What is a Split System Air Conditioner and How Does It Work?


In a country like Australia, air conditioning systems are essential in businesses and homes. As the weather warms up and temperatures soar, it’s one of the best forms of defence. Air conditioning keeps the house cool, and, as a result, we stay cool while sitting on the sofa and trying not to melt.

However, there’s no such thing as a universal air conditioning system. As companies invest and improve their designs, we’re seeing various products enter the market. More recently, split system air conditioners have taken the spotlight.

What’s a Split System AC?

With a split system, you’ll have both an outdoor and an indoor unit. Once installed, the two units are connected by cables and pipes. With this, both systems share refrigerant as it flows between each. As you can imagine, the larger of the two units sit outside (this one also happens to be the noisier one!). Meanwhile, the smaller unit sits inside the home.

How Does a Split System AC Work?

While a centralised air conditioning system uses a ducted system, a split system uses electrical wires and high-pressure gas pipes. Therefore, split systems tend to be more efficient because you don’t lose performance with complicated ducting. With higher performance and less waste, homeowners with a split system generally enjoy lower costs.

Furthermore, this also means a ‘greener’ system. To start, a gas refrigerant is pumped through the cooling circuit. Using a compressor, this moves into the condenser unit and cools down to become a liquid. As a liquid refrigerant, it then moves through the evaporator at high pressure and changes back into a gas. Eventually, the gas expands, and the temperature quickly drops within the evaporator.

From here, as much heat as possible from your home is absorbed, and you enjoy a cooler environment. Meanwhile, the heat is carried to the outside unit thanks to the split system.

In short, the two units work in tandem with refrigerants to provide cool air while taking away warm air from inside the home.


When researching AC systems, you’ve probably noticed that split system air conditioners have a higher upfront cost. However, as noted in the previous section, they’re cheaper to run, which means long-term savings.

In terms of installation, you’ll need a professional service like extrordinair.com.au to come into your home and discuss the option with you. Fortunately, the installation process is nowhere near as convoluted as a ducted system. In fact, many homeowners are surprised to learn that it’s just one hole in the wall to connect the two units.

Although the unit itself (or two units) is more expensive, the simple installation normally means lower labor costs. Therefore, you’ll make savings in this regard. Also, you don’t need a professional in your home for as long. Installation is quicker, more efficient, and more affordable.

After contacting a professional, they’ll visit your home and consider potential locations for both the indoor and outdoor units.

Benefits of a Split System AC

Why should you choose a split system AC? Of course, you’ve already learned that it’s environmentally friendly, easier to install, and a more modern solution compared to ducted systems. Additionally, everything is controlled from one remote control. If chosen, you’ll also have a thermostat somewhere in the house.

With simple designs, servicing and maintenance are also easier with most split system AC. With the indoor system, you’ll only need to wash the filters every so often.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact a local professional service to see whether a split system air conditioner would benefit your home (and your family!).


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