6 Things to Consider When Buying a Split Air Conditioner

The two different pieces that make up a split air conditioner.

Buying a split air conditioner can make your home cool more efficiently, and save you money as long as you know what to look for. There are some facts about purchasing a split air conditioner that you should be aware of. Consider these six things and you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about what unit will be best for your home.

1. Weather-resistant

Don't worry about needing to cover the outdoor unit during snow or harsh weather conditions. Split air conditioner units are built to endure such things with no problems. In fact, you could ruin the unit if you tried to cover it during snow or rain.

2. Zones

A single zone split air conditioner may not be enough to maintain multiple rooms in your home which means that you may need to buy one that's a dual or triple zone for effective cooling. You'll have to spend more money, but you'll avoid buying a unit that doesn't work for your entire house. Dual zones have two air handlers, and triple zones have three. Ideally, you'll want one handler per room in your home. One alternative is to get a system with enough BTUs to cover many rooms, without regard to the number of air handlers.

3. HVAC Service Professional

It's one thing to install a window air conditioner unit yourself, but installing a split air conditioner is more complex. For example, you'll have to run lines to coolants and electricity. You should hire a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional to install one for you. This is additional cost that you will have to factor in when comparing prices of split air conditioners, but it will be necessary. Ask the professional about costs for the particular make and model you're considering, and make sure they have experience with it before beginning the install. They may also give you some buying tips during your conversation, based on the cooling needs of your home.

4. Tubing Purchase

In addition to buying a split air conditioner, you have to purchase tubing. Tubing is used to connect the inside and outside portions of the unit, and how much tubing you need depends on how far apart the indoor and outdoor parts are from each other.

5. Hole in the Wall

You will need to drill a hole in your wall as part of installing a split air conditioner. Not everyone likes that idea, even though the hole doesn't have to be any bigger than three inches in diameter. Take this into consideration before investing in one.

6. Replace Entire Unit

Even though it's a split air conditioner, if one major component fails, you'll need to replace all of it. Otherwise, the unit won't work efficiently. It's designed to work as one comprehensive piece, even though it's split into two. Compare warranties as you make your decision on which to buy so you can save yourself the most money possible if something should malfunction.

Split air conditioners can reduce energy consumption if used properly, but you should take steps to insulate your home to get the best results. A brand new unit can last up to 10 years if maintained well.