Ducted systems are for whole house air conditioning where you want consistent temperature levels in each room and space. On the other hand, split systems are for single-space use and can be a lot cheaper upfront.

Ducted or a split system

A ducted system can be expensive to install especially in existing dwellings. Some retrofits will be needed and the home layout might present some challenges. In contrast, installing a split system is easy, quick and straightforward. Also, you can have another split air conditioner anytime as your requirements change (for example, a growing family or setting up a new home office).

Your requirements may change anytime, which is why there’s now some flexibility and versatility in both split and ducted systems. In the latter, you can apply zoning so that only occupied rooms will be air conditioned. This way, the heating or cooling will only go where it’s required. On the other hand, there’s the multi-split system where there’s a single exterior unit that’s connected to two or three interior units. So if you have a split air conditioner now, it’s possible to add another while having only one exterior unit. In case you have another room to cool in the future (example, having a new home office), it can be easy to install a new split unit.

How many rooms

To make a practical choice, you should consider the number of rooms that will be occupied often and how frequent that occupancy is. If you have a big household with three or four rooms being used simultaneously all day and all night, a ducted system might make sense as this is more energy-efficient for heavy duty use (running cost will still depend on the type and size of the system, its energy efficiency, running time, insulation levels and other factors). But if you only stay in the bedroom or home office most times, a split unit is more cost-efficient (and cheaper upfront).

It’s about starting with your requirements and then working backward from there. It also makes sense to contact professionals if you want to make a practical choice in air conditioning appropriate for your home.

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