Window AC or Split AC is the most basic question you will be faced with if you are planning on getting a new air conditioner. Both these types are almost similar in their cooling efficiency but they have some major differences that should be considered before deciding which one to buy.

Window units are the traditional appliances and used to be very popular before the Split units came into the market. Now, split ACs dominate the Indian air cooling market. Is this popularity justified or is it just the novelty that has increased their demand? Let’s find out.

Today, we have listed out all the major differences between a window AC and a split AC and which one you should buy for your home. Stay till the end to find out our final verdict.

Difference Between Split AC and Window AC:

The major difference between a split AC and a window AC is that split AC comes in two separate units, one for the indoor and the other outdoor unit. The window AC on the other hand comes in a single indoor unit. There are some other differences between a window and split ACs, let’s look at them in the table below:

FeaturesWindow AC are the traditional type
of AC and rarely come with newer
Split AC is a newer technology that
comes with additional features
MaintenanceWindow ACs are relatively easy
to maintain and service
Split ACs require frequent servings
and are prone to issues such as
water leakage etc
Both the ACs consume a similar
amount of power if their SEER
rating is the same
Even though they consume similar
power, most split ACs come with extra
features such as power-saving mode etc
which might make them conserve more power.
PricingThey are generally cheaper but
not by a large margin
They are marginally expensive than
window ACs
SuitabilityWindow AC is generally preferred
for smaller rooms
Split AC works for both small and
large rooms.

These are only some of the differences between a window and split AC. Let us look at some of the other major basis of differences between the split and window ACs.

1. Space Requirement:

Space is an important consideration to be made while purchasing an AC. A window AC will occupy the window of your room, this means that if you have only 1 window in the room, then the AC will completely block it. Similarly, in a split AC, there are 2 units. The indoor unit can be attached easily anywhere in the room whereas the outdoor unit needs a dedicated space. This space needs to be a stable place that can handle the weight of the heavy outdoor unit. It also needs to be easily accessible and well ventilated in case of maintenance and servicing requirements.

2. Cooling Power:

Both windows as well as the split AC have similar cooling efficiency. However, the window AC is designed for a smaller room whereas split AC owing to its newer design and powerful units can cool down both small and large rooms with equal efficiency.

3. Aesthetics:

People also prefer split ACs for aesthetic reasons. This is because the split AC is generally attached above the eye-line in a room. This means it does not interfere with the interiors or decor of the room. Window AC on the other hand is attached to the window which will not only occupy the window resulting in minimising ventilation but also interfere with the decor of the room as it is in the direct field of view. You might be able to make it work using creative ideas such as a curtain but this won’t work when the AC is in operation.

4. Design:

The design of both these ACs are so different. Window ACs are easy to clean and maintain because they are closer to the ground whereas for a split AC you need to climb up a ladder to reach the unit.

On the other hand, split ACs come in colourful designs and patterns which are attractive to look at. Window ACs generally come in the same white colour which gets dirty quickly.

5. Price:

Window ACs are generally 5 to 10k cheaper than a split AC. But split ACs come with many innovative features like power-saving mode, fan mode etc which might save you more money in the long run.

6. Ease of Installation:

Installation of both window and split AC requires effort. The installation of a window AC will be difficult if your window has railings on them. As you will need to cut the rails in order to fit the AC in. And if your window does not have any railing, then you need to add sturdy material to keep your unit from falling.

Split AC on the other hand does not require you to dismantle anything. However, they are more difficult to install as the two units i.e. outdoor and indoor units need to be connected with each other. This type of installation is also more expensive and requires expert technicians to perform.

7. Power Consumption:

In general, the power consumption of an AC depends on the SEER/EER rating of the AC. This is the star rating of an AC you see on the information page. The higher the rating, the lesser power consumption than AC will have. However, if both have the same SEER rating then, they will both conserve the same amount of power.

8. Noise:

Split ACs are a clear winner in this case. They produce significantly less noise than a window AC. Some of the newer split ACs have low noise mode or sleeping mode that produce even less noise. Window ACs, even the newer ones, produce quite a lot of noise which might disrupt your sleep and work.

9. Maintenance and Serviceability:

Window ACs are generally easier to maintain. This is because they only have a single unit. They also tend to have fewer features than split AC which makes them less prone to malfunctions. Split ACs on the other hand require a lot of maintenance. Without proper maintenance and servicing, split ACs will develop problems such as refrigerant leakage, water leakage etc. So, split ACs require more attention than window ACs.

Which should you choose?

Which AC you should choose depends on several facts like the size of the room, space available in your room etc. But in terms of whether you should choose split or window ACs, it is better to go for a split AC unless you have budget concerns. This is because they come with a lot of new features that will make your life easier. Some of them are smart app control, energy save mode, sleep mode, display on/off mode etc. They are also better at cooling larger rooms than window AC. However, if you want low maintenance and an affordable option then window AC might be right for you.