Portable AC or Split System: Which One Is Best?

The climatic conditions of Australia are such that air conditioning has become a necessity rather than a luxury. Air conditioners have become a common sight in homes and offices these days and it can be extremely difficult to figure out which air conditioning system is suitable for you. You can either go for a Split System or a Portable AC. Here is a rundown of the pros and cons of each system and some other aspects worth considering that would help you in making an informed choice.

What is a Portable AC?

Portable Air Conditioners aren’t restricted to be used in a single room. Their portability means that they can be moved anywhere in the home with consummate ease. They take in the room’s air and then cool it after drying it out. The hot air is thrown out the window via a tube attached to the device’s back. 

Since they come assembled beforehand, setting up a portable AC isn’t that difficult. You do need to empty a water tank from time to time.


       Can work as a heater



       They are quite expensive

       Not very energy-efficient and can result in an increase in energy bills

       Limited to cooling small rooms

       Low power output

What is Split System AC?

A Split System AC is composed of an inside and outside unit and is thus called a split system. These two units are mounted on the opposite sides of the same wall. Evolution in the designing of these systems has meant that they blend seamlessly into the room’s interior decor. It can prove to be a smart solution for people living in small apartments as doesn’t take up much space in the room.     

You can use a split system AC as a heater too and of its high energy-efficiency, they don’t inflate your energy bills like portable ACs. It operates noiselessly and uses a remote for controlling and programming purposes.

A Split system AC is easier to clean too. Just detach the filters from the unit and then wash them using warm water. Put the filters back in once they have dried out completely.


       Highly energy efficient

       Wide range of functions

       Low maintenance

       Can work as a heater as well

       Don’t take up much space


       Although the initial cost is quite high, it can save money on energy bills

       Needs professional installation

       While the inside unit operates quietly, the outer unit makes a lot of noise

Other Aspects to Consider

Room Size

It is important to keep the room size in mind when buying an air conditioner. If you end up buying a smaller unit, it won’t be able to efficiently cool the room. On the other hand, if you purchase a larger unit, it will cost you a lot of money. Get in touch with air conditioner installation cost the retailer or the manufacturer to determine which sized unit would be suitable for your room size.


Cheaper air conditioners don’t cost much up front but can increase your long-term expenses. Since they aren’t energy-efficient, the cheap units inflate the electricity bill and are always in need of professional maintenance. Expensive units have a high initial cost but are usually low maintenance and highly energy-efficient. 


Reliability of an air conditioner is measured by its warranty and is another crucial aspect when deciding which unit to buy. Don’t trust manufacturers who are offering a limited warranty period.


Find a unit which offers features that you require like night mode, air purifying, dehumidification, remote control via mobile device, timer, etc. Split systems have an edge over portable ACs in this department.


Split AC systems are low maintenance. They simply needs you to clean their filters with warm water after taking them from the unit and then putting them back in once they have dried. Maintaining a portable AC is a bit difficult. Apart from the cleaning of the filter, you have toensure the correct positioning of the unit and the tube. Professional maintenance is needed for ensuring that the outside unit is working according to expectations. 

No matter which AC you end up buying, always have a professional inspect the device before the start of the cooling season.


The decibel level is an important factor to consider when buying a portable AC. So, don’t forget to check it before sealing the deal. Such types of ACs aren’t known for being quiet so you should consider purchasing a split AC system if you are a light sleeper. 


You need professional advice when deciding the location of the AC unit for getting the maximum cooling. Make sure that the distance between the outdoor and indoor units is no more than 15m. You are better off buying a portable AC if your building doesn’t allow you to meet this important requirement.

Bottom Line

Both split system ACs and portable units are equally advantageous. It all comes down to personal choice and requirements. You can think of a split system AC as a long-term investment which can pay you back over time. These units offer cool functions like dehumidifying, air purifying and timer, can be easily maintained and are highly energy-efficient. The portable air conditioners, on the other hand, provide you the chance to use them for cooling multiple rooms which is definitely a handy feature to have.

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