What is the difference between a split and a multi-split air conditioning system?

At Mid-Tech Services we offer both split and multi-split systems for your air conditioning, but what exactly does this mean?

The difference between the two is much simpler than you might expect. Whether a split or multi-split system is right for you will vary based on the needs of your home or business.

Split Air Conditioning Systems

Split air conditioning systems are also referred to as single-split systems. This is because they operate with a single indoor unit paired with one outdoor unit. They provide heating and cooling to individual rooms, making them the ideal solution for small offices, shops, cafes, and server rooms.

Single-split systems can also be used in combination to serve larger spaces and multiple rooms. The main downside is that you need enough external space to have one outdoor unit for every indoor unit.

However, there are various advantages to doing it this way. Firstly, its often cheaper than installing a central HVAC system and as each system is self-contained, if one unit breaks down, the others will remain fully functional. Even though they are known to be ‘cheap’, single splits are still very effective and energy-efficient systems. Their versatility makes them great for all kinds of applications and they’re extremely popular with small business across the globe.


  • Cost-effective – Split systems are comparatively cheaper than multi-split systems.
  • Simple installation – The install process for these systems is both quicker and less costly compared to multi-split.
  • Targeted power – A split system with be specific to a single room and provide optimal temperature control.

Multi-Split Air Conditioning Systems

Multi-split systems also utilise a single outdoor unit, but they can be connected to multiple indoor units at once (as much as 9 indoor units). A multi-split air conditioning solution is best for several rooms with different climate needs.

Multi-split systems are most frequently used in places like restaurants, offices, doctor’s surgeries, and shops. It’s always preferable to have fewer outdoor units, particularly if you lack space or want to preserve your building’s external appearance. That gives multi-splits a distinctive advantage over several single splits.

Another selling point is that you aren’t limited to using just one type of indoor unit. If you wanted to, you could have any combination of wall and ceiling-mounted air conditioning units. However, multi-split systems are slightly more complex and require more pipework than several single splits. That can make the installation more expensive and take longer, particularly if you’re only looking to install a few indoor units.

Ultimately, the best solution depends on the layout of your building and the heating and cooling capacity you require.


  • Independent control – Multiple indoor units can be separately controlled, although their power is shared.
  • Space-saving – Only one large outdoor condenser will be required to operate with multiple indoor units.
  • Flexible – Small and large capacity indoor units can be utilised using the power of a single outdoor unit.

Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact

Both single and multi-split systems are energy efficient and are a cost-effective solution for heating and cooling, provided they are suited to your individual requirements. An oversized unit of either type will waste energy unnecessarily, whereas an undersized unit will not consistently meet demand. Find out how you can choose your perfect air conditioning system.

We ensure all the units we install at Mid-Tech Services are matched to your needs, being A+ to A+++ EER (energy efficiency ratio) rated and utilising the more environmentally friendly R32 refrigerant gas. You can be confident your air conditioning will not only be efficient but kinder to the environment too.

Discover our previous blogs if you want to learn more about air conditioning and how much it costs to run and install.


Any large purchase is an investment, although the energy savings you can make using air conditioning in place of your current heating system will reflect in your monthly bills quite rapidly. The return on your investment (ROI) will be very quick.

Cost is naturally going to be a factor when deciding whether you would prefer a split or multi-split system, especially as their pricing can vary depending on your requirements. The number of indoor units you require as well as their power will be reflected in the multi-split and its cost. For example, if you wanted to purchase three indoor wall units with one multi-split outdoor unit, you can expect the total (including install cost) to be approximately +10% compared to a purchase of three single split systems.

With a range of options on offer, our air con experts at Mid-Tech Services are on hand to ensure that you choose the system best suited to your circumstances. Get in touch today. In the meantime, follow our journey on LinkedInFacebook and Instagram for more handy insights.

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