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How does a Split System air conditioner work?

In the scorching Australian summers, a reliable and efficient cooling system is essential for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. The best option you can opt for is a split-system air conditioner as it is a popular choice for many homeowners and businesses in terms of energy efficiency and comfort. For better guidelines you can go through this blog, where we’ll delve into the intricacies of how these systems work, shedding light on their components, functionality, and unique considerations in the Australian context.

I. Components of a Split System Air Conditioner

Comprising both an indoor and outdoor unit, these systems consist of several key components working in tandem to provide effective and comfortable climate control.

Indoor Unit:

The indoor unit of a split system air conditioner is typically installed inside the room it intends to cool. It houses the evaporator coil responsible for absorbing heat from the indoor air.

Evaporator Coil:

This coil is responsible for absorbing heat from the indoor air, and cooling it. It contains a refrigerant that evaporates to absorb heat energy.

Air Filter: The filter traps dust, debris, and allergens from the indoor air, ensuring clean and healthy air circulation. Regular cleaning or replacement is essential for optimal performance.

Blower Fan: The fan circulates the cooled air throughout the room. It works in conjunction with the evaporator coil to maintain a consistent and comfortable indoor temperature.

Thermostat: The thermostat regulates the temperature by monitoring the room and instructing the system to adjust the cooling output accordingly.

Air Vents: These adjustable vents allow users to direct the cooled air to specific areas of the room, enhancing control and customization.

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Outdoor Unit Components

The outdoor unit, commonly known as the condenser unit, is installed outside the building. It contains the condenser coil, compressor, and a fan. The compressor plays a crucial role in pressurizing and circulating the refrigerant.

Compressor: The compressor is the heart of the split system. It pressurizes and circulates the refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units, facilitating the heat exchange process.

Condenser Coil: This coil releases the heat absorbed from the indoor air into the outdoor environment. It plays a crucial role in the cooling cycle.

Fan: The outdoor unit’s fan dissipates the heat absorbed by the refrigerant, helping to maintain the system’s efficiency.

Expansion Valve: Located between the indoor and outdoor units, the expansion valve regulates the flow of refrigerant, controlling its pressure and temperature.


Refrigerants, such as R-410A, are vital for the cooling process. These substances have properties that allow them to absorb and release heat efficiently.

The Cooling Process

Air Circulation:

When the split system is turned on, the indoor unit’s fan draws warm indoor air over the evaporator coil. The refrigerant within the coil absorbs the heat from the air, turning it into a gas.

Refrigerant Circulation:

The refrigerant, now in a gaseous state, is pumped to the outdoor unit by the compressor. Here, it releases the absorbed heat to the outside air through the condenser coil. The refrigerant then returns to the indoor unit to repeat the cycle.

III. Energy Efficiency and Zoning

  1. Zoning Technology:

One of the significant advantages of split systems is their ability to zone. This means different indoor units can be controlled independently, allowing for personalized temperature settings in different areas of the building. This zoning capability contributes to energy efficiency.

  1. Inverter Technology:

Many modern split systems in Australia incorporate inverter technology. Unlike traditional systems that turn on and off to maintain the desired temperature, inverters adjust the compressor speed, ensuring a more consistent and energy-efficient cooling process.

Considerations for the Australian Climate

  1. High Temperatures:

Australia experiences extreme temperatures, especially during the summer months. Split systems are designed to handle these conditions efficiently, providing reliable cooling even in the hottest weather.

  1. Energy Efficiency Ratings:

Given the rising focus on sustainability, Australians often look for air conditioners with high energy efficiency ratings. Split systems with inverter technology and energy-efficient refrigerants align with the country’s commitment to reducing energy consumption.

Maintenance and Longevity

  1. Regular Maintenance:

To ensure optimal performance, regular maintenance is crucial. This includes cleaning filters, checking refrigerant levels, and inspecting components for wear and tear.

  1. Longevity:

Properly maintained split systems can have a longer lifespan, offering homeowners and businesses a reliable cooling solution for many years.

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In conclusion, the split system air conditioner has become a staple in Australian households and businesses, providing efficient and customizable cooling solutions. Understanding the components of a split system air conditioner provides insight into its functionality and aids in proper maintenance. Regular cleaning, timely filter replacement, and professional servicing contribute to the longevity and efficiency of these systems, ensuring a cool and comfortable living or working environment. If you need professional air conditioning help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with DGB Refrigeration Heating & Cooling. Our experienced technicians are always at your service. Dial 03 7038 6918 and stay cool all summer long!

As technology advances, we can anticipate further innovations in split system air conditioning, contributing to even greater energy efficiency and sustainability.


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