Ducted vs Split System – Which Is Best?

Choosing the best air conditioning solution for your living environment is essential as it’s something that won’t be replaced for several years and needs to fulfill its function optimally while in use. There are two main types of air conditioning systems you can choose from – ducted or multi-split system air conditioning. To know which is best suited to your needs and budget, you’ll need to understand the core differences between them and how they function.

Ducted Air Conditioning

With this type of setup, the entire system is concealed, typically in the ceiling. Air ducts run throughout the house, allowing airflow to be directed to every room, simultaneously. The only indication that there’s an air conditioning system present is the air ducts in the walls. This makes it more aesthetically pleasing, and it will take up less functional room space than a split system air conditioning system will.

The Advantages:

1. Your entire house is kept at a constant temperature, which is ideal for comfort and maintaining a healthy balance within your living space.

2. Ducted air conditioning systems are sophisticated and luxurious, which means it will raise the sales value and marketability of your home.

3. A modern setup gives you the option to control your system via WiFi with your smartphone, from anywhere.

The Disadvantages:

1. Installing a ducted system is expensive and means a rather hefty once-off cost, as opposed to gradually installing split system air conditioners room by room, when you have money available.

2. This option is only available if your home or living space has adequate space to install the air ducts. This means that in cases of most apartment blocks, for example, you won’t have a ceiling or roof space to install it in.

3. This system will cool every room in your home, which some may argue is excessive and unnecessary. If you have a four-bedroom house and only really make use of one or two rooms at a time, you’re looking at a lot of wasted energy cooling or heating rooms you aren’t using.

Split System Air Conditioning

These units exist as two parts: one installed on the outside of the building, with the fan unit installed on an inside wall. These units typically only affect the temperature of one room, while sometimes more than one unit is needed for a larger living space.

The Advantages:

1. It’s a more affordable solution. If your budget doesn’t allow for more than one or two units, you can select the rooms that are most in need of air conditioning and steadily progress to the rest of the house later.

2. It’s ideal for smaller living spaces and apartments, where no other solution is possible.

3. It has lower installation and operational costs than a ducted system and can be set up much quicker.

The Disadvantages:

1. It can only impact a specific area, the size of which depends on the power of the unit you select. A larger space will need a unit with higher BTU, to completely heat or cool the room.

2. External condenser units tend to be large and unsightly unless your installation technician can locate an area to place it where it will be less obtrusive. Should you choose to install more split systems for the rest of your rooms, you’ll eventually end up with several condenser units installed around the outside walls of your house, making it visually unappealing.

3. Split system units are noisier than ducted solutions, which means you’ll have to decide if you – and your neighbours – will find the continuous humming acceptable.


Not sure which is best for you? Contact Asset Aircon today for advice. We provide a professional air conditioning repair and maintenance service on the Gold Coast. We service and repair air conditioners from Coolangatta to Currumbin, to Clear Island Waters, to Chevron Island, to Coomera.