Ducted Air Conditioning vs Split System: What is right for me?

As a homeowner, you might be wondering what’s better between ducted air conditioning vs split system. This is one of the most significant decisions you will make for your budget and energy consumption. Choosing the type of air conditioner that will fit your needs could help you save money and energy. In this article, we will help you come up with the best decision between split systems vs ducted air conditioning.

If you call most of mainland Australia home, there’s an excellent chance that you’ll experience 2020 summer and early autumn temperatures that are toastier than the median. The far west coast is expected to receive more rain, and the nation’s southeast may experience slightly cooler nights in December. Still, it’s anticipated that everything else will go up, figures-wise. Bureau of Meteorology.

Which is better ducted or split system?

There is no definitive answer because it really depends on your unique needs for your home. Nevertheless, let us compare the two, so you can decide.

Split system compared to ducted aircons

Let’s first start with the split system air conditioner. The split system has two units. One is located on the outside part of the wall while the other one is fixed inside your house. The split system’s indoor and outdoor unit are both connected by pipes. Refrigerant gases pass through from the external unit to the indoor fixture. If you want to cool more than a single room, you can opt to have multiple split units installed.

Ducted Air conditioner compared to split systems

As for a ducted air conditioning system, it differs from the split system as its central unit is hidden out of sight up in the roof. A ducted air-conditioner is a centralized system composed of air ducts and sensors for each room connected to the main central unit.

Ducted Air Conditioning Vs. Split System Cost

When split system vs ducted is compared side by side, the ducted system costs more upfront. Installation alone could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000. However, ducted aircon can be more cost-effective to run. New ducted air conditioning systems usually divide the house up into zones and this is cheaper to run than the old standard ducted systems. That’s because a zone ducted aircon allows you to choose which rooms to cool, rather than cooling the entire house with an old standard ducted air conditioner.

Also see our in-depth guide on Ducted Air Conditioning Cost

The split system units, however, are more affordable and easier to install as compared to a ducted system. It’s the best option for homeowners on a budget. You can choose a large variety of small or large split system aircons that can fit your room size as well as your budget. A split system air conditioner is ideal if you have a small house or if you only need to cool one or two rooms. And as for the repair costs, the split system is likewise the cheaper choice. Repair service or parts replacement will only cost you a fraction as compared to ducted air conditioner.

Ducted VS Split Performance

For houses with multiple rooms and floor levels, ducted air conditioners are the most stable. That’s because a ducted system’s central unit is designed to avoid excessive wear and tear. The machine isn’t pushed to the limits even during peak hours. You reduce the risk of equipment breakdown, thus ensuring a steady performance. Likewise, ducted air conditioners can provide a more balanced airflow and insulation as compared to a split system. They are also quieter than other aircon types.

The split system, however, can provide you better spot cooling. If you have a small property, a split system air conditioner can be more practical. It cools fasts and is easier to control than ducted aircon. A split system works wonderfully on the room it is located. The only drawback is that this cooling capacity is only limited to the rooms where the units are located.

Ducted Air Conditioning vs Split System Running Costs

As power prices soar, more and more homeowners were now cutting their air conditioning usage. So how much does ducted aircon vs. split system cost to run?

Split systems are way cheaper to run as compared to ducted air conditioner. The only limitation to a split system’s performance is its small area coverage as compared to the ducted system that can cover multiple rooms. Split systems are also easier to install and more affordable to maintain.

Ducted air conditioning systems however, usually cost at least three to four times the running cost of a split system. Ducted heating vs. split system running costs are also around this same range. But this cost estimate could be more if you have an older ducted system. But with the increase in running costs comes better cooling coverage even for large areas. Ducted aircon is expensive to install and to replace. Maintenance of a ducted air conditioner requires specialist attention and higher servicing costs. Homeowners see the installation of a ducted system more as an investment to add to the property’s value.

Ducted vs Split System Suitability

Some homes don’t have enough roof space to install a central unit for a ducted air conditioner. On the other hand, a split system will also require you to have enough space on the ground level space to install. Some split system’s outdoor units are a bit noisy. You will have to consider if the installation of a split system won’t affect your neighbor’s space. Likewise, you must find a suitable location for your split system to maximize cooling performance without affecting your room’s aesthetics.

Ducted VS Split Stem: Which is the best?

Choosing between ducted versus split aircon is a trade-off between their costs and benefits. If you want better cooling and heating control all-around your house and aren’t concerned about the high energy costs, then a ducted aircon system is the way to go. However, if you’re on a fixed budget and can manage to cool down only one or two rooms in your house, then better stick with a split system.

Both aircon systems can do the job, albeit in different ways. Your choice will depend on the type of property you live in as well as the extent to which you want to take control of your rooms’ temperature. Are you willing to spend much upfront to get the aesthetic and ease of use that you want? Or do you have a small house and want something simple? It all depends on your preferences.

For ducted aircon as well as split system installation, repair and maintenance, please contact