Air conditioning units under test: monobloc or split unit?

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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Air conditioning systems must be able to do two things in particular: quickly cool superheated rooms and maintain a pleasant room temperature. The fastest air conditioning unit in the test only needed a few minutes to cool down. Both seven devices from the 2024 test We also tested the heating function of the systems for the first time and also examined how dehumidification works.

Our test shows that you can save a lot of money when it comes to electricity consumption for heating and cooling by choosing the right air conditioning unit. Electricity costs for cooling over fifteen years vary between 780 and 1260 euros. Heating costs are significantly higher.

Why testing your air conditioner is worth it for you

Test results

Our tables show rankings for 26 split devices of tests 24/06, 23/05, 22/06 and 21/06. The air conditioning units tested are from Daikin, Mitsubishi, Midea, Bosch and Toshiba, among others. They cost between 700 and 2,630 euros.

The best air conditioning for you

You can find out how much electricity it will cost in ten to 15 years or how noisy the system’s indoor and outdoor units will be. In the database you can conveniently filter and compare devices according to your needs to find your personal test winner.

Buying advice and tips

We tell you which rooms the tested air conditioning systems are suitable for and to what extent the air conditioning units are a sensible alternative to gas or oil heating.

Magazine article in PDF

If you activate the topic, you will have access to the PDF of air conditioning test reports from our test magazine since 2020.

Tested air conditioning units
Test results for 26 air conditioners


Two types of air conditioners

The first decision is: split device or monobloc? Stiftung Warentest also made this decision for the air conditioning unit test. The last three tests (06/24, 05/23, and 06/22) were pure split device tests. One reason: Monoblocks are not very energy efficient (Text available after login).

In our tests, none of the unibody devices surpassed the 3.8 rating. The higher the outside temperature, the harder it is for them to keep the room temperature tolerable, because the hot exhaust air that is blown outside goes back into the room to be cooled through cracks, joints and internal doors. Therefore, we no longer include unibody devices in the table.

Tip: You can even before the test results are activated all air conditioning units tested to see.

Split air conditioning units: Air conditioning as heating

Split units are air conditioning units without a drain hose. They consist of an internal and an external unit and must be installed by a refrigeration and air conditioning company due to the refrigerant filling. Split air conditioning cools rooms more quickly and consumes less electricity than a mobile air conditioner, also known as a monobloc air conditioner.

The winners of the latest air conditioning tests have always been split units. They are significantly more expensive. Installers often have full order books, which requires long-term planning. Air conditioning systems are also suitable for heating. We tested for the first time in 2024 how well this works even in subzero temperatures.

Split devices: pros and cons

Monoblocks: Mobile air conditioning systems

The mobile air conditioner can be installed anywhere in the apartment and blows heat through the window through an exhaust hose. Because this can create negative pressure, hot outside air constantly flows into the house and reduces the cooling effect. To reduce this airflow, users would have to seal the windows. And even then the air would find another way to compensate for the negative pressure. One reason air conditioners with exhaust hoses never performed well in our tests.

Mono devices: pros and cons

Complex measurements during heating testing for split air conditioning systems

When it comes to cooling, we’ve looked in the past at how long a device needed to cool a test room from 35 degrees Celsius to 30, 28 and 25 degrees. This time, the testers in the testing room also got hot because we had them seven devices in testing in 2024 The heating function was also examined for the first time.

Among other things, we evaluate the time until a 15-degree room heats up to 20, 22 and 25 degrees Celsius. The differences are clear: the slowest system needed almost 50% more time, even at the lowest level. We measure at nine points in the room: the system must reach the temperature as accurately as possible and distribute the heat as evenly as possible throughout the room. A device has failed here.

Tip: The special shows how houses and apartments can be cooled without air conditioning and sometimes even more sustainably Cool, ventilate, isolate. You can also keep a cool head with our test results Sun protection films It is Fans.

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