Split System Air Conditioning vs Ducted Air Conditioning


One of the most useful and probably underrated technological innovations are air-conditioning systems. Most homes, offices, and public spaces usually have one form of air conditioning or the other. However not many people appreciate them until the sun is shining and the weather it is hitting the mid to high 30s.

Over the years, there have been different kinds of cooling systems used for different purposes. It is, therefore, important to understand your individual needs and preferences to make sure you choose the right system for you. So, let’s take a closer look at two major air conditioner types – split system and ducted air.

Split System Air Conditioning

Just as the name suggests, the split system air conditioner has two different parts, which are the condenser and the head unit. With this system, the head unit is installed indoors and is usually affixed to a wall or, it is a standing unit. The condenser is then located outside on the other side of the wall. Essentially “splitting” the system in two.

Why You Want a Split System

Split system air conditioning is great for a lot of people because it’s a lot more affordable than the ducted air option. Apart from their affordability, they are also perfect for single rooms or apartments providing both heating and cooling options. For smaller areas they are not very large and are also very easy and cheap to install. Trying to install duct air conditioners in some buildings can be next to impossible, but it is usually easy to install a split system in most living spaces.


A split system can limit the aesthetic appeal of any building as both the outdoor and indoor units are visible. Also, each split unit can only really cool the specific room it’s installed in and will have a very limited effect on other areas.

Ducted Air Conditioning

A ducted air conditioning system uses air ducts to cool the entire building where it is installed. It’s an effective method of cooling because, usually, the system is installed and hidden away in the ceilings and it cools each room from above. You can use the ducted air system with as many vents as you have – only the vents are visible.

Why You Want a Ducted Air System

This type of air conditioning is a lot more effective than the split system as it can be installed to cool an entire building. It is also centrally controlled, which helps you keep an optimum and uniform temperature around all the rooms where the vents are used.

Also, as it is centrally controlled, you could install a ducted system in such a way that you have the option to turn the system on or off from different rooms, whenever you would like. Furthermore, some of them can be installed to be heating systems during the winter.


A ducted system is very expensive when you consider the cost of purchase and installation. It could also be difficult to install because there needs to be enough space for the ducting. This already means that it may not even be an option at all for some buildings. Also, with a ducted system most controllers are usually installed into a wall allowing a lot less flexibility with controller choice.

The Best Option

Choosing the right one really depends on the building and what rooms you are looking to heat/cool. Keep all this information in mind when examining the advantages and disadvantages of each to make sure you pick the right system to fit your home, your preferences and your budget.