In modern Queensland and Australia, it’s not a stretch to declare that absolutely everyone should be within reach of an air conditioner ‘on’ button. That’s because it doesn’t just cool us down on a hot day (or vice versa), but because leaving your body at an uncomfortable temperature is bad for your physical and even mental health. But if you’re in the market for a new system, the most fundamental choice you’re going to face is between the two most popular air conditioner types: ducted vs split system.
Split system VS ducted air conditioning
Before we do anything else, we’ll need to define those terms:
- Ducted air conditioning, which can be either reverse cycle or evaporative, typically consists of a central outdoor unit that feeds a series and network of ducts delivering conditioned air to a home’s various rooms.
- Split system air conditioning also has an outdoor unit, but it’s normally situated on the ground rather than the roof. It is then connected to a single indoor unit – although multiple indoor units can be interconnected to create a ‘multi-split’ network serving multiple rooms. Normally, however, the single indoor unit is small, sleek, wall-mounted and ‘smart’.
Split system or ducted? 10 ways to choose
So, is choosing between a split system vs ducted more like choosing between a Mac or PC, or a pair of figure skating skates versus gumboots? Actually, there are plenty of factors to weigh into your decision – so let’s get started:
1. The installation
Because of the customary roof installation, not to mention those ceiling ducts connecting the outdoor unit with the various rooms, the installation of a fully ducted air conditioner is a lot more complex.
2. Upfront cost
Unit-plus-installation cost for ducted systems can quickly start to nudge $10,000, while a split system setup will save you at least half of that amount – and probably much more than that, to be honest.
3. Ongoing cost
Generally, it’s no surprise that running a full ducted system will cost more, although evaporative units are very cost-effective. Modern zoning systems also mean you have quite a lot of control over how your system delivers its air within your home, but it’s no stretch to surmise that running a single split system is definitely cheaper.
Cheaper, yes, but your single split system will only heat a moderately-sized area or a single room. To make your whole house cosy, a fully ducted system is recommended.
While noise used to be a relevant factor, modern technology keeps chipping away at this issue no matter which air conditioning type you choose. In fact, if your ducted or split system is bothering you in the noise department, it’s probably well overdue for a service either way.
Within a home, the only real sign of your ducted system is the modest vents in the ceilings – and the look usually implies that you’re in a fully decked-out modern home. By the same token, a modern split system is sleek and futuristic-looking, but it comes with a less attractive outdoor unit. Ducted systems, on the other hand, normally tuck the outdoor unit away on the roof.
For a multi-storey home, it’s going to be difficult running those ducts downstairs – so the solution may be ducted upstairs and split systems below. Ducted, meanwhile, requires sufficient roof space, while a split system needs a suitable place both on the wall and on the other side of it.
Basically, air conditioner manufacturers offer similar-length warranties on both split system and ducted technologies – although you can generally expect your ducted unit to last longer. As ever, how long your air conditioner system lasts also depends on routine and professional servicing, including regular cleaning of filters.
The upside of a split system is that it makes the air cleaner as it works. The downside, though, is that a poorly maintained unit is more likely to start spreading bacteria and other nasty air around your home – although it’s true that those ducts can get extremely dirty too.
An evaporative ducted system will only cool your home, but apart from that both split systems and ducted systems are fully reverse cycle – meaning they’ll heat as well as do the ‘reverse’.
Ducted or split system: Need to know more?
Need some extra help to choose between ducted air conditioning vs split system for your home, budget & circumstances? Not only can the experienced air conditioning specialists here at Air Conditioner Repair Service help guide your choice, but we can also:
- Get your new ac unit installed and up and running
- Repair your air conditioner when it goes wrong
- And do all of that minor and professional maintenance, servicing and aircon cleaning to keep it running for years upon years.
Ducted vs split? We have all the answers right here at Air Conditioner Repair Service, operating across Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay and beyond. Get in touch with our friendly air conditioning technicians today.