiet so you won’t even notice it running, and it reduces power consumption by minimising temperature fluctuation. You can also control it from your smartphone, which is extra convenient.

Overall, this is an excellent system for keeping the air in your home cool and easy to breathe.

What We Like:

  • Powerful capacity
  • Built-in air purifier
  • Smartphone connectivity

What We Don’t Like:

  • May be too powerful for the average home

3. Fujitsu ASTG12KUCA Inverter Air Conditioner (Best Value)

This Fujitsu air conditioner represents great value. It has a 3.5kW cooling capacity and a 4.3kW inverter for heating, so it’s perfect for an apartment or a large bedroom.

The unit is energy efficient and has a range of smart features that make it more convenient than a standard air conditioner. It has a seven-day timer so you can program when it turns on and off, it also has an auto-changeover function so it can change between heating and cooling based on the ambient temperature of the room.

The system has multiple built-in filters to keep the air in the room fresh and clear of allergens, and it also has a human sensor where, if it doesn’t detect movement for twenty minutes, it switches to power-saving mode.

What We Like:

  • Great smart features
  • Energy efficient
  • Excellent filters

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some people may be overwhelmed by the features

4. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries C3.5kW H3.7kW Reverse Cycle Split System

This is another great air conditioner from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (not to be confused with Mitsubishi Electric). It is 3.5kW in capacity and has a 4-star energy rating so it’s very efficient. For heating, it has a 4.5-star energy rating, so it’s efficient in all weather.

The filtration system is quite good, capturing airborne dust and allergens, and there is a deodorising filter so the air in your room will stay fresh and easy to breathe.

Maintenance is simple, as it has a self-cleaning function that prevents mould from growing in the indoor unit. Overall, this is an excellent air conditioner that will last a long time.

What We Like:

  • Very efficient energy consumption
  • Self-cleaning
  • Good filtration

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not enough features for the price

5. Panasonic C2.5kW H3.2kW Reverse Cycle Split System & Air Purifier

This Panasonic air conditioner has a 2.5kW capacity so it’s ideal for a bedroom or small living room. It can heat or cool a room quickly so you can get fast relief on very hot or cold days, and once the ideal temperature is reached, it switches to shower cooling (see video below) to maintain it.

The air conditioner can be controlled from your smartphone, which is very convenient, and it has smart technology to control the temperature and minimise fluctuations to make the unit run more efficiently.

Overall, this is a very good unit if you need something for a smaller room.

What We Like:

  • Fast heating and cooling
  • Smartphone connectivity
  • Energy efficient

What We Don’t Like:

  • Only good for a small room

Split System Air Conditioner Buyer’s Guide

How it works 

A split system air conditioning system has an indoor unit and an outdoor unit connected by pipes. The indoor unit extracts heat from a room and passes it to the outdoor unit. Heat is released outside while the air cooled by a refrigerant returns to the indoor unit creating a continuous cycle. 

Reverse cycle or cooling only 

Some air conditioners can heat as well as cool. A reverse cycle system, or inverter, simply reverses the cooling process so that heat is gathered from the outdoor unit and passed along to the indoor unit. Even on the coldest winter day, there is some heat in the environment that the outdoor unit can gather. 

This can be a great solution if you experience both hot summers and cold winters. If you only want to cool down in summer, then you can save money by looking at cooling-only air conditioners.  


Room size 

Generally speaking, split system air conditioners are good for areas up to 60 square metres.  

  • For an area of 40 to 60 square metres choose a system that is 4 to 6kW
  • For an area of 20 to 40 square metres choose a system that is 2.5 to 5kW
  • For an area of 20 square metres or less, choose a system that is 2 to 2.5kW

It’s best to choose split systems that are slightly more powerful than you need. A little extra power in extreme weather is always nice, so if you think you need a 4kW model, go for a 4.5kW model.

Other factors 

When looking at the room size to determine which air conditioners are right for you, you should consider several factors. Measure the room by length, width, and height to get an estimate. Then look at the purpose of the room; an open-plan living room will need a stronger system than a bedroom. 

Next, consider the orientation or the windows; large windows that face north or west are going to let in a lot of heat. Consider also any curtains or shading you have in place, as well as insulation in the walls, floors and ceiling. Finally, consider what the local climate is like. All of these things will help you determine which system is best for you.

Split System Air Con FAQs

What size room will a 2.5 kW air conditioner cool?

A 2.5kW split system air conditioning system is suitable for a room of about 20 square metres. In areas with extremely hot weather, however, you may want to opt for a more powerful unit.