If you are planning to invest in an air conditioning system for your home, you really should take the time to understand your options.
When many people think of home air conditioners, they think of a window-mounted aircon, however, these are similar in performance to portable AC units. Which are ok, but not great.
When it comes to high efficiency and best performance air conditioners for your home, there are really two main types you can choose from.
You can either opt for a wall-mounted split system or a ducted air conditioning unit.
Read on below to learn the differences between these two systems so you can make the best choice for air conditioning installation in your home.
Difference Between Split Systems & Ducted Aircon
Wall-mounted split systems are popular for those that want to cool off specific areas in a home. It could be that you would like to cool a bedroom, living room or study.
In such cases, a split system can be an excellent option. You simply choose the room where you want the indoor unit to be mounted on the wall and have it connected through pipes to an outdoor unit, hence the name split system.
One of the main limitations of a split system is how much area the system can cool.
If you want to climate control multiple rooms, then you may need either multiple split systems or you could choose a multi-split system. These have one outdoor unit with several indoor units.
On the other hand, ducted air conditioning units are hidden out of sight indoors with vents in the ceiling, walls, or floor to let out the cool air.
The main indoor heat exchanger which disperses warm or cool air to the required spaces is normally hidden in the ceiling or in the basement.
Ducted systems also have an outdoor unit consisting of a compressor and condenser which is connected to the indoor unit through the walls.
But the advantages of ducted, apart from the fact there is no large system stuck to any walls, is the fact the ducts can allow the warm or cool air to be pushed to multiple rooms around your house.
Thus, when you install a ducted system you gain climate control in multiple rooms with one aircon.
Price Influencing Factors
When it comes to pricing factors there are a few things to be mindful of.
First, there are the upfront costs which are related to the cost of the machine, all materials, and the labor costs needed for the installation. These are the most obvious as they are upfront costs.
Then there are the ongoing running costs when you use your aircon. These costs will be experienced in your power bills for as long as you own, and use the unit.
You also need to consider the efficiency of the system as a more efficient system will cost less to run than an inefficient system. However the higher the efficiency, the higher the initial purchase price.
Another consideration is the brand reputation.
A low-quality, the unknown brand may claim to have great performance and efficiency however if it is built poorly you will experience many more breakdowns in its lifetime.
Also, it may not last as long as a higher quality brand which is more reliable in the long run.
As such, all of these factors need to be considered when deciding what aircon is right for you.
Split Systems Vs Ducted
Split systems are great for applications when your budget is limited.
They typically cost less to purchase the unit and require less time and effort in labor to install, so will cost less upfront.
Also, the running cost of a single split system will typically cost less than the running cost of a ducted system.
However as mentioned before, single split systems are only good for climate controlling one room or possibly a small area of your home. So if this is all you want to do, then a split system will be best for you.
On the other hand, ducted systems offer complete climate control for your entire home. So they are the more luxurious option between these two aircon types.
Of course, typically ducted systems will require a higher investment both in upfront and running costs.
But it is important to note that as the complexity of a split system increases, ducted systems can actually be cheaper in both upfront and running costs.
When you start adding multiple indoor wall-mounted units as in the case of a multi split system, or by adding additional split systems to cover different areas of your home, the purchase price and running costs can quickly overtake that of a ducted system.
So even though a ducted system requires a lot of labor to run ducts throughout all parts of your home, when it comes to cooling or heating an entire home, ducted systems can actually be cheaper in the long run.
No matter which type of AC system you decide on, there are electrical and wall requirements that are a must consider before you purchase.
Unlike portable aircon, split systems and ducted aircon provide a permanent climate control solution thus it must be carefully considered. This is one reason you should work with a professional.
The HVAC consultant will check the wall to ensure there is no electrical or plumbing component where you want the unit to sit.
If they drill holes in your walls without checking, they could break these lines causing severe damage to your property.
When it comes to the appropriate voltage, they will ensure the wiring meets the requirements. Your home and that of the system must match otherwise special wiring will be necessary.
This is where it is essential you have a fully qualified installer who can complete all electrical work as needed.
Now is the time to research and compare different air-con models that meet your requirements.
Get to understand whether a split, multi-split, or ducted AC works best for you. Decide whether you are comfortable with the drilling that will happen on the wall and where you want it to be.
Talk with an experienced professional who can discuss the best locations for either type of system and overall costs including labor for full installation.
Remember the upfront costs are not the only costs in this investment. Consider spending more upfront to save on your running costs in the future.
Through proper planning and careful consideration, you will make a better decision.