Ductless mini-split systems are a popular HVAC option in certain situations, primarily for two reasons: With the absence of ductwork that can lead to leakage and energy loss, they are very efficient; and their size and uncomplicated installation is very convenient. But, like most other HVAC solutions, it isn’t right for everyone. Your friends at Masters Heating & Cooling want our customers to know how mini splits work, some of the pros/cons and whether it can be a good fit for your home.
MINI SPLIT SYSTEM
Mini-split systems operate similar to forced air systems in that they are comprised of two major electrical components: an outdoor compressor unit and one or more interior air-blowing evaporators. For all intents and purposes, that’s where the similarities end. For starters, the blowers/evaporators are smaller than forced-air handling units and can be mounted on walls and in other unobtrusive places. Their installation is also quite a bit less-complicated once the outdoor unit is installed. All that is required are a few 2-3 inch holes for the refrigerant lines and tubing to connect to the outdoor unit. These features can make ductless mini-splits an attractive option if you are doing a renovation, new build or want to add climate control to a particular room or space.
- Efficiency. Mini split systems can be significantly more efficient than traditional forced-air units for a few different reasons. First, ductwork can lose up to 25 percent of the climate-controlled air pumped through it, while there is no such loss in a ductless system. Also, ductless systems feature specialized compressors, which speed up/slow down instead of completely shutting off several times. This also saves energy that is consumed with the compressor start-up.
- Quiet operation. Compared to a traditional split system or a window unit, a mini split system is quiet as a mouse with a sound level comparable to that of your refrigerator when it is running.
- Great for zoning. Multiple interior blowers installed in selected rooms means a greater ability to zone the climate-control in your home. Heat or cool one room, while doing nothing at all in another.
- Higher initial cost. Whether it’s a single room solution or the installation of a whole home mini split system, the upfront cost is higher than a forced air system.
- Limited heating capability. This is mostly dependent on the climate you are in. For southern or coastal regions, where it does not get extremely cold, mini split systems can deliver enough heat. In other more extreme regions, however, a traditional gas-fueled furnace is probably the best solution.
- More frequent maintenance. Air filters in mini split blowers can’t handle accumulated debris and must be cleaned monthly if not more frequently. If not, they can become easily damaged and expensive to repair.
After reviewing the pros and cons, here are the recommendations of the HVAC pros at Masters. If you reside in a milder climate and intend to renovate or add on to your existing home, mini-splits are a good fit. Likewise, if you are building a new home, it is certainly a viable option. But each situation is different and to get the complete picture, call us today. We will be happy to get you up to speed about mini splits and tell you all about our Carrier mini split heat pumps. Or stop by and see us today in our stores in Fort Wayne, Decatur, Angola, Indianapolis, Greenwood and Mishawaka, IN. Please visit us online, too.