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What Homes and Spaces Are Good Candidates for Split System Air Conditioners?

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A split system air conditioner is one that is not connected to a home's or other building's ductwork, but is vented directly out one wall of the structure. Hotels usually have split systems; each room or suite would then have its own air conditioner without a central system controlling the entire building. These systems can be installed in private residences, so note if your home or space is a good candidate for this type of system so you can decide if they're the right choice for you.

1. For single occupants

For family homes, you may want a central air conditioning system so that the whole house is being cooled at once; when the kids are home and are upstairs in the bedroom while mom and dad are cooking downstairs or watching a movie in the living room, it's good for all spaces to be air conditioned. However, if you're a single occupant and spend much of your time in one living space, you may not need a central system. A split system can be installed to cool your main living area and you might have a second system installed in the bedroom. This will reduce the cost of utilities since you're just cooling one occupied area at a time.

2. Older homes

If your home is older and has very old ductwork, you may not want to connect a central air conditioner to the ducts. The force of air through them might make loose ducts rattle around and make noise. Additionally, your older home's wiring may also be outdated and may not be able to handle the load of a central air conditioner; the central unit may demand more power than your home's wires can deliver and, in turn, you may risk causing them to become bare and frayed. A central system may also constantly trip the circuits when it comes on, whereas a split system isn't as powerful so it won't use and demand as much electricity. If you'd rather not have the expense of updating the ductwork and wiring of the home along with installing a central air conditioner, a split system can be the best solution.

3. Smaller, humid spaces

If your home is small and also typically humid, a central air conditioner may cool it too quickly; with a larger unit in a small space, the space becomes cool before the air conditioner can remove humidity from the air. In turn, you feel cool but clammy. A split system unit that isn't as powerful will usually take longer to cool the space, so that the humidity can also be removed accordingly. The space then feels cool and more comfortable overall.