Comparing Split System & Ducted Air Conditioning Types

Comparing Split System & Ducted Air Conditioning Types

There is one thing that divides Australian households more than the choice of ice cream through the blaring hot Australian summer, and that is split or ducted air conditioning.

Australia is a place of harsh extremes, humidity, 40+ degrees hot sunny today, chilling and bitter cold the next. It is no wonder that how Australians keep themselves comfortable is a hot topic. Having said the above, I must concur that this is one of the best if not the best country on earth to live and we Australians couldn’t be more grateful for this beautiful land. Ok, back to the topic, as I digress, no matter what camp you may be in, in this article we will be setting about explaining all the split system and ducted air conditioning types, their features, advantages and benefits, to hopefully provide you and your family with a roadmap to success, of a summer in complete comfort.

Comparing Split System & Ducted Air Conditioning Types

So, what is all the fuss about?

When it comes to your choice of air conditioning, depending on what system you have or grew up with you may be more partial one way or another. But when you get your own home, there are pros and cons of both split system & ducted air conditioning systems for your home, it all comes down to your personal choice, your budget and of course your home. Making the right choice for your home will serve you well on the long run and that predominantly depends on what pre-existing information you have to draw from in your decision-making tree. Or perhaps what air conditioning contractor you spoke with to get good advice. Visit Rite Price Heating and cooling for the best advice on what air conditioning would suit you best. They provide great advice for Adelaide home owners looking to install new air conditioning. They do this by coming down to your home to take accurate measurements and consult with you as to what you’re after before giving you the best advice they know will suit your condition.

Cost is a huge factor

When considering comparing the split system to the ducted air conditioning unit, there are significant cost differences. Split Systems can start from as little as $699 excluding installation, where the ducted systems are starting around $9000 and upwards.

When it comes to running costs, the split systems run smaller condensers, require less output and essentially can cool your room quickly, efficiently and then run at optimum energy efficiency from then on. On face value, this would make them by far the best choice, hands down.

But hang on; I have more than one room!

Ah, so you have realised one key issue, that you have more than one room in your home that you want to keep cool – or warm – through the Australian seasons. You could either click on this link for evaporative air conditioning systems:  which work best during the dry hot Australian summer, or visit Rite Price Heating and Cooling ducted air conditioning page for a system that will operate perfectly well over summer and witner. With the average family home growing larger and larger with extra bedrooms, media rooms and multiple living rooms becoming the norm, will your split system be enough to cool your home? Simple answer, no!

A fully ducted system is connected to every room in your home, piping temperature controlled air around your home as you desire, able to be in many cases zoned off to save money and cooling/heating rooms that you are not using. These fully ducted air conditioning units although slightly more expensive to install offer complete comfort to your entire home, from one condenser located outside your home.

So what is the best air conditioner for your home?

And for our next question, how long is a piece of string? There is no correct answer; it all depends on a range of factors that are vitally important to review before you set about installing anything into your home. As previously mentioned, budget is a considerable factor that needs to be considered, but with so many ‘interest free payment plans’ and credit lines available, cost is becoming a lesser concern in Australian when it comes to purchasing ‘big ticket items’, especially if they are going to be adding value to the price of your home.

Secondly, the space available not only inside your home but outside should be a consideration. You need to be able to place internal units – in the case of split system units – and multiple external condenser units place around your external walls of your home – taking up space and visual aesthetics around your home. So let’s look at each system and see if we can determine what works for you.

Split system air conditioners

The world’s most popular air conditioning solution, this cheap to install, cheap to purchase and efficient system offers reverse cycle options that allow your home to be heated in the cooler months and kept cool in the cooler months. If you are living in a property – such as a unit or an apartment – where you may not have a great deal of access to the roof or the external walls, then this property may be the only option for you.

Starting from around $699, these units also offer extremely versatile ‘multi-head’ systems that allow head units to be placed strategically around your home, providing fresh air where ever the head units are placed. Also, these units can be controlled independently, so running different temperatures, as the occupants require – the ultimate in customisation.

The drawbacks of these systems as we have already mentioned are that they are usually confined to one area within the home or at best a handful of rooms. When you start looking at multi-head units – which start from around $4500 – and multiple head units placed around your home, you are starting to reduce to cost savings you initially thought you made.

The systems require a head unit to be strategically placed within the room – often looking like a refrigerator place on a wall – which can not only look visually unappealing but can limit where you put your furniture or home decorating – as they can’t be covered or blocked. Also, the more of the split system air conditioning units you have around your home, the more external units you need to place on the exterior of your home – leading to it looking more like a junk yard than a functional space.

In summary, these units are so popular for a reason, they are energy efficient, effective, versatile and they offer places that can’t access their roof cavities an option for air conditioning to keep out of the Australian conditions.

Ducted air conditioning

Undoubtedly the ‘big daddy’ of the air conditioning world, these systems have large external condensers that push refreshed, cooled – or heated – air throughout the entire home. Upstairs, downstairs, simply wherever the air is required, these systems enable it.

These systems are connected through a series of aluminium tubes placed in the roof cavities of new or existing properties and distributed into the rooms of your home through ‘ducts’ as the name suggests. The technology in these systems allows for the rooms to be ‘zoned’ or cut off, allowing cost savings in both heating & cooling functions as the system only distributes air to the designated areas. These systems also are controlled by one central wall mounted control allowing complete ‘central heating and cooling’ all from one, single external condenser. Ensuring that the outside of your home is not cluttered.

Also, while the split systems have head units taking up space, the ducted air conditioners are barely seen – just enjoyed – as the ducts are placed on the roof, out of sight and out of mind.

However, these systems are not cheap; they are more expensive to run as the condensers are much larger (12.5w – 16kw) in compared to a split system (2.5w – 9kw) are much larger and in most systems, there is not the ability to have different temperatures in each room.

So where to from here?

Firstly, you need to understand what your budget is, what the maximum is and how much you can afford in terms of running costs per quarterly power bill. Do some research on brands, efficiency and ensure you get ‘impartial advice’ from people who are not getting a kick back from any of the manufacturers.

With this, you are now ready to start looking around for your air conditioning solution. Don’t have a closed mind on what air conditioning solution is best for you, get advice. While Googling online might seem like the quickest and easiest option it’s by far the one are where you will get so much information that you’ll probably get confused.

There is one key step that everyone must take when looking to either install an air conditioning unit of any type into a new or existing home. That is to see, licenced, experienced & expert advice from air conditioning specialists. Simply going to your local electronic store or retailer won’t provide you with a customised solution designed to provide you with the most cost-effective outcome for the short, medium and long term.

These retailers are aimed at selling as much as possible as quickly as possible, then moving on to another ‘mark’. In contrast, an air conditioning specialist will either look at your home plans (new build) or visit your home (existing structure) to review what solutions are best for you and your family. Through doing this, these dedicated air conditioning specialists will then be able to suggest options that will fit within your budget while running at the maximum efficiency.

Rite Price Heating and Cooling have been installing split system & ducted air conditioning units – as well as many other types and styles of air conditioners – in South Australia for decades. As the premier provider of turnkey air conditioning solutions, Rite Price has all the best brands, products and solutions to ensure that their dedicated customers get exactly what they are looking for.

If you’re struggling to compare your split systems from your ducted air conditioning systems bring in the experts from Rite Price Heating & Cooling and they can help provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

1 Comment Posted

  1. The part of your article that talked about how hidden ducted AC systems are was really interesting. I want to have a seamless living room that people can lounge around without feeling like the appliances take up a lot of space, so a system like this could really work for me. Once I find an HVAC contractor in the area, I’ll definitely work with them to get a ducted system for that room right away.

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