What are Mini Split Air Conditioners, and Why Should I Get One?

Written by Home Depot Shingles. Posted in Duluth tankless water heater, Furnace maintenance, Plumber in superior wi

A mini split AC system is a great way to provide air conditioning to homes that have heating systems without any ductwork, or for multi-family housing units. They are also a great choice for small apartments or room additions, or anywhere where it isn’t feasible to extend or install ductwork.

What Is a Mini Split AC System?

This cooling system separates the condenser from the evaporator. The evaporator blows the cooled air into your room and is installed inside, typically on the wall. The condenser is what draws in air and cools it, and this component is installed outside. The two are connected by electric and refrigerant lines, and a drain line from the evaporator is run outside or down a nearby drain, depending on the setup.

What Are the Advantages of the Mini Split AC System?

There are several important advantages to this type of system.
  1. You can control the temperature in each separate room. This type of ductless system allows you to separately control the air conditioning or heating any room. Every year, air conditioners cost the homeowners of America more than $11 billion, so anything that allows you to turn down the air conditioning in an unused room while keeping used rooms cool is going to save you money as well as provide enormous convenience.

  2. They are easy to install. If you’ve avoided air conditioning installations because of the cost and work of installing ductwork, a mini split system might be the right choice for you. To hook up the outdoor and indoor units, it only takes a three-inch hole in the wall, and the outdoor unit can be as far as 50 feet away from the evaporator. This means rooms at the front of a building can be cooled while the compressor resides in a less noticeable spot.

  3. They are energy-efficient. Without ductwork, there is very little energy loss with mini split AC systems compared to central air systems. As much as 30% of an air conditioner’s energy output can be lost due to ductwork.

  4. Mini splits are flexible and work with more interior design arrangements. When compared with other add-on air conditioning systems, the mini split AC system compares favorably in that it can be mounted nearly anywhere and no require an open window. They also look sleek and modern and come with a remote control for ease of use.

What Are the Disadvantages of the Mini Split AC System?

There are a few disadvantages of the system, as there are with all systems.
  1. They can be costly. Compared with other add-on systems, mini split systems will be more expensive. They are about 30% more expensive than a central system, as well, if they are installed throughout the home. However, those costs can be more than made up for through energy savings over time.

  2. The systems must be sized correctly. It is important to get the size of unit that is appropriate for the room and the environment where it will be installed. The temptation is always to go cheaper and smaller, but this can result in short-cycling, which ends up wasting energy while not providing satisfactory temperatures.

  3. It can be harder to find the right installer. Since these systems are relatively new to the United States, you will need to find an installer with experience and expertise in the systems to make sure they are installed correctly.

Can the Mini Split AC System Be Adapted to My Needs?

There are several available options for these systems, including adding a heat pump so they can also function as a heater, installing a ceiling cassette to dispense the cooled air, and purchasing multi zone units so cool several rooms on the same condenser.

The mini split AC system provides high-efficiency cooling in situations where add-on units or central air are less desirable. Look in your area for providers of mini split systems and find out how to improve your home’s comfort and efficiency this summer.

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