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What’s the Difference between a Window AC and a Split AC?

Air conditions are a must when it comes to beating the unbearable summer heat. There are typically two types of air conditioners that are used in a US household: window AC and split AC. While both of these types have the same primary goal of cooling the room or home, there are quite a few differences between the two.

Many homeowners are confused about which air conditioner type they should go for. And we have pieced this guide together to help you with the decision. In this article, we will discuss window AC vs. split AC to help homeowners make a choice.

Split AC vs. Window AC – Comparison

Here is a comparison chart highlighting the differences between the window and split air conditioners. This chart will help you to understand the differences at a glance. 

Window ACSplit AC
DesignOne single unit.Divides into indoor and outdoor units.
SpaceRequires more space, usually an entire window.No specific installation point, and it does not require much space. 
Energy ConsumptionConsumes more energy than split AC.Consumes less energy than window AC.
NoiseCreates a significant amount of noise.Almost silent.
Cooling Capacity Suitable for smaller rooms.Suitable for larger rooms, halls, etc. 
MaintenanceLow-cost and easy maintenanceHigh-cost and complicated maintenance
InstallationVery easy to installInstallation is a bit complicated 
Installation costCosts a very small amountCosts a significant amount of money 
PriceCost-efficient Costs a decent amount of money
Range0.75 to 2 tons 0.8 to 2 tons or more
Lifespan15 to 20 years10 to 15 years

Differences Between Window AC & Split AC

When it comes to window air conditioners and split air conditioners, there are several differences between the two. Take a look at some of the major differences between window and split air conditioners. 


The most basic difference between these two types of air conditioners is the fundamental design. Window air conditioners have a single unit, and all the components are enclosed into one piece of equipment. On the other hand, split air conditioners are divided into two units – indoor and outdoor. 

Required Space for Installation

Another major difference between the two AC types is the space requirements. Window air conditioners require a comparatively bigger space. It typically requires an entire window for installation or a window-sized space on the wall to accommodate the air conditioner.

However, split air conditioners do not require as much space as the window AC. Even though there are two units in a split air conditioner, the units require very less space compared to window AC. 


Both of these air conditioners make noise when operating. However, window air conditioners are quite loud while cooling, and it also makes loud noises when turning on or off. But split air conditioners are almost silent and do not make much noise even during switch on or off.


Window air conditioners are easy to install and can be installed without an HVAC technician. The installation cost of this type is low but relocating the AC is quite difficult. However, the installation of split air conditioners is quite complicated. Also, the cost of installation of split AC is quite high, and relocating this air conditioner type is quite easy. 

Cooling Range/Tonnage

The range of air conditioner cooling depends on the tonnage. Window air conditioners typically range between 0.75 to 2 tons. And the range of split ACs varies from 0.8 to 2 tons or more. 

Cooling Capacity 

In case of an air conditioner, the cooling capacity is usually dependent on the range it offers. If we solely depend on the AC tonnage, both air conditioners should cool the same amount of space. 

However, the split AC cools a larger area than a window AC. This is because the split air conditioners are placed at the top section of the wall. It helps the system to distribute the cold air through a larger space easily.


Regardless of which air conditioner type or model you have installed; ensuring proper maintenance is a must. Both window and split air conditioners require timely maintenance in order to avoid issues that result in major repairs. In terms of maintenance, window air conditioners are the easiest. These air conditioners have a single unit and do not require much maintenance. This ease of maintenance also results in a low service bill. 

However, split air conditioners come in two separate units and require frequent maintenance. This includes cleaning, tune-ups, repairs, and so on. The cost of maintenance is also high for split AC. 

In either case, it’s best if you can hire an air conditioner specialist or an HVAC contractor and set up an annual maintenance deal to keep the A/C unit in the best shape.

Energy Consumption 

Energy consumption differs significantly between split and window air conditioners.  It plays a major role in the energy bill. 

The consumption of electricity depends on the technology and efficiency of the system. Window air conditioners are slightly less efficient compared to split air conditioners. This is because the components in window AC are compactly packed, whereas the split AC is equipped with all the latest technology. So, the energy consumption of window air conditioners is quite higher compared to that of split AC.


When it comes to the lifespan of air conditioners, window AC is the winner, without any doubt. Due to low damage and wear or tear, these systems last easily for about 15 to 20 years before requiring replacement. Split air conditioners last for about 10 to 15 years only if the system is properly maintained. 


Lastly, let us talk about the price of these two air conditioners. Window AC is cost-efficient in quite a few manners. The window air conditioners are available at a low price compared to the split air conditioners. Not only that, but the installation and maintenance costs of window AC are also low. 

Summing Up 

Surviving without an air conditioner in the era of rising global temperatures is a tough challenge. While there are several models and versions of air conditioners available, the types narrow down to window or split. According to the discussion above, both of these types have their pros and cons. 

The window air conditioner helps to save money on installation and maintenance while ensuring long-lasting performance. On the other hand, split air conditioners provide even cooling with very little noise while consuming less energy than the window AC. So, the air conditioner type homeowners should install depends on their space, requirements, and preference. 

Crystal Adkins created Mobile Home Living in 2011 after buying a 1978 single wide and searching online for mobile home remodeling ideas but finding very little. Today, it's the most popular resource in America for mobile home information and inspiration and has been visited over 40 million times.
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Mobile Home Living has been America's go-to resource for all things mobile and manufactured home for over 12 years. We're here to inspire and guide you to make your mobile home your dream home. We aren't associated with any builders or dealers. I've never accepted a penny from them. This blog is sustained by ad revenue and affiliate sales (at no cost to you).

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