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What is Split Type Aircon?


Modern-day AC units, such as a split-type aircon, are gaining more attention in the market today. But what is split type aircon?

A split air conditioning system is known for its quiet yet powerful and energy-efficient performance. Its cooling capacity is mainly separated into two parts. The outdoor unit houses the compressor that is responsible for monitoring the flow of the refrigerant from the evaporator to the condenser coils. Meanwhile, the indoor unit is responsible for distributing and maintaining fresh and clean air inside the house.

The design of a split air conditioner is also economic because it’s unobtrusive and can immediately blend with the interior design of your home. Energy-wise, it can lower the user’s monthly electricity bill by a significant percentage, hence making it more appealing in the market. With its modern-day features, here’s what we know about split system air conditioners.

How Does a Split System Air Conditioner Work?

What is Split Type Aircon

Much like most air conditioners, a split type uses a refrigerant as its cooling agent. It involves an immediate transition from gas to liquid while changing the temperature of the room during the process. The supply of refrigerant gas comes from the outdoor unit’s compressor, where it becomes pressurized and warmed up. Upon reaching its maximum pressure, it is routed through condenser tubes, which cool it and convert it back to gas, providing cold air for the room.

The refrigerant is a continuous cycle of cold gas and hot liquid, which the split air conditioner uses to exploit the fluctuating temperature in the room. While the outdoor part keeps the refrigerant pressurized, the indoor part draws air from the room and passes it through an evaporator coil that has been cooled by the refrigerant gas and therefore becomes cold. The chilly air is then re-circulated in the room. Moreover, copper tubing is used to connect the indoor and outdoor units and maintain proper airflow to and from the room.

Where Does the Indoor Unit of a Split Air Conditioning System Go?

The indoor unit is typically installed on the wall, roughly two meters above the ground. The central area of the wall should be measured first before mounting the indoor part to ensure that the unit can provide a balanced airflow in the room. In addition, installing the unit in this part of the house will also give the user convenience, as it is easily accessible for maintenance and cleaning.

However, the indoor unit can also be mounted on the ceiling. This is true for ceiling-type ACs because their role is to provide proper airflow to indoor open space areas such as malls, factories, and other populated establishments. Ceiling types use a duct system to allow the exchange of warm and cool air to and from the indoor and outside units.

On the other hand, the indoor unit of a floor-standing split air conditioner is portable. This means that it can cover a wide range of areas for cooling since it doesn’t require installation in one area only. It is also connected to an outdoor unit, using a tube, to expel all the accumulated moisture indoors.

Where Does the Outdoor Unit Go?

As the name suggests, the outdoor unit is placed outside of the house. To reduce the work required for its installation, the unit is installed in the room adjacent to the indoor unit. This will save the users time, effort, and money in buying and installing the connecting tubes and pipes.

One of the main reasons why the split air conditioner has an outside unit is because traditional ACs, like a window unit, tend to become noisy. This is due to the aircon’s cooling mechanism of dispelling hot air outside of the house while maintaining the cold air indoors. The outside unit of the split system air conditioner brings the noise outdoors and expels the moisture into the environment.

What are the Types of Split System Air Conditioners?

What is Split Type Aircon

The split air conditioner can be categorized into two types. The common unit that most consumers buy is the single split air conditioner. It has the capacity to cool one room, which is perfect for small houses, apartments, and business establishments.

However, for bigger spaces, a multi-split air conditioner is used. The multi-split system is capable of controlling multiple indoor units because its compressor (outside unit) is designed to access up to five air outlets for better cooling. The multi-split air conditioner is typically used to cool multiple rooms at once.

How Does the Multi Split Air Conditioner Work?

As previously mentioned, multi-split air conditioners are capable of having five indoor units connected to one outside unit. Its cooling mechanism is similar to a standard split system air conditioner, but a multi-split air conditioner doesn’t require a complex ducted air conditioning system. 

Its indoor unit also provides zoned cooling and heating, and the users can keep track of the changes in the room temperature with its thermostat. Much like any split system air conditioner, the multi-split system works by optimizing the energy usage by a significant percentage. Not only does it lower the monthly electricity bill, but also prolongs the life of the AC unit.

In addition, a multi-split system uses reverse cycle air conditioning. This feature allows the AC to produce both warm and cool air by reversing its refrigeration cycle. This means that the condenser can become the evaporator and vice versa. When this happens, less energy is consumed, which reduces the monthly electricity cost. The heating inside the room is also effectively removed during the air conditioning process.

What is an Inverter Split System?

Whether it’s a single split system air conditioner or a multi-split system, most modern-day air conditioning systems use inverter technology. Traditional ACs, like window units, use a compressor that only has two modes — full speed or off. When it goes full speed, it consumes more energy and will automatically turn itself off upon reaching the set temperature. 

However, the compressor of a split air conditioner pumps only the right amount of air and can control its speed until the desired temperature is achieved. Inverter technology allows the split system to have more energy efficiency and quieter fans.

Split System Air Conditioner vs Ducted Air Conditioning System

Most split air conditioners, whether single or multi-system, use their indoor unit to distribute a balanced airflow in the room. The two units of a split system are connected by a series of high-pressure gas pipes or a copper tubing, where the exchange of cold and warm air happens. Thus, ductwork is no longer required because the installation of split systems only requires a small hole for these pipes to pass through.

However, ducted air conditioning systems also have indoor and outside units that require ductwork for the air to pass through. This is commonly seen in ceiling types wherein the air ducts are hidden inside the ceiling. While both ACs provide cooling, the split air conditioner system has higher energy efficiency because it’s not prone to leakages and internal heating.

When the air that’s passing through the ductwork starts to leak, it contributes to a huge energy loss and increases the monthly power bill. A ducted system also requires more manpower for its installation, as well as for its maintenance when air ducts become faulty in dissipating the heat.

Choosing a Split Air Conditioner System

The critical part in choosing split air conditioning systems is their compatibility with the room or house. Most split systems rely on their capacity to efficiently achieve the desired temperature in an instant. However, this also depends on how much area the split AC has to cover. Bigger spaces have more heat, and would often require bigger ACs.

In some cases, an expert is usually hired to do the sizing of the room. However, most houses have their floor plans, especially for condominiums and apartments. The measurement of the room can be based on these blueprints to save more time and money. 

A single split AC is usually enough to cool one room. If other rooms also need cooling, then a multi-split aircon is the best choice. This can operate more than one air outlet and provide individual control on the indoor units using only a single outdoor unit. On the other hand, a portable floor-standing split AC can be used as an alternative because a multi-split can be quite expensive. If the goal is the cool a big indoor open space, a ceiling-type AC is recommended. It requires ductwork to connect the indoor and outside units and is very expensive.

Final Thoughts

What is Split Type Aircon

Most split systems are cost-effective. The installation doesn’t require tedious preparations. Since its compressor is placed outside, there will be no issues in terms of noise. The users can relax and feel the desired cooling without any added inconvenience. Split-types also can dissipate the heat efficiently, because their compressor only pumps the right amount of air because of its inverter cooling feature. This makes split system aircon consume less electricity and is perfect for either big or small houses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a split system easy to install?

Yes, a split aircon is easy to install. A split system air conditioning unit only requires at least 1-2 installation days. An expert or AC technician must be hired to connect all piping and electrical wires properly. This will ensure that no energy will be lost in the process, making the split air conditioning unit more energy efficient. 

How long do split systems last?

Unlike the older system, split air conditioners have a longevity of at least 10 years or more, depending on their manufacturer. Most single and multi-split ACs have an advanced air filter and a nano golden condenser coil which increases its lifespan because it effectively removes the accumulated dirt and moisture inside the AC. The cooling coil is also coated with a protectant to allow effective heat exchange to and from the air outlet, despite the continuous use.

Cleaning a single or multiple air outlet and its one outdoor unit can either be done by the consumers themselves or by a professional. Professional servicing is still required if there is obvious damage to the AC. This will ensure that it remains energy efficient, and that warm air is cooled properly.

How much does a split system AC cost?

The price of a split aircon depends on the manufacturer. You can visit our page to get more insights on the different brands of split systems in the market today, and tips on how to clean and install a split air conditioner.

JP Reyes

JP has been in the aircon industry for almost as long as he has been alive. As a child JP would help his tatay fix aircon units at their junk shop in Cavite. After graduating UP in the early 2000's, JP then started his own Aircon servicing business and within 5 years had 10 shops in 8 different cities. Fast forward to today and JP brings all his experience and expertise online to give readers trustworthy advice and reviews about Air-conditioning buying, servicing, cleaning and repair in the Philippines.

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