Ducted Air Conditioning vs Split System [2021]

Table of Contents

Ducted air-conditioning | Split system air conditioner | How does a ducted air conditioner work? | How do split system air conditioners work? | Is ducted aircon cheaper to run? | What is cheaper to run for heating? | Where is better: ducted air or split system aircon? | Which is cheaper: ducted air or split system aircon? | Is ducted air-conditioning worth the extra cost?

It’s relatively difficult to choose between ducted air conditioning vs split system, some could even say it’s impossible. In this article, we will cover everything about the air conditioning system regardless if it’s a ducted air conditioning system or split system air conditioning, giving guidance to choosing the right air conditioning system which will help you decide what will be better for you.

What is Ducted Air Conditioning?

If you want cooled air running through your home then, you need to install ducted air conditioning. The central unit cools the air and then sends it across your home through a series of ducts. This type of system covers multiple rooms and can cover your entire house. You can choose between a reverse cycle ducted ac or just a ducted air conditioner. It will work great as a heating system in winter and a cooling one in summer. These types of air conditioning systems can have units installed under the floor, under the roof if there is roof space available and it even has the option for outdoor units to be installed. Depending on what type of ducted ac system you have, running costs can be low and it usually is quite worth having one installed, regardless of installation costs.

What is a Split System Air Conditioner?

Split systems are much different from ducted system. The split system air conditioning has two main parts. The outdoor unit is the compressor while the indoor unit is actually an air outlet unit. The split system relies on a series of pipes to connect the outdoor unit with the indoor unit. Because of this type of design, split systems are also called ductless split air conditioning system. This is a great choice for one or two rooms, especially when a house does not have a ducted system installed. You can avoid additional costs by not having to install a standard ducted system. Most people choose this option since connecting the condenser unit (exterior unit) with the internal unit is quite easy and can be done with just a few pipes. A split system air con is usually the most cost-effective option since running costs are lower due to a high energy consumption star rating.

How does a Ducted Air Conditioner Work?

Ducted air conditioners send cool air to various rooms connected by the ducts. Multiple units, also called a head unit, are installed within your home. This is usually under the floor, in the ceiling or even outside. An external unit can only be installed for specific homes so consider professional installation beforehand. The professional can even help you choose an energy-efficient option for your specific home without the need for additional units.

How do Split System Air Conditioners Work?

The split system air conditioner has an outdoor unit called a compressor and one indoor unit called an air outlet unit. There is a series of pipes connecting both these units where a refrigerant is dispersed. This refrigerant travels through the copper pipes in order to reach the desired temperature. This type of system usually has specific heating and cooling capacity. This split system works best for single rooms heating and cooling and it has great energy efficiency.

Is Ducted Aircon Cheaper to Run?

Installing a ducted system has much more upfront costs than a split system but overall a ducted aircon is usually much more efficient to run. New models are called a zoned system since it divides the house into zones and because of that, it has lower energy demands to heat or cool individual rooms, not just a single room. Every air conditioning specialist can tell you that a split system will cost much less than a ducted one but depending on your personal preference, having ducted air conditioning systems installed could be the smartest and most cost-effective choice for your entire home.

What is Cheaper to Run for Heating: Ducted Air or Split System?

Running cost for ducted air conditioning vs split air conditioning is a hot debate that doesn’t have a right or wrong answer. If you’re heating or cooling one room or a small area then the smartest choice would be to pick a split system. If you have an older ducted system then it’s very cost-inefficient to run it for your entire home versus multiple split systems installed since the split system cost will be much lower. But, a modern ducted air conditioner with zoned ducted systems could potentially be the most cost-effective option to heat or cool your whole house, especially with a ducted reverse cycle system in place.

Where is Better: Ducted Air or Split System AirCon?

Some homes simply don’t have enough roof space to install a ducted air con unit. On the other hand, a split system needs adequate space on the ground level and some outdoor units can be quite noisy. Choosing what’s best, you need to make a choice. If you’re interested in cooling one room instead of your entire house, a split system of air conditioning is the best choice. But, if you want to cool your whole house, you can’t go wrong with choosing a ducted air conditioning system. Whatever you pick, make sure you have enough space for the indoor units.

Which is Cheaper: Ducted or Split System Aircon?

Split systems are way cheaper than ducted systems when it comes to running costs. The maintenance costs are quite low and installing interior units doesn’t require anything else besides space. Both air conditioners have their pros and cons and it all comes to what you want your AC unit to do best, how much power do you want them to consume, do you have enough room for the central location or are your interior walls capable of supporting a split air outlet unit. Picking between these two will always have a certain trade-off and sometimes a modern ducted system will be a cheaper choice in the long run.

Is Ducted Air Conditioning Worth the Extra Cost?

Unlike the split systems, it’s important to consider the fact that a ducted air con needs to have a ducted system installed before ducted air conditioning can be installed. This can cost tens of thousands of dollars your budget will determine whether that’s the smartest choice, looking from an economic point of view.

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