What is a split system HVAC

Owning a split system HVAC means year-round comfort without worry; it ensures warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer. Also known as a home comfort system, or central heating and air-conditioning system, it features both indoor and outdoor units linked by copper tubing. Utilizing a split system HVAC can also provide relief from allergens and pollutants, making it ideal for larger storage spaces. In contrast, HVAC packaged systems require minimal storage space and are more compact. For cooling and heating smaller areas, mini-split systems are an excellent choice.

what is a split system hvac

Parts of the split system HVAC

Split systems are comprised of several components, and here is a brief overview of each:

The indoor unit of a split system HVAC includes an evaporator coil and an air handler. The air handler circulates air through the ductwork throughout the home.

The outdoor unit houses the compressor and the condenser. The compressor works with the condenser to expel heat into the outside air during the air conditioning process.

A thermostat regulates the system, which can be either programmable or non-programmable. It is usually placed near the indoor unit and functions as a temperature sensor. The thermostat is instrumental in controlling indoor temperature by initiating the cooling cycle and turning off the compressor once the desired temperature is reached.

Air cleaners and filters are integral to the system, effectively filtering out pollutants and contaminants, thus reducing airborne particles, including those that may contain viruses.

Humidity control systems are available to maintain the proper indoor humidity level, ensuring additional comfort.

Ductwork is essential for distributing the conditioned air from the HVAC equipment to the rooms in the home.

Mini split system HVAC

Mini-split systems are a suitable choice for heating and cooling individual rooms and offer several advantages:

  1. The outdoor unit contains the compressor and condenser, which work together to facilitate the air conditioning process.
  2. The indoor unit is an air-handling unit that includes an evaporator and distributes conditioned air directly into the room.

These systems are known for their flexibility and cost-effectiveness. They eliminate the need to heat or cool unused rooms, making them ideal for smaller homes or specific areas within larger homes. Users can select units of various sizes to meet their specific needs. The system operates using a small, flexible conduit that transports air to and from the indoor unit, bypassing the need for complex and expensive ductwork. Advanced inverter technology allows the system to adjust cooling and heating output to match demand, further enhancing efficiency. As they are ductless, mini-split systems can lead to reduced energy consumption and lower energy bills. Control of the system is typically via a remote, adding convenience and ease of use. With proper maintenance, a high-quality mini-split system can have a lifespan of 10–15 years.

How does a split air conditioner heat pump work?

In heat pump systems, the pump extracts heat from the outside air. Once removed, the heat is transferred indoors by the pump. A compressor then uses electricity to increase the temperature of this heat. Additionally, the split system heat pump can cool the room by transferring warm indoor air to the outside.

Difference between ducted and ductless split systems 

Split systems can be either ducted or ductless. Ducted split systems circulate warm or cool air through ductwork, while ductless mini-split systems utilize small air handlers to heat or cool specific spaces.

Advantages of the split system HVAC

Split systems feature distinct components for heating and cooling, with a thermostat regulating the temperature of the air, whether hot or cold.

They are energy-efficient, minimizing energy losses and offering cost savings on heating and cooling expenses.

Installation is straightforward. The separate components of split systems allow for greater customization during setup.

Disadvantages of the split system HVAC

Installation of split systems can be more costly than single-unit systems due to the expense associated with setting up two separate units, especially if they need to be placed far apart. The costs can vary widely, with ductless units typically being more expensive despite not requiring ductwork.

Noise issues can arise if the outdoor compressor is not properly maintained, potentially leading to disruptive sounds.

The outdoor compressor of a split system requires ample space, making installation challenging in limited areas.

Split systems may not be suitable for residents of high-rise buildings or apartments due to installation constraints.

Installation of split systems should be carried out by a professional. Attempting to install without a licensed installer is not advisable.

Whirlpool washer with removable agitator


The split system HVAC is essential for both heating and cooling and is known for its efficiency. The market offers a variety of options, and investing in a high-quality system ensures longevity. Additionally, with a split system HVAC, concerns about cooling individual rooms are alleviated. This article should serve as a helpful resource for understanding more about split system HVAC units.

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