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Central Air Conditioner Vs. Split Type: Which is the Best Choice For You? - Megafurniture

Central Air Conditioner Vs. Split Type: Which is the Best Choice For You?

Which cooling system to pick to save us from the scorching heat? 

We’ve all been in the same puzzling situation. The central air conditioner often stands out despite the vast air conditioning options. Why? Settling on the correct cooling system isn't just a game of staying cool—it's about ensuring your home's cosiness without emptying your pockets.

But we have another popular type that others are raving about. It’s as efficient as the latter—the Split Type Air Conditioner. Let’s put them side-by-side and take a helicopter view of their fundamental differences and how they weigh in the budget, energy consumption, space requirements, etc.

So, let's unravel this together and pinpoint the ideal chill companion for your space.

What is a Central Air Conditioner?

Definition and Basic Components

A central air conditioner is designed to cool an entire house or an ample space. Unlike individual units that cool a single room, this system operates... well, centrally. The main components include:

Evaporator Coil: This is where the cooling magic happens. The refrigerant inside the coil evaporates, absorbing heat from the indoor air.

Condenser Coil:  Found in the outdoor unit and releases the absorbed heat outside.

Compressor: Also found in the outdoor unit, it circulates the refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser coils.

Air Handler: This component uses ductwork to circulate the cooled air throughout your home.

How a Central Air Conditioner Works

Imagine a relay race but with heat. The indoor air, carrying heat, passes over the evaporator coil. The refrigerant inside the coil absorbs this heat, turning from a liquid to a gas. This gas then travels to the compressor, which pressurises and sends it to the condenser coil. Here, the refrigerant releases the heat to the outside air and returns to liquid form. The cycle then repeats, ensuring your home stays cool and comfy.


Pros and Cons Central Air Conditioner


Uniform Cooling: Provides consistent cooling throughout the entire home or building.

Aesthetics: All components are mostly hidden, offering a cleaner look without visible units in individual rooms.

Increased Property Value: Homes with central air conditioning often have a higher resale value.

Air Filtration: Often includes air filters that can improve indoor air quality by removing allergens and pollutants.

Integrated Heating: Many systems can be combined with heating, allowing for year-round climate control with a single system.


Higher Initial Costs: Installation, especially with ductwork, can be expensive.

Energy Consumption: It can be less energy-efficient if cooling the entire home, even if only a few rooms are used.

Maintenance: Requires regular maintenance of ducts and other components.

Installation Limitations: Homes with existing ductwork might avoid challenges and higher costs during installation.

Less Flexibility: Typically controlled by a single thermostat, limiting individual room temperature control.

What is a Split - Type Air Conditioner?

What is a Split - Type Air Conditioner?

Definition and Basic Components

A split-type air conditioner is aptly named because it's "split" into two main parts: an indoor and outdoor unit. Here's a breakdown of its primary components:

Indoor Unit: This is the part you see inside your room. It houses the evaporator coil, where the cooling happens, and a fan distributes the cold air.

Outdoor Unit: Typically placed outside the house, it contains the compressor and the condenser coil. This unit expels the heat absorbed from your room to the outdoors.

Pros and Cons of Split-Type Air Conditioner


Flexibility: Ideal for cooling specific rooms or areas, allowing for individual temperature control.

No Ductwork Required: Easier and often cheaper to install in homes without existing ducts.

Energy Efficiency: Can be more energy-efficient, significantly when cooling individual rooms. Inverter models adjust cooling based on room requirements.

Scalability: Additional units can be added over time without overhauling the entire system.

Quiet Operation: Many models are designed to operate very quietly, ensuring minimal disturbance.


Aesthetics: Indoor units are visible, which might not align with everyone's decor preferences.

Limited Area Coverage: Each unit cools a specific area so that multiple units might be needed for larger homes.

Maintenance: Each unit requires individual maintenance, which can be cumbersome if multiple units exist.

Higher Costs with Multiple Units: While one unit might be cost-effective, installing several can increase costs.

Outdoor Units: Each indoor unit requires a corresponding outdoor unit, which can take up space and might be visually unappealing.

Central Air Conditioner vs. Split-Type: Key Differences

Central Air Conditioner vs. Split-Type: Key Differences


Central Air Conditioner:

  • Requires ductwork installation if not already present, which can be invasive and time-consuming.
  • Typically, it involves more extensive outdoor and indoor units near the furnace or air handler.
  • Installation might require modifications to the home's structure, especially for the duct system.

