Window AC vs Split AC : Know The Difference?

Split AC vs. Window AC continues to remain an ongoing debate till date.

There is no doubt Splits ACs are becoming increasingly popular day-by-day for their higher energy efficiency and greater cooling potential.

However, the window ACs still remain the most preferred option for many because of their compact size and easy installation.

If you are in a dilemma which one to choose, then read this article thoroughly. Here, we will explore the various factors that plays a crucial role in choosing the right kind of AC for your home.

Let us get started by discussing the differences between a split AC and a window AC.

window ac vs split ac differ

Difference Between Split AC and Window AC

Window Air Conditioner market over the recent years witnessed some technological advancements like increased power efficiency and lower power consumption. This made the window ACs remain in the foray, giving a tough competition to split ACs.

Here is a comprehensive analysis of both types of air conditioners to help you select the best one:

Product Units Single Unit Double unit: Indoor and Outdoor
Tonnage Maximum 2 tons Up to 3 tons
Airflow Control Comparatively less than a split unit Offers great control over the airflow
Design Compactly designed to fit into a window. Designed as wall-mounted devices (both indoor and outdoor units).
Cooling Efficiency Offers less cooling efficiency Offers high cooling efficiency when compared to a window AC
Power Consumption More power consumption in comparison to a split AC Less power consumption
Cost Cheap and Affordable Expensive and may increase depending on the models
Noise Levels Tend to be noisy Noiseless
Ease of Installation Easy and less time consuming Difficult and time-consuming
Servicing Easy Not so easy
Product Variants Has less options Plethora of options are available
Ideal for Ideal for Bedrooms Ideal for bedrooms and living rooms

1. Price

A split AC is expensive compared to a window AC and may cost you almost double the price. While a window AC with a cooling capacity of 1-1.5 will cost you around Rs. 25,000 -30,000, the similar version in a split AC may range from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000.

The installation charges and the maintenance cost are also low for a window AC than a split AC. On the other hand, a split AC has low operational costs.

If you have a budget constraint, choose the cost-effective one. Since purchasing an AC is a long-term investment, we recommend you make a wise decision by considering the factors like efficiency, operational costs, and longevity.

2. Space Requirement

Both window AC and split AC are different in size and require space accordingly. Let us learn more about these cooling systems.

  • A window AC has a single unit that comprises both indoor and outdoor components.
  • The split AC is a multi-unit device comprising an outdoor unit and one/more indoor units. While the outdoor unit includes the compressor and the condenser, the indoor component has the evaporator.

Window air conditioners come in different sizes. You need to be precise about the window size to ensure the unit fits in exactly. Sometimes, it can be challenging to find the opening or windows for installing your AC.

Split ACs have indoor and outdoor components to install. Though both are wall-mounted devices, you need a dedicated place for mounting the outside unit. However, there is no requirement for a huge opening to make the wires and pipes crawl through the walls.

The advantage with a split AC is that you can have indoor and outdoor units placed on either side of the wall. You also have the flexibility to mount your outdoor unit above the window-sill.

If you want to ensure the outdoor unit has proper ventilation, you can have it fixed accordingly, by extending the pipes’ length. Meanwhile, you can mount your indoor unit at a comfortable location inside the room for thorough distribution of air.

The major drawback with a window AC unit is that it does not offer this flexibility to the users. In most apartments or flats, it can be practically impossible to install window ACs because of the space constraint.

3. Cooling Power

A window AC is compact in design, and hence it is ideal for smaller rooms or places. Split air conditioners are best suitable for larger rooms because of their cooling efficiency. Hence, room size is a key determining factor for purchasing an air conditioner.

As mentioned earlier, a window AC has a single unit, and hence the cooling capacity is proportionate to the size. If you want a window AC with a higher tonnage capacity, the bigger will be its size. Moreover, window ACs are available with a maximum cooling capacity of up to 2 tons only.

When it comes to split AC, the outdoor component is responsible for the cooling job. As it gets installed outdoors, it can be of any size. Hence, there is no tonnage limit as such for these types of air conditioners.

It is advisable to choose the tonnage capacity depending on the size of the area of the room. If you want to cool a large room, the capacity requirement may come around 3 tons when calculated. We advise you not to buy a 3-ton unit but go for two units with a cooling capacity of 1.5 tons. 

