Split AC vs Window AC – Find The Difference!

Which AC should I purchase for my home, a split AC, or a Window AC?

This question will be on the minds of everyone. The debate between these two different types of AC technologies will range on forever because both have their positive and negative points.

Various factors play a critical role in deciding which AC to buy for your house. We shall discuss these points in detail in our article.

  • ACs can guzzle electricity as no other appliance can in the house. You would have noticed the difference in your electricity bills in the summer and the winter seasons. Therefore, energy efficiency is a critical factor that justifies your decision.
  • Space is also a significant constraint in a standard Indian apartment/flat.
  • Your budget plays a crucial role in selecting the type of AC you want for your home.
  • The capacity requirements of an AC is vital because it affects all the constraints listed above, like energy efficiency, power consumption, space, budget, and so on.
  • Nowadays, aesthetics plays a stellar role in deciding which AC you should opt for in your room.
  • Comfort and convenience are equally important, as well.
  • Finally, the brand of the AC is of paramount importance because of factors like warranty period, after-sales services, and so on.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Ratio is nothing but the amount of cooling an AC can provide per unit/watt of electricity it consumes. Therefore, the EER determines the power consumption of an AC.

By now, you should be aware that the star ratings determine the energy efficiency of the AC. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has made it compulsory for all electronic appliances manufacturers to rate their appliances for energy efficiency and mention the ratings on the device.

These ratings are in the range of 1-star to 5-stars. Higher the energy efficiency ratio, the better is the star rating. Thus, the BEE 5-star ACs are more efficient than the others.

Now, both split ACs and window ACs are available with 5-star ratings. However, the number of models of split ACs with 5-star ratings is comparatively higher.

If you consider the energy efficiency ratio as the benchmark for deciding which AC to opt for, the split AC is a better choice because of its extensive range.

Space available

A majority of Indians live in flats or apartments in cities where you experience severe space constraints. A split AC unit is different from a window AC in many ways. They are differently sized appliances.

  • The window AC comprises a single unit housing all the components of the AC.
  • The split AC is a multiple-unit appliance comprising an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The outdoor unit includes the compressor and the condenser, whereas the evaporator constitutes the indoor unit of the machine.

Technically speaking, the split AC occupies more space than a window AC.

You need dedicated space for placing the outdoor unit. However, you do not need a big opening for the pipes and wires to pass through the walls.

On the other hand, a window AC needs a large opening for its installation. It can be a challenge to find enough space on the windows in flats/apartments for installing a window AC.

Therefore, flat owners prefer the split AC, more out of compulsion rather than choice.

The advantage of the split AC is that you can place the outdoor unit on top of the window-sill.

You can extend the length of the pipes and put the outdoor unit in an area having proper ventilation.

The indoor unit can be placed at a vantage location to provide you with the maximum cooling. You do not have this flexibility with the window AC.

In flats, your window might be close to a staircase or your neighbour’s window, thereby making it impossible to place your window AC.

The Capacity of the AC matters a lot

The size of the AC is a vital factor that one should consider before buying your AC. By size, we refer to the tonnage. Tonnage can also impact your electricity consumption. It depends on various factors.

The room size

The size of the room determines the amount of air that requires cooling. The bigger the room, the higher is the capacity you need.

The population in the room

Humans emit heat from their bodies. The higher the number of people, the more is the heat generated in the room. Hence, you require an AC of a higher capacity.

The furniture in the room

The fewer the furniture items in the room, the lesser is the consumption of electricity.

The electricity load in the room

The higher the electricity load, the more is the electricity consumption.

Windows in the room

Closing the windows can help to trap the cold air inside the room. Hence, insulating the windows can reduce power consumption considerably.

Walls facing the sun

If your room has walls facing the sun, it is better to insulate them to conserve electricity. It matters more if you live on the top floor of the building.

Choose your AC according to the size of the room. Generally, a 1.5-ton or 2-ton AC should be ideal for rooms in Indian homes.

If you have a big room with large windows, it is better to have multiple ACs. Window ACs are available up to a maximum capacity of two tons. Hence, a split AC is better than a window AC. It not only helps to cool the room faster but also consumes less electricity.

