Mini splits are becoming a popular option for home heating and cooling for many reasons, including energy optimization, better temperature regulation, and more versatility.
But what are mini splits? Are their advantages and disadvantages to a mini split? Here’s everything you need to know.
What Are Mini Splits?
Mini split HVAC systems are often called split systems as they have both indoor and outdoor components. The outdoor condenser or compressor to the indoor handling unit, which is connected to a mini split thermostat to adjust the temperature. Copper lines run between them to circulate refrigerant between the coils of both units.
The indoor unit consists of air handlers, blowers, and an evaporator coil. The air handling units are placed throughout the home, often in walls and ceilings, to use energy more efficiently.
With conventional systems, installing HVAC equipment in older homes and offices with no existing ductwork can become challenging. Most people don’t want the major renovations of cutting into floors and walls for new ductwork.
This is where ductless mini splits offer an advantage. These systems eliminate the need for ducts by circulating the air directly through the indoor unit without added ductwork.
Also known as ductless HVAC systems, mini splits are simple in their design. Air is pulled from the room by the air handling unit and is transported to the condenser through a series of pipes with coolant coils.
When the hot air in the room comes in contact with the coils, it transfers energy to them, turning the liquid inside into a gas. This gas is then sent off to the compressor part of the condenser unit to be recycled back into a liquid, which then fed back into the air handler to reenter the room. Through a few cycles, the temperature in the room drops.
What Are the Advantages of a Mini Split?
Eco-Friendly Heating and Cooling
Ductless systems are more efficient than air conditioners or heat pumps, since you can control the temperature in one room at a time instead of the entire house. Each room can be cooled separately. If a room doesn’t need to be cooled, you can shut off that part of the system to conserve energy.
Mini splits are ideal in homes that are older and don’t have ductwork, or if you’re adding new rooms to your home. In many cases, the home’s existing HVAC system is not enough to heat and cool new rooms, but mini split systems can create supplemental heating and cooling.
Ductless systems are often less expensive than conventional HVAC systems, which is important as utility prices continue to increase. Heating and cooling is often the most expensive energy cost in homes and businesses, but ductless systems use less power than conventional HVAC and have less heat loss.
Mini splits are scalable compared to conventional HVAC systems. You can heat or cool as many rooms as you want, from one room to the whole house, and deliver heating and cooling to new additions without complex renovations.
Compared to conventional heating and cooling, mini splits offer an array of features that can improve your convenience, such as remote control operations, programmable timers, and washable filters.
Multiple Operating Modes
Mini splits provide a range of operating modes. Heating and cooling are standard in HVAC systems, but ductless systems can also dehumidify a room in muggy climates. There’s also a fan-only option, as well as sleep and automated functions.
Improve Air Quality
One of the biggest advantages of mini splits is the improved air quality. HVAC systems with ducts tend to have debris accumulate within the ducts themselves, which combines with the condensation and may become toxic. As the system pumps cool air back into your home, you’re breathing all that in. Without ducts, you have healthier air overall.
How Do I Know If Ductless Is Right for Me?
Ductless mini splits are great in many different situations, but they’re not for everyone. Here are the ideal candidates for a ductless system:
Home or Building Owners with No Pre-Existing Ductwork
Many buildings – especially older ones – have no ductwork at all. If you want to install a conventional HVAC unit, that means adding all that ductwork to your installation costs and timeline. But mini splits don’t require this extra ductwork.
Rooms That Need More Heating or Cooling
Some rooms present heating or cooling problems, such as rooms at the end of a duct line or rooms that are cut off from the main part of a house. A ductless system is ideal in this case and can provide a more comfortable space without affecting the rest of the house.
Homes or Offices That Are Downsized
If you have an office space or home with a lot of unused rooms, you could be wasting a lot of money on heating or cooling rooms for no reason. Cutting off the heating and cooling to these spaces takes a lot of extra work and promotes mold growth, but a ductless system directs heating or cooling where it’s needed without wasting energy on unused areas.
Groups with Diverse Needs
People who share a household or office space may not all be comfortable at the same temperature. For example, babies and the elderly typically need warmer temperatures than other people. Mini splits let you customize the temperature in different rooms for individual preferences.
Are you considering a mini split? Contact us at JW Heating & Air to schedule your appointment!