Air conditioner or split system - which is better? Comparative review
If a person thinks about how to improve the climatic conditions in his home, office, then there will be a dilemma about what is better - air conditioning or a split system. This happens because each of these types of equipment has its own advantages, as well as disadvantages - that is, there is no ideal option.
But to solve the problem of choice will help the study of the characteristics and characteristics of each of them.
What type of equipment to choose
At their core, air conditioners and split systems are two types of one type of demanded climatic equipment. That is, they are designed to solve the same tasks, while the principle of their operation is similar.
And the only difference is that the air conditioner is monoblock, that is, its case is one unit, and each split system offered to customers consists of two parts.And they are always placed in different places - one of them is installed outside the heated room, and the second inside.
Since the functionality of monoblock models and split systems is similar, they are all capable of effectively cooling the air in a residential, working and any other, relatively small, room. At the same time air drying is performed. It is necessary to ensure sufficient comfort in the room, to prevent the development of bacteria.
In addition to today an important feature of air conditioners, split systems has become versatility. As a result, heating with concomitant dehumidification may not be the only function available to the user.
Therefore, anyone will be able to purchase the unit, additionally performing ventilation and filtration.
Nevertheless, you should know that the listed functions in both species can be considered no more than additional. Since there are a number of operational limitations. For example, the ventilation mode is optimally used only in winter, if warm air accumulates at the top, and it is cold near the floor.
Filtering often allows you to fight only with dust, but more and more often manufacturers equip their products:
- ionizers- designed to destroy bacteria, purify air from odors and other contaminants;
- fine filters- they serve to clean the air from various allergens, molds, etc.
But only air conditioners belonging to the most expensive category, which are not available to everyone, will be able to compare in efficiency with air purifiers.
And all the models relating to these types of equipment, are domestic. That is, they serve to cool apartments, small shops, restaurants, private houses, offices. For the treatment of air in large premises units of a completely different class are used, which are considered to be professional.
Varieties of modern air conditioners
If a potential buyer needs to understand the question of whether a monoblock air conditioner or a split-system consisting of several parts is better, then one should begin with an introduction to the types of this equipment.And for convenience, they created quite a lot.
Split systems are further divided into:
- cassette- are mounted in the ceiling space;
- ducts- they are installed between the main and hinged ceilings and allow to cool the air in several necessary rooms at once;
- wall mounted- the name indicates the main feature;
- floor standing- Unlike all kinds of wall models, they allow you to avoid the effects of direct air flow on people in the room. In addition, this type of equipment more evenly distributes the cooled mass, which is a significant advantage.
Channel aggregates feature of their work must channels diluted by the rooms located nearby. These are ordinary corrugated pipes, with the help of which warm masses are taken and cold ones are supplied. The equipment allows air conditioning multi-room apartment, a large office and other things.
If there is a need to process the air in several rooms, then it is logical to use effective multi-split systems. Their peculiarity is that any number of internal is connected to one external unit.And they can be of different power, brand, located at different distances from the outer part of the system.
At the same time there is an important disadvantage, in the form of the same single external unit. So, if it breaks down, the entire air conditioning system created by the owners of the premises fails.
Monoblock air conditioners are divided into:
- Mobile- the most demanded equipment of this type.
- Windowed- they have already served their own, so this type is represented in the lines of only a few manufacturers, not related to the top. The reasons for unpopularity are low efficiency and low thermal insulation of the room, where external air gets through the design of the product.
As a result, the monoblock view today is represented mainly by mobile air conditioners, compact and mounted on wheels. Therefore, it is convenient to move or transport them somewhere. What is their main feature.
Comparison of the most important characteristics
Although many common features have been listed above, the constructive nuances have an effect. Therefore, both species possess a number of characteristics inherent only in their appearance, both positive and negative.
Performance for efficient cooling
Monoblock products are designed for air conditioning rooms of 15-35 square meters. m. And the models related to split systems are more powerful, which gives them the opportunity to cope with the same work in rooms reaching 50-80 square meters. m. Although most of them are also designed to work in small areas.
Hence the conclusion: monoblock air conditioners should be bought only to cool the air in small living rooms, kitchens, offices, commercial premises. Whereas split-systems can work effectively in a wider range of areas. This factor is important to consider when choosing.
