The arrival of summer months reminds the need for air conditioners for better comfort. India, as a country, is pretty adapted to the usage of air conditioners. In its initial days, window ACs were pretty popular in the country. The machines were mostly present in corporate spaces. But, the picture has changed since then.
Technology brought to the customers different kinds of AC being split, portable, and window air conditioners. These appliances are equipped with a ton of features. Thereby arose the topic of Split AC vs Window AC vs portable AC. This article will shed light on the same subject. It is expected that it will help you differentiate better between the products. The article intends to help you buy the best air conditioner by comparing the detailed features of each type.
Split AC vs Window AC vs portable AC
The figures provided in the following comparison table for the 1-Ton variant of each type. The statistics may differ with the increase in tonnage or for different brands, but the trend remains similar.
Comparison of Split, Window and Portable ACs
1. Space Requirement
The first aspect in Split AC vs. Window AC vs. portable AC is the space requirement of each model. Space requirement is most important in case of the window and split AC since both needs to be mounted. A split AC has more space requirements. It is divided into two units, and the internal unit is pretty broad.
A window AC also requires significant space to be mounted. You need to have sufficient window space to install the same.
A portable AC, on the other hand, does not concern much with space. You can position it anywhere as per convenience. However, it will be ideal if a venting source is present nearby. If lack of space is a problem for you, then it will be good to go for a portable air conditioner.
It is evident from the table that a split AC has lesser weight than the window and portable ones. But this is taking into account the weight of the internal unit only. Split ACs are divided into two units, the internal and the external. The external unit is much heavier than the internal one.
Window and portable ACs are single unit appliances. This accounts for their higher weights. A window AC is difficult to install because of this weight as well. Although a portable AC is heavy, it can be easily handled due to its design.
3. Power consumption
The power consumption of the AC mainly depends on the type and technology of the compressor. The air conditioners with inverter technology are known to be the most efficient in terms of power consumption. A 5-star rating means an AC is more energy-efficient than a 3 star one.
When you compare the power consumption of a window AC and a split AC, the later one consumes less power for a similar star rating.
This can be attributed to the design and host of features provided in the device’s body. A typical portable AC also consumes more power than a window AC. Although it is less expensive to afford a portable air conditioner over a split AC, the cost incurred on the electricity bill is a significant one.
4. Noise and vibration
The generation of noise and vibration by an AC during operation can be very irritating. This was a significant problem in earlier days. Since then, technology has been used to cancel the noise produced by the operation of an AC.
Today, split ACs are guaranteed to be noise and vibration-free by many Indian Brands. This is the primary concern when they are being produced.
Depending on the model, window ACs can generate some significant noise which is sometimes more than a Portable AC during operation. For this reason, it is not a very common appliance observed in households.
4. Cooling space
Cooling space for a particular AC dictates the space that can be effectively cooled. This varies from model to model and depends on the tonnage of the AC as well.
Generally, a split AC has the highest cooling space for medium-sized rooms. If you need an air conditioner for a larger space like a drawing room, you might like to have a Tower Air Conditioner.
Window ACs and portable ACs have lesser cooling spaces owing to their design. The effective cooling of the space depends on its nature. Cooling might take a much longer time if there are a lot of objects or too many individuals.
Most Air Conditioners come with a 5-year or more warranty on the compressor. These days, the bodies of the ACs are crafted with very durable plastic that ensures the long-lasting of the product. However, to ensure durability, proper maintenance is required by the customer.
This includes proper cleaning of the filter and compressor of the window and split AC. You can learn about the frequency of these clean-ups from the manufacturer. Nowadays you need not worry about maintenance if to give AMC to the manufacturer.
In the case of portable ACs, there is the need to empty the drain tanks regularly. This is crucial for the efficient functioning of the appliance.
Proper installation is required to ensure the efficient and appropriate working of the AC. In case of the installation of a split AC, you need support from the manufacturer. During the installation of a window air conditioner as well, professional support is required. Notably, assistance is required from the exterior of the room.
If these appliances are not properly installed, they can go through fault operation. A portable AC, on the other hand, does not need any installation for the indoor unit. This is owing to the design and the working of the air conditioner.
7. Airflow volume
As you can see from the table, the airflow volume of each AC type is measured in CFM. This is a measure of the effective cooling capability of the appliance. Usually, a CFM reading of 300 to 450 is ideal for a 1-ton AC. Today, brands produce their products intending to provide excellent CFM values.
As you can see from the table, the window AC has an outstanding CFM value. In comparison, the split and the portable variant s have lesser CFM values. But these values are pretty significant, given the tonnage of the AC is 1-ton.
8. Refrigerant type
There are mainly three types of refrigerants used in air conditioners, the R-22, R-32 and the R410A. Traditionally, the R-22 and R-32 refrigerants have been most used in the appliances. R410A has been accepted as the industry substitute only as late as 2020. It is less reactive with the environment and is dependable. It cannot be, however, used in R-22 systems.
As we can see from the table, the window and the split models use the R-22 refrigerants. The portable one, however, uses the R410A type. Although R410A is the new substitute, the R-22 is still pretty relevant among manufacturers.
9. Outdoor Unit
The final point to compare a Split, Window and Portable AC is the outdoor unit. Out of the three, the split AC is divided into two units, the indoor one and the outdoor one. However, the outdoor unit must be within 30-meter of the indoor unit.
