What is a Split System?

There are many ways to heat or cool your house. However, a split system HVAC is one of the most favored methods for doing so in the United States. So, what is a split system, and why are they so popular?

What is a Split System?

A split system is an air cooling (or heating) installation that is made up of at least two individual units, one to circulate cooled air inside and one to expel heat outside. By working together, these units can provide an ideal temperature in just about any temperature conditions, and with minimal extra hardware. In other words, the word “split” just means that part of it’s outside and the other half of it is inside.

Mechanics of Air Conditioning

An air conditioner doesn’t create cold; instead, it removes heat. Warm air is circulated over evaporator coils filled with a refrigerant that absorbs heat, which can then be condensed, releasing that heat elsewhere, usually outside. When this happens, the temperature of the interior air drops. The air conditioner will then repeat this cycle until the interior temperature of your home matches the temperature you set on your thermostat.

Due to the necessity of this “refrigeration cycle”, an air conditioner must have a mechanism inside to absorb heat and a separate mechanism outside to release it. An air handler and evaporator coils are part of the inside component of a normal split system, with a compressor and a condenser installed outside. A split system’s two components, connected by refrigerant pipes, are able to efficiently cool a building.

Examples of Split System Types

There are many types of split systems, but two of the most popular are heat pump and ductless mini split systems.

Heat Pump Split Systems

A heat pump split system is very similar to an air conditioner. The main difference is that it has a component that gives it the ability to run backwards. So it can cool like an air conditioner, but it can also bring heat into the building from outside.

Ductless Mini Split Systems

This type of split system isn’t a central heating and air system. A ductless mini split system depends on a smaller air handler and condenser versus a large, central HVAC machinery. That’s because a ductless system’s goal is to provide air comfort in a region that isn’t served by ductwork. They are therefore a helpful tool for renovations, old houses, garages, workshops, man caves, sheds, etc.

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