Window AC Vs Split AC – Which one is Better?


Are you new to buying an AC, and are unaware of which one to buy for your home?

Buying the perfect AC can be tricky because there are several factors that you need to keep in mind before you take the final decision. But most new AC buyers are confused about making a choice between a split AC and a window AC.

Well, yes there are several basic differences between these two types of air conditioners. So let us find out all about them and see which one is the best for your home.

Window AC Vs Split AC – Which One is Good for Your Home?

We wish there was an easy answer for this most asked question about air conditioners.

Unfortunately, there isn’t.

There is a common misconception that Split ACs are always better than Window ACs. While Split ACs do offer more advantages over window ACs but we can’t call them a universal fit.

We would advise you not to follow the rat-race.

Before you make a choice between the type of air conditioner you want to buy, you should have a clear understanding of the –

  • difference between a split AC and window AC
  • distinct advantages of one over the other

Let’s first look at the difference between the two types of air conditioners.

How a Split AC and Window AC are Different?

The first difference that you will notice between a split and a window air conditioner is the size. This is why it is first important to consider the space that you will be installing your AC in.

Difference Between Window AC and Split AC

A split air conditioner has two units- the indoor and outdoor units respectively. The outdoor unit consists of the compressor and the condenser, while the indoor unit comprises of the evaporative part of the AC.

In a window AC, on the other hand, the compressor, condenser and evaporative sections of the AC are all accumulated in one rectangular unit.

Now that you have a clear understanding of the basic difference between a window AC and a split AC, let’s look at their distinct advantages.

Below is a list of factors that you should help you make the right decision of choosing a window ac or a split ac.

1. Availability of Space

You will first have to consider the space of your room before deciding which AC you should go with.

Because a split AC has two separate units, it requires a lot more room than a window AC. But with a split AC, you can place its outdoor unit at any distance from its indoor unit.

On the other hand, the window AC requires a properly sized window that opens in an open area or at any point where there is proper ventilation.

A split AC needs more space but gives you complete flexibility of installation. In other words, split AC is the only option for rooms which do not have a window that opens up in an open or well-ventilated area.

Winner: Window ACs

2. Ease of Installation

a) For Rooms with Existing AC Window

Installing a window AC, in this case, will be much easier as compared to a split AC. All that is needed to be done is simply fix the external metal cover of the window AC in the space meant for AC installation. On the other hand, installing a split AC in such a case will require more effort. That is why you are required to pay more for the installation of a split ac as compared to the window ac.

Winner: Window ACs

b) For Rooms without an Existing Window

i. Rooms with no scope for AC Window: In this case, installing a split AC is the only option because window AC can’t be installed in a room that does not have a proper window. With the split AC, you can place the external unit in any part of the house for it to work. This makes it easy for you to mount the external unit in any convenient space, instead of having to create another space for the same.

Winner: Split ACs

ii) Rooms without Existing AC Window, but AC Window Can be Made: In such a case installing a Window AC will require more time and effort, simply because they need a larger opening for the AC to fit in. You will have to create a large hole in the wall, and this can be quite the task, especially if you are living in a rented place. A split AC will be much easier to install in such a case.

Winner: Split ACs

3. Noise Level

One of the biggest disadvantages of window ACs is that they can get very noisy. This is because the compressor and the condenser are fitted into the body of the AC itself, so you will basically hear the AC working. It can be quite disturbing to a good night’s sleep, especially if you have children at home- it can really hamper their nap time.

Split ACs almost completely eliminate the problem of noise, because the compressor and condenser unit is located far away from the unit that is present in your room. For example, if your indoor unit is in the bedroom, your external unit can be in the balcony. You will hear no noise when you sleep at all!

Winner: Split ACs

4. Appearance & Design

Appearances do play an important role in your choice of an air conditioner. The look of the AC should match the aesthetic of your room. In this aspect, split ACs win the game because they often come in sleek designs in a variety of colours and models.

Window ACs usually have a similar model, but they are being worked upon, and some companies are bringing out newer and fresher types of window ACs to the market.

In the matter of looks, your aesthetic sense will make the final call. You should choose the AC that blends in perfectly with the interior decor of your room.