Noise - the main drawback
Superiority in the performance of the split-systems occurs due to the fact that the noisiest part of their design, called the compressor, is on the street.Therefore, manufacturers can provide the models related to this variety, any necessary power, and without the risk of reducing the comfort of living people.
As for the monoblock products, the noise-producing compressor due to its design features is inside the case, and therefore, in a residential or office space. As a result, designers are limited in their ability to increase their productivity, which leads to an increase in noise and sound pressure.
Such discomfort will interfere with living quietly, reading a book, working and certainly causing harm to health. This is an urgent problem, and it is reflected in the legislative acts of all post-Soviet countries.
As a result, monoblock units lose to their two-block counterparts not only in power, which is not critical, but also in noise. The last point is fundamental for many potential buyers, making a choice in favor of models of one or another type of air conditioners.
But the premature decision is not worth taking,since the noise level of monoblock air conditioners is just slightly higher than that of split-systems, but it is within the framework of common sense and various regulations.
Therefore, everything depends on the personal perception of a person and it is recommended to simply make a comparison. Although a clear advantage in this matter for double-block units.
Functionality: no clear leader
Split systems are often equipped with various additional equipment, for example, ionizers, effective filters, various control sensors, etc. And they have additional functions to make the work better and less energy consuming.
However, most often opponents of monoblock air conditioners complained about such inconveniences as the need to carry out condensate draining manually. In some cases, this operation had to be performed every 3 hours.
In addition, there was a lack of accuracy in monitoring the climatic conditions in the room, which led to the mediocre quality of the implementation of the established program.
But today it is not uncommon models of monoblock air conditioners, devoid of these disadvantages.They can independently remove moisture into the heat exchanger, so every few hours to devote time to the air conditioner is no longer necessary.
And also in recent years, the quality of temperature control in the room has improved significantly, as a result of the errors of the models of leading manufacturers have become insignificant. For example, Electrolux monoblock conditioners have long had deviations within 1 ° C, which is quite decent.
If a potential buyer plans to use the equipment throughout the year, including for heating, then you should pay attention to the availability of such an opportunity. As heating with the help of split-systems it is recommended to carry out only in the spring-autumn period, and if more precisely, to -5 ° C.
Therefore, in most cases, the air conditioner does not replace the main types of heating (centralized or autonomous system).
You can ignore this rule, in the worst case, it will end up with a breakdown when it starts up in a hard frost. With a favorable outcome, the unit will be able to survive only 2-3 winters, which is not enough, considering the cost of modern air conditioners.The reason for the short lifetime is increased wear of the loaded parts of the compressor.
To avoid such problems, additional equipment will help, but even it will not prevent a decrease in power by 3 times at twenty degrees of frost. This will make the system ineffective.
Monoblock air conditioners do not have such a feature - they are always inside the room. And for heating are used built-in ceramic heaters that do not burn oxygen.
As a conclusion, you can point out that the buyer should consider the following peculiarity: a clear advantage of split-systems is manifested only in the segment of the most technologically advanced, and, therefore, expensive products. Therefore, if you have money to buy a unit with a self-cleaning function, climate control and others, then it is better to buy a split system.
If there is no desire to spend money on all the most modern "chips", then the functionality will be of a similar level. Therefore, it will be necessary to make choices based on other advantages and disadvantages.
Reliability and mobility of devices
It would seem that structurally similar and equally functional products should have similar reliability. So it is, but the external blocks of absolutely all split-systems work in a more aggressive environment, which significantly reduces the durability of these products. Yet this process is natural and there is nothing to complain about.
The external unit of any model is rigidly attached to the outer wall, and the inner one to the wall, floor. It turns out that each product belonging to this species is strictly stationary.
This is a significant difference from the majority of monoblock air conditioners that designers install on rollers. As a result, the owner can always move it to the desired angle or even another room, if there is the possibility of removing hot air. That will help not only to obtain high-quality cooling, but also to save.
For example, split-systems can make the climate comfortable only in one room. If you need air cooling in the adjacent parts of the building, then you need to buy additional air conditioners.
But one-piece products can be transported from the kitchen to the bedroom, other rooms.True, this is not very convenient - it will work only as an economy option.
There are one-piece air conditioners and a significant limitation in the form of a flexible hose, bred in the open window, a hole in the wall. This element cannot be dispensed with, since it is designed to remove hot air outside the room.
