All About Mini-Split Air Conditioners: What They Are and How They Operate

August 18, 2017

Many homeowners are most familiar with central air conditioners.

Mini-split systems are a kind of ductless heating and cooling. Rather than providing conditioned air