Complete Buying Guide for Split System Air Conditioners (+ Prices)

We’re bloody lucky to be living in Australia. But, it certainly is a country of weather extremes.

Depending on where you live in our glorious sunburnt country, heating and cooling can account for 20% to 50% of your energy bill. 

So, when shopping around for an AC, it makes sense to choose the most energy-efficient model and the correct size that meets your budget.

But we know that for most people, sorting through all the different makes and models on the market is hard yakka.

What size do you get? What brand is the best? How much should I pay?

No need to stress - we’ve got all the info you need right here. 

In our guide, we’re going to discuss split-system air conditioners - what they are, what to look for, how they’re installed and what kind of dollars you can expect to pay.

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What is a Split System Air Conditioner?

Split system air conditioners are also known as ductless or reverse-cycle air conditioners.

You’ve most likely seen them installed in many homes and businesses. In fact, they’re one of the most popular air conditioning systems found in modern Aussie homes.

But don’t confuse them with the noisy, clunky, through-wall rattlers of the ‘80s.

Today’s wall-mounted units are sleek, sophisticated and sexy.

Plus, they offer titan functionality features such as smart connectivity, inverter technology and whisper-quiet operation.

How does a Split-System Air Conditioner Work?

How does a Split-System Air Conditioner Work?

A split system runs on electricity, providing heat and refrigerated cooling.  

Split system air conditioners consist of 2 units: an outdoor compressor and an interior wall-mounted unit. Pipes connect the two units to transport refrigerant.

Here’s how the refrigeration cycle works in cooling mode:

Should I Buy a Split-System Air Conditioner?

Split-systems may be the cool kid on the block, but they’re not suitable for every home. 

Consider buying a split system air conditioner if:

  • You need to cool (and/or heat) a small to medium-sized room
  • You live in a single-story home that doesn’t have a flat roof
  • Your budget can cover both the upfront cost of purchase and the installation costs 
  • You’re cooling/heating a single room, not the whole house 

If you’re looking to heat and cool an open-plan space over 60m², have a double-story house and /or a flat roof, consider ducted air conditioning.

What are the Benefits of a Split-System Air Conditioner?

What are the Benefits of a Split-System Air Conditioner?
  • Silent operation
  • Many feature an automatic defrost cycle, so if the temps drop to –15ºC, the system will still heat your home effectively
  • Highly efficient energy consumption for both heating and cooling
  • Air purifiers filter dust, smoke, odours, bacteria, viruses and pollutants
  • Eco-friendly R32 refrigerant used, producing one-third less greenhouse gas emissions than a standard electric heater
  • Inverter technology adapts quickly to the room's conditions to maintain the temp without fluctuating.
  • Generate indoor heat safely, especially with curious ankle-biters and pets around
  • Enjoy a long life span with regular cleaning and maintenance
  • Cheaper and easier to install than ducted air conditioning systems 

What Features to Look for in a Split-System Air Conditioner?


Don’t fall into the trap of thinking bigger is better. 

If you go with the largest kW unit, all it’ll do is make you feel like you’ve tied one on the night before – cold and clammy. 

If you choose the wrong size AC, it will not only affect its performance but you’ll be peeved when you get the power bill.

Follow this air conditioner size guide to choose a suitable air conditioner capacity.

Room sizeExampleCapacity 
Up to 20m2Bedroom, study, small kitchen2 to 2.5kW
From 20 to 40m2Bedroom with an ensuite, small lounge2.5 to 5kW
From 40 to 60m2Large bedroom, mid-sized lounge4 to 6kW
60m2 and aboveOpen-plan areas, large lounge5 to 9kW

If you’re looking for a whole-home heating and cooling solution, a ducted reverse cycle system may be the way to go.

Check out our super handy blog for more tips on choosing the correct split system size for your room. Or you can use the size calculator on our home page.

Air Filters

No one wants to breathe in stale, toxic air that smells like last night’s cooking fiasco. 

A stellar air filter will ensure your home maintains healthy indoor air quality, free of dust, allergens, smoke, nasty germs, mould spores and nasty odours.

Air Filters
Noise Levels

Noise Levels

Some systems can generate a bucket load of noise, especially when it's cranked right up. A super loud unit can be super annoying while you’re working, watching TV or trying to set a mood.

So, pay attention to the decibels (dBA) of the unit. Most standard air-con units operate anywhere between 19 and 60 dBA. The lower number is the decibel reading when the indoor unit is running on low, and the higher number is when it’s in beast mode.

Motion Detectors

Energy-saving motion sensors detect human movement and automatically switch the unit off or lower the output, then kick back in when you wander into the room.

