Which is better – a central air conditioning system or multiple split ACs?

January 31, 2024 | 05:15 AM


The summers in India are known for their several impacts with outside temperature touching 50°C in several parts of the country. For middle-class society of the country, the only way to seek respite from scorching heat is to install an air conditioner. With several types and capacities of air conditioners availing in India to choose from, it is not much difficult for people to choose the right AC for their home or office. This is absolutely necessary as thinking about working efficiently without a proper air conditioner is next to impossible.

If you have a big home or office with multiple rooms or cabins, you are more likely to stay confused between two options – a central AC or multiple split AC. You may have your own opinion about both these types of air conditioning systems, it is always a good idea to understand what experts have to say on this.

What is a central air conditioning system?

As its name indicates, a central air conditioning system refers to an air conditioning where the entire machinery is placed at one place and then the cool air is directed to different rooms or cabins through air ducts that run inside the walls in most cases. This kind of air conditioning installation tends to be quite complex and may ask for high cost due to high-level installation and complex duct work.

The major components of a central AC are:

  • Outdoor unit – includes condenser coil, fan, and compressor
  • Indoor unit – fan coil or furnace
  • Copper ducts – they carry the cool air from outdoor units to indoor units

How do split ACs work?

Individual split AC are considered great for homes and properties that have restricted available space. They can be compared to a window AC unit since they are made in such a way to cool a single room or a small space. However, contrary to typical window air conditioners, they are made up one indoor unit and one outdoor unit.

One major difference between a split AC and a central air conditioning unit is the latter does need any kind of ductwork. With no need of ductwork, a ductless split air conditioner is an easy choice for places with no running ductwork ducts or to cool extra areas such as study room or closed balcony.

In a split AC, the indoor unit contains a fan and an evaporator that sucks the warm air from the room and throws the cold air outside. Opposed to a central cooling system, cool air comes back straight to the room that has the indoor unit. This gets away the power losses linked with the ductwork. The outdoor unit holds a condenser, and it fetches the heat from interval environment of the room and discharges the same to the external environment.

How does a central air conditioning system work?

A central air conditioner unit is known to be based on duck-based system and employs a network of ducts and vents that circulate cold/hot air across your home or office. This type of air conditioning system is comprised of a compressor, condenser, and an air handling unit.

The warm air in your home is initially drawn out by return vents and sent to the air handler for cooling and filtering. The indoor handler's evaporator coils receive refrigerant, a cooling material, from the condenser, which is the outdoor unit. Warm air from your home cools as it passes over the coils of the evaporator and is sent through supply vents and ducts.

Which is better?

When it comes to choosing between a central AC and a split AC, the best way to end up this confusion is to take into account a number of factors before deciding on which type of choose. For example, if y you have a big hall to cool, it is better to get a central AC instead of installing multiple split ACs. If you have two or three rooms that need to be cooled, you should go for split air conditioning systems. Similarly, if you have an issue with noise, a central air conditioner might not be a good choice as these ACs tend to produce some noise during operation due to complex ductwork. On the other hand, a split AC doesn’t have any such issue and it works smoothly without producing any noise.

If you want to have a clean and seamless interior décor, a split AC may not be a good choice for you. This is also true as some folks don’t like to install a split AC as they are kept revealed in a room. For energy efficiency, a split AC overpowers a central AC due to its smaller machinery and operating unit. However, there are some innovative air conditioning systems available in the market today like Daikin VRV that allows people to connect multiple indoor units to a single outdoor unit. You can know more about Daikin VRV by clicking here.

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