Four Dangers of Using a Mismatched Split Air Conditioning Unit in Your Home

Split air conditioners feature two major components: an indoor air handler and an outdoor condenser. If one part fails, you can replace either the affected unit or the entire air conditioning system. If you decide to replace the damaged component, you must buy one that matches the original one. Mismatching your indoor and outdoor units can significantly affect the performance of your air conditioner. Read on for four dangers of using a mismatched split air conditioner. 

Decreased operational efficiency 

The indoor and outdoor units of a split air conditioner are designed to work as a set to achieve optimal efficiency. For the AC to operate optimally, the wiring, coils, blowers and refrigerant must be compatible with the existing unit. If you install an incompatible unit, it will strain the air conditioner, reducing its operating efficiency. For example, if you replace the outdoor unit with one with a higher capacity, it will exert pressure on the indoor air handlers. As a result, there will be uneven airflow and reduced indoor comfort. 

Lower energy efficiency ratio (EER)

Modern air conditioners have an energy efficiency ratio (EER) that defines their maximum efficiency. Units with a high EER use less electrical energy to provide cooling, leading to significant cost savings. However, for the unit to achieve the manufacturer's EER, it must be paired with the right components. If you use an older indoor unit with a newer condenser model with a high EER, the condenser won't achieve the indicated efficiency ratio. Therefore, you won't realise any energy savings despite investing in an efficient outdoor unit.

Accelerated wear and tear

Mismatched units can stress the older components, causing them to wear faster than they should. For example, if you have a multi-split unit, the condenser should have the right capacity to handle the number of air handlers in your home. If the condenser is designed to work with four indoor air handlers, it won't serve six air handlers effectively. Therefore, when you turn on all the zones, the condenser will struggle to provide adequate cooling. The compressor and motor will wear out faster, necessitating costly repairs.

Mismatched technologies

Modern air conditioners have advanced technologies, such as variable speed compressors and fans, advanced air filtration, and efficient air handling. These technologies will only work if the indoor and outdoor units match. If you mismatch the components, you will miss out on improved air quality and indoor comfort. Some features of the older unit may even fail to work when paired with incompatible components. 

When replacing a broken indoor or outdoor unit, ensure the new component matches your air conditioner to avoid the above issues. An AC contractor can source compatible parts for your unit and install them for you.  

Contact a professional to learn more about air conditioning units