If you compare a mini-split system air conditioner and a window AC unit, you will notice the very apparent differences between them, but they do have similarities in how they work.
Many of the air conditioning systems one can find on the market work similarly, but they can also be quite different.
Types of air conditioners include window units, mini-split systems, through-the-wall air conditioners, and portable air conditioners. These units all work to cool or heat a room or an entire home in the relevant seasons.
People tend to purchase mini-split cooling systems if they need to cool their entire home, and others that are looking to cool an individual room lean towards window air conditioners, which do a great job at room cooling, but these two units may have some similarities.
Mini-split and window air conditioners
Window air conditioners are box-shaped air conditioning units that are installed inside a window in a room. They cool the air in the room by extracting the warm air and humidity inside and expelling it outside through condensation.
The moisture is drained from the unit via its outside condenser so that cooler air can be released inside the space. Mini-split cooling systems consist of two units, an indoor and outdoor unit.
The indoor unit is mounted on a wall close to the ceiling and can cool all the living spaces of the home, in which more than one indoor unit can be installed.
These units’ cooling process is the same as that of a window unit – they extract and expel warm air outside and release cooler air inside.
Is a mini-split system air conditioner similar to a window AC unit?
In terms of whether these two systems are similar or not, there are obvious differences between the units visually. The mini-split system has two units, while a window AC is one box unit, among many other differences.
A mini-split system AC is similar to a window AC in that they do the same job of cooling spaces. A mini-split air conditioner is actually a somewhat upgraded version of a window air conditioning system.
It was conceptualised as an alternative to window air conditioners and designed to offset the limitations that window units have in terms of flexibility, efficiency, and performance.
This makes the differences between the two units stark, since one is obviously the better option overall, but also considering that the units are better suited to different conditions and home living set-ups.
Another factor that makes mini-split and window air conditioners similar is that both systems do not require ductwork and blow cool or warm air directly into the room(s), and not through ducts.
Window units are better suited for people who are looking for a temporary cooling option, which is why you may find that most people who get window units do not own homes and are probably renting a home or apartment where a mini-split system would not be permitted.
A window unit can be removed at any point. Mini-split systems work better for people with permanent living arrangements and who are okay with the permanency of a mini-split system.
Mini-split systems are more versatile than window units
Mini-split ACs and window units are not similar in their versatility. Window units are great for cooling single rooms that have a suitable window for the unit to be installed in, whereas mini-split systems can be installed almost anywhere with no structural limitations, regardless of the environment, type of room, or the size of the space.
A mini-split AC system is flexible and can even regulate whole-home climate control, which can cool multiple living spaces at the same time.
Mini-split and window units are not similar in energy efficiency
Considering the different ways that window and mini-split systems cool spaces with different needs, their energy efficiency will certainly not be the same.
Mini-split systems are more energy-efficient, because as much as window units are energy-efficient in their own right, mini-split systems have high-efficiency performing, variable-speed or inverter-type compressors that adjust the unit’s speed to regulate temperatures.
Most window units cycle on and off through fluctuating temperatures, but mini-split ACs maintain a steady temperature cycle, which results in more energy savings.
Mini-split and window units will not be similar in price
With few similarities between mini-split and window units, their price ranges also vary significantly. Generally, window units are the more affordable air conditioning systems between the two.