Motion Detectors

Energy Efficiency

The more energy-efficient your air conditioner is, the less it costs to run. Which means less money you have to fork over to the power company.

All modern reverse cycle split systems display a Zoned Energy Rating Label (ZERL). The ZERL provides a seasonal efficiency rating for our three climate zones: 

  • hot, 
  • average, and 
  • cold.
Energy Efficiency

This label will help you choose a suitable unit for your climate zone, and ratings run up to 10 stars for heating and cooling

Read our blog to discover the top 5 energy-efficient units on the market in Australia today.

How Much Does Split-System Air Conditioning Cost?

Many factors can affect how a small split-system air conditionerperforms based on its position. 

However, your best bet is to install it in a high spot over your bed to ensure you get direct airflow.

How Much Does Split-System Air Conditioning Cost?

Here at Hello Breeze, we sell and install only top-notch brands we can trust, which all offer a 5-year parts and labour warranty. 

The cost of a split system air conditioner depends on the brand and the size of the unit. For example, the range of split system air conditioners at Hello Breeze varies from 2.0kW to around 10.1kW.

Prices fall into the following ranges:

How Much Does Split-System Air Conditioning Cost?

All prices include GST and installation.

Installation Costs and What's Involved

Installation Costs and What's Involved

The split-system air-con installation process is as follows:

Installers will hang the interior unit on the wall near the ceiling in your chosen room. 

They will then choose the best location for the outdoor compressor to ensure the condensation from the unit drains adequately. 

Only licensed installers can install air conditioning systems in Australia due to the complex electrical, drainage and carpentry requirements. 

The cost to install a split system typically ranges between $1500 and $4000. 

Standard split system air con installation performed by the Hello Breeze rockstars takes between two and three hours. 

When you buy your split system air conditioner from us, we include installation in the price of the unit. 

The Hello Breeze team of professional, licensed, and insured installers will always: 

  • Be on time 
  • Install quickly and efficiently
  • Take our rubbish with us. And won't leave dirty footprints!
  • Provide a certificate of compliance upon completion; and
  • Give you a full product demonstration, so you’re good to go!

Factors Affecting Installation Costs

All A/C prices include installation and GST. The cost of a split-system air conditioner depends on:

  • The area (m2) to be heated and cooled
  • The size of the unit (kW)
  • The brand
  • Job complexity

How to Make an Appointment for Installation with Hello Breeze

How to Make an Appointment for Installation with Hello Breeze

We’ve got a sweet as range of split systems to suit your needs and budget. Then, the process of getting the ball rolling is a breeze:

1. The Call

Tell us your heating and cooling needs. Then we’ll give you our professional two cents. 

2. The Quote 

Know what you want? Get a quote online to discuss the cost of a split-system air conditioner for your home now! Or wait for a call from one of our climate control rockstars. They may be able to give you some numbers on the spot if the job is straightforward. 

Got a quote from a competitor? No worries! We’re super competitive, so tell us what you’ve got, and we’ll see what we can do.  

3. Book It

Once you give us the nod, you set the date and time. Then, one of our accredited tradies will arrive on time, loaded with caffeine, and ready to install. 

4. Install It

Our installation Specialists will fit your shiny new unit and give you thorough, hands-on training before they shoot through.

5. The Follow-up

Once your air conditioning installation is complete, one of our team members will check in with you to ensure everything is good as gold. 

But what if your new unit starts acting up like a tween left unsupervised for the weekend? Don’t worry; just get on the blower, and we’ll get onto it quick-smart.

We’re Working With the Best Brands in Australia 

Here at Hello Breeze, you can trust you’re receiving a world-class system.

We know this because we sell only the best and most reliable brands built to take on Australian conditions: 

Hello Breeze Locations

We started with one location in Brisbane and Gold Coasts, but now, we’re sprouting up all over this glorious sunburnt country. 

Hello Breeze Split System Air Conditioning Installation

Why Choose Hello Breeze?

Because we:

  • Are everyday Aussies
  • Total smart-alecs about our products (without being annoying)
  • Won’t come the raw prawn with you
  • Listen to your needs
  • Are very well-behaved (our mums are proud)
  • Will never bail and always keep an appointment
  • Return calls. Stat.
  • Won’t rip you off
  • Won’t leave your home looking like a dog’s breakfast

What Now?

Here at Hello Breeze, we’re here to make your life easier, and we offer the very best air conditioning service around. Guaranteed.

Take a Captain Cook at our split systems now. If you’re unsure which suits your home, lifestyle or budget, we’ll talk you through it.

So, c’mon! Get on the blower and have a mag with us on 1300 712 732 about the cost of a split system air conditioner installation in your home today.

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