Difference Between Window AC And Split AC: Window AC Vs Split AC

Planning to buy a new AC? If you are a new buyer, then you must be confused between the Window AC vs Split AC. Right? Well, that’s the confusion that many people have. So why not clear that confusion. Let’s settle the battle of Split AC vs Windows AC.

What Is A Split AC?

As the name suggests, split AC is a two-unit AC where the compressor, condenser, and other related parts will be in one unit and the evaporator is in another unit. The unit with compressor and condenser should be assembled outside of the room and the unit with evaporator should be inside the room.

window ac vs split ac
Image Credit : Voltas
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What Is A Window AC?

As the name suggests, this type of AC should be assembled in the windows. Unlike Split AC, windows AC has only one unit that has a compressor, condenser, and evaporator in it. The complete unit needs to be assembled in a window. Only the evaporator faces the room.

window ac vs split ac
Image Credit : LG
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Differences Between Window AC Vs Split AC

We will find the differences between window AC vs split AC based on the following 10 criterias and then we will decide which one to choose based on your requirement.

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Space Consumption
  • Cooling Capacity
  • Noise Level
  • Looks and Asthetics
  • Safety
  • Comfort and Convenience
  • Pricing
  • Brand
  • New Technologies
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Energy Efficiency

In simple words, the energy efficiency of an AC can be defined as the amount of cooling it provides per unit of electricity it consumes. This is called Energy Efficiency Ratio( ERR)

More the value of ERR , better the AC is and better the AC is, less amount of money you need to spend on your electricity bill.

In India, the energy efficiency of AC is defined by star rating value. The Bureau Of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is the central body for certifying the energy efficiency of AC.

BEE has made it mandatory for all manufactures to print an energy efficiency label ( Star Rating) on all air conditioners. The more star rating an AC has, the better energy-efficient the AC is.

window ac vs split ac
Sample Star Rating Card: Credit- Samsung

Star Rating values varies from one star to five star. Five star is the best rating and one star is the worst. If the AC is five star rated then it would be the most energy efficient.

Both Split AC and Windows AC come with a 5-star rating. But in the case of Window AC, there are very few options with a 5-star rating. On top of that, all new technologies are mostly implemented in Split AC.

So even though both Window AC and Split AC with 5-star rating consume almost the same electricity, but due to the wide variety of options and new technologies, split AC has an Edge.

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Space Consumption

Since Windows AC is a since piece unit, it consumes less space of your room. You just need to find a place next to your window to install the window AC.

In the case of Split AC , you need a good amount of space inside your room and often with a stabilizer. On top of that there will be pipes connecting to the outer unit of the AC. You may need to drill through the wall for those pipe to pass through. So not only Split AC takes more space but it also makes the space clutter.

Well, we learned that Window AC is better of we talk about space Consumption. But does it really a viable option. We Indian live in apartments with a very minimum gap between two apartment. If you place an AC in a window, there are chance that you AC may hit your neighbour window. So think about that.

You may also need to have specially designed window grill just to fit the window AC. Compare to that, Split AC does not need a window cutout. Also the outdoor unit of the Split AC is smaller than a Window AC. So your neighbor won’t complaint due to you AC hitting their window.

So in terms of space Consumption, window AC is a better choice, but if you think practicality then Split AC makes more sense.

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Cooling Capacity

The cooling capacity of an AC is defined by the tonnage. More the tonnage better the cooling capacity of the AC. For medium to large size room, 1-2 ton AC is more than enough unless you stay in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, or Chennai.

Split AC’s are available in the range of .5 ton to 2.5 ton. However, getting a 2-ton window AC is difficult. In that sense Split AC is a more viable option in terms of cooling capacity.

Due to the various new technologies available in split AC’s, they can give better cooling capacity compare to similar tonnage window AC.

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Noise Level

Since the compressor and the condenser of a windows AC are in a single unit and assembled in your window, you will hear a lot of noise. Although during the daytime you may not feel the noise but it is more annoying at night.

Split AC usually has its outdoor unit way out of your room. Usually, it is installed on top of your window roof or it is attached to the wall using some bracket. So unless you open your window you won’t be able to hear the compressor sound.

Split AC’s also comes with technologies that keep the compressor sound very low. So if you are concerned about the noise level, then definitely you should go for a Split AC

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Looks And Asthetics

No doubt split AC looks much better and pleasing to your eyes. But the condition is that you need to arrange all wires and pipes in the proper place. Otherwise, it looks worse than a Window AC

Nowadays Split AC’s comes with different colors and different designs. You may also see some floral skins on split AC’s that looks really great and for sure enhances the elegance of a room.

