All set for summer? Obviously, you have some sort of to-do list to go through before summer arrives. One of the priorities for many would be to install a cooling system in their home, room or work space. The different types of air conditioning systems each have their advantages and disadvantages.
But if you want to cool down a single room, you could think about getting a window air conditioner or a split air conditioner. Before buying one, you should know that a split air conditioner has higher efficiency and higher capacity than the window air conditioner.
Starting from scratch, let’s explain what a split system air conditioner is, how it works, the types of split systems, the pros and cons, the installation and buying costs, and the cleaning process.
What Is Split System Air Conditioner?
The first question that comes to mind is “what is a split system air conditioner?”. The phrase ‘split system’ indicates that it is made of two separate parts. The bigger outdoor unit is placed on the outside wall, and the smaller inner unit is placed on the inner wall.
The outer unit handles the air and contains a compressor and the condenser, while the inner unit contains the filtration system and the cooling coil with refrigerant inside. These two units are connected with copper refrigerant tubing, an electric cable and a water drainage duct.
How Does Split System Air Conditioning Unit Work?
To understand how a split system works, we first need to know that different parts of an air conditioner work in a chain. Refrigerant is a chemical that readily changes its state from gas to liquid and from liquid to gas with fluctuations in temperature and pressure.
A compressor in the outdoor unit increases the pressure of the gaseous refrigerant and converts it into liquid refrigerant at low temperatures. The cold liquid refrigerant then passes to the evaporator, where due to high temperature and low pressure, it changes back into gaseous form.
When air sucked by the indoor unit is filtered and passes over the cold evaporator, its temperature is also lowered, and then it is thrown back into the room. That cycle goes on and this is how the split system air conditioning unit works.
Multi Split System Air Conditioner
When thinking about buying a split system air conditioner, you may have come across two options. One is the single split system air conditioner, and the other one is the multi split system air conditioner.
Usually in a single system, there is one indoor unit and one outdoor unit, but in case of multi system, there is only one outdoor unit with multiple indoor units. So if you want to cool down three rooms at a time or want to place three units in one place with one outdoor unit, you should choose a multi split system air conditioner.
Pros of Split System Air Conditioner
➜ No Noise
Unlike window air conditioners, where the compressor and all components are inside creating much noise, one big advantage of a split air conditioner is that it creates less noise. This is because noise is generated by the compressor, which is placed in the outdoor unit outside the room wall in these air conditioners.
➜ Less Expensive
Split air conditioners and window air conditioners are both cost effective compared to central air conditioning systems. So, if you use one to two rooms regularly and want to save money, you should choose one of them.
➜ Easy to Install
Split air conditioning systems are way easier to install than central air conditioning systems, because they do not require ducts to be placed all over the house. You just have to install the outdoor and indoor units. Also, if you want to cool down 2 or 3 rooms, only one outdoor unit can be used to control 2 or 3 indoor units.
➜ Energy Efficient
Split air conditioners are more energy efficient than central air conditioning system, as energy is lost when passing through the ducts of these systems. Also, if the ducts are damaged, further energy could be lost. The energy efficiency of ductless air conditioner systems is double that of standard air conditioners i.e. above 30 SEER.
Cons of Split System Air Conditioner
➜ Clogged Air Filters
Air conditioners have air filters placed in them which filter air from dust particles before it enters the air conditioner. These filters need to be cleaned regularly say every six months.
Otherwise, they can be clogged with dust which affects the air conditioner efficiency and cooling. It can also cause the air conditioner to work harder and utilize more electricity.
➜ Low Level of Refrigerant
Another problem you may come across with a split air conditioning unit is the low levels of refrigerant. Refrigerant passing in the copper coils is responsible for cooling the evaporator.
When it comes in contact with the evaporator, air is cooled then thrown back into the room. That’s how refrigerant is responsible for cooling. If the refrigerant level drops or there is gas leakage, the cooling capacity of air conditioner is affected.
When compared with window air conditioners, split system air conditioners are more expensive. So if you need to save money or live in rented property, it might not be the best choice to purchase a split system air conditioner. Plus, you will also have to additional costs on service yearly or every six months.
➜ Fixed Location
Unlike window air conditioners, both indoor and outdoor split system air conditioning units are fixed on the wall. So if you live in a rented space or want to be able to change the air conditioner location, you should go for a window air conditioner not a split system.
How to Install a Split System Air Conditioning Unit?
After buying a split system air conditioner, the first thing to do is to install it. As the installation is tricky, it requires technicians. Some main points to consider prior to installation are:
- Choose the wall where you want to install the indoor unit and make sure there is no direct sunlight exposure on the wall.
- The location of room also matters because if it is near a kitchen or somewhere with heat interference, this would affect the cooling.
- The installation requires drilling a hole in the wall through which the electric wires and ducts can pass to the outdoor unit.
- It is suggested that the indoor unit be placed 7 feet above the floor and 6-12 inches of space should be present on both sides of the unit.
- The outdoor unit should be installed on the exterior where there is also no direct sunlight and it should be in an open space for better airflow.
How to Clean Split System Air Conditioner?
