Split vs Window Air Conditioner

interior of minimalist room with wooden shelves and ac

Come summer, we all head out for AC shopping. There is the expected confusion of how much tonnage, what type and which brand to select. It seems long-winded but it’s just a matter of addressing a few basic questions. Once you’ve sorted those out, the decision is simpler. The first one being the capacity you need. This naturally depends on your apartment, rather your room size. Certain other factors to be considered are whether you’re on the top floor, as it has more heat load. Similarly, the wall in which you place the AC is also important, as a room facing the west will have more heat load, hence your room will require a higher capacity machine.


Another factor that affects your AC buying is the family size. If you have five or more members in the house and you are planning to install an AC in your hall, you will need a higher capacity AC, but if you only have two or three members then the same room will probably require less tonnage.


Another thing to look out for when buying an AC is the EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). This is very critical as it is an indication of the performance of your AC as far as power consumption is concerned and given the power starved times we go through, this becomes the most vital element to look out for when buying an AC.


Lastly, whatever brand you settle for, ensure that there is a good service backup from the parent company or sales dealer as air conditioners require regular servicing. Also, for a longer shelf life, opt for a maintenance contract even after the warranty period expires.


Now to the crux, even though there is an obvious difference between a split and a window AC, many a times there’s confusion. There are some who think the only difference is that a window AC is boxier while a split is rectangular in shape. While that is true, the two are also very different in the way they are designed to operate. Here’s how you can tell the split apart from its window counterpart:

Cost of equipment & installation cost

A one-ton split AC is going to cost your more than a one-ton window AC. Split AC is more costly than window AC. Also, the installation of a split costs more since you need to install two units-one indoor and one outdoor, which then need to be connected through copper tubing. You also need to spend on a mounting stand to fixed outdoor unit, whereas a window AC requires only spending on fixing one unit. Nowadays, most flats and houses reserve the required box space in the wall to fit the AC, so you don’t even have to spend on drilling a hole in your wall to accommodate the unit.

Running cost of electricity

Now this cannot exactly be called a point of difference. But for those who think a split AC will lead to higher electricity bills, here’s the myth-breaker-both ACs consume almost the same amount of units. Split may consume wee extra electricity, but it’s a very marginal difference and shouldn’t affect your buying decision.

Noise level:

For those light sleepers who need the quiet while sleeping, the ideal choice is a split AC as it hardly makes any noise. This is because the noisy operation (the compressor) is kept outside the house. A window air conditioner is noisier, so if you are a sound sleeper, you shouldn’t mind the window AC.

Usage pattern

As of now, the buying preference is still more lopsided towards the window AC, mostly because it is cheaper. The overall usage pattern of window and split is 70 & 30 percent respectively.
Both split and window ACs are equally effective. However, it is necessary to know the difference between the two, so you can pick the type that would suit your home the best. If you don’t have space outdoors to mount a compressor, then there’s no point in considering a split AC. For the average middle class home, window air conditioners are to reckon with, keeping the affordability factor in mind.

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