Source: LG.com

When selecting a split AC, it is better to go for inverter technology. The compressors working on inverter technology save a lot of power. The window ACs are not available with inverter technology.

Aesthetics has gained in importance

Nowadays, people pay much attention to interior decorations. Your AC is an integral part of your interior decoration. It should suit the other furniture in the room.

A window AC could end up looking out of place. A split AC has an advantage as they look better than the window ACs. The latest split ACs available in the market have stylish looks.

If aesthetics is your major concern, the window ACs should not be in your plan of things.

Comfort and convenience

Generally, people use ACs more at night. The window ACs can be uncomfortable because of the sound they create when functioning. On the contrary, the split ACs do not make much noise.

The compressor and the condenser unit are located in the outdoor unit. The evaporator unit inside the room does not make much noise, thereby providing a higher degree of comfort.

Look for the ideal options

The ACs available today come with different modes depending on the climate and weather conditions.

If you reside in a humid area near the sea, such as Mumbai or Chennai, you should check out whether the Dry Mode is available on your AC. Almost all ACs today come with Energy Saver Mode.

Budgetary Constraints

Considering all aspects of the split and window ACs to be equal, the window AC is cheaper in comparison. The 1-star window ACs are the lowest-priced of the lot.

However, they are the least efficient, as well. An AC is a long-term investment. Hence, people should go for the ideal balance between pricing and efficiency.

The brand of the AC

Today, you have the best AC brands like Carrier, Hitachi, LG, Samsung, Daikin, and Voltas available in India. Both window and split AC options are available in the Indian market.

The brand of AC you buy should depend on the after-sales service and warranty period.

Almost all AC manufacturers enter into Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMC) with consumers, whereby they undertake to service the AC at regular intervals on the payment of the contract fee in advance.

Which one should you choose between the window AC and split AC?

The above discussion must have clarified all the doubts in your mind concerning which of the AC technology is preferable.

  • If budget is your primary consideration, the window AC is the ideal one for you. The split ACs are expensive in comparison.
  • If power consumption foremost in your mind, it is better to opt for the split AC. It is always advisable to go for 5-star rated ACs, as they guarantee the maximum savings in electricity. These ACs are the highest-priced among the lot, but they are better in the long run because they save power. You end up with reduced electricity bills.
  • Similarly, if interior decorations and aesthetics influence your decision-making, the split AC should be the apt choice.

The Verdict

A split AC should be preferable any day to a window AC. Initially, the cost outlay could be higher, but it can help reduce your electricity consumption considerably. It will prove to be advantageous in the long run.

Tips for extracting the best performance from your AC

As you have decided between the window and the split AC, here are some tips to get the best out of your AC.

  • Select the right tonnage depending on the size of the room, the electrical fittings in it, the furniture, the number of windows, and other factors. An undersized AC can end up consuming more power while delivering less efficient output. At the same time, an oversized appliance will also not serve the purpose. It can result in wastage of energy while providing a lot of discomforts, as well.
  • Remember that an AC is a long-term investment. Hence, it is better to concentrate on the efficiency factor. Maintaining the AC well can result in the enhancement of its lifespan. Get your AC services at regular intervals, preferably thrice a year. Clean the AC filters once every two months to prevent the accumulation of dust. Check the gas pressure during every servicing.
  • Ensure proper insulation of the gaps in the room, as the air can leak out and increase the load on the AC. Close the windows and doors tightly before switching on the AC.
  • It is advisable not to use your ceiling fan along simultaneously with the AC. Some people argue that the use of the ceiling fan helps in circulating the air better. It is better to switch off your fan when using the AC. You can switch it on when the AC is not working. It can help maintain the chillness inside the room.
  • A 5-star rated AC is always advisable. It can cost you more initially, but you compensate by saving power.
Chaithanya Vanjari
Chaithanya Vanjari
I'm Chaithanya Vanjari, the Creator and Editor-in-Chief at KitchenArena. With a decade of experience in evaluating large appliances like air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, and various small home devices, I possess the technical expertise needed to thoroughly review and understand the operational complexities of these appliances.


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