Winner: Split ACs

5. Power Consumption

If the amount of electricity that ACs consume is a big factor in your buying decision then split ACs can offer you much better choices. If you compare the energy efficiency of a split and window ACs of same tonnage and star-rating then in most cases you will find the split AC to be more energy efficient. That is partly because of the fact that split ACs generally have higher cooling capacity than window ACs.

5.1 Inverter ACs – The Unfair Advantage of Split ACs

If everyone around you is suddenly started talking about the ‘Inverter ACs’, it is mainly because of their energy efficiency. Inverter ACs are not only more energy efficient but also provide better cooling and are more durable.

Want to know what other benefits do inverter air conditioners offer? Read our detailed post on the benefits of inverter air conditioners.

At present, inverter technology is only available in split ACs.

Let’s compare 3 different ACs from Voltas to find out the power consumption difference between window ac and split ac.

Window AC Vs Split AC Energy Consumption
Specification1.5-Ton Window AC1.5 Ton Split Non-Inverter AC1.5 Ton Split Inverter AC
Model No.Voltas 183CYA/183 CZPVoltas 183DZZVoltas 183V CZT/183 VCZT2
Star Rating3-Star3-Star3-Star
ISEER Rating2.913.513.5
Power Consumption/Year (standard test conditions)1276.50 Units1128.65 Units1088.03 Units
Cooling Capacity (100%)4800 W5120 W5200 W

As you can see in the above comparison, a 1.5-ton 3-star split inverter AC offers higher cooling capacity and is more energy efficient than a 1.5-ton 3-star split non-inverter AC and 1.5 ton 3-star window AC.

Winner: Split ACs

6. Cooling Efficiency

As we have seen in the above discussion around power consumption, split ACs are not only more power efficient but they also offer better efficiency when it comes to cooling.

If your room is small and compact, then you can go for the window AC, because this type is more efficient at cooling smaller rooms. However, for bigger spaces like living rooms, classrooms, conference rooms and the like, split ACs should be more efficient since they can effectively cool down larger spaces.

Winner: Split ACs

7. Price

If you compare a window and split AC with same tonnage and star rating then a split AC will always cost you more than a window AC. For example, prices for a 1.5 ton split AC generally vary from Rs. 28,000 to Rs. 45,000 while a 1.5-ton window AC will cost you anywhere between Rs. 24,000 to Rs. 31,000. Hence, if you are looking for a more affordable cooling option then you should purchase a window AC.

Winner: Window ACs

8. Cost & Ease of Maintenance

Because of the way these ACs are designed, the cost of maintenance of a window ac is comparatively lower than a split ac. Split ACs have long connecting pipes which connect the indoor and outdoor units. Depending on the installation and available space, sometimes these pipes can run quite long, which makes them very prone to the possibility of leakage. Also, because a split AC has 2 units, it generally has more parts and components than a window AC.

All of this when combined together makes window ACs much easier to clean, service and maintain.

Winner: Window ACs

Window AC Vs Split AC – Comparison Table

FactorWindow ACSplit AC
Ease of InstallationGenerally easier to install.Requires more effort compared to window ac.
Installation FlexibilitySuitable for small rooms with window.Can be installed anywhere.
PortabilityEasier to install and remove. Ideal for people living in rented accommodation.Requires more effort and cost if you need to shift from one place to another.
PriceEconomicalComparatively costlier
Ease of MaintenanceEasy to clean, service and maintain.Require more effort to clean, service and maintain.
Cost of MaintenanceLowHigh
Cooling EfficiencyGenerally lower than split ACsSplit AC of same tonnage and star rating will generally provide better cooling than a window ac.
Energy EfficiencyNot so highVery high
Noise During OperationMakes more noiseLess noisy
Appearance & DesignStandard design and coloursCome in different design and colours

Understanding Air Conditioner – Infographic

Mr10 has created an infographic which helps you understand your AC better. The guide also talks about air conditioning working principle, types of ac, comparison, and which is the right choice for your home. In short, this amazing infographic is visualizing everything you must know before purchasing an AC.

Here you go…

Understanding Your AC

understand air conditioning basics

Conclusion

This Split AC Vs Window AC buying guide should help you make the right choice between a split or window AC. While both ACs cool efficiently, the choice you make will depend primarily on the Window AC Vs Split AC pros and cons listed above.


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  1. This is the best piece of information on this topic. Very easy to understand and in-depth information for people confused about whether they should buy a window ac or split ac.