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The Benefits of Ducted vs. Split System Air Conditioning in Adelaide

Choosing the right air conditioning system for your home is crucial, especially in a place like Adelaide where summers can be extremely hot and winters relatively cold. At Airworks Heating and Cooling, we often get asked whether ducted or split system air conditioners are the better choice. Both systems have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here, we provide a comprehensive comparison to help you make an informed decision that best suits your needs.


Ducted vs split system air conditioning

Ducted Air Conditioning Systems

Ducted air conditioning systems use a central unit that distributes air through a network of ducts to various rooms in your home. These systems are typically installed in the ceiling or under the floor and provide whole-house cooling.


Pros of Ducted Systems

1. Whole-House Cooling: Ducted systems are designed to cool the entire house uniformly, making them ideal for larger homes.

2. Discreet Appearance: With the central unit hidden and only vents visible, ducted systems provide a seamless and unobtrusive cooling solution.

3. Zoning Capabilities: Modern ducted systems offer zoning options, allowing you to control the temperature of different areas independently. This can lead to significant energy savings.

4. Quiet Operation: The central unit is usually installed away from living areas, which means ducted systems tend to be quieter compared to split systems.


Cons of Ducted Systems

1. Higher Installation Cost: Ducted systems are more expensive to install due to the complexity of the ductwork and central unit.

2. Installation Time: Installing a ducted system can be more time-consuming, often requiring significant modifications to your home.

3. Energy Use: While zoning can reduce energy consumption, running a ducted system for the entire house can still be less energy-efficient compared to cooling individual rooms.


Split System Air Conditioning

Split system air conditioners consist of an indoor unit and an outdoor unit connected by refrigerant piping. These systems are designed to cool individual rooms or specific areas.


Pros of Split Systems

1. Lower Installation Cost: Split systems are generally cheaper to install than ducted systems, making them an attractive option for smaller budgets.

2. Flexibility: You can install split systems in specific rooms as needed, providing targeted cooling where it’s needed most.

3. Energy Efficiency: Because you’re only cooling specific areas, split systems can be more energy-efficient, leading to lower electricity bills.

4. Quick Installation: Installation of split systems is typically quicker and less invasive compared to ducted systems.


Cons of Split Systems


1. Limited Coverage: Split systems are designed for single rooms or small areas, so you might need multiple units to cool an entire house.

2. Aesthetic Impact: The indoor unit of a split system is visible in the room, which some homeowners may find less appealing.

3. Noise: While generally quiet, the indoor unit of a split system can still produce some noise, especially when operating at higher capacities.


Making the Right Choice for Your Home

When deciding between ducted and split system air conditioning, consider the following factors:

- Home Size and Layout For larger homes or homes with multiple rooms, a ducted system might be more effective. For smaller homes or specific cooling needs, split systems can be a better choice.

- Budget: Split systems are more cost-effective upfront and can be installed gradually. Ducted systems require a larger initial investment but provide comprehensive cooling.

- Energy Efficiency: Split systems can be more energy-efficient for targeted cooling, while ducted systems with zoning can also be optimised for energy savings.

- Aesthetic Preferences: If you prefer a discreet cooling solution, a ducted system is less obtrusive. Split systems, while more visible, offer installation flexibility.



Both ducted and split system air conditioners have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. The best choice depends on your specific needs, home layout, budget, and preferences. At Airworks Heating and Cooling, we’re here to help you navigate these options and find the perfect air conditioning solution for your Adelaide home. Contact us today for expert advice and professional installation services to ensure your home stays cool and comfortable all year round.

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