With the frequency of hot spells we are seeing in the UK, more people than ever are turning to air conditioning as a solution. From homes to small businesses and large-scale commercial properties, there’s a need for the right air con system to meet their needs. One of the popular options is the Split Air Conditioner. But what is it and how does the system work? Let’s get to know it and see if it might be the right fit for you.
What is a Split Air Conditioner?
A split air conditioner is made up of two parts, one that remains inside the building and the other that is located outside the property. These units are connected by piping and electric cables which pass the refrigerant from one to the other and creates the cooling effect.
The larger, outdoor unit is the one that generates the most noise and requires the most space. Indoor units are smaller and quieter and can be located almost anywhere in the building that they are required.
Modern split air conditioners also work with remote controls that allow them to be managed from a single point but not always the same point as the indoor unit. They can also be paired with heat pump facilities to provide heat in cooler months as well as cold air in warmer months.
What are the different types of split AC?
There are two main types of split air conditioning units. The first is the basic one outlined above where there is a single outdoor unit and a single indoor unit, usually wall mounted, that expels the cooled air into the desired space.
The other option is a multi split system air conditioner and this works with one outdoor unit but has multiple indoor units to cool different rooms. So if you had a property where you want three separate, non-adjoining rooms to be cooled, this kind of system would work best for you.
How does a split air conditioning system work?
The basics of the split air conditioner system are similar to other types of air con – chemicals are used within the system to change a has to a liquid. The refrigerant is then fed into the compressor within the system. It begins as a low pressure gas but as it heats up and is pressurised, it becomes a liquid. The liquid passes through the condenser tubes and turns back into a gas.
The cooling process comes from the point when the gas loses pressure, releasing heat and becomes cooler due to the refrigerant. The process then repeats itself and this forms the basics of an air con system.
With a split air system, the air is pulled from the room, travels through the evaporator coils and is cooled. This is then pushed back into the room through the indoor unit and continues to circulate until a certain temperature is reached, usually set by the remote control. Once this is reached, the unit shuts down until the room warms to a certain point again.
How much does it cost to install a split unit AC?
It is always difficult to say how much it costs to install any system including split air con systems because there are lots of factors that go into the price. Not just the type of system but the energy efficient rating of it, where you want it to be installed and what work is needed for wall mounted air con units.
However, there are a few general ideas to get you started. For example, a split air conditioner system can cost around:
- Small home office £1750
- Double bedroom £2250
- Conservatory £2000
- Six room multi-split unit system £7500
How much does it cost to run a split unit AC?
Just like with the cost of installing an air con unit, the cost of running one can vary dramatically depending on what type of system, how many rooms it is cooling and what else affects the efficiency of the system.
But there are some rough ideas based on the unit output of the AC that can help you get a glimpse of possible costs. For instance:
- Small room 2.5kW unit – approx 10p an hour to run
- Medium room 3.5kW unit – approx 14p an hour to run
- Large room 5kW unit – approx 20p an hour to run
The type of air conditioning unit will play a big part in the running costs as will the system output, which is measured in kW. How energy efficient the system is will also play a part as will things like the insulation levels of the property and the servicing and maintenance that the AC system receives.
What to consider when installing a split system air conditioning unit?
Split air conditioning systems are available in a good range of sizes and configurations that make it easy to get something that is efficient and effective for your property. Getting the right size unit is always the most important consideration as too small and it won’t cool effectively but too large and you are essentially wasting power.
Working with an expert in air con registered in England will ensure that you get the right advice and have the correct system for your property.
Pros of Split System Air Conditioning
There are some solid benefits to a split air conditioner that makes them a solid choice for many homes and businesses.
Easy to install
Systems are relatively straightforward to install when there is just a single unit indoors and outdoors and even the multi units aren’t overly complex. The main consideration is ensuring the pipework connects the two in the right way and that it is as unobtrusive as possible.
This kind of system places the noisiest parts on the outdoor unit so there’s less noise pollution inside the building. It allows the indoor units to cool with as little sound as possible.
The ability to pair multiple indoor units with a single outdoor unit means you can have a flexible layout to your air con system and adapt it to any domestic or commercial property. This also allows you to set different temperatures in different rooms to get the right conditions for their purpose.
Modern systems are very energy efficient and cost effective to run. Your installation team will be able to talk to you about the energy rating of the system and also anything else that can be done to the property to enhance this.
Cost effective option
While the cost does depend on the complexity of the system, generally most will cost in the region of £1000-2000 but they can pay for themselves over time with the savings in energy efficiency.
Cons of Split System Air Conditioning
The main downside of a split air conditioner is that you need to have somewhere outside the locate the outdoor portion of the system. This can create some noise as well so you need to be considerate of neighbouring properties when you choose a location.
The other downside is that larger properties may need a good number of indoor units and this can increase the price. However, with the savings made on energy use by upgrading to this kind of system, the initial outlay can be offset with efficiency savings over time.
How to install a split system air conditioning unit?
Installing any air conditioning system is a job that should be done by a professional engineer. DIY installation of systems is not recommended, primarily due to the chemicals involved. Refrigerants are potentially dangerous when mishandled and there are strict rules about their use. Having a professional handle this for you ensures that everything is done correctly.
The basic process will then involve the indoor and outdoor units being located in the best possible spots. Ideally, this will be away from direct sunlight and heat. The walls need to be strong enough to take the extra weight.
Then the path for the pipework between the two will be mapped out. This needs to ensure that passage of the liquids and gas from one to the other is as simple as possible and also takes into consideration natural hot spots around the building that can lead to inefficiency.
Getting the right help
Here at TEK, we are experts in the installation of all types of air conditioning systems including split system air con and that means we are the right help for your installation. We have worked with businesses across the UK and even abroad to help install bespoke commercial air conditioning systems that perfectly suit the business or homeowner’s needs.
If you are considering having air con added to your property, contact us today to chat more about our installation service. We supply and install the units to any type of property and if you are unsure if a split air conditioner is the one for you, we can help you run through an assessment to make that decision.
Call us today or contact us below to arrange your free consultation.