Last updated on August 25, 2023

Ducted and split systems are the most popular types of air conditioners, and choosing between them is the dilemma facing every home or business owner.

Finding a perfect air conditioning system that matches your home, lifestyle, and budget is a little more complex than you think. Both the systems have plenty of differences and the consequences of making a careless or ill-informed decision can be costly.

To help you understand better, let’s find out the key differences between split system air conditioning and ducted air conditioning.

Split System Air Conditioning 

A split system air conditioner (as its name suggests) splits into two units. Out of these units, one is located outside the house for heat exchange and the remaining unit is located inside the house to blow cool air into the room.


The external unit adjusts the temperature of the air that it draws from outside and the internal unit disperses and maintains the required airflow and temperature into the house.

A split ac is ideal for a small confined space, and you need individual units for a separate room.

Ducted Air Conditioning

A ducted air conditioning system unit is concealed usually in the roof space of the property. It is a central fan coil unit connected to various rooms of the house with a series of ducts.


A thermostat provides control over the ducted air system and you can control the temperature, airflow and other settings in various parts of the house.

If you’re doing some major renovations or constructing a new home, then ducted air conditioning is a viable choice.

Key Differences Between Split System And Ducted Air Conditioning


Split systems are usually cheaper to install. The general installation process of every split AC unit is almost the same. Depending on the unit capacity, the price starts from $2,000.

Ducted air conditioning has a larger upfront cost and requires more complex and specialist installation. Depending on the capacity of the unit and the area of the house, its price starts from $7,000 for a complete set up in a single-story house.

Whether you choose ducted or split air-conditioner installation in Cessnock, you need expert help to get the job done right.

Ongoing Cost

The running cost of a split system unit is cheaper as compared to a ducted system as it runs on an individual basis. However, in a ducted system, zoning can help you to turn the cooling on and off for a particular room which ultimately results in an efficient running.


When it comes to covering a small single room, split systems are highly effective and cost-efficient. But to cover a large room, you need a larger unit for effective cooling such as ducted air conditioning.

You can maintain even temperature and airflow throughout the house.


Both the split systems and ducted air conditioning are remarkably quiet nowadays as the noisy part of the unit is located outside the house.

If you notice any unusual noises, it is an indication of an issue that needs maintenance. It is time to call professional HVAC contractors in Cessnock to thoroughly check the system.


Split systems are very bulky and visible units while the ducted air conditioning unit is fairly discrete. The outlet of the vents is relatively small, flat, and situated in the ceiling.

But both the units have compressors (an outdoor unit) located outside the house, that is connected with copper piping.


Always consider the size of your home while choosing between the split or ducted AC unit. You need a large roof space to install a ducted system while the split system needs less space.


After discussing the key differences between these two air conditioning systems and you could now understand which system will be the best for your needs and requirements.

Posted onFebruary 17, 2020

Post Written by

Brendan Ward is a senior HVAC+R contractor, renowned in his industry as the go-to person for advice, design and planning of commercial air conditioning installations. Brendan has been a qualified professional in both the residential and industrial refrigeration and air conditioning sector for almost 25 years, and has owned Coalfield's Climate Control, a leading air conditioning company in the Hunter Valley for over a decade.

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