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Split Type vs Window Type Aircon: Which One Should You Buy?


Given the unbearable heat of the summer season, air conditioners in most households are working twice as hard to keep the interior comfortably cool. Some people may even run their air conditioners at full blast all day just to keep themselves comfortable, never mind the electricity bills. If you’re considering buying a new air conditioner to finally have that comfortable space you wanted, you may be torn between purchasing a window unit and a split AC unit. Which is better and more affordable, you wonder?

It’s understandable why some people find it difficult to choose between a window AC and a split AC; The two appliances provide the same result, which is providing your room with cool air. However, the two are vastly different.

So, in choosing between split type vs window type aircon, which one should you buy? Read below for more details.

Difference Between Window Type vs. Split Type Aircon

A split type aircon and a window type AC work the same in terms of their cooling mechanism. The refrigerant gas is used by both air conditioners to remove all of the humidity and heat from the space. When the temperature in the room rises, the thermostat is triggered. The heated air is then drawn into the unit and passed through the cool refrigerant coil. Once the air flows through the coils and is transported outside the room, the air inside the room progressively cools.

However, given their shape and size, the two can be easily distinguished.

Split Type Vs Window Type

When you compare the prices of a window AC and a split AC, you’ll immediately notice a big difference between the two. A window AC is more affordable compared to a split inverter AC, while a split air conditioner costs more than a window air conditioner in every way, from upfront costs and installation to maintenance. The price of each appliance varies based on the brand, features such as dry mode, tonnage, energy ratings, etc., but the split type aircon definitely comes with a higher price tag.

Since a window air conditioner has only one indoor unit, as opposed to a split air conditioner, which has two, the former needs a huge hole in the window for installation. In the case of a split AC, the installation of the indoor and outdoor unit can provide you with some flexibility in where you can place it.

A split aircon has a more aesthetic appeal compared to window ACs. Split ACs are meant to fit in with the interior décor with a sleek and appealing design. In the case of a window air conditioner, they are unconventional in terms of appearance and can ruin your room’s aesthetic.

While a window AC has only one body, the compressor of a split-type aircon is located in the outdoor unit, which is then placed outside. As a result, the operation of a split air conditioner is almost silent, unlike window AC units. You probably won’t even notice the split AC cooling down your room.

Window-type units simply require a hole in the wall the size of the unit or a suitable window to mount it in. Meanwhile, split air conditioners are more difficult to install in your home.

Determining the Type of Air Conditioner You Need

Before buying an air conditioner, you should take a step back and determine your household needs. There are several types of air conditioners available on the market, each with its own set of functions and settings that can elevate your home’s air quality.

Window Type Air Conditioner

split type vs window type aircon

A window AC has all of its components on just one unit and is always placed in a window or on a hole made specifically for it. The indoor unit is placed on the inside and the other components are mounted high on the outside of the window or wall. A window-type air conditioner is common in most houses due to it being less difficult to install.

Split-Type Air Conditioners

split type vs window type aircon

Unlike window air conditioners, split ACs have two separate units, which is why it is referred to as a split AC unit. The two units are separated into two, one for the interior and one meant to be placed outside. An evaporator coil is housed in the interior unit while the outside unit is made up of heat exchangers such as a condenser and a compressor. Both units are linked through a duct or a pipe.

This separate build allows the split-type aircon to function with lower noise levels compared to window ACs, which only have a single unit. A split aircon also has a high tonnage, allowing it to cool more space faster.

Tips to Buy the Best AC for Your Home

Determine Your Needs

Determine your household needs first before making any final purchase decision. Do you want a high-performance AC unit that can provide cold air for more than one room? Or, do you only need one unit strong enough to cool small rooms? Are you able to afford both the upfront cost and the coming electricity bill once you’ve had it installed? 

Check What Your Home Can Accommodate

Check if the architecture of your house allows for a window-type AC or a split-type AC. To install a window AC, you need enough space where the compressor can release the hot air without being subjected to rain.  A split type AC’s outdoor units, on the other hand, will need floor space outside your home.

Ask the Crucial Questions

If you’ve already figured what you need in an AC and are now choosing what type to purchase, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which is more cost-effective and energy efficient between the two? A window type air conditioner is less expensive than a split type unit, with a price difference ranging from Php6,000 to Php 12,000 depending on the brand. If upfront costs are an issue, you’ll be better off with an affordable window AC.
  • Which is more visually appealing? If you have a modern interior design, the addition of a window AC might ruin the overall appeal of your room.
  • Which aircon type is easier to install? A split type air conditioner is harder to install than a window type despite being sleeker and more adaptable to any home design. However, if you don’t like the additional costs of hiring a professional technician to install a split type AC, you’re best bet is a window type unit
  • How big is the room you’ll be placing the AC in? Split type air conditioners are often meant for larger rooms, while window type air conditioners are good for small spaces. Purchasing a tiny unit might make cooling a space more challenging on a hot day. On the other hand, placing an overly large split type AC with a large cooling capacity on a small room might only add an unnecessary increase in your power bill.
  • Aside from the size of the area, there are other things to consider, such as cooling capacity, the amount of people who will be utilizing the room, the room insulation, the quantity and size of windows, and the unit’s additional features such as inverter technology
  • How easy is the aircon to clean?

Final Note: Split-Type vs Window-Type Aircon

Whether you’re looking for a unit with a sophisticated design or a high-performance AC that can possibly freeze a human being, it’s important to remember that determining which type of AC you need is a vital step. You wouldn’t want a small window AC to cool two rooms, and a large split type AC with advanced compressor technology surely wouldn’t fit smaller rooms. It’s a no-brainer. In the end, the decision is still yours to make.

Need more help? You can check out air conditioner reviews, guides, and related posts on our blog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does window AC consume more electricity than split AC?

A split-type air conditioner is believed to have better efficiency compared to a window-type AC despite having the same tonnage. However, what you should check for is the EER, or energy efficiency rating, of the air conditioner unit, which measures the amount of cooling that can be produced per watt of energy used.

If your primary factor in choosing an AC unit is energy efficiency, you’ll have to determine the energy efficiency ratio of the AC unit first, whether it’s a split AC or a window AC. The greater the EER, the more energy-efficient the air conditioning system is. When these factors are taken into account, both window and split-type air conditioners can be extremely energy efficient in terms of power consumption.

Which type of AC is better: window or split?

In terms of noise level and aesthetically pleasing design, the split type inverter models are the ideal choice. However, if you’re looking for something more affordable, getting a window AC is the best choice. While window-type aircon produce more noise, installing them isn’t as time-consuming, unlike split-type ACs which will require the expertise of an HVAC technician.

JP Reyes

JP has been in the aircon industry for almost as long as he has been alive. As a child JP would help his tatay fix aircon units at their junk shop in Cavite. After graduating UP in the early 2000's, JP then started his own Aircon servicing business and within 5 years had 10 shops in 8 different cities. Fast forward to today and JP brings all his experience and expertise online to give readers trustworthy advice and reviews about Air-conditioning buying, servicing, cleaning and repair in the Philippines.

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