Ducted vs. Split System Air Conditioning

When homeowners are installing air conditioning systems in their home, they have two systems to choose from – ducted and split system air conditioning. These systems have their pros and cons. Just like most other systems, the most suitable system for you depends on several factors, and there is no one-size-fits-all.

Here are a few differences you may wish to ponder before installing your air-conditioning system.


A split system, alternatively known as a split cycle air conditioning system, has two units – the external condenser unit and the internal unit. The condenser unit may not be a pleasant sight for some homeowners, especially when there are multiple units around the house.

Meanwhile, a ducted system operates with a fan coil unit installed in the roof space and so is much more discreet. These ducts will direct the cold air into any designated areas in the building through vents. There is no need to worry about an obtrusive unit outside an otherwise beautiful house!

Area Coverage

Usually, split system air conditioning systems are efficient enough to cool down a room or a small area of the house. These systems have a lower power output, making it difficult for them to cool large areas or entire homes. These systems are more suitable if you only want to cool down a small area instead of whole premises.

Ducted systems are engineered to direct cooling air in bigger buildings. You may require only one ducted system in your home or office building, controlling it via a thermostat to provide central cooling around the premise. If you have a bigger building that needs cold air all around, this system could be more suitable for you.

Time for Installation

Split systems require only an hour or two to install since you only need to mount the condenser and internal units on the walls and connect the wirings. Even if you were to install several units in a home, the time taken for the installation process would not be too long.

Ducted systems, on the other hand, may require several days to install throughout the building, since vents and ducts need to be planned appropriately before they are installed in the roofing space and anywhere else that cooling is required.


The appliance and manpower cost to install split system air conditioning is considerably lower than that of ducted systems. However, the same cannot be said if you have to install multiple units in the same house.

Ducted systems meanwhile may be costly to install but are a lot more efficient in cooling down a building. These systems are cost-efficient when installed in large buildings, but may be less affordable to operate if installed in a small premise.


You only need a remote control to increase or decrease the temperature in the designated area. You can control each split system air conditioning unit separately and can quickly switch them on or off as needed.

Meanwhile, ducted systems usually are centralized, with a thermostat fixed onto the wall area, making it a little less convenient to access or control. There are additional charges if you want to create zoned ducted systems, which enables you to control the air-conditioning flow in different sections of the house like a split system.

Richa Sharma is a freelance author and writes for a variety of online publications. She actively writes blogs and articles and very fond of writing content on different trendy topicss related to Education, training,resources,health and technology.