Which type of air conditioning is more efficient?

  • Wednesday, 13th February, 2019

If the harsh Australian heat has been too much for you this summer, maybe its time to invest in an air conditioner. But what type? Ducted and split systems are two of the most popular types of air conditioners. While both types of system essentially do the same thing, the ways they go about it are quite different. So, let’s explore the differences.

Split Systems

Splits are often great for cooling large open areas of your home. However, these can also come as ‘multi-split’ systems, which allows to have numerous indoor units connected to the single outdoor unit. This enables multiple rooms within your home to be cooled or heated, often allowing different temperatures in different rooms. While this can provide a greater choice and comfort, it also consumes far more energy than the single unit option.

Ducted Systems

Ducted air conditioning tends to be the most efficient option available within the residential market. This type of system involves an internal fan coil in the roof which connects to each zone of the house through ducts. Usually these ducts enable each room to be zoned to an individual temperature. Ducted systems will often be more expensive than split systems to install, it is much cheaper and more efficient to run in larger spaces that would otherwise require multiple split systems.

Positives and Negatives: Splits vs Ducted

Being aware of the key differences between these air conditioner types, now let’s consider the pros and cons, and which system could potentially be best for your home.

  Split System Ducted Air Conditioner
Positives –          Can be installed into selected rooms

–          Cheaper to install

–          Better for smaller houses and single rooms

–          Discreet, hidden in walls and ceilings

–          Services the entire house, each room can have different settings

–          Better at maintaining an even temperature

–          Quieter than split systems

Negatives –          External and internal units can be considered unsightly

–          Internal units can only push air so far, they will struggle with large rooms

–          More expensive to install

–          Some homes cannot accommodate ducts due to inadequate space


The two options are quite balanced regarding their positives and negatives. If you wish to easily cool your entire home and aren’t concerned with installation costs, then a ducted system is the better option for you. However, if you’re only looking to cool one or two rooms, then a split system will do the job.

In general, ducted systems are the most efficient, but that does not make them the right solution for all situations. Ultimately, it’s about selecting the right system based on your specific requirements. As such, this article cannot give you any clear conclusions or recommendations on which system to purchase.

Whatever your choice, Quality Air can prepare you for next summer with an efficient air conditioner suited to your needs.