Split Type Inverter Aircon: 

  • There is no need for ductwork, making the process less invasive.
  • It involves mounting indoor units on walls or ceilings and connecting them to an outdoor unit.
  • Installing in homes without existing ducts or new room additions is easier.


Central Air Conditioner: 

  • Generally, a higher initial investment, especially if ductwork installation is needed.
  • Operating costs can be higher if cooling the entire home, even when some rooms are not in use.

Split Type Aircon: 

  • Initial costs can be lower if cooling a small space or a few rooms. However, costs can increase if multiple units are needed for a larger area.
  • Often more energy-efficient when cooling specific areas, leading to potential savings on electricity bills.



Central Air Conditioner: 

  • Provides uniform cooling throughout the entire home.
  • Temperature is typically controlled by a single thermostat, offering less room-by-room flexibility.

Split Type Aircon: 

  • Offers the flexibility to cool specific rooms or areas.
  • Systems like the split-type aircon with 2 indoor units allow individual temperature control in different rooms.
  • Multi-split systems can connect multiple indoor units to one outdoor unit, offering varying cooling options for different spaces.


Central Air Conditioner: 

  • Requires regular maintenance of the entire system, including duct cleaning, to ensure optimal air quality.
  • There is potential for more extensive repairs if there's an issue with the ductwork.

Split - Type Aircon: 

  • Each unit requires individual maintenance, which can be more manageable but can add up if multiple units exist.
  • No ducts mean no need for duct cleaning, but filters in each indoor unit need regular cleaning or replacement.


Key Takeaway: 

Wading through the world of air conditioning might seem overwhelming, but with some insight, things start to click into place. We've journeyed through central air conditioners and split-type air cons, spotlighting their strengths and areas to ponder.

It's not just about the tech specs or the word of mouth. It's about finding a fit that resonates with your living space, your comfort preferences, and, of course, your wallet. Whether you're gravitating towards the all-encompassing cool of a central system or the adaptable nature of a split type, it's crucial to reflect on what your home truly needs.

Are you still feeling uncertain or curious about more choices? 

Pop over to Megafurniture. We've got high-quality and affordable aircon varieties and many home enhancement goodies. 


Dive deep, get some expert insights, and chart a course towards a home that's cool, cosy, and unmistakably you with the following readings:

Interior Design Singapore: Best Firms for Your Next Home Renovation

Your Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Renovation in Singapore: HDB Guidelines, Procedures & Tips

Bonus Treat: Life Hacks for Your Central Air Conditioner and Split-Type Air Con (Guaranteed Useful)

Central Air Conditioner Hacks

Thermostat Placement: Ensure your thermostat isn't near heat sources like lamps or electronics. It can cause the AC to run longer than necessary.

Ceiling Fans: Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your AC. They help distribute the cooled air more evenly, allowing you to set the thermostat a bit higher.

Regular Filter Changes: Replace or clean your filters regularly. A clogged filter can reduce efficiency and increase energy costs.

Shade Your Unit: If your outdoor unit is in direct sunlight, provide shade (but ensure airflow isn't obstructed). This can improve efficiency.

Seal Leaks: Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal any leaks in doors and windows. This prevents cool air from escaping and hot air from entering.

Split Type Aircon Hacks

Clean Regularly: Dust and clean the indoor unit's filters every month. A clean system runs more efficiently.

Optimal Temperature: Instead of setting the temperature very low, find a comfortable setting that's not too cold. Every degree can make a difference in your energy bill.

Night Mode: Some split-type aircons have a 'night mode' or 'sleep mode'. This adjusts the temperature gradually as you sleep, saving energy.

Remote Sensing: If your remote has a temperature-sensing feature, keep it near you. The AC will adjust its cooling based on the remote's location.

Avoid Heat Sources: Like central AC, ensure the indoor unit isn't near heat sources or direct sunlight. It can cause the system to overwork.

General Hacks for Both Systems

Regular Maintenance: Schedule professional maintenance at least once a year. This ensures your system runs efficiently and can prevent costly repairs.

Use Curtains and Blinds: During the hottest parts of the day, close curtains and blinds to block out the sun and reduce the indoor temperature.

Cook Outside: Instead of turning on the stove or oven that heats your home, grill outside, microwave, or try no-cook recipes.

Insulate: Proper insulation in your home's walls, attic, and floors can keep it more relaxed in the summer and warmer in the winter, reducing the workload on your AC.

Smart Thermostats: Consider investing in a smart thermostat. It can learn your schedule and preferences, adjusting the temperature automatically to save energy.

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