While air heating and air cooling have become a regular part of our lives, it is challenging to choose which system to settle for.
The most common options range from the central ducted system, split system, window air conditioners, and evaporative coolers. With advancements in technology, the two types that stand out today are split and ducted air systems. These are the most efficient and will help you save money in the long run.
Now the choice between them can be challenging, as both have a set of pros and cons. To help you out, we have written this comprehensive and detailed guide that will discuss how both the systems function. This is followed by a list of pros and cons and then the determinant factors that will help you decide.
So, grab a cup of coffee and dive in!
Ducted Air Conditioning vs. Split System Air
How Do Split Systems Function?
This is the most popular kind of air conditioner that people use, and you will find this in most houses. It consists of two units and one is placed inside. It is called the evaporative heat exchanger and it pulls hot air out of the room and blows in cold air into the room.
The outside unit is called the condensing heat exchanger, which blows out warm air from a room. The most significant benefit of this is that it can easily be installed without causing much disruption. All you need to do is drill a hole in the wall, and that should work. You can do it yourself, or you can ask a professional to help out.
Now while this is good for one room or a small space, there are certain limitations attached. One cannot cool a large area with this, and you will need to connect multiple split models to cool such an area. This is going to be expensive in the long run.
Advantages Of Using A Split System Air Conditioner
- Known to be more flexible
- Can be installed in single rooms
- Perfect for small houses and domestic use
- Cheap installation process
Disadvantages Of Using A Split System Air Conditioner
- External condenser units are unattractive and bulky
- Cannot cool large spaces
How Do Ducted Air Conditioners Function?
These air conditioners have a set of ducts that help keep the room cool. You will find an internal fan coil unit that will be attached to the roof of the house. Once that is done, there is a series of ducts that spread across different rooms from the central location.
Are you wondering if every room can then be heated or cooled individually? It is possible through zoning. There is a thermostat that can be attached to a specific room, and adjusting that would lead to changes in temperature accordingly.
Now the only problem is that to install ducted air conditioners, one has to work on the complete ceiling, and that is problematic if your house is already made. Also, it involves a lot of work around the house, and many people do not choose it because it is going to disrupt daily life to some extent. Not to forget, it will be a costly affair.
But if you are renovating or looking to build a new house, this could be installed easily. It is permanent and will not need to be changed anytime soon.
Advantages Of Using A Ducted Air Conditioner
- Hidden behind ceilings and walls
- Can cool entire houses and buildings
- Zonal preferences can be set up
- Temperature can be controlled for specific rooms
- Can help maintain even room temperature
- Quieter than split versions
Disadvantages Of Using A Ducted Air Conditioner
- More expensive than Split AC
- Takes up a lot of space
Ducted Air Conditioning vs. Split System Air, Which Is Better?
We have further discussed the determining factors that will help you decide the kind of air conditioning that you want. Read on to know more about them.
Based On The Budget
Both ducted and split versions have their sets of benefits and disadvantages, as we already saw. The choice depends on an individual’s preferences and needs. If you have a limited budget and you can work with having air cooling in one or two rooms, split air conditioners will be the right choice. It will save a lot of money, and you can beat the heat too.
On the other hand, if budget is not an issue and you want to cool your entire house, then ducted air conditioning is the way to go. It will maintain a cool and even temperature throughout the house and make sure that every room is cooled down. This might cost a lot but will work very well for larger spaces.
Area That Needs To Be Covered
If you have to cool down an entire office space or commercial building, ducted air conditioning will work well. Cabins could be zoned, and hence you can control the temperature of those spaces separately.
On the other hand, if the office or house is spread across 2 buildings or there are large gaps between office spaces, split air conditioning works better. They are also the perfect fit for domestic use that includes all residential spaces. If you are staying in an apartment, there is no point in spending a lot of money to get it centrally heated; 2-3 split ACs should do the task well.
Every air conditioning system needs periodic cleaning to ensure its long life. If that is not done, the cooling slows down, and the expenses go up. It could also turn into a health risk for anybody staying in the room or house.
Coming to split ACs, the filter needs to be inspected and cleaned regularly to ensure its smooth functioning. One can attempt to do it, but it is best to call a professional to check the whole machine once in a while.
Experts can detect serious problems that might otherwise lead to your system breaking down. The units and coils also need to be cleaned by a professional. Call them once or twice a year, and your machine should be working fine.
Now the ducted system needs to be inspected at least once every year. The filters have to be changed twice a year, and you should do regular checks to make sure every part is running smoothly. If you hear any kind of sound coming from the machine, report immediately so that it can be fixed before the problem worsens.
Coming to the installation process, it is easier to install a split ac because you will only need to drill a few holes. There are pipes that are connected to the internal units, and the air flows through this. It is pretty inexpensive to attach, and you will not need to tamper with the walls too much.
In the case of ducted air cooling, you will need professionals to attach the outlets. There are ducts that need to be attached throughout the house and installed in every room. But yes, if the building is big, it is best to attach ducts, as otherwise you will have to install a number of split ACs, which will cost more.
Coming to aesthetics, ducted systems are almost invisible, and you will not be able to see any pipes or large structures anywhere. There are just small ducts through which air comes out. Another way to notice this is if there is a controller hanging from the side.
In the case of split systems, they are pretty visible as you will be able to see a large structure inside the room as well as on your outer wall. The one inside looks decent and can be color-coordinated with the rest of your house. The outside unit, on the other hand, may not appeal to you and hence should be placed on the side or back wall of a house.
Today, cooling a house or a room is no more a luxury, but it still costs more than just having a fan or two. Hence, you should keep your budgets and needs in mind before finalizing on either a ducted air conditioning or a split system.
According to us, if you have a need for ACs at home, split ACs should suffice. But if you need one for an office or commercial building, ducted air conditioning is the right choice.
With this, we have come to the end of our article. You can share your queries and experience in the comment section below.
Until next time!