Cleaning the split system air conditioner is a big task compared to a window air conditioner. When running an AC for many months, its service must be done every 6 months or yearly. Otherwise, the AC cooling capacity and energy efficiency could be affected.
Also the air filters can get clogged with dust particles and microbes, which affects the air quality and causes the AC to work harder thereby consuming more electrical energy. Moisture trapped in the air filters can lead to fungus or mold formation. Following are a few important steps for cleaning the air conditioner:
- To start the process of split system air conditioner cleaning, first it needs to be dried by setting it to fan mode for 30-40 minutes.
- After letting it dry, cut off the power supply and put the cleaning bag over the indoor unit so that the dust will not enter it.
- Detach the front panel of the indoor unit to get access to the inside of the unit and clean it.
- Take out the clogged air filters from the unit and wash them with soap and water and let them dry before fixing them back into the indoor unit.
- After cleaning air filters, clean the cooling fins with an air blower to remove dust particles and then clean the coils, in which refrigerant is present, with the no-rinse evaporator spray.
- Antifungal spray is used to clean the coils to inhibit the growth of fungus and mold.
- A pressurized flush kit is used to clean the drain lines.
- After cleaning the unit, fix and attach all the parts back and turn on the AC and let it run for 15-20 minutes.
How Much Does Split System Air Conditioners Cost?
In every country, the price range for split system air conditioners varies. But in Australia, costs to buy split system air conditioner range from $600-$5400 depending on the brand, company, model, size, upgraded features and cooling capacity you choose.
Apart from that, you have to pay the installation costs too which are in between $60-$110 per hour. But there are obviously other factors which contribute to the total amount you pay like the size of the unit, its type and how much cable, wires and ducts are needed for installation.
What Size of Split System Air Conditioner Should You Choose?
One big issue while buying a split system air conditioner is determining what size you should opt for.
This depends on the size of your room and a number of other factors. The bigger the room, the higher the cooling capacity you need.
There is some estimation of room size and AC capacity needed, where if your room is small with 20 sq m or less of area, you should buy AC unit with 2-2.5kW of cooling capacity.
If the room size varies from 20-40 sq m, you would need 2.5-5kW capacity.
With 40-60 sq m, it changes to 4-6kW capacity and if the room size is more than 60 sq m, you should go for the one with range of 5-9kW.
Other factors which can affect the cooling capacity are the location of room; if it is near kitchen or somewhere with heat interference, insulation of the walls, windows and climate of your region.
If you are living in a hot region, you would need to buy an AC with higher cooling capacity, whereas you would need one with lower cooling capacity for colder regions.
5 Best Split System Air Conditioners To Buy In Australia
Hisense reverse cycle split system works in a reverse way meaning it can cool down the temperature in summers and can warm the rooms in winters.
This functionality of hisense reverse cycle split system makes it one of the best air systems to buy in Australia. The cooling capacity of 2.5kW and heating capacity of 3.2kW is perfect for your room of relatable size.
Also using Hi-Nano Plasma ion technology helps to more efficiently purify the air inside room.
One huge advantage of buying hisense reverse cycle air system is its energy efficiency. It can save up to 30% of the energy as compared to others.
Various advanced features are also available for example; quiet mode can help you sleep better at night. Wi-Fi connection is also available, so you can operate it through your phone.
Fujita C2.5kW H3.2kW Reverse Cycle Split System is one of the best air systems which work as an inverter air conditioner and has 5 star energy efficiency.
It has cooling capacity of 2.5kW and heating capacity of 3.2kW.
Different advanced features are available like human sensor technology that can detect if there are people in the room and operate accordingly to save energy.
Quiet mode is also available to reduce the noise of the outdoor unit while keeping the same performance output. Its Apple-Catechin Filter removes the air and Ion Deodorisation keeps the air smell fresh.
Panasonic is one of the best electronics companies in the world. This AC works as an inverter air conditioning system giving you cool and warm environment as needed.
It has cooling capacity of C.5kW and heating capacity of 3.2kW with good air purifying quality. It has 4 stars for energy rating cooling and 3 for energy rating heating.
Samsung Geo-plus C6.8kW H7.2kW split system has inverter functionality with its best speed performance.
It can cool down or warm up the temperature of rooms faster and can minimize energy consumption. It has triple layered Tri-Care filter to remove dust particles, contaminants and allergens.
Also the filter at the top of it has anti-bacterial coating to remove contaminants. Auto clean function allows it to remove the leftover moisture after turning off the AC.
Kelvinator Reverse Cycle Split System has cooling capacity of 2.5kW and heating capacity of 3.2kW.
You can enjoy the temperature of your choice from anywhere with your smart devices.
It is one of the best air conditioning systems with a 5 star rating in both cooling and heating which helps in saving energy.
Conclusion: Split System Air Conditioners
To conclude the discussion, buying an AC without having proper guidance and all needed information would be a mistake.
You should consider all the factors involved like what you’re going to buy, the size, quality, price, installation costs, and the advantages and disadvantages of the type of AC.
As such, you can make a better-informed decision that you won’t regret it later.