What is a Split-System?
Unlike traditional systems, Split-Systems utilize a condenser unit located on the outside of the building and interior discreet or concealed Fan-Coils that are connected by thin copper tubing. Refrigerant is pumped through the copper tubing between the two units providing cool air in the warm months and warm air in the cooler months. These two functions are performed by the same system. In the cooler months, the Split-System absorbs heat from the outside air and moves it indoors to heat your building.
Split-Systems provide many advantages over traditional systems; among them are the small footprint which saves valuable space. They also eliminate the need for bulky, inefficient ductwork.
Split-Systems allow for a quieter inside environment by enabling the contractor to install louder components like compressors and motors outdoors. One outdoor condenser unit can operate as many as 8 indoor Fan-Coil units simultaneously. Each Fan-Coil unit can be operated independently and via remote control. Fan-Coils vary in size and style and each creates its own “zone” of comfort, allowing you to heat or cool individual rooms, hallways and open spaces.
Split-systems are duct-less, meaning they install easily and won’t take up valuable space. Since Split-Systems have no ducting, they minimize the energy losses typically associated with the duct-work of central forced-air systems. Ducting in a central air system can account for 30% or more of energy loss especially if the ducts are not sealed tight or are in an unconditioned space such as an attic or crawlspace.
How Does a Split-System Work?
Split-Systems pump refrigerant to transfer heat from one space to another. When heat is transferred from within the building to the outdoors, it is called “air conditioning”. Conversely, when heat is transferred from the outdoors to the inside of the building it is called a “Heat-Pump”.
Refrigerant is naturally much colder than outdoor temperatures even on a very cold day, so it actually absorbs heat from outdoors and transfers it to the inside of the building. The refrigerant’s physical properties allow this to happen naturally. What you pay for to operate your system is the electricity to pump refrigerant via the copper tubing, also known as a “Line-Set” from outdoors to indoors. Because the heat is moved rather than created, a Split-System can deliver up to 4 times the heat for the energy it consumes.
In the warmer spring and summer months the process is reversed as the same system goes into cooling mode transferring heat from indoors to the outside. For many climates, the advanced technology that goes into Split-Systems creates a far more cost-effective alternative to a conventional central-ducted air conditioning system.
Conventional air ducted systems tend to be bulky and can require special structural attention while Split-System piping can often be routed through walls and joists. This saves space and is more aesthetically pleasing. Split-Systems offer flexibility because the fan-coils can be suspended from a ceiling, mounted flush behind a drop ceiling, hung on a wall or floor-standing.
Where can Split-Systems be used?
- Convenience stores
- Fast food chains
- Fire houses
- Police stations
- Oil rigs
- Sunrooms and additions
- Nursing homes
- Small offices
- Places of worship
- Hospitals and medical facilities
- Computer rooms
- Hotels and Motels
- Car washes
- ATM vestibules