In the case of Window AC, all you can see are the fins. Because the whole unit will be outside of your window, You may not see wires and pipes dangling around but window AC won’t enhance the look of your room for sure.

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Safety should be the main consideration that everyone should consider before buying an AC. Right? If you have a kid then I would suggest you to stay away from window AC.

The reason is simple. Window AC is easily accessible by kids. They can easily put their fingers inside the AC unit which is a big safety issue. They can even touch the wire inside. So stay away from Window AC if your kids do not know what he or she is doing.

Spilt AC’s are NOT easily accessible to kids and even though they can reach the AC, there is no such easy way to put their fingers in.

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Comfort And Convenience

As I said before that Split AC’s are much quieter than window AC. That adds to your comfort level. Right?

In the case of Window AC, those are way too louder and cause annoying sound. But those are easy for servicing as service people don’t need to climb to service it.

Split AC’s are tough to service. The technician needs to climb to get the outdoor unit down and then service it. That is why Split AC servicing is always costly.

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Pricing plays a key role in deciding which AC to buy. Windows AC’s are way cheaper than Split AC’s as window AC has everything in a single unit and that reduces the production cost.

Split AC’s on the other hand is very costly. Although you may get split AC for cheap if you buy from non-branded companies. If you want to buy something good, then you have to shell out a good amount of money.

On top of that, if you want to buy a 5 star rated split AC, you may need to spend a minimum of 40K to 50K Indian rupees. Same tonnage and same energy efficient window AC you may get for 10K less.

So although spilt AC is costly but it comes with a lot of benefits. For long term investments spilt AC’ s are the best.

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Well, nowadays many reputed brands have stopped making window AC’s. The reason is, people do not prefer window AC and companies make less profit by selling a window AC.

Companies also do not like to invest money and space on Window AC’s. The same amount of space and money if they invest in other areas they can make more money

So if you are brand conscious then you have no option except to choose a split AC

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New Technologies

You won’t see much of new features in Window AC’d as companies does not like spending on product that gives them less profit.

For example, inverter technology is a very good technology for saving energy. But it is not available in window AC’s. Samsung has recently launched a Wind free AC which is also not available in window AC.

There are numerous other technologies that are available in split AC’s but not available in window AC’s. So if you want to enjoy new technologies in your AC, then split AC is the best.

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The Verdict: Window AC Vs Split AC: Which one to buy?

  • If your main consideration is energy or electricity, then choose a 5 star rated split AC. I know the cost is more, but in the long run, it will give more savings through electricity bills.
  • If you want to buy a high cooling capacity AC, then split AC should be the choice.
  • If you want to enjoy new technologies in your AC, go for a split AC
  • If you want a quieter room and also want to enhance the look of your room, then split AC is best.
  • If you have very little space inside your room, the windows AC is good. But if you have less space outside your room, then split AC is good.
  • If you are running short of money and want to buy an AC for the short term, then window AC is the best choice.
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Tips for getting the best performance from an AC

AC is a long term investment. If you properly take care of your AC and do regular maintenance, then your AC will serve you for a longer period of time and you will also get the best performance.

  • Buy an AC based on your room size. People often make the mistake here. For example, they buy a lower tonnage AC for a large room and then complain about insufficient cooling.
  • Please install an inverter if your AC does not come with an inbuilt inverter. Most of the Indian cities experience a power cut. An inverter can save your AC from any damage due to a sudden power cut.
  • Always close all doors and windows when the AC is on. Otherwise, AC can not cool your room and the AC need to do more work. This will increase your electricity bill.
  • Check the AC filter every two months for any dust accumulation.
  • Change the refrigerant every summer so that it can perform better.
  • Always check for a refrigerant leak
  • Always buy an AC with copper pipes.
  • If your room gets direct sunlight then choose a higher tonnage AC
  • Do not put your fan on along with your AC
  • Always prefer skilled technician to install AC
  • Always buy from reputed brands
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Conclusion: Window AC vs Split AC

That’s all we have in this article to explain the differences between Window AC Vs Split AC. I hope I have enough insights to decide which AC is the best based on the different parameters that I mentioned. Still, if you have any questions or queries, then do write to me in the comment section and I will be happy to help.

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Rajib is the Co-Founder and the Lead Product Analyst of RiansTech. A BTech in Mechanical Engineering and a veteran in the Home Appliance industry with over 17 years of experience in designing appliances for industry leaders like GE and Whirlpool. He also runs a successful niche blog (RiansClub) on Mechanical Engineering

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