With cooling season right around the corner, now is a good time to consider your air conditioning setup. Whether your system isn’t as efficient as it used to be or you’re looking to upgrade, there are plenty of options available. One increasingly popular option is a Mini Split AC system. But what exactly is a mini-split and how does it work?
Ductless mini-splits have indoor air handling units that sit on the wall or ceiling (or rest on the floor) and connect to a central outdoor unit. They’re an alternative to traditional ducted systems, which cool homes with a single air-conditioning unit that blows air throughout the entire house via ducts.
Because ductless systems have no ducts, they don’t suffer from the energy losses that can make up to 30% of an HVAC system’s overall efficiency. This saves money on your utility bill. And because you only heat or cool the rooms that are in use, you’re only using energy for spaces that need it.
A high-efficiency ductless system also uses less energy than standard systems to maintain comfort. This is mainly due to their inverter-driven compressor technology, which slows or speeds up as needed rather than simply turning on and off like conventional units. Some brands even have multiple operating modes that let you select how much or little you want to cool a room, further saving on energy costs.
Another advantage of a ductless system is that it’s easier to install than a ducted system. Especially in old houses, it’s not always possible to fit ductwork into an existing space. But with a mini-split, you can easily heat or cool additions and home renovation projects without breaking the bank on installing new ductwork.
The modular nature of a ductless system means that you can set it up to meet your specific needs. You can use a single-zone system to address hot or cold spots in specific areas of the home, or go with a multi-split that allows you to control up to eight indoor air handling units connected to one central outdoor unit. Each zone can have its own temperature and airflow controls, allowing you to condition each space according to its occupancy and comfort needs.
While a ductless system can deliver impressive performance, it’s important to have it professionally installed and keep up with routine maintenance to ensure optimal operation. Without regular care, a ductless system can start to lose efficiency over time and lead to higher energy bills.
With a properly designed and installed ductless system, you can expect to get 12-15 years of trouble-free service from your investment. As with any other equipment, however, it’s best to do your homework before making a purchase so you can choose the perfect system for your home and budget.