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Multi Head Split Systems Vs Ducted Central Air: Which Is Greener?

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If your home needs an air conditioning system that can cool multiple rooms simultaneously, a multi-head split system may be just the ticket. These sophisticated cooling units consist of multiple indoor cooler units connected to a single outdoor condenser unit and can keep your entire home comfortably cool.

Compared to conventional, ducted central air systems, multi-head split systems are cheaper and easier to install. They also take up much less space. However, if you are an environmentally conscious homeowner, you should make sure that a multi-head system is the most eco-friendly option available before you invest.

Multi-Head Split Systems Vs Central Air Systems

Central systems function by drawing in warm air from your home and passing it through a heat exchanger, which cools the air. The cool air is then distributed throughout your home through ducts. This process is simple and reliable, but pushing large quantities of air through a heat exchanger and around your entire home requires a substantial amount of energy.

Multi-head split systems work very differently. The refrigerant liquid is cooled inside an outdoor condenser and distributed to the attached indoor units via narrow pipes known as conduits. Each of the indoor units contains a small heat exchanger, which is cooled by the refrigerant liquid, and a fan that passes warm air over the heat exchanger.

Because multi-head split systems do not rely on powerful fans to move cooled air around your home, they are usually more energy-efficient than ducted central air systems, and consequently more eco-friendly. They also contain less embodied energy and carbon than ducted central air systems, since constructing ductwork consumes substantial amounts of energy and materials.

Multi-head systems are especially eco-friendly if you are looking for a zoned air conditioning system that gives you control over the temperature of individual rooms, Zoned central air systems rely on zoning dampers installed inside the ducts, which consume significant amounts of energy while functioning.

Zoned multi-head systems increase or decrease cooling in individual rooms by modulating the speed of the fans located inside the indoor units. This is a much more energy-efficient process, and less vulnerable to mechanical faults than zoning dampers.

Are Multi-Head Split Systems Always The Greenest Option?

You should bear in mind that multi-head split systems have less raw cooling power than most central air systems, and cannot handle very high heat loads. If your home has very large, open plan rooms, or large, unshaded windows that face east or west, some rooms in your home may get very hot, especially during the summer months.

In these situations, a multi-head system may be overworked by the excess heat load, and use considerably more energy than it should. Overworked systems have shorter working lifespans and are more vulnerable to malfunctions, which can seriously undercut energy and cost savings.

For more information on residential air conditioning installation services, contact a company near you.