Ducted Air Conditioning vs Split Systems

Air Conditioning
Isaac Jamieson
A woman and a child standing in a room with an air conditioner.

Difference Between Ducted and Split System Air Conditioners

You might be looking for an air conditioning on the Sunshine Coast, where the weather is warm all year round. But how to decide which system is right for your specific needs? How do you choose a reliable system that will provide comfort but won’t cost you an arm and a leg?

There are many factors to consider before choosing a split or ducted air conditioning system. A few things to have in mind are the size and the number of rooms to be cooled, efficiency, budget, maintenance expectations and so on.

Both ducted and split systems have particular benefits and drawbacks regarding installation, maintenance and repair. Here is a quick overview of each system and how they compare to each other on a few key aspects.

A white air conditioner hanging on the wall in a room.

Split System Air Conditioners

Split air conditioners get their name because the system is separated into two units: indoor for filtering and air distribution and outdoor with the compressor and condenser. The connection between the two units is made with flexible copper tubing, making the installation easier and cheaper than ducted air conditioner systems.


Split system units are highly effective at rapidly cooling individual rooms and smaller spaces. However, they become inefficient and energy-intensive when pushed to cool larger areas or multiple rooms.


A significant benefit of split systems is that they are more affordable upfront. Moreover, they are not only much easier and less expensive to install but also have lower running costs.


The downside of split air conditioners is that they require a little more maintenance and cleaning to remain effective. They are also more prone to breakdowns; however, maintenance and repairs are inexpensive.


The average lifespan is shorter than ducted systems, and it usually takes about five to ten years before significant repairs or a replacement becomes necessary.

A ceiling mounted air conditioner in a room.

Ducted Air Conditioners

Ducted air conditioners operate from a central unit that distributes cooled air to multiple rooms through a network of ducts. They are less visually obtrusive than split air conditioners since most of the system is concealed inside the ceiling or under the floor and only the vents are visible.


Ducted systems are much more efficient than split systems when cooling large spaces and multiple rooms. They also tend to be more effective at maintaining a stable indoor climate.


The downside of ducted air conditioning is that it costs more upfront and is also more complicated and expensive to install.


However, ducted systems generally require repairs less frequently – although when repairs are needed, they can be expensive. Maintenance also requires a specialist, which can be more expensive.


The lifespan of a ducted air conditioner system can range from 10 to 20 years, depending on how well and regularly serviced the system has been. After this point, the system has suffered wear and tear, and repair may not be worth it anymore. Therefore, it is probably time to consider replacing it with a new system.

Contact Tenmen Electrical For All Your Air Conditioning Installation needs On the Sunshine Coast!

Whether you choose a split or ducted air conditioning system, Tenmen Electrical have got you covered. Contact us now to find out how we can help you stay cool with an air conditioner installation on the Sunshine Coast!

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About Isaac Jamieson

Electrician, and refrigeration mechanic with over 12 years of experience, Isaac is the founder, director and driving force behind Tenmen Electrical.

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