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With so many different types and sizes of air conditioners on the market, it can be difficult to know which air conditioner is best suited to your cooling needs. When it comes to cooling and even heating a home, a two storey house has different requirements than a standard single storey home. In fact, every home is different, the aircon that works perfectly for your neighbours house may not be right for yours.

To ensure that you install the right air conditioner for your needs, it’s important to take into consideration the size of your home, your budget, the climate in your area, and whether the air conditioner will be installed as part of a new build or retrofitted.

For personalised advice on what type and size of air conditioner is best suited to your needs, contact your Brisbane air conditioning experts at ACS on 0403 254 272 or fill out our contact form.

Choosing The Best Air Conditioner For A Two Storey Home

When it comes to the fast and efficient cooling of a home, there are three main types of air conditioners to consider:

  1. Split System
  2. Ducted
  3. Evaporative

Split System Air Conditioning For Two-Storey Home

A split system air conditioner is a commonly used air conditioner in Brisbane homes, designed to cool a single room or area. Split systems are made up of the indoor, wall-mounted unit, and an outdoor compressor unit.

split system air conditioner for two storey home

House Size

As split system units are only designed to cool a single room or area, the cost of installing split system units to cool a two storey home will increase based on how many rooms need to be cooled. If you’re looking to cool an entire house, split system air conditioning is often not the most cost efficient option as you will likely need to install multiple units on each floor.

Conversely, if you’re only looking to cool a few rooms in the home, installing split system is a cost-effective cooling solution.

Additionally, if you want to install multiple split system air conditioners in your home, you will also need to factor in where each outdoor unit will be installed and the noise that they will make. A single outdoor unit installed too close to a neighbouring home can cause noise complaints so it’s particularly important to keep noise reduction in mind when installing multiple units.


When compared with central cooling systems such as ducted and evaporative air conditioners, split system units are significantly cheaper. However, multiple units are needed to provide the same amount of cooling power as a central air conditioner, with one needed in every room (except bathrooms and toilets) to provide the same temperature control as a single central unit.

One benefit of choosing split system air conditioners is that you can install air conditioners in the most important rooms first, and then add additional units further down the line as your budget allows.

In terms of energy efficiency, split system air conditioners are budget-friendly as each unit can be controlled individually, rather than having to cool an entire house regardless of how many rooms are in use. This also means that cool air does not need to be circulated throughout the home to reach every room, increasing energy efficiency.


Unlike other air conditioner units, split system air conditioners can effectively cool a home in both dry and humid climates. Additionally, reverse cycle air conditioners can both heat and cool as needed, making them ideal for use in climates where you need cooling in the summer and heating in the winter.

New Build or Retrofit

Fortunately, split system air conditioners are relatively easy to install both as part of a new build or in an existing house. Unlike other air conditioning systems, as they only cool a single room or area there is no need for ducts and vents running throughout the house and ceiling.

One consideration when installing a split system air conditioner in an existing home is that there needs to be enough room for the outdoor unit to be installed on the other side of the wall that the indoor unit is mounted on. However, outdoor units can be installed on the ground or mounted on an exterior wall which is easily accommodated by most houses.

Ducted Air Conditioning For Two-Storey Home

A ducted air conditioner is a central air conditioning system designed to cool an entire home. In a ducted air conditioning system, cold air is circulated throughout the house via a series of ducts and vents. This means that all temperature controlled air is coming from a central air conditioning unit.

House Size

Ducted air conditioning is a great solution for larger homes, such as a two storey house, as a single system can cool the entire house, rather than having to pick and choose areas to install units for cooling.

Ducted air conditioning systems are available in a range of different sizes or cooling capacities based on the size of the house to be cooled.


Although a ducted air conditioning unit is significantly more expensive than a split system air conditioner, one unit can be used to cool an entire home rather than having to install one unit per room. This means that if you want your whole house to be temperature controlled, installing a single ducted air conditioner is more cost effective.

In terms of running costs, ducted air conditioners are much more energy efficient than split system air conditioners at cooling an entire house. This is because, as mentioned earlier, a single central unit generates and circulates cool air throughout the house. Conversely, to cool an entire two storey home with split system air conditioning would require multiple units to be running at the same time.

On the other hand, as ducted air conditioners are designed to cool an entire home, this means that even if you only want to cool a single room, the entire unit has to be switched on, making ducted AC less cost efficient when it comes to the climate control of a single room or area.

However, many ducted air conditioners come with a zoning feature that allows you to individually cool different zones of your house as needed, negating the energy loss of using a central air conditioning unit to cool a single room.


Ducted air conditioning is designed to provide efficient temperature control in most climates. In fact, reverse cycle ducted air conditioners can provide both heating and cooling for year round comfort.

New Build or Retrofit

In a two storey home, ducted air conditioning is easier to install as part of a new build than as a retrofit. This is because the ducts that transport the air throughout the house are typically installed in the ceiling. However, in a multi-level home, the ducts cannot be run horizontally between the floor joists in the ceiling of the first floor as the ceiling will have already been plastered.

Although ducted air conditioning can still be installed as a retrofit to an existing two storey home, the ducts used to circulate air to the lower level of the home will need to run vertically down from the roof space to the lower level. As air ducts in a ducted air conditioning system tend to be quite large, they are often concealed within a cupboard or wardrobe and plastered over. However, this means that the vents on the lower storey of the home will have to be directly below the closet or cupboard that the vertical ducts run through.

Another consideration when installing ducted air conditioning as a retrofit is that there must be adequate ceiling space available to house the indoor unit as well as the air ducts.

Evaporative Air Conditioning For Two-Storey Home

Evaporative air conditioning is another common choice for climate control in Australia. As the name suggests, evaporative air conditioning uses evaporation to cool the air. This means that evaporative cooling is only effective in dry climates such as in South Australia or Victoria, as humidity prevents the air from evaporating, hindering the cooling process.

As Brisbane is well-known for its humid summer days, evaporative cooling is not a feasible option here for effective climate control.

What Is The Best Air Conditioner For A Two Storey House?

So, which air conditioner is the best for cooling a two storey house? The answer depends on the size of your home, how much of it you are looking to cool, what your budget is, and whether it will be installed as part of a new build or a retrofit.

For personalised advice on the best air conditioner for your home, call your local air conditioning experts at Advanced Climate Solutions. Based in Brisbane’s Southside, ACS offers affordable air conditioning services Brisbane, Logan, and Redlands wide. Whether you’re building a new home or looking to upgrade the cooling system in your existing home, ACS has the best solution for your needs. Call us today on 0403 254 272 for a free quote.

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