As a result, monoblock products, in the opinion of many users, are considered only conditionally mobile. Yet this is not an obstacle for their transportation to the country, when transported to another rented apartment.
Split systems are also mobile, but the insignificant volumes of their sales, as well as the unwillingness of most manufacturers to develop such equipment, testifies to its unpopularity.
About the cost of installation work
Today, the installation of a split system is not cheap pleasure. Even when there are no particular difficulties for performing this operation, you will have to part with an impressive sum of 20-30% of the cost of the purchased product.
You can save money by entrusting work to non-professionals, but this is fraught with, since the durability depends on the correctness of installation, and this is significant.
Problems with installation are deprived of the owners of monoblock air conditioners. Since it will work in any place where it was installed. But with one limitation - it is imperative to ensure the withdrawal of the flexible pipe through which hot air is transported, outside the housing, office.
To do this, make a hole in the wall, window, which is also an additional cost, although in this case everything is easier and cheaper.
Replace these works can cover of dense polyester fabrics such as polyester. It is quickly and easily placed between the window frame and any of its sash installed on the airing. Then the air hose is attached to the hole.
Often, the owners of monoblock air conditioners out of position, leading the pipe directly into the open window. Such a solution can only be considered as temporary, because it will allow to noticeably cool the air, but with much higher energy costs, which is not profitable.
In this category, despite all the limitations and difficulties, there is a clear advantage over monoblock air conditioners. This means that the owners of such products significantly save money at the stage of purchasing and installing the selected unit.
Significance of design when choosing a device
The monoblock conditioner most often represents a design in height within the limits of 70 cm, width of the majority of models does not exceed 40 cm.
The design of the internal units of the split system is very diverse, as they come in various thicknesses and lengths. If necessary, you can even hide such a device. Body color is offered by manufacturers in a wide range.
In practice, buyers do not differ in their special claims - most often they purchase classic white products that easily fit into any furnishing of housing, offices, shops.
Nevertheless, a person with a special taste is better to choose a split system because of the greater variety of design solutions.
When vandals create problems
People living or working on the lower floors of buildings should take into account that external units located within the reach of vandals often suffer from their actions.
To prevent damage to the equipment it should be placed as high as possible, if the neighbors are not against it. It is possible to provide for the presence of protective structures. What implies additional costs.
How to decide on the equipment?
When the future owner of the air conditioner finds it difficult to make a choice of climate technology, then it is necessary to take a sheet of paper and indicate on it all the necessary parameters.
And then pick up the most suitable type of equipment for them. After that, make a choice of the model relating to the desired type.
The procedure can take several steps. First you need to determine the exact area of the room, the air in which will cool the air conditioner. If it is up to 35-40 square meters.m, then the desired type will have to choose further.
If the area is larger, then only the split-system will be the best solution, since it is unlikely that a person will find the desired monoblock conditioner.
Secondly, the issue of noise is to be resolved - it is relevant for most buyers, so it is not advisable to postpone it. For what it is necessary to go to retail stores, to acquaintances and compare the sound pressure indicators of different models, in order to understand whether more noisy monoblock products are suitable or to stop the choice on quiet split-systems.
If the final choice is not made at this point, then you need to pay attention to the desired functionality of the air conditioner. When it comes to premium features, you will need a split system.
In the absence of the desire to spend money on installation, anti-vandal means, canopies that protect the air conditioner from moisture, it is worth choosing a monoblock model.
When the choice is still not made, additional arguments will have to be used.For example, it may be a suitable design. It should be understood that in the case when the model should be mobile, the question of choice should end only in the acquisition of a suitable one-piece model. This applies to buyers, renting housing, commercial premises, summer residents.
No alternative will have to abandon the acquisition of a split system for people living in buildings, classified by the authorities to the historical heritage. Since to spoil their facades and other walls is not a good idea.
The possible complexity of the choice indicates that no one type of equipment has clear advantages over the other. This is confirmed by statistics: more often people buy split-systems, but this advantage is far from overwhelming.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Attached below video will help potential buyers to quickly figure out what kind of air conditioner would be preferable for them.
In the video, an overview of the capabilities of a compact split system:
At present, mobile monoblock air conditioners, as well as split-systems, are effective equipment that can cool the required air volume and perform a number of additional functions.And if necessary, it will do it all automatically. But each of these types has a number of advantages and disadvantages, considering which potential buyers should make the choice of the optimal model.