The compressor-based refrigerant systems are air-cooled, meaning they use air to exchange heat, in the same way as a car radiator or typical household air conditioner does. Such a system dehumidifies the air as it cools it. It collects water condensed from the cooled air and produces hot air which must be vented outside the cooled area; doing so transfers heat from the air in the cooled area to the outside air.
In the refrigeration cycle, heat is transported from a colder location to a hotter area. As heat would naturally flow in the opposite direction, work is required to achieve this. A refrigerator is an example of such a system, as it transports the heat out of the interior and into its environment. The refrigerant is used as the medium which absorbs and removes heat from the space to be cooled and subsequently ejects that heat elsewhere.
The selection of indoor units has one restriction: their total power should not exceed the capacity of the outdoor unit. In practice, however, it is very common to see a multi-split system with a total capacity of indoor units greater than the outdoor capacity by at least 20%. However, it is wrong to expect better performance when all indoor units are turned on at the same time, since the total capacity of the whole system is limited by the capacity of the outdoor unit. Simply put, the outdoor unit will distribute all its power to all operating indoor units in such a way that some of the rooms may not have a very comfortable temperature level. However, the calculation of the total power is not simple, since it takes into account not only the nominal power of the units, but also the cooling capacity, heating, dehumidification, humidification, venting, etc.