Split System & Ducted Air Conditioning Running Costs [2021]

Table of Contents

The average size of a ducted air-conditioning system | The average size of a split system air-conditioning unit | Running costs estimates for an apartment | Running costs estimates for a house

There are two main types of air conditioners available in the Australian market. These types are ducted air conditioning systems and split system air conditioners.

When it comes to ducted air conditioning vs split system running costs, several factors determine it:

  • Type and size of the system: A smaller air conditioner will cost less compared to a larger one.
  • How long you operate it: The longer your AC is on, the higher the energy usage, the more it will cost you.
  • Insulation: A well-insulated house will require AC to run at minimum capacity while a poorly or uninsulated house will require maximum capacity.
  • Temperature: Ideally, your AC should be set at 240C, anything below that might drive up the cost by approximately 10%.
  • Location: Temperatures in a place like Perth can soar to 350C during summer, requiring your air conditioning unit year round, and therefore leading to higher energy costs than if you were in a place like Sydney where temperatures in summer can be around 250C.
  • Tariff: The tariff you’re connected to will affect your cost.

The Average Size of a Ducted Air Conditioning System

A ducted air conditioner has a central unit usually in the roof space and it distributes cool air to the entire home through vents in the wall and ceiling. It differs from a split system in that its entire unit is concealed. It is a bit expensive to install ducted air conditioning units compared to split system units but it is cost-effective in the long run because modern ones have special features (zoning) where you can set each room to the desired temperature.

When coming up with the size of the ducted system that you need for your home, you’ve to multiply the total floor area (kitchen, hallways, lounge, family rooms) by the ceiling height. The bigger the area, the bigger the air conditioner you’ll require.

Usually, the size of ducted air conditioning systems are classified according to their cooling capacity in kilowatts (kW) and it can be anywhere from 5 kW to 23.5 kW. You’ll need 1 to 1.5 kW for 10 square metres depending on your insulation. You can choose only ducted air conditioning or reverse cycle ducted, they’re amazing because they can heat your home in winter and cool it in summer.

The Average Size of a Split System Air Conditioning Unit

Split system air conditioners are mainly used in apartments or places where ducted systems cannot be installed. Split systems have lower energy demands and are cost-effective. When determining which split system is suitable for you, you’ve to multiply the length of your room by the width. Seek advice from professional air conditioning specialists as they will advise you on the right system to install.

A split system air con has two units; an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The external unit is connected to the internal unit by an insulated tube piped through the wall and it uses a refrigerant for cooling. The outdoor unit is the condensing heat exchanger while the indoor unit is the evaporative heat exchanger. A split system is commonly installed in the centre of the room which you want to keep cool. If you’re cooling multiple rooms, you don’t have to install multiple units, you can install a multi-head split system air conditioner or ducted air con.

There are several sizes available in the market ranging from 2.6 kW to 10 kW.

Running Costs Estimates for an Apartment

When it comes to cost estimates for your apartment: ducted systems vs split systems (single split system unit, multi-split systems), it all comes down to size and frequency of use. A review done by choice.com.au revealed that on average, yearly costs of running a small ducted or split system of up to 4 kW costs approximately $242 to $492.

Running Cost Estimates for a House

When it comes to choosing between a ducted air conditioning vs split system, most homeowners prefer ducted air conditioners because of their key features. Unlike a split system that cools one or two rooms, ducted air conditioning can cool the entire house and can save money in the long run.

Several factors determine cost estimates like the type of air conditioning, location, and more but a review by choice.com.au found that on average households spend $402 to $586 per year for medium and large air cons above 4 kW.

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