Mini split ductless systems can be installed in commercial and residential structures. Since they don’t require ductwork, these are perfect for retrofits and new additions. Mini splits are named for their compact design (mini) and the fact that they provide both (split) heating and cooling to enclosed spaces. With a mini split system, cooling occurs when indoor heat is absorbed by refrigerant and released outdoors. In the heating mode, this process is reversed, making a mini split system a viable option for year-round use in any climate.
Advantages of a Mini Split System
Many people living in the United States use forced air heat, however, there are some distinct advantages to choosing a mini split system for heating and cooling. Here’s a list of benefits that come with a mini split system.
Mini split systems are quiet compared to forced air systems.
By transferring heat rather than generating it and by avoiding energy losses associated with ductwork, mini splits are often more energy efficient than central heating or cooling systems.
Mini split hardware takes up less space than the hardware required for other HVAC systems.
Mini split systems let you condition air for a specific area, instead of heating/cooling an entire building.
Ductless design prevents heating/cooling loss
By comparison, a typical duct system loses approximately 30% of the conditioned air in a heating and cooling system.
Cost-effective to operate
Mini split systems use up to 40% less energy than traditional heating and cooling systems.
A mini split system uses less energy when it runs continuously to maintain a consistent temperature. There’s no need to turn the units on/off or adjust temperature settings like you would with a central HVAC system.
Set and forget operation
In AUTO mode, air handlers will adjust the fan speed automatically to maintain a consistent temperature and minimize energy use.
Fast, low impact installation
A single-zone system only requires a 3" hole in the wall for conduit.
Better Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Heated/cooled air doesn’t travel through ductwork, so less dust is collected and blown around.
Mini split systems allow easy access to filters so that they can be cleaned or changed easily.
Disadvantages of a Mini Split System
While mini split systems are a great fit for certain situations, there are some disadvantages to keep in mind if you’re considering this HVAC solution. Read below for a list of disadvantages that come along with a mini split system.
Requires a knowledgeable installer for best results
While the equipment installation is straightforward, size estimation and run calculation is complicated and critical to efficient performance.
Placement isn’t flexible
When it comes to installation, the best-looking location may not be the best location for functionality.
Hiding equipment can be a challenge
Most units won’t blend into the décor or have a built-in appearance without significant carpentry.
Condensate must be managed
Drain lines need to be sloped correctly to prevent leaks and/or mold.
Choosing the best heating and cooling system takes research and time. The information in this article should give you the tools you need to weigh the features and benefits of a mini split system against the negatives. Trust First Supply for all your mini split equipment, supplies, and information.