What is a Ductless Mini-Split
We’ve all been there: your bedroom’s far too warm, but the kitchen is freezing. You enjoy slightly cooler rooms in the winter, but others in your household can’t stand the cold. Or maybe you’re trying to figure out what to do with an unconditioned area of your home, such as that new garage or renovated basement.
When it comes to uneven heating and cooling issues, there’s one simple solution: the ductless mini-split.
These air conditioning units may be small, but they pack a powerful punch. With flexible heating and cooling options, they make it easy to air condition different areas throughout your home.
However, if you’re like many people, you might not know much about these devices at all! If you’re ready to get the comfort control you need, here’s what you should know about ductless mini-splits.
What Is a Ductless Mini-Split?
A ductless mini-split is a small HVAC system that works in a single room or zone of your home. As its name implies, it needs no ductwork, meaning you won’t have to install a duct system or change your current ducts.
Like central air, this type of ductless air conditioning includes an outdoor and indoor unit. Refrigerant tubing and electrical wires connect both of these units. Installation involves placing a small hole in the wall for tubes and wires rather than adding new ducts.
The indoor unit can be installed on the ceiling, wall, or even floor, though wall-mounted units are the most popular. This compact device delivers heated or cooled air right into your room.
You can install multiple indoor units to deliver air to different areas of your home. This is called a “multi-zone” system, with a single outdoor compressor powering up to five indoor units.
Central air or a central heat pump may be popular options, with about two-thirds of U.S. households using it, but ductless mini-splits are common in areas that don’t rely on them as much. Here in Michigan, most homes have ductwork installed, meaning that homeowners may not be aware of this more flexible option.
Benefits of a Ductless Mini-Split
Still wondering why you should bother installing a mini-split? These compact systems come with a few key advantages.
As we’ve mentioned above, the installation process is simple for ductless mini-splits. There’s no need to construct or expand a duct system, and installers only need to create a hole of around three inches to run the tubes and wires through.
What’s more, these devices have flexible coverage options. An indoor unit can heat or cool an area from 200 to 1,200 square feet, depending on your needs.
Though central air systems have many benefits, the associated ductwork isn’t always energy efficient. Duct systems, especially those that run through unconditioned areas like basements or attics, can lose a lot of air.
With no ducts to speak of, ductless mini-splits avoid this issue. What’s more, certain types of mini-splits, such as those with an inverter compressor, save energy by idling once a room reaches the desired temperature.
Ductless mini-splits are great for zone control.
Need extra cooling in a specific room of your home, such as a sunny bedroom with south-facing windows? Want a heat- or cold-sensitive member of your household to control their room’s temperature? Looking for extra support for an area with constant HVAC problems?
Mini-split systems can handle all of this with ease.
Better still, most mini-splits have a separate remote control for each zone, allowing you to change the temperature with the press of a button.
Better Air Quality
Because each indoor unit of a ductless mini-split comes with its own filter, they provide great air quality. Even better, there’s no cross-contamination between zones. This makes these systems ideal for households dealing with frequent allergies or chronic respiratory illnesses.
Quiet Temperature Control
While no air conditioner is ever completely silent, mini-split systems come close. Unlike central air and window units, the noisiest component of a mini-split is the condenser, which sits in the outdoor unit. Indoors, it’s often hard to notice a running mini-split due to its quiet operation.
Drawbacks of a Ductless Mini-Split
When compared to other types of air conditioners, ductless mini-split systems also come with a few drawbacks.
First, the up-front cost of a ductless mini-split can be higher than other systems. Over time, the energy efficiency of these units often balances out this initial price tag.
Next, mini-split systems are compact but still noticeable. Unlike a central air system that’s hidden away in an attic or a window unit that sits outside your home, your mini split will be visible within the room. Even so, most units are designed to be unobtrusive and small.
Last, it’s crucial to choose an expert installer for a mini-split system. The size of every zone becomes a major factor in deciding the type, size, and location of your indoor units. If a unit is the wrong size, it can result in wasted energy, ineffective heating and cooling, and higher utility bills.
When to Install a Ductless Mini-Split
Due to the pros and cons we’ve mentioned above, ductless mini-splits are ideal in certain situations.
As you might expect, ductless mini-splits can be the perfect solution for homes with no existing ductwork. This often makes them great for older houses, historical buildings, and tiny homes. They’re also a good choice if you’re trying to heat or cool a new addition or converted living space in your home.
These systems are also helpful for any area that needs inconspicuous heating and cooling. Unlike short-term solutions like fans or space heaters, mini-splits come with low-profile units. This means you won’t need to worry about an installation impacting your décor.
Let Us Install Your Mini-Split
As we’ve mentioned, installing a ductless mini-split correctly is crucial. If you want to benefit from the energy efficiency, flexible comfort control, and improved air quality of these systems, you’ll need a team you can trust.
At Haley Mechanical, we have a long history of helping homeowners throughout Southeast Michigan. With our award-winning service, you can be certain your new air conditioner will be properly installed for maximum efficiency. To learn more, contact us with questions or to get a free quote.
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