Portable Ac Vs Split Ac India: Which one is Best?

Air conditioners are slowly becoming a major requirement for every household as everyone prefers a profound living experience and high-quality air conditioning. While a simple fan and air cooler does not make it possible, you will find various air conditioners that can get the job done with ease.

However, choosing one air conditioner out of various different choices might be a bit confusing for an average consumer. Thus, we are going to give you a detailed comparison between the most popular air conditioning systems in India which are portable air conditioners and split air conditioners.

What Is A Portable Air Conditioner And How Does It Work?

You must have guessed the core competency of a portable air conditioner just by its name. These air conditioners operate on the same basic working principle which is used on all air conditioners. But, portable air conditioners are designed in such a way that they can be easily moved from one place to another. And for perfect distribution and air passage, there are special ducts provided with each unit that is connected to the outside environment.

Similar to all air conditioners, the portable air conditioner absorbs the warmer and unconditioned air from the room and passes it throughout the system so that pure and cooler air can be supplied inside the room. Most portable air conditioners also offer advanced features such as dehumidification and humidification along with basic cooling.

Advantages of  Portable Air Conditioner


As expected, the portability of a portable air conditioner is its strongest suit. This allows the user to set up the air conditioner in any room of the house, given that a proper outlet can be provided via the duct. Thus, you can use a single unit to maintain the temperature of your living room during the day as well as to keep a controlled environment in the bedroom at night.

One more advantage which is offered by portable air conditioners is the option to get it installed in another home. In the case of home renovations or simply shifting to a new place, a portable air conditioner can be simply packed and transported without any problem.

Cheaper Initial Cost

Portable air conditioners come at a very cheaper price tag if you compare them with other larger units such as a split air conditioner or a central air conditioner. Therefore, if you are thinking about limited usage, you can easily manage the average running cost and enjoy an affordable pick.

Easy To Set Up

Setting up a portable air conditioner is much simpler and straightforward as it does not require any extra fixtures. Most of the time, the units arrive fully assembled in the package and all you need to do is find a perfect location for the machine and you can start using it right away.

Disadvantages of a Portable Air Conditioner

Low Power Capacity

Because of the conservative design and form factor, portable air conditioners do not offer as much capability as a full-sized unit. This puts a limitation on the coverage area of the portable air conditioner. While you can still use a portable air conditioner for cooling a small-sized room, it’s future applications will be limited.

Less Energy Efficient

As the portable air conditioners are designed to fit a budget-focused price point, you will find less efficient components in them like the compressor. This affects the overall power consumption of the unit and you will be needing more power to condition a relatively smaller area that increases the running cost by a noticeable margin.

Noisy Operation

Unlike other air conditioners, portable air conditioners only consist of a single unit. Within the one unit, all of its essential components are installed. Due to the absence of an outdoor unit, you will notice an audible noise in its operation as well as vibrations which might be uncomfortable for many users.

Space Consuming

While you will be able to move the portable air conditioner from one place to another, it still needs to be placed on the floor due to its heavyweight and size. As a result, it ends up taking a lot of living space in the room and makes a room much more congested. And when the summer season is over, you will find it very difficult to store a portable air conditioner in any compact space.

What Is A Split Air Conditioner And How Does It Work?

Coming to the most preferred air conditioning system in India, a split air conditioner is an obvious choice for most applications. Whether we are talking about domestic use or commercial, a split air conditioner gets all the tasks done efficiently. The major difference of a split air conditioner is that it offers a unique approach to the air conditioning system as it’s essential parts are divided into two different units.

The units are known as indoor units and outdoor units. The indoor unit is permanently fixed on a wall whereas the outdoor unit is placed outside the room near the indoor unit. This performance the air conditioning tasks fluently as the indoor unit absorbs the hot air from the room whereas the outdoor unit is responsible for providing a cold and conditioned air in the room, keeping the warm air on the outside.


Highly Energy Efficient

Most split air conditioners are powered by an inverter compressor or similarly efficient variant. This can manage the power consumption according to the load on the air conditioner. This brings down the running cost to a very affordable level and makes the unit highly energy efficient.

Great Power Capacity

As there are two different units available in a split air conditioning system, it is possible to install large-capacity components as the size of the outdoor unit does not make any difference in its application whatsoever. Therefore, you will be able to enjoy a perfect air conditioning performance even in large living rooms and bedrooms with a split air conditioner.

No Extra Space Required

The indoor unit of a split air conditioner is always mounted on a wall whereas the outdoor unit is placed on the outside wall. As both of these units do not interfere with the floor space, the split air conditioner becomes a space-saving option in spite of its high cooling capacity. This allows you to install the system in any room of your choice without changing the furniture placement.

No Noise or Vibrations

Almost every single split air conditioner is rated with 100% noise and vibration-free operation. This is possible because all of the noise and heavy components are installed on the outside of the room. As long as your room is perfectly isolated from the outside noise, you will not be facing any unnecessary noise or vibration from a split air conditioner.

Disadvantages of a Split Air Conditioner

High Initial Cost

While a split air conditioner becomes affordable in terms of running cost, it still comes at a very expensive price tag for the initial unit. This is because of the high capacity components as well as the installation cost.

Installation is Complicated

A professional installation is mandatory with a split air conditioner as it is impossible to perfectly set up the outdoor unit all by yourself. This introduces a delay in the beginning in case the brand engineer does not get your job done quickly.

Permanent Installation

As you may have guessed by now, portability is not an option with split air conditioners. Both indoor and outdoor units are permanently fixed on the wall and require professional help even for maintenance. Thus, you will not be able to shift to a new place without keeping your split air conditioner behind or calling professional help for the shifting.

Noisy Outdoor Unit

Even though you will not be facing any noise on the inside of the room, the outside area will have a constantly audible humming sound as long as the air conditioner is operational. This can be a problem if the outer wall is close to a residential place.

Which Air Conditioner Should You Choose?

Deciding on a perfect air conditioner is a hard choice as you are going to invest a considerable amount of money for a brand new air conditioner and need to live with your decision for many years. You have to consider a lot of factors before you can decide which options are going to be a perfect companion according to your needs and living situation. If you need help while choosing the best option for your use, consider the following aspects before buying an air conditioner:

  • Budget range
  • Performance requirement
  • Room size
  • Living conditions
  • Running cost


After a thorough analysis of different applications, it can be concluded that split air conditioners offer many advantages over a portable air conditioner.

Also, the disadvantages of a split air conditioner are somewhat acceptable as it does not affect its performance or the comfort level within a room. While you may have to invest a bit more in the case of a split air conditioner, it is the right choice considering a long time usage and an overall affordable running cost due to maximum energy efficiency.