Which is Best? Ducted Reverse Cycle vs Split System

From ducted heating and cooling vs non-ducted to wall splits or evaporative cooling, the choices can feel endless as to what's best for your home and your usage pattern.

In this post, we will compare ducted reverse cycle vs split system air conditioning. We will look at why homeowners may choose either one and compare the pros and cons.

The objective of this post is not to promote ducted reverse cycle over split systems, but rather to inform you on the differences of each type of system. Hopefully, this will help you choose the right air conditioning system for your home.

Ducted Reverse Cycle vs Split Systems Overview

Firstly, let’s look at the key difference between the two air conditioning systems.

Ducted reverse cycle air conditioning distributes air throughout a home via ducts and vents. These ducts are usually neatly tucked out of sight, in the roof space, walls or hidden in boxed up cabinets.

A single ducted reverse cycle compressor unit can heat and cool an entire home. With multiple outlets, it can distribute air throughout a 2 or 3 storey home very effectively. Most ducted air conditioners are reverse cycle models that can produce both hot and cold air.

If you are getting a ducted system, it only makes sense to go for a reverse cycle model. It’s just an all-in-one home climate (HVAC) system that does both heating and cooling.

A split system air conditioning system comprises of a compressor and multiple (usually 2-3) wall units which are also called fan coils. Wall split systems require a wall unit to be located on walls in each room that you want cooled or heated. Split system air conditioners can really add to the look of a room and have become quite a classy feature.

Ducted Reverse Cycle vs Split Systems Comparison

Every home owner has different heating and cooling objectives for their home. And their usage pattern differs.

In this section, we will discuss the key differences between ducted reverse cycle vs split system air conditioning, and leave you to decide which is better for your home.

Home Design & Decor

If you are focused on interior design, and want a particular look and feel for each room, then your choice can play a part.

For instance, the minimalist will definitely choose a ducted reverse cycle over a split system. Simply because only the air vents are visible. This lends a very clean and minimalist look to the whole home.

However, if you want to use the air conditioning as a feature to the room, you would go for a wall split system with a nice design. Newer wall split system models now come in multiple colors, allowing you to pick the best color to suit your interior decor.

Hence, your preference in terms of how you home look, may play a key part in deciding between ducted reverse cycle vs split system air conditioning.

Large or Small Home

The size of your home is an important consideration when deciding between ducted reverse cycle vs split system air conditioners. Wall split systems are more suited for small to medium size homes. Usually ideal for a 2-3 bedroom single storey home.

The reason for this is that with split system, a compressor normally support between 2-3 wall units. So usually, for home owners who want to use wall split system for say a 2 or 3 storey home, they may need to get 2 compressors, one for the ground floor and another for the 2nd storey.

Since air is distributed via ducts throughout a home, and these ducts can be run from the roof space through multiple storeys, it is usually much easier to implement for larger homes. As opposed to have 5-7 wall units that you have to install separately, and maintain regularly. With a ducted reverse cycle, you only need to maintain the indoor compressor unit, and have all your ducts checked and cleaned periodically.

With ducted reverse cycle systems, you can also setup multiple zones, allowing you to simultaneously cool or warm different locations in the home.

Usage Pattern

How you use your air conditioning at home is another consideration. For instance, some homeowners like to control their climate from one central location. It’s not always convenient turning a split system on, one by one.

Ducted reverse cycle air conditioning system allows for zone controls with the click of a button. If a home owner wants to save on power consumption, they can only turn on the air conditioning for 1 or 2 rooms.

Both options provide flexibility and control for a wide range of scenarios.

Specific Feature Requirements

If air quality is an important consideration, many wall split systems offer more sophisticated air purifying or air filtration features. For example, Toshiba wall split air conditioning systems come with high density HEPA filters and an air ioniser system that removes harmful bacteria, viruses and odour. This improves the overall air quality in the home.

Ducted reverse cycle air conditioners come with good filters too, but may lack in the more advanced air quality features. Take time to compare all the user features and determine which are more important to you.

Ducted Reverse Cycle vs Split System Pricing

Another key consideration would have to be price. Generally wall split systems are a cheaper option, depending on the brand, model and size.

Ducted reverse cycle air conditioning systems usually cost more. Again, this varies by brand and model. However, for larger homes, this may still be a better options can it can cool or warm many rooms and larger areas in a home.

Ducted Reverse Cycle vs Split System The Verdict

As always, it is just not possible to say that one system is better than the other. Ultimately, the user is the one to make the call on which is more suitable for their home. Again, this would depend on their own preferences, both for their home, and their air conditioning and heating objectives.

Need more information on ducted reverse cycle vs split system air conditioning? Or looking for a great deal to install either system? Contact us today.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.