Many a time, you may not require cooling the whole area. In such a case, you can switch off one and have the other one working. This way, you can save on your power consumption and also electricity. In the worst case, if there is a breakdown of one AC unit, you can be fortunate enough for the other one working. This will not affect your workflow.

4. Aesthetics

An air conditioner is one such appliance that has become an integral part of every home, adding the aesthetic look of every home. People, these days, prefer to have a unit that matches the interior décor of the room.

When considering the aesthetic appeal, a split AC can be a good option as it is pretty much visible hanging on the wall. You may explore and choose from the variety of designs available that look like artwork. The stylish designs can enhance the overall appearance of your room.

A window AC being virtually invisible seems to fail in this category.

5. Design

A window air conditioner is specifically designed for windows, and hence it is a single unit. It has all the components like the condenser, compressor, expansion valve, and others enclosed in a cuboid-shaped box.

We all know that a split AC consists of the outdoor unit and indoor unit, wherein the outdoor component comprises the compressor condenser and expansion valve. The indoor unit encloses the capillary tube, evaporator, and cooling fan.

Various designs and colours are available in a split AC that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your room all together. Contrary to this, a window AC has its colour to white alone.

6. Ease of Installation

A window AC offers ease of installation when compared to a split AC. However, one should not forget that installation requires a professional and can incur cost on the installation process, irrespective of the type of unit.

The installation charges for a window AC are less when compared to a split AC. Moreover, they are portable enough to carry and easy to relocate.

Installation of a split AC is a not-so-easy process. It is very time-consuming and difficult, too. To install a split air conditioner, you require a three-inch hole for passing the pipe through it

to connect the indoor and outdoor unit. This hole lies behind the indoor unit, hence it is invisible and does not alter the look of your room.

Whereas, a window AC requires a huge opening to install. Moreover, it requires a window of the same size as that of the unit. If you are someone living in a rented house, your window AC should match all the above criteria, which is mostly impossible. Hence, a split AC is the best option whether you own a house or live in a rented home and apartment.

7. Power Consumption

The power consumption is entirely dependent on the BEE star rating. The higher the rating, the greater is the energy efficiency. A 5-star air conditioner consumes less energy which is almost 10% less than what a 4-star unit consumes. So, whether you buy a split AC or a window unit, you can save 10% energy on your system with the difference of a single star.

A window AC with a 3-star and a 1.5-ton capacity is an ideal choice for a small room and normal usage. However, if you have a large room and use the unit for about 15 hours a day, then a 5-star split AC will be the best bet. It helps you save more energy and your utility bills.

8. Noise

A window AC is louder when compared to a split AC. It is noisy even when not operating. This is because the compressor and the inner blower for this kind of air conditioner are in the same unit.

When it comes to the split AC, this is not the case because the indoor and outdoor units are two separate components. Hence, it is virtually quiet in comparison with a window AC. The compressor, which is the loudest part of the outdoor unit, and other similar parts come equipped in the outdoor unit itself. The indoor unit that comprises the evaporator does not make any noise, hence provides much comfort to the occupants.

9. Maintenance and Serviceability

As discussed earlier, a window AC has just one unit, and hence it requires less maintenance. Moreover, the maintenance cost is also very low, and the servicing is also easy. Unlike this, a split AC has two units and hence requires frequent maintenance sessions. Also, the servicing can be tough.

Window AC and split AC- Which one to choose?

I am sure the above discussion gave you ample information on window AC and a split AC. This must clarify all your doubts concerning which one is the best suitable for you.

  • If you want to go for an air conditioner that suits your budget, then a window AC is the best option for you. Split ACs, however, are expensive and may not fit your budget range in comparison to a window version.
  • If power consumption is your primary constraint, then we recommend you to opt for a split AC, as it is energy-efficient. Always prefer a 5-star rating in split ACs that enhance efficient energy consumption, thereby maximizing your power consumption savings. These ACs can be expensive upfront, but they guarantee power-saving and hence are cost-effective in the long run.
  • If interior decor and aesthetics are your deciding factors when purchasing AC, go for a split AC without a second thought.


To conclude, choosing an AC is entirely dependent on an individual preference, comfort, and convenience. However, a wrong decision can significantly impact your utility bills in the long run.

With summers creeping in, choose the right air conditioner that is advantageous and helps you reduce your electricity consumption. Time to make an informed decision, and we are sure you will.

If you need more information or if you want to let us know of your decision between a window AC or a split AC, let us know in the comments section below. We would be happy to hear from you.

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