How Ventilation Occurs with a Split Air Conditioner

An HVAC unit.

A split air conditioner is one where the indoor unit, or evaporator, is separated from the outdoor unit, or condenser. The evaporator is inside your room, while the compressor is outside, usually on brackets attached to the wall.

How Split Air Conditioners Work

The indoor parts of a split air conditioner are attached to the outside parts by a copper pipe and wiring. The refrigerant is moved from the outdoor compressor through the condenser, and then into the evaporator through the copper pipe. With a split air conditioner, the homeowner can regulate how much cold air comes into the room via a thermostat or remote control.

The split air conditioners need a connection between the inside and outside parts of the air conditioner, as this allows hot air from inside the room to be vented. However, split-type air conditioners do not need to have an exhaust to vent the air itself, as the refrigerant cools the inside air by converting its heat to energy for itself. First, the cooled high-pressure refrigerant liquid moves inside the room. It comes into contact with hot air and uses the heat of the room to convert itself into a gas, and travels outside again into the compressor. There it is converted into a gas again.

This method of heating means that the air inside does not need to be moved outside in order to be properly cooled. It is ideal for situations where open windows are not desirable.

Split air conditioners are ideal for use in residential areas where only some rooms need to be cooled.

Split Air Conditioners and Ventilation

As the refrigerant is moved through the copper pipes, there is little or no need for the air inside the room to be ventilated; ventilation would involve taking the inside air out, and then bringing in fresh air from outside. As air conditioners work best where doors and windows are closed, split-type AC units are to be preferred.

It is possible to have an air ventilation system put into the split air conditioner, but this must be done by professionals. The fan may not be able to be run with this new ventilation equipment. The main cause of concern with the split air conditioner is that the pipes and wiring can become dirty, and encourage mold and bacteria to thrive on the AC unit. If there is also an air ventilation system running, then this can clearly bring mold into the room and cause illness in people in the room.

Why Have Air Ventilation

Sometimes, air ventilation systems are added to a split type air conditioner in business areas and commercial buildings. This is due to workers within the business feeling that they should have vents within the AC unit due to the number of people active inside the building. This can, however, lead to bacterial infections in the staff. Sinus and bronchial infections have been shown to increase where air ventilators are used with split-type air conditioners.