Window and portable ACs are both single unit appliances. Some portable air conditioners also come with an outdoor unit. This makes it easier to manage but increase their weight significantly. Window ACs automatically drains the water outside.
Portable ACs come with ducts that are used to vent the AC manually. Regular venting is essential to ensure proper functioning.
Advantages and disadvantages of Split, Window and Portable Air Conditioners
Every appliance that you encounter is very much like a coin. They have two sides, the benefits of using them and the difficulties of using them. The same is true for all three air conditioner types. Let’s take a look at the window AC vs. split AC pros and cons along with those of the portable AC.
Split Air Conditioner
- Capable of cooling a larger area.
- Generates less noise and vibration during operation.
- There is no need to make a significant hole in the wall. The compressor is present in the external component that is placed outside.
- Split ACs are more energy efficient
- When mounted on a high position on the wall, they can cool the space evenly.
- Split AC is generally more expensive than the window and portable ones.
- The external unit needs to be kept within 30-meters of the internal unit.
- The external unit generates both noise and vibration.
- Once the warranty is over, the maintenance cost is pretty high.
Window Air Conditioner
- Window AC is generally pretty affordable.
- During operation, water is automatically drained outside.
- Depending on the conditions of the place, the cooling capacity can increase.
- Proper placement can result in a cooling of more than one room.
- Window ACs are a single unit appliance that is easier to handle.
- Blocks the window where it is place.
- It generally produces noise and vibration during operation.
- The position of the appliance cannot be changed easily.
- Exterior support is required at the time of installation.
- There are risks of accidents if the installation is not done properly.
Also Read: Best Window AC in India
Portable Air Conditioner
- There is no need for the installation of a huge outdoor unit in most of the cases of portable ACs.
- The portability accounts for the ease of moving it from one room to another.
- Portable ACs are pretty affordable.
- They can be put away when not needed. Space can then be reused.
- The duct is provided using which you can easily vent the AC.
- Generates a bit much noise at the time of operation.
- Portable ACs are not very energy efficient.
- The drain tanks need to be regularly emptied for efficient functioning.
- These ACs are not ideal for larger cooling spaces.
Frequently Asked Questions
The choice between a window AC and a split AC depends completely on the customer. However, there are certain advantages to using a split AC. The first one being, a split AC, which has a much larger cooling space, and the process is carried out more efficiently.
Also, split ACs produce less noise during operation. There is no need to take into account the window dimension when buying a split AC. Additionally, a split AC will not block the light coming through the window.
To effectively compare split AC and window AC prices, we need to take into account the model specifications. But generally, a window AC is cheaper than a split. This is mainly because the split AC variants are loaded with a host of innovative and additional features. Furthermore, the split AC is divided into two main units, and the overall dimension of the model attributes to the increased price. But typically, the price depends on the specifications of the model and the brand producing it.
Normally, when you purchase an air conditioner, the tonnage of the model is dependent on the size of the cooling area. Hence, if you need the AC to cool a small room, you need to select the model with the appropriate tonnage of AC.
Customers mainly prefer portable ACs for small rooms. These models are designed for lesser cooling space, and portability makes it ideal for the purpose. You can easily position the AC as per your convenience and enjoy the effective cooling. Depending on the room size, a 1 to 1.5-ton portable AC is ideal for a small room.
All modern-day air conditioners are designed such that they provide efficient cooling with minimum possible power consumption. This is also a factor in which customers judge the product from certain brands. Electricity consumption will once again depend on the specification of the model.
Generally, a window AC consumes the least electricity at the time of operation. This is attributed to the design and the features of the appliance. Electricity consumption by your AC will also depend on certain external factors. These include the room size, number of people in the room, color of the room, location of the place, among others.
The answer to this question depends entirely on the customer’s requirements. Both of these products have widely different specifications and features. If the cooling space is small, a portable AC will be the ideal choice.
You can also go for a portable AC if the option to mount the appliance on the wall is not present. A split AC is generally more expensive than a portable one. But, when it comes to cool a larger space efficiently, a split AC is the better option. The number of working aspects in a split AC is more than that of a portable one.
Air conditioners receive their star ratings based on their energy efficiency. A 3-star model is less energy efficient than a 5 star one. The difference can be significantly observed in the electricity bill generated by functioning the appliance. A lesser electricity bill is generated by using a 5 star AC. Naturally, a 5 star AC is the more expensive variant. Hence, the choice between these two variants depends completely on the customer.
That was everything on Split AC vs. Window AC vs. portable AC. Each of these variants is easily available in the Indian market and has been welcomed by the users. Today, different brands compete to bring the customers the best model of each type of air conditioner over air coolers because of compatibility in the Indian climate.
No matter which product you choose, it is essential to take proper care of it. Proper maintenance needs to be ensured to guarantee the long life of the appliance. One can get in touch with the manufacturer or the dealer to learn more about the product you choose.
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Hi, I am Soumya, editor-in-chief at Homeplace. Being a mechanical engineer with more than 7 years of working experience in various industries, I am an expert in this field of consumer products. I decided to combine all my experience blended with scientific analysis and research done by our team into this blog. Comment below or contact me if you have any query.
Last update on 2021-03-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API