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Ducted vs Split Systems

Australia is a hot country, and Adelaide residents are no strangers to soaring summer temperatures. Many of us turn to our air conditioners to stay comfortable, even though they can put a serious dent in our power bills. Split systems and ducted air conditioning are the two most popular options across the country. Both do a good job of keeping your house cool, but they come in lots of varieties and power levels, with some consuming more power than others. To figure out which system is right for you, we’re going to look at which type of air conditioner uses the most energy.

Split System Air Conditioning Running Costs

In most cases, split system air conditioners will consume less energy than ducted systems.

Power consumption aside, split system air conditioners are one of the most popular cooling choices across Adelaide. They’re compact, affordable and flexible enough for installation in most rooms. When you’re only trying to cool one room or a smaller space, split system air conditioning does a fantastic job.

How much energy your split system uses depends on a lot of things, like its age and efficiency rating, the brand and how much space it’s designed to cool. In general, most newer split systems consume between 2kW and 6kW of energy. Figures from Canstar show that the average Adelaide household uses about 180kWh per year to power their split system air conditioners. At an average rate of 31.59c per kW of electricity, that means we’re spending about $56.86 per year on cooling. While that number sounds reasonable, it’s important to remember that it’s only for one small 2-2.5kW air conditioner. If you wanted to cool three different rooms then you could multiply that figure to get $170.58 per year. If you wanted to cool an entire home it would cost even more than that.

Ducted Air Conditioning Running Costs

Ducted air conditioning makes it simple to cool your entire home at the touch of a button. Modern systems that feature zoning controls even allow you to section off parts of your home and send cool air to the rooms you’re actually using.

Cooling an entire home means ducted systems need to be substantially more powerful, usually between 7kW and 24kW. Their power consumption goes up accordingly. On the lower end that means ducted systems cost approximately $2.20 per hour to run in summer, about 3.25x more than it costs to run a 2.5kW split system. Running your ducted system for 2 hours per day quickly adds up to about $388 per year. But, thanks to zoning, you can close off certain zones and reduce the amount of power your air conditioner is consuming.

Which is Better?

There is no one-size-fits all solution for heating and cooling around the home. Lots of factors can change which type of system is right for you. How much time do you spend at home each day? Is your home insulated? Do you need heating as well as cooling? How large is your home? Your answer to all of these questions will change whether ducted or split systems are a better choice for you.

The most important thing to consider is how many rooms you want to cool. Modern ducted air conditioners can cool your entire home at once. With the addition of zoning technology, you can also shut out rooms you don’t want to cool. Powerful motors and fine control makes ducted better for cooling entire homes, large spaces or lots of rooms at once. While the up front installation cost of ducted systems can be high, they’re an investment in the value of the home, and they may be cheaper to run than multiple split system air conditioners.

Reducing Your Energy Bills

Heating and cooling accounts for about 40% of all energy consumption in Australian homes. That means we’re each putting a big chunk of our money towards keeping our homes comfortable with air conditioning. If your power bills are creeping up, maintaining your air conditioning is a good way to keep them under control. Air conditioners contain drains, filters and heat exchangers that all need to be kept clean. Your yearly air conditioning service should include:

  • Cleaning or replacing filters
  • Cleaning the condenser
  • Cleaning and clearing drains
  • Checking refrigerant system
  • Inspection and testing of all motors and components

These simple cleaning and checklist items can drastically improve the way your air conditioner runs, which directly translates into less energy consumed.

Need to Service Your Air Conditioning? Contact Air Conditioning Doctor Today!

South Australian winter is one of the most power-heavy times of the year. Most of us turn to our heaters and reverse cycle air conditioners to stay comfortable during the colder months. It’s a good idea to have your system serviced before the cold sets in to make sure everything is clean and running properly. Regular servicing by the Air Conditioning Doctor team can keep your family warm and make sure there are no surprises when your power bill comes! Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services or to make an appointment.

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