Choosing a Reverse Cycle Heating and Cooling System: Window Unit Vs. Split System

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Hello, I am Heidi, and this is my blog devoted to HVAC issues, repair, troubleshooting, maintenance tips and more. Before you dive into my posts, let me introduce myself. I am a mum of three kids and married to an amazing husband. I used to work in the HVAC industry, but now I spend most of my time working as an editor from my house. I needed something that offered the flexibility of staying at home with my little ones, but I miss the hands-on nature of HVAC work. In this blog, I plan to post on a variety of HVAC related topics. If you have questions or concerns, I hope these posts help you.

Choosing a Reverse Cycle Heating and Cooling System: Window Unit Vs. Split System

21 May 2020
 Categories: , Blog

Are you torn between investing in a window unit or split system for your heating and cooling needs? One advantage of these units is that they have a reverse cycle, which allows them to perform two operations — heating and cooling. Thus, they save you the money that you would use to purchase a separate heating system. However, this is the only similarity between window units and split systems. As far as other factors are concerned, they are inherently different. Below is a comparison to help you choose between the two systems.

Heating and Cooling Efficiency

When buying a heating and cooling system, your primary focus should be on efficiency. The last thing you need is a system that doesn't adequately heat or cool your space. You will end up with an air imbalance, a situation that can make your living spaces uncomfortable. In this case, split systems tend to be more efficient at cooling and heating than window units. They can be installed on the floor, and this allows proper circulation of heated or conditioned air in the space. On the other hand, window units are mounted on a window. Since they are high up, they heat and cool the air above the living area, and you may require fans to circulate the air to the living spaces.

Space Considerations

The amount of space to be heated or cooled plays a significant role in determining the best unit for the job. Window units are usually small, and this allows them to effectively cool spaces measuring around 70 square meters. For this reason, they are ideal for small homes such as a medium-sized apartment. You can also use window units for individual rooms such as bathrooms, bedrooms and garages. If you want to cool or heat a space that's around 100 square meters or more, you need a larger unit such a split system. Thus, consider this before making a purchase.

Noise Generated During Operation

Noisy heaters and air conditioners can be annoying. Unfortunately, window units tend to generate noise when operation. Some newer models may be quieter than the older ones, and you may eventually get used to the humming. However, if you want a quiet unit, go for a split system. The indoor air handler is quiet, and this makes it ideal for users who can't deal with noisy systems. However, note that the outdoor unit of a split system may generate some noise. But since it's installed outside, you don't have to worry about it.

These are the key differences between a window unit and a split reverse cycle system. Split systems tend to be more expensive than window units, but they are more efficient and reliable. Talk to an HVAC contractor if you need more help finding the best heating and cooling system for your home.

For more information on heating and cooling systems, check out sites like