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What is Split AC

what-is-split-ac

Everyone likes to return to a refreshingly cool house during summertime when the weather is hot and humid. But does it make any difference using different types of AC? Well, definitely! Different types of ACs have different cooling features, which makes them unique for different purposes. While central air conditioning systems are expensive, the window units are noisy and bulky. So, what is a suitable alternative for the same? Well, split air conditioners may be. For that, you need to know what a split AC is and how it can help you in beating the heat waves.

What is a Split Air Conditioner?

The term split air conditioner refers to the way the air conditioning unit is set up. A split air conditioner is composed of two separate units – a condensing unit in charge of regulating the pressure of the compressor and an evaporative coil, also referred to as a compressor. The split AC has derived its name from these two separate units that are combined to form a single air conditioning unit. The inner and outer units are joined by a set of copper tubing referred to as a “line-set” that transfers refrigerant from one part to the other. The refrigerant is transmitted through the copper pipes, which cycle through the system to produce cold air.

How is a Split AC unit different from other AC units?

Unlike a window or multi-split air conditioning unit that requires a series of ductwork networked throughout the ceiling to establish proper connection with one another, split air conditioners connect the indoor to the outdoor unit through a set of pipes. The ductwork required for traditional AC units increases the energy expenditure, such as the centralized air conditioning system that loses a lot of energy due to the exchange of heat in the air duct system. The absence of a duct network creates very little chances for energy or heat loss in split air conditioning systems.

Types of Split Air Conditioner

There are a number of different air conditioning systems that can be termed as ‘split.’ Modern split AC systems are equipped with state-of-the-art technology with the latest features for easy operations. The different types of split AC systems are as follows –

Engineer Fit Wall Mounted Unit

These AC units come in a variety of capacities, styles, and functionality levels. The units are manufactured in a way that there are no interconnecting pipes to link the interior with the exterior unit. This means that the interior wall mount installation and the exterior condenser can be custom-made according to the building structure. Although the cost of installation is a bit on the higher side, the entire procedure is quite neat and clean, thereby enhancing the resale value of the building.

East Fit Wall Mounted Unit

Unlike the engineer fit air conditioning units, the easy fit ones are supplied with interconnecting cables and pipework for quick connectivity. The system, along with the pipe, is pre-charged with refrigerant so that the unit can be installed by an electrician or someone competent in DIY. However, recent changes have mandated the installation of such a unit by a qualified refrigerant engineer. This has, however, reduced the demand for such units due to the high cost of installation associated with such units.  Apart from that, another major drawback is the fixed length of the umbilical cord. This means that if the location of the installation requires the umbilical cord to be of a specific length, then it can lead to an undesirable situation.

Ceiling Cassette Unit

Commonly found suspended from ceilings in offices and workplaces, these units are specifically designed to fit within one or two ceiling tile spaces. A major portion of the unit is above the ceiling line, with only the central inlet grille and the four edge outlet louvers visible. The aesthetics is not the only advantage as the centrally mounted unit can provide cooling or heating to a wide area as the air is distributed in all four directions. A single ceiling cassette unit is known to provide similar cooling to that of three or four wall-mounted units.

Ceiling Suspended Unit

This is another type of air conditioning unit suitable for areas where there is no suspended ceiling for installing a cassette. However, for proper installation, the ceiling height needs to be sufficient for suspending the unit. Although these are specifically designed to be entirely within a single room, they sometimes appear overly cumbersome to hang from the ceiling. These are designed to lift the air vertically into the unit and release treated air horizontally along with the ceiling and not directly onto the occupants.

Floor Mounted Unit

These units can be subdivided into column air conditioners and smaller cabinet style air conditioners.

Column Air Conditioners: These are large high-capacity units of up to 45000BTU suitable for larger rooms and where several smaller units cannot be installed. A typical use of these units is commonly observed in reception, waiting areas, and lobbies. The production of a strong flow of cool air does not allow the occupants to be in close proximity to the unit.

Cabinet style Air Conditioners: Are far smaller than the tall upright column air conditioning units. Their rated capacities are restricted up to 15000BTU. These units are ideal for providing high-efficiency climate control for conservatories and new extensions.

Duct Mounted Unit

These are suitable for buildings having ducted air systems. Also known as the channel or central air conditioners, these are capable of releasing conditioned air to multiple rooms depending on the duct layout. These types of units are suitable for cooling a number of rooms, separate premises, or even zones.

Portable or Mobile Unit

These mobile units have a capacity of up to 16000BTU. The design contains a plastic-sheathed umbilical cord with refrigerant pipes and electrical lines for quick and easy connect facility. These provide the perfect setup for semi-permanent installation with their easy movability from one place to another. They are available in the form of a split mobile air conditioner and water-filled split mobile air conditioner.

Benefits of a Split AC Unit

Some of the notable benefits of a Split Air Conditioning Unit are as follows –

  • Split Units allow them to engineer an efficient unit with high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) values.
  • They are typically quieter than other available alternatives.
  • These air conditioning units are cheaper and easier to repair and maintain.
  • Split units can be placed at various locations such as garages, attics, closets, etc.

Conclusion

While a split AC system may cost as much like a traditional HVAC system, it provides a cost-effective option for homes that do not have ductwork. These can be used along with other heating and cooling equipment like space heaters, oil heaters, and portable or window AC units to enhance the comfort of your living or working space while keeping the utility bill to a minimum.

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