A mini split is a ductless heating and cooling system that can be installed in commercial and residential buildings. Mini splits are named for their compact design and the fact that they provide both heating and cooling to enclosed spaces.
What is a Mini Split?
A mini split system includes an outdoor that houses a condenser and compressor, and an indoor unit that supplies conditioned air. This is a flexible HVAC solution that can work well in almost any construction application. Since these systems work without ductwork, they can be used to provide additional coverage in buildings with non-ducted heating systems, such as hydronic systems. Mini splits are also ideal for historical homes without ductwork as well as converted living spaces and room additions where tying into an existing ductwork system would be difficult or cost prohibitive.
Single-Zone Vs. Multi-Zone
As stated earlier, all mini splits have an indoor air-handling unit and an outdoor compressor/condenser. But there are single-zone and multi-zone systems.
Sealing ductwork will provide two major benefits:
Single-zone systems are perfect for adding heating and cooling to newly constructed rooms without ductwork, or to supplement underserved spaces in an existing system.
Multi-zone systems can include up to eight indoor units that function independently, so you can heat/cool specific areas for maximum efficiency.
Indoor Air Handling Units
The type of indoor unit(s) you select will depend on your layout and design preferences. The following are different types of indoor mini split air handlers:
These are installed in the ceiling so that the mechanics are hidden. They provide more coverage than wall units and some provide a way to direct air flow.
These use short duct runs to deliver air from a unit installed in a concealed area such as a closet, attic, utility room, or crawlspace.
These are mounted low on a wall and are a good solution for rooms with high windows or other layout obstacles.
These are best for large, open areas inside commercial or industrial spaces. They are attached to the ceiling and can move air over larger spaces.
These are the easiest to install because they simply mount on a wall where the connecting wire, refrigerant lines and drain tube enter from the outside.
For the successful installation of a mini split HVAC system, you’ll also need several components and accessories. First Supply has a great selection of condensate pumps, line sets, split wiring, controls, and more. Every situation is unique, but the following list includes different accessories that may be required for your next mini split installation.
These remove condensate in a mini split system. They include a reservoir with a drain pan to collect water, and a float switch to turn on the pump when the water reaches a certain level. If gravity can be used to drain condensate to the outside, a pump isn’t needed. See Condensate Pumps
These flexible vinyl tubes are used to drain condensate collected from indoor air away from the structure being cooled. See Drain Tubes
Line Set Covers
These conceal the line set(s) and wiring used for a mini split system. Covers offer protection from the elements and pest infestation. These are paintable to match siding or trim. See Line Set Covers
These include a pair of copper tubes that connect the indoor unit (evaporator) and outdoor unit (condenser) and carries refrigerant from the condenser to the evaporator. Multi-zone systems require a line set for each indoor unit. See Line Sets
Mini Split Controls
These allow you to tailor output and maximize efficiency by heating or cooling specific areas. See Mini Split Controls
Mini Split Wiring
Mini Split wires connect the outdoor (condenser) to the indoor (evaporator). These 14/4 stranded conductor cables deliver electricity and control signals. See Mini Split Wiring
A mini split system is significantly different from a traditional HVAC system and may require some additional carpentry, electrical configuration, and installation work. The differences result in some distinct Pros and Cons of Ductless Mini Splits that should be considered before committing to this type of system. Choosing the right heating and cooling system can play a huge part in the comfort that a property owner will enjoy in the long run. 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.