Today when choosing an air conditioner for your home there are 2 choices. Split systems or ducted air conditioning. Both have advantages and disadvantages so lets review what system to choose that is best suited for your situation.
Split System Air Conditioning
A split system is made up of 2 components. The fan coil which is the unit you see inside. And the condenser which is the outdoor unit. Both components are connected by 2 copper pipes which complete the refrigeration circuit and electrical cables. The fan coil is placed on an inside wall that is usually easily accessed to outside. The condenser unit can be placed up to 30m away from the fan coil. The condenser can be placed on the ground or on brackets.
Ducted Air Conditioning
Ducted systems are more complex than split air conditioning systems. These can only be installed in houses with roof spaces big enough to fit the fan coil or underfloor. As with split systems, ducted systems are made up of 2 main components, the fan coil and condenser. The fan coil is usually installed in the roof space suspended from the roof joists so there are no vibrations that go through the house.
Connected from the fan coil is ductwork that is insulated and connects each room that is to be air conditioned. There is also a return air intake that is usually placed in a hall way where the air is sucked up back into the system. The fan coil and condenser is connected just like the split system.
The condenser can be placed again 30 metres away from the fan coil. The condenser is usually too big to be placed on brackets and so is placed on the ground.
Benefits of a Split System Air Conditioner
- The initial cost and installation cost is much lower
- It’s cheaper to run to cool/heat a room
- You can always add other units later to other rooms if you your budget is tight
- You don’t need a roof space and can be installed in more situations. This is why they are popular in units
Benefits of a Ducted Air Conditioning System
- It air conditions the whole house rather than just one room
- It can be cheaper to run than 2 or more split systems
- It is less obtrusive than a split system and there are more choices in decor fixtures
- Can be zoned into different areas of the house
So in conclusion a split system is the better system if you are financially stretched and only need to focus on one room of your house.
But a ducted system is the better choice if you want to heat/cool your house and money is less of an issue.