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Split System vs Ducted Air Conditioning

Author Rod Marchant-Smith | Peninsula Air Conditioning

We all want to be able to cool our homes. But there are many different options for doing so, and you need to figure out which type of aircon is right for you and your circumstances. We’re going to make it easier for you and break down the differences between ducted aircon vs split system air conditioning.

What is a Split System?

A split air conditioner is an aircon system where part of the system (the condenser) is located outside and the other part of the unit (the blower) is located inside. Split systems typically have a single blower or head unit inside the house, which is either mounted on a wall or as a freestanding unit.

What Are the Benefits of a Split System?

The biggest advantage of a split system is that it’s very easy to install in a house that doesn’t have air conditioning. Because it doesn’t need ducts (we’ll talk about ducted systems below), it can be installed with minimal intrusion. The split systems generally are intended for cooling a single room, or a few rooms, and depending on the size of the home, you may have more than one split system.

Because they’re easier to install and smaller, split air conditioners are also an inexpensive option. They’re generally not putting out the amount of cooling energy that a ducted air conditioning system is. But when it comes to the price difference between ducted and split, if you’re only cooling a small area, the split system is going to be more cost effective. Put simply, a single split system is cheaper to run than a ducted air conditioner with a central unit.

What Are the Drawbacks of Split Systems?

The biggest drawback is that it only cools a smaller amount of space. One of the things you can do to combat this is to use a multi-split system air conditioner, or multi-head split system, which gives you multiple blowers or heads in different parts of the house, all of which still run on one outdoor unit.

But there are other limitations of a split system. One thing that many people cite is the fact that it is unsightly. A ducted air conditioner blows air out a series of ducts and vents, which can be relatively invisible. But a split air system is large and prominent on a wall.

What is a Ducted Air Conditioner?

A ducted air conditioning system is hidden in the walls and floor of the building, with a central condenser typically outside the house, and the ductwork runs throughout the entire house, cooling everything.

What Are the Benefits of a Ducted Air Conditioning System?

When it comes to multi-head split systems vs ducted systems, there’s no doubt that the ducted is going to be more expensive. That’s because it’s doing a bigger job: cooling off the entire building. Many people hate split systems because during the heat of the summer they find themselves restricted to one or two rooms in the house that are comfortable. A ducted air conditioner supplies cool air throughout a home.

This isn’t to say that the battle of cost of ducted air conditioning vs split system will always be won by the split system. Advanced ducted systems can be zoned so that they only blow air to specific rooms. A split system vs ducted efficiency can be negligible if the zoned system is run well.

Another benefit is that the same ducts which provide cool air can also be used for the furnace, so they can provide cooling or heating to the house.

What Are the Downsides of Ducted Air Conditioning?

The biggest problem with ducted air conditioning systems is that they cost a lot to be installed if they don’t come already included with the house. A ducted system assumes that there is room for ducts to run between the floor joists and up the walls of a house. If the house isn’t built for that, it can be an expensive remodel to install.

Tailored Cooking Solutions

Choosing between ducted air conditioning and split system units comes down to personal preferences and the specific needs of your home. Ducted systems offer a seamless and centrally controlled cooling experience, ensuring consistent temperatures across multiple rooms. This makes them an ideal choice for larger homes or those seeking a discreet and aesthetically pleasing solution.

On the other hand, split systems provide versatility, allowing you to cool individual rooms independently, making them a cost-effective choice for smaller spaces or homes where zoning isn’t a top priority. Both options come with their unique set of benefits; ducted systems offer a comprehensive and energy-efficient approach, while split systems provide targeted and customisable cooling. Ultimately, the decision hinges on your lifestyle, home layout, and the level of control you desire over your indoor climate.

What’s Right For You: A Ducted System or a Split System?

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