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Central Air Conditioning vs Split Air Conditioning

To combat the high temperatures of summer there is no better solution than having an air conditioning system at home. Especially during those hot and muggy summer days where your life keeps going but you feel exhausted by the heat.

Remember that when you choose an air conditioning system, it is very common to consider two main options; the split aircon system or the ducted air conditioning system. Also, you may be wondering what the best solution for your home is and which of these two systems is the best value at the end of the day.

If you are starting your research to make an informed decision, in this article we will go through the main advantages of each one, as well as their differences, so that you can choose the best home air conditioner type for you.

Central Ducted Air Conditioner

Typically, central air conditioners have two units; an evaporator and a condenser.

The first unit is outdoors, called a condenser, and contains the compressor, Tx valve, and other critical refrigeration components. The second unit is indoors, called and evaporator, and blows warm or cool air through the ducts in your home.

Central Air Conditioner Pros

The main advantage that central air conditioning systems have is their ability to cool down the entire house using one unit. If you have a ducted reverse cycle air conditioning system, the benefit is double. A reverse cycle central aircon will not only be able to cool down your house but also heat it up when the winter comes.

Another advantage is the quality of the air that is being pumped out through the ducts. As the majority of central air conditioning units have filters that can remove harmful pollutants and micro allergens from the air, your indoor air will be cleaner.

Furthermore, this type of air conditioning system produces less noise than mini splits systems. Most central units do not produce any audible noise in the home. Also, it is perfect if you are looking for air-conditioning spaces in your home at the same time.

When it comes to the aesthetic side of things, ducted central air is a great option. Since you will not have to have a device in each room, you will only have a grid in each space. This can be located in the ceiling, wall, or floor.

When talking about the investment aspect, the initial cost may not be as high as you think if the house already has ductwork installed. Ongoing costs in terms of maintenance may also be lower as it can be relatively straight forward.

Central Air Conditioning Cons

When you want to air-condition a single room, it will not generally be possible. In general, this type of system is designed to emit cold air or hot air throughout your entire home.

Another huge con can be in the case that you do not have duct pre-installed in the house. In this instance, the installation or initial costs can be high. In that case, a specialist should carry out the installation work as the indoor unit and ductwork has to be carefully and strategically laid out behind the ceiling.

Another con could be the fact that central air conditioning unit ducts can often leak. This leak can negatively affect energy efficiency. Another downside is that central air conditioning cools down the entire house, usually with one constantly open living area, even if you are not using the relevant living space.

Technician installing wire for Ducted Air Conditioning

Split Air Conditioning

These air conditioning units only cool the individual spaces in your home. Mini-splits are equipped with an outer and inner component as well. However, mini-split air conditioning units are best used for multi-family homes or for homes that are not capable of having central air conditioning.

The installation of this type of equipment must always be carried out by a professional. You can opt for the Split, which for each indoor unit has one outdoor unit, or for the Multi Split, which has several indoor units but only one outdoor unit.

Pros of Split Air Conditioner

The main advantage of a split air conditioner system is that the installation is quite simple. Also, each indoor unit is individually controllable when it comes to a temperature. This which each zone can be treated individually.

Also, if there is a fault with a split unit, it only affects that room or zone. This is better than having the entire house without heating or cooling as a result of one unit breakdown.

Cons of Split Air Conditioner

The biggest disadvantage of mini split air conditioning units is the investment. Electricity consumption can be higher than with a ducted air conditioning system due to having an internal unit for each room of the house. Keep in mind that these units are characterized by producing 30% more cooling capacity than comparable central AC units. This may double your monthly energy cost.

Also, the initial investment will be higher, since you will have to install an indoor unit in each room that will be heated or cooled independently.

When it comes to the aesthetics of your home, it may not be the best option. This is because it has a unit for each room. Furthermore, the noise level may increase as the fan of each unit is located directly in each room where the indoor unit is installed.

Young woman switching on split air conditioner

Which of the two options should you choose?

The option that best suits your home will depend on many factors. For example, your budget, your needs, the type of installation available, and the architecture of your house, just to name a few.

For these reasons, and before deciding on a split air conditioner or central air conditioning system, it is preferable to be guided by a professional or technician specialized in air conditioning systems.

A thorough and current evaluation of your needs is one of the most important parts of the decision-making process. Furthermore, a specialized technician can measure your home and verify which aircon system will suit you best.


A ducted air conditioner should be installed when:

– You have pre-installation of ductwork done.

– You want to air-condition all or almost all the rooms of your house equally.

–  If aesthetics is an important factor for you.

– Your house is large and spacious.

– You do not have enough space outside to install more than one external unit.

It is ideal to install a split air conditioner when:

– You have not done the pre-installation of ducts or the roof space is not high sufficient to allow for ductwork installation.

– The air conditioning needs in each room are different.

– You have a small and compact house.

– You do not mind that the indoor units are visible.

We hope you find this information useful at the time of buying a new air conditioning system. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.