Split System Air Conditioner

What is a split system air conditioner and how does it work? A split air conditioner is an air conditioner that is split into two parts, a cool air side and a hot air side. The cool air side which consists of an expansion valve and cold coil is usually placed in an air handler (what we think of as the outer shell of the air conditioner.) and a hot air side (which is usually located outside of the building.) While there are some large split air conditioners, most of the split air conditioners that are being used are known as mini split air conditioners. These mini split air conditions require no duct work like central air conditioners do which is one of their advantages.

When would you use a split system air conditioner?

  • A split system air conditioner workw well in multi family homes and many businesses.
  • It can also work well in single family residences, especially larger homes that could use central air conditioning but lack the duct work to have central air installed.
  • Mini split air conditioners can cool up to four zones (rooms) off a single outside unit.

Split air conditioners have many advantages and disadvantages as well. Knowing these advantages and disadvantages may help those who are thinking about purchasing a split air conditioner decide if one is right for their home.

Advantages of a split system air conditioner

For those who own homes with several rooms a split system air conditioner has many advantages over window or wall air conditioners. One advantage is that you won't have to purchase a separate air conditioner for each room as many split air conditioners can provide cooling to four separate areas of your home.


Each zone can be set at the temperature you want to maintain and you can even turn off the air in certain areas when they are not in use. A second advantage to these units over window or wall units is that you don't need a window or an outside wall to cool a room. You can mount the outside portion on the roof and install the inside portion on the ceiling allowing for a room to be cooled whether there is an outside wall or window or not.


The advantage of a mini split system air conditioner over central air conditioning is all in the duct work. It has been judged that 30% of wasted energy in central air conditioning is lost through cracks in the duct work and other duct work problems. Since mini split air conditioners have no duct work they lose no energy.

Disadvantages of a split system air conditioner

One of the biggest disadvantages to the mini split system air conditioner is it's cost. It is estimated that purchasing and installing these air conditioners is twice as expensive as installing a window or wall air conditioner and 30% higher than installing central air conditioning.


Another disadvantage is that it can often be difficult finding someone who is willing to install a mini split system air conditioner.


Knowing the major advantages and disadvantages of split system air conditioners will help you make an informed decision about whether or not these air conditioners are right for your home.


If you would like to find out more about installing a split system air conditioner in your business or home, please give us a call.