Air conditioning systems are an integral part of our lives, providing comfort in varying climates and ensuring we can enjoy our indoor spaces, regardless of the external conditions.

Why air conditioning matters in Essex

In places like Essex, where the weather can swing between humid summers and chilly winters, having a reliable air conditioning system is not a luxury; it’s a necessity.

The Split Air Conditioning System

Overview and Working Principle

Split Air Conditioning System / Split Air Conditioning System

Comprising an outdoor and an indoor unit connected through refrigerant lines, split air conditioners are designed to efficiently cool or heat specific zones or rooms in your home.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Efficient cooling/heating, quiet operation, versatility in installation.

Cons: Higher initial cost, requires professional installation.

Cost Aspects: Installation

When it comes to installing a split AC, the costs can vary based on the number of rooms or the total area to be conditioned:

  • Single room: Between £500 and £1500.
  • Double-room: Ranging from £1500 to £2500.
  • Multi-room system: Installation can reach as high as £5000.

Operating Costs

Understanding the operational costs can be a game-changer when evaluating the total cost of ownership. Considering the Energy Price Guarantee UK rate of £0.34/kWh for the period Jan 2023-March 2023:

Split AC Unit’s Running Cost

  • A split AC unit consumes around 480 watts an hour, translating to a cost of 0.16p per hour.

Central/Ducted AC Running Cost

  • Central or ducted air conditioners can consume up to 5000 watts an hour, costing £1.70 for an hour of operation.

Portable Air Conditioning Machines

Overview and Working Principle

Split Air Conditioning System

Portable air conditioners, as the name suggests, can be moved across rooms. They pull in the warm indoor air, cool it down, and then return the cooled air back to the room.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: No installation hassles, mobility, and initially more affordable.
  • Cons: Less energy-efficient, can be louder, and may not be ideal for larger spaces.

Cost Aspects

While portable units have a lower initial purchase cost, they may end up costing more in the long run due to their lower energy efficiency and potential for frequent repairs or replacements.

Energy Efficiency and Maintenance Costs

Diving deeper into the operational costs for portable units:

Large Portable Air Conditioner Running Cost

  • A large portable air conditioner uses about 990 watts an hour, leading to a cost of 0.33p per hour.
  • If continuously operated, this sums up to £7.92 per day and a staggering £221.76 per month.
  • However, given its impressive 9000 BTU capacity, this type of portable AC can cool a sizable 20㎡ room more rapidly, thus using less energy over time.

The Essex Connection: Johns Air Conditioning

Why choose Johns for your air conditioning needs

Johns Air Conditioning in Essex stands out for its expert services, high-quality systems, and commitment to customer satisfaction. Their vast experience ensures that you get the best, both in terms of equipment and service.

Split AC vs. Portable – Head-to-Head: Which is More Cost-Effective?

Comparison Analysis

Split AC vs. Portable / Split Air Conditioning System

When it comes to selecting an air conditioning system, the battle often boils down to the split air conditioning system versus portable machines. The answer to the question of cost-effectiveness isn’t simply a matter of checking the price tag. Instead, one needs to consider both short-term and long-term perspectives, weighing factors like initial purchase costs, installation fees, running costs, maintenance expenses, and the system’s longevity. Let’s dissect each aspect to give a clearer picture.

Initial Purchase and Installation Costs

Split Systems: While these systems are generally more expensive up front, ranging anywhere from £500 for a single-room setup to as much as £5000 for a multi-room system, they are built to last and are highly efficient. The installation process, although professional and potentially more costly, guarantees a long-lasting setup with minimal hassles in the future.

Portable Units: They might appeal to the budget-conscious consumer due to their comparatively lower initial cost. Plus, the lack of professional installation requirements can further reduce initial expenses. However, one must remember that these units, while handy, are not typically designed for prolonged and rigorous use.

Running and Operational Costs

Utilizing the given data:

Split Systems: A split AC unit costs 0.16p/hour, while a central system incurs about £1.70/hour. If operated consistently, split systems prove to be energy-efficient and cost-effective in the long run, especially in larger homes or spaces where the cooling needs are substantial.

Portable Units: A sizable portable AC will run you about 0.33p/hour, adding up to £7.92/day if operated non-stop. This means that while a portable unit is initially more affordable, its running costs can accumulate swiftly, especially if used extensively.

Durability and Maintenance

Split Systems: Being robust and designed for prolonged use, these systems often come with extended warranties and require less frequent maintenance. This longevity can lead to fewer long-term expenses related to repairs and replacements.

Portable Units: Portable ACs, being mobile and lightweight, are more prone to wear and tear. Consequently, they may require more frequent maintenance checks or even replacements, adding to their long-term cost.

Future Savings

If your goal is prolonged and frequent use of the AC system, a split system, with its energy efficiency, is likely to bring more savings in the long run.


The right air conditioning choice hinges on both immediate budget constraints and long-term operational costs. Essex residents are fortunate to have trusted providers like John’s Air Conditioning to guide them through this decision.


Which system is better for large homes or offices?

Typically, split or ducted air conditioning systems are more suited for larger spaces.

How frequently should I maintain my portable AC unit?

Maintenance is advised at least once a year, but it varies based on usage and specific models.

How do energy costs of split systems compare to portable ones?

Generally, split systems are more energy-efficient than portable units, leading to lower running costs.

Should I consider professional assistance for split system installation?

Absolutely, professional installation ensures the system’s efficiency and safety.

Why is John’s Air Conditioning recommended for Essex residents?

Their expertise, quality of service, and commitment to customer satisfaction make them a top choice.