Window ACs vs split units – which one is better for you?

Window ACs vs split units – which one is better for you?

QL Classifieds
By QL Classifieds

If you’re moving into an unfurnished apartment in Qatar, you might have to purchase air-conditioning units for your new home. Buying new appliances can be an expensive affair and if you’re budget conscious, getting a used or second-hand AC is an excellent option. But how do you choose which one to get between a window AC and a split unit? We’ve sorted you out with a detailed comparison between both, enabling you to make an informed decision.

Before we delve into the specifics, it’s important to understand what a window AC or a split unit actually is. A window AC is a simple air conditioning system with all its components cased into one big cube. Window ACs, as the name suggests, are usually mounted on windows or on walls. A split unit is larger than a window AC and is split into two units – one indoor and one outdoors. The ODU (Outdoor Unit) comprises the compressor and the condenser while the IDU (Indoor Unit) or the internal unit has the evaporative part.

And to make a distinction between the two and understand which one is better for you, there are a few things you will need to consider.


A window AC is usually priced lower than a split unit, for the same tonnage. And this is not just for the purchase price, the savings also extend to the maintenance. In Qatar, due to the extreme heat especially during summer, ACs usually require regular cleaning and maintenance. A window AC, being just a single unit, is much cheaper to maintain as compared to a split unit that has an indoor as well as an outdoor unit. Qatar Living has plenty of options for repairing and maintaining ACs and you can easily do a price comparison and pick the one that’s suitable for you. 


A window AC is much larger in size and demands more space, especially because all its components are cased into one unit. A split unit has the advantage of giving you flexibility because it has two separate units that can be installed on either side of the wall. Another thing to check for is the provision for air conditioning in your rental apartment. In many cases, if a provision has been made for a window AC only, that’s probably what you’d need to buy. If you’re particularly keen on having a split AC, you’ll need to discuss this with your landlord or rental agency beforehand. While most apartments in Qatar have provisions for split, some areas with older apartments such as Old Airport and Najma are known to mostly house window ACs.


Even though a window AC may not be operating on a heavy load, it is quite noisy. And that noise is further eminent because it is mounted on a window. While you might eventually get used to that noise, if you aren’t already, when looking for something silent,  a split unit is your best bet. The split is virtually noise-free because the compressor, responsible for most of the noise in a window AC, is actually composed within the outdoor part of the split AC. 


A window AC requires a measured space to fit the entire unit in, and of course requires a lot more space than a split unit, which alternatively just requires a 3-inch hole for the connecting pipes to pass through. Since the split unit has an IDU and an ODU, all that’s required is to connect the two. You can find plenty of companies that install any kind of AC and perform the required works from drilling to installing and testing on Qatar Living.  

Electricity consumption and efficiency

In terms of energy efficiency, there are a lot of things to consider. Usually, newer models have better built-in energy-saving technologies. However, window ACs are more effective in smaller rooms, under 300 square feet. Split units have no limits, but they do cool the room faster making them more efficient. For better efficiency in a split, make sure the pipes connecting the internal and external units are properly insulated. 


It’s undeniable – a split AC is definitely more aesthetically pleasing than a window unit. You can find some window ACs, especially the newer models, that aren’t eyesores but if you’re fixated on something that can blend well with your room without being a large obstruction, a split unit easily serves the purpose better. 

Size of your room

The size of your room is important to determine the type of AC you’re going to get. Window ACs work best in smaller rooms, with better air circulation. However, window ACs have limited tonnage and if you have a large room with higher ceilings, a split unit works best. Because split units are mounted high on up the wall, it allows for better cooling in large spaces. Also, you can get split units of higher tonnage so for a massive space, you could easily find a 3 ton split AC. However, if it’s an area such as a combined living and dining room, you could always consider getting two separate ACs of 1.5 ton each. This way you could always switch one AC off if you want just one area cooled. 

There is an extensive selection of used and second-hand window ACs and split units on Qatar Living, for your next home.


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