Brands of air conditioners: premium, economy, OEM — what does it all mean?


The number of brands of split systems is increasing every year, while the number of manufacturers remains the same. The bottom line is that new names are often OEM brands.

OEM (English) original equipment manufacturer “original equipment manufacturer”) is a company that manufactures parts and equipment that can be sold by another manufacturer under a different brand name.

These air conditioners are assembled at third-party original factories. Orders are placed mainly in China, and their production giants Gree, Midea and Haier fulfill them. Part of the equipment is manufactured at little-known enterprises, in this case it is difficult to predict the quality.

Classification of air conditioners

In order to occupy as many market niches as possible, manufacturers produce several series at once, differing in price and reliability, collecting them under one brand. Thus, often the budget model of a popular Japanese company can differ for the worse from a top-end air conditioner made in China.

It is difficult to make an unambiguous division of brands by quality, however, when choosing, you can adhere to the following classification:

  1. Premium class. This group mainly includes Japanese brands. These manufacturers have their own production facilities with an effective control system for each stage of production.
  2. Middle class. This includes models from most popular manufacturers that have been working in the climate system market for a long time. Air conditioners from this group are not always assembled in-house, however, third-party orders are placed at trusted enterprises. Thus, this includes a number of OEM brands of well-known origin, whose product quality remains stable.
  3. Budget. This group includes both new and well-known OEM brands that masquerade as real manufacturers. Such equipment is assembled in factories in China.

The most popular, due to their affordable price, are OEM brands.

Premium air conditioners

The first group consists of air conditioners manufactured by Japanese companies. The most famous brands:

  • Daikin;
  • Mitsubishi Electric;
  • Mitsubishi Heavy;
  • Fujitsu;
  • Toshiba;
  • general.

Premium-class air conditioners attract with excellent consumer characteristics, as well as advanced protective systems. The cost of equipment with a capacity of 2.0 kW from this group starts from 35-40 thousand rubles. For such a price, you can purchase a split system, which has the following advantages:

  1. Long term of faultless operation. As market analysis shows, during the warranty period, factory defects are detected in 0.1-0.3% air conditioners (1 defective per 300-1000 pieces). If you follow the rules of use and carry out regular maintenance, the equipment will work properly for up to 15 years.
  2. The presence of high-tech protective systems that prevent misuse. Thus, when a dangerous situation is detected, the equipment is switched off.
  3. Stable and silent operation, large temperature range.
  4. Compact size and stylish design.

Now consider the advantages of air conditioners of specific brands.


The equipment of this manufacturer is one step ahead through the use of high quality elements. In addition, air conditioners are equipped with a self-diagnostic system that performs a check at several levels. Many Daikin models already use the most modern R32 freon, which does not harm the ozone layer of the planet.

Mitsubishi Heavy

The products of this brand are assembled in Japan and Thailand. These air conditioners are the choice of those who want to get models of normal quality for an acceptable amount. In semi-industrial models, rotary compressors are installed, increasing the length of the route up to 50 m. The range includes multi-zone VRF systems.

Fujitsu General

The manufacturer produces products under the brands General and Fujitsu. The operational characteristics of both TMs are almost identical, there are slight differences in appearance. Fujitsu models are mainly shipped to Asian countries and have a laconic design, while General Fujitsu models are delivered to Europe, so they are distinguished by their bright design.

The novelties of this brand look original and are equipped with the latest technologies that effectively disinfect the atmosphere in the room. UV emitters and an ionizer eliminate harmful microorganisms, ionize the air. Equipment filters are self-cleaning, which simplifies maintenance. Manual cleaning is sufficient once a year.

Middle class air conditioners

This group includes equipment that is not much inferior to premium models. The differences lie in a slightly higher noise level, a less developed protective self-diagnosis system. The middle class includes models of a large number of TMs, among which there are OEM brands, the most popular are Electrolux, Royal Clima, MDV.


The manufacturer produces equipment with different functionality. Air conditioners of this brand are distinguished by high-quality assembly, energy efficiency, stylish design, and a wide range of functions.

Royal Clima

Air conditioners of this manufacturer are assembled in China. The equipment is equipped with reliable Japanese-made GMCC compressors. Several filters are used: mesh, as well as with silver and charcoal. There is protection against power surges, a fairly low noise level (24 dB).

Budget air conditioners

In the third group, there is a large variation in price and quality. This includes products from both Chinese manufacturers and OEM brands: Ballu, AUX, Gree, Pioneer, Daewoo, Beko, Vitek and other TMs.

When choosing a split system from this category, you should pay attention to the following criteria:

  • How famous is the brand?
  • Is there service support?
  • is there any information about the manufacturer;
  • how the equipment has proven itself (real consumer reviews).

OEM brand equipment, which is part of the third group and assembled in large Chinese factories, is of good quality and can be the best choice if the budget is limited. Stable operation of the air conditioner is possible in a narrow temperature range. However, when using a split system only in summer, this minus does not matter.

Despite the fact that equipment of OEM brands is assembled at third-party manufacturing plants, such air conditioners can be no worse than models of well-known TMs that manufacture split systems on their own. More trust is usually caused by manufacturers who have been successfully selling their products for at least 5 years.


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