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What is a Multi Split System Air Conditioner?

What Is A Multi Split Air Conditioner?

split air conditioner

Split air conditioners are powerful and cost-effective — known for their quiet efficiency compared to window, wall and portable air conditioners. In fact, they’re the most popular type of air conditioner in Australia. But did you know there are actually two types of split air cons: single split air conditioners and multi split air conditioners?
If you’re not sure what a multi split air con is, or how it’s different from a single split air con, relax. We’ll take you through everything you need to know about multi split air cons.

All split systems are quieter, more powerful and energy efficient than window/wall and portable air conditioners. Many split system air conditioners also come with handy built in features such as motion sensors, Wi-Fi and air purifiers or ionisers.

So what else makes a multi split system air conditioner different from the rest?

Multi split air conditioner vs single split air conditioning

What is a multi split air conditioner? A multi split-air conditioner is a type of split air conditioner.

While a split air conditioner cools only one room at a time, a multi-split air conditioner lets you cool multiple rooms at a time. This is a result of its construction: a split air conditioner consists of one compressor and one air outlet, while a multi-split air conditioner has multiple (up to five) air outlets, all connected to one compressor.

The interior units can be wall-mounted, floor standing or ceiling-mounted, and are connected by refrigerant pipelines and cables to one outdoor unit.

How a multi split air conditioner works

how a multi split air conditioner works

A multi-split AC has one outdoor compressor, connected to four to five indoor air outlets via refrigerant lines rather than a complex duct system. Apart from the refrigerant tubing, the indoor air outlets are connected to the outdoor unit with condensate drain lines and power cables.

Although each indoor air outlets can be separately controlled, they are connected with the same outdoor heat pump unit to absorb or disperse heat. A heat pump works by removing the heat from the outdoor environment and transferring it indoors.

Is a multi split air conditioner right for me?

A multi split-air conditioning unit is an ideal choice if you wish to air condition more than one location in your house and need to independently control the temperature of each room.

Many split system air conditioners come with handy built-in features such as motion sensors, Wi-Fi and air purifiers or ionisers, and multi split air cons are no exception.

Multi split system vs ducted air conditioning

While ducted air conditioners distribute cool or warm air via ducts, a multi-split system uses multiple indoor units attached to a single outdoor unit. They both offer zoned cooling and heating, but use different methods. Here is comprehensive and informative exploration of the pros and cons of split air conditioning vs ducted air conditioning.

Pros of a multi split system air conditioner

There are many great reasons to consider a multi split air conditioner to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. Here are some major advantages of using multi split AC:

Flexibility and convenience

Multi split system air conditioners offer unsurpassed flexibility and convenience, allowing you to choose the right indoor unit for each room of your house. You can install a high capacity air conditioner for larger living rooms and smaller, quieter ones for the bedrooms, all powered by the one outside unit. This allows you to control the temperature and environment in your home on a room by room basis.

Energy efficiency

Energy saving settings, combined with the ability to heat or cool individual rooms, helps to reduce power and running costs. Choosing the right indoor air outlet unit to suit each room also ensures that you’re not wasting power. The wrong unit in a room can result in the air not being cooled properly and energy wastage. A unit that’s too big for a smaller room also uses more power every time you turn it on compared to a smaller unit running for a longer period of time.

By operating multiple indoor air conditioners from the one external air compressor, multi split system air conditioners are among the most energy efficient of all air conditioners. Choose the most energy-efficient indoor air outlet units for maximum savings on your power bill.


Multi split air conditioning systems are peaceful and quiet.

Independent control

By enjoying the ability to individually adjust the temperatures in each room, you’ll save money and optimise comfort by heating or cooling individual rooms. You can have up to five separate indoor air outlets, all powered by a single outside compressor and controlled by a wireless remote.

Summary: Advantages of multi split air cons

Advantages of multi split air cons include:

Energy efficiency
Multiple indoor air outlets powered by the one outside compressor unit
Ability to choose the most suitable and energy efficient air outlet unit on a room by room basis
Adjusting temperatures to suit each room
More affordable to purchase and install compared to ducted air conditioning
You can add in extra air outlets later on down the track if needed
Affordable maintenance, service, repairs and replacement of units

Cons of a multi split system air conditioner

Multi split air conditioner power consumption

A multi split air conditioner usually consumes more energy than just the single split air con, so it’s important to choose the capacity for each split air con carefully to preserve energy efficiency.

Restrictions on placement

Outdoor air compressors need to be placed as close as possible to the indoor air outlet units. Also, the indoor air outlet units require a relatively large amount of free wall space to be installed.


The outdoor units are bulky and can be an eyesore, so you will need to install them away from bedrooms, outdoor entertaining areas and your neighbours. Depending on the size and design of your home, you may require more than one outside unit.

Interconnection can create problems if the air con fails

If something goes wrong with the outdoor unit, all indoor air outlets connected to it will be affected. This means that if the outdoor compressor dies in the middle of summer, you won’t be able to cool your home until it’s fixed.

Summary: Disadvantages of multi split air cons

Energy consumption must be well-planned
Outdoor air compressor placement must be close to indoor units
More than one outside unit may be required
Compressor failure shuts down entire system

Installing a multi split system air conditioner

A multi split system air conditioner needs to be professionally installed. Due to the ozone-depleting refrigerant gas used in air multi split system air and other air conditioners, they must be installed by a licensed air conditioning installation professional.

Your indoor air outlet unit should be installed as close to the ceiling as possible in each room. Cool air is heavier than warm air, so for maximum cooling efficiency point the louvres on your unit directly out or slightly tilted up. To heat the room, point them downwards.

You will need to give some consideration to where to place the outdoor compressor unit. Ideally, it should be shaded from direct sunlight and installed on a firm surface such as a concrete slab or attached to a wall with sturdy brackets. It should also be installed as close to the indoor air outlets as possible. Large and multi-storey homes may require more than one outdoor unit in order to be able to run the piping from the outside unit to the indoor air outlet.

To ask us a question about multi split air conditioning or the Daikin multi split air con, contact Crown Power today on 0427 175 654 (Brisbane & Sunshine Coast) or 0421 376 620 (Gold Coast).