How Split Type AC Works

Learn How Your Split Air Conditioner Work

A split type of Ac is the most common air conditioning system found in Malaysia.

They are highly efficient and flexible given the circumstances that most Malaysian households need them.

The type of split Ac is characterized by its design that splits the air conditioning unit into two parts. One part remains indoors while the other part is installed outdoors.

In this article, we are going to discuss how a split Ac works and the pros and cons of single-split systems.

What is a split type of air conditioner?

Ductless Split System Air Conditioners

Single-split systems comprise an indoor unit and an outdoor unit with a connecting pipe for transferring coolant from one side to another, which means that there is only one coil on each side.

Heat is transferred from the air to the outdoor unit in order to be cooled down and then released into the atmosphere again.

The air conditioning unit is installed in a room and the condensing unit is not.

This kind of air conditioner system is a lot quieter because the condensing unit is placed outside.

Major Parts of split air conditioning systems

Compressor (Outdoor)

The major function of the compressor is to compress the refrigerant gas and then transfer it into liquid form.

Condenser (Outdoor)

The main function of the condenser component is to cool down the air by exchanging heat with the environment. A large condenser bearing some heavy-duty ACs can compete with a refrigerator or a freezer.

Evaporator Coil (Indoor)

The evaporator coil is another very important component of the air conditioning system. It cools down the air by absorbing heat from the environment and releasing it into a refrigerant.

Expansion Valve (Indoor)

An expansion valve is a pressure controlling device that expands the refrigerant flow in order to maintain the correct pressure drop.


A capacitor is used for stabilizing the system during starting of an air conditioning unit. It is also used for operating circuits and switching power.

Air Blower (Indoor)

The air blower is a type of fan that helps distribute the cool air into the room. The blower is the part of the AC that makes the whole system work.

Refrigerant (System)

The refrigerant acts as a medium that absorbs and transfers heat from one place to another.

This process is called heat transfer, and it helps to cool down your room when you are having a hot day.

The compressor pumps the refrigerant into the condenser to cool down the air and then move the air out of the room at a temperature lower than before.

It is imperative to decide on R410A or R32 when you are going for a new air conditioner.

Air Filter (Indoor)

An air filter is designed to allow air to flow through while blocking dust, dirt, and other solid particles. The filter is found in both the indoor parts of the AC.

It needs to be cleaned every month or quarterly at the least which can be done by yourself.

Drain Hose (Indoor/Outdoor)

The drain hose is used to drain water from the condenser. Some AC comes with a built-in pump that moves water out of the system for you, but you still need a hose for when it overflows.

Motor Fan (Outdoor)

An AC fan is used to move hot air from the condenser to the environment. It serves as a vent for hot air that has been cooled by the indoor condenser.

Thermostat (Indoor)

A thermostat is used to regulate room temperature according to your preference. You can use the thermostat to set up cooling at a certain temperature and change it when you want to.

How A Split Air Conditioner Works in Brief

Below is the process of how the split-type AC works in general.

It involves a lot more technical aspects than what we listed here but we try to keep it simple for everyone to understand the concept.

  1. The evaporator coil will absorb heat in the room and release it to the refrigerant
  2. The refrigerant will move into the compressor
  3. The compressor will compress the refrigerant even further until it forms a liquid
  4. The liquid will be sent to the condenser coil where it will exchange heat with the environment and form a gas again with the motor fan to dissipate the heat
  5. The hot liquid refrigerant will travel to the expansion valve. Depressure the refrigerant and cool it down
  6. Low-pressure cold liquid will be flowing into the evaporator coil and will distribute out through the help of the air blower
  7. The process will repeat and circulate until you turn them off

This gif here can illustrate the whole process visually.

How Split AC Works

Legend: 1. Compressor 2. Outdoor Motor Fan 3. Condenser Coil 4. Piping 5. Evaporator Coil 6. Indoor Air Blower

Advantages of the split air conditioner system

  • The split type of air conditioner is efficient in terms of cooling room.
  • It has a great power consumption with low energy cost.
  • It has fewer parts that can be easily maintained and fewer things that can go wrong, so the maintenance costs are low too with such an AC system if it is properly maintained.
  • The noise is also low because the amount of air moved by the fan is small, so it will not create any noise. Plus the compressor and motor fan are located outside.
  • If the aircond is periodically service and properly maintained, it has a longer life span for you to use efficiently and with less fuss.
  • The aircond installation process is quick and easy since it does not require ducting as with a central air conditioning system.

Disadvantages of the split air conditioner

  • The highest horsepower of the split type can go up to 3 horsepower only. Use our AC horsepower calculator to determine the capacity required for your room.
  • If you have a very large area that needs to be cooled down, you might need more than one unit.
  • It can significantly affect the look of your house since most of them have a large box hanging outside your house with an external condenser unit and with an external indoor unit in your living room or bedroom that you can see and not hidden.
Unpleasant view of outdoor unit AC

Development of the Split Type of Air Conditioning

Previously, a single split system only can serve one room.

But with the latest development of the multi-split type of ac, it can use a single system to cover 2 rooms, 3 rooms, 4 rooms, and so on.

If you need a different size of air conditioner for each room and do not want to sacrifice the appearance of your house by having 3 or 4 outdoor units hanging on your wall.

Then this option is something that you should consider though it’s much more expensive.

The reduce space or exterior aesthetic requirements might be something that you have to consider or implies if you are considering the multi-split type of air conditioning system.

Multi Split Aircon

Two leading brands for these multi-split type systems in Malaysia are Daikin (VRV) and Panasonic (VRF). Where most of the application is used in the commercial sector.


The split air conditioner has many advantages and few disadvantages that need to be taken into consideration before you make a purchase.

It is also important to know how efficiently the model will cool your room, especially if you have an active lifestyle with a family and you need to maintain a certain level of comfort in your room.

With all of these factors and more, you can make the right decision when it comes to the types of air conditioners that you can get in Malaysia.

If you need help from us to aircond service, install, or troubleshoot on your split-type air conditioner, please do not hesitate to contact us via WhatsApp or by phone.

Our professional technicians will certainly be of help.