What Is a Split Unit? A Comprehensive Guide to Residential Air Conditioning Systems

CEO Khai Intela
Are you curious about the air conditioning system that keeps your home cool during those scorching summer months? Look no further! In this article, we will dive deep into the world of split units –...

A split unit is one of the most common types of air conditioning systems mostly utilized in residential homes.

Are you curious about the air conditioning system that keeps your home cool during those scorching summer months? Look no further! In this article, we will dive deep into the world of split units – the most common type of residential air conditioning system. Let's explore how they work, their advantages, and when to consider alternatives.

Understanding Split Units

A split unit air conditioning system consists of two main components: an outside condenser unit and an interior blower/furnace unit. The condenser unit cools the air, while the blower/furnace unit circulates the cold air through your home's ductwork. This division of labor ensures efficient cooling while minimizing noise inside your living space.

Split unit air conditioning system Image: Split unit air conditioning system.

In contrast to split units, packaged units combine all the functions of an HVAC system into a single box. Packaged units are commonly found atop commercial buildings, featuring large boxes with ductwork running up the sides.

Advantages of Split Units

Split units have gained popularity due to several key advantages. Firstly, they significantly reduce noise compared to traditional window units. The outside placement of the condenser unit ensures a more peaceful indoor environment.

Moreover, split units offer builders greater flexibility in system placement. While certain design factors must be considered, there is ample room for customization. This flexibility is particularly beneficial when integrating the furnace, as split units package the furnace with the interior components, optimizing space utilization.

Discovering Ductless Mini-Split Systems

Ductless mini-split systems are a newer development in the world of split units. These systems employ narrow pipes to move refrigerant to small air handlers, enabling individual temperature control in different rooms of your home. In addition to their enhanced efficiency, ductless mini-split systems have a minimal exterior footprint.

Ductless mini-split system Image: Ductless mini-split system.

While these systems require space inside your home for each air handler, they are often mounted high on walls to optimize utilization. For those residing in smaller homes, consult with an installer before committing to this type of system.

It is important to note that ductless mini-split systems tend to be more expensive than traditional split units. However, their energy efficiency may prove cost-effective in the long run, especially for newly constructed homes without existing ductwork.

When to Consider Alternatives

In some cases, a split unit may not be the optimal choice for residential cooling. If your home requires the movement of significant amounts of air and features a flat roof space, a packaged unit may be a better fit. Packaged units excel in both quiet operation and ease of installation and service. However, if your home already has split ductwork, it may not be worth the effort and expense of reconfiguring your setup.

Evaluating Split Unit Systems

Split unit systems are rated in British Thermal Units (BTUs) or tonnage, which determines their suitability for different home sizes. Units that are too small will strain to cool your space efficiently, while oversized units struggle to remove humidity adequately, leading to a cold and damp environment.

For accurate sizing, HVAC installers can evaluate your home and recommend units that precisely meet your needs. Additionally, consider opting for units that carry an Energy Star rating. These systems meet rigorous energy efficiency standards, resulting in lower electric bills.

If you find yourself unsure about the most suitable HVAC system for your home, whether it be a traditional split unit, a ductless mini-split, or a packaged unit, the experts at Ambient Edge are here to assist you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive assessment of your current setup and receive personalized recommendations.

Remember, a well-chosen air conditioning system can make all the difference in creating a comfortable and enjoyable living environment. Stay cool!