Multi-Apartment Air Conditioning


  • Author: Jorgen Knox (e:, t: 02 800 33 100, w: KAE)
  • Original Issue Date: 20/02/2015
  • Last Updated: 25/09/2016

This post aims to provide a quick look up reference for AC systems and types. Target audience ; Architects and Developers.

NSW (Australia) has in recent years undergone a boom in residential developments. With rental availability, in most states, now starting to increase this boom will likely slow down. That said, with our country determined to increase population via immigration, an underlying demand will likely always be there.

For each new development the question of air conditioning arises. The answer for some developments is not to provide, others its provide provision to allow tenants to install later.

For the majority of developments, however, air conditioning is seen as a ‘must have’. This being driven more by sales competition, rather than a detailed study on the actual need for air conditioning based on location, solar load, etc.

So we have decided to have air conditioning (AC). The next step is which AC system is to be installed. This decision process is based on many factors including:

  • Will Council allow condensers on balconies
  • Height of the development
  • Is the roof activated for tenants
  • Developer funding
  • Location of development
  • Perceived marketing advantage
  • Perceived (by purchasers and renters) quality of air conditioning system
  • Use of ‘enclosed’ balconies
  • Desire for power and maintenance to be by apartment owner.

The answers to the above will direct the air conditioning system selected.

At the outset, ‘let’s cut to the chase’. A balcony located condenser, and wall hung indoor units provides a low cost effective air conditioning system.  Moving from this system will cost.

The typical next step ‘up’ is sticking with the balcony located condenser, but opting for a ducted, ceiling void located system.

Within reason, if air is delivered into a room in sufficient quantity and at the right temperature, then this provides acceptable AC, from a sales perspective. Obviously a fully designed project will ensure good air flow is achieved (whole room conditioned, no drafts, low noise, low pressure etc). So, from a sales point of view, a wall hung AC unit is the same as a ducted AC system (except for the perceived look and perception).

This post tries to summarise the different AC systems available for multi apartment-residential projects. Much of the data used in this post uses Mitsubishi AC unit data.

Select on Links below, for post data.

Internal Considerations

Energy Code Compliance

Typical Air conditioning Capacities

Air Conditioning Systems – Quick Choice

Air Conditioning Systems – Quick View

AC Summary Table

Indoor AC Unit Types

AC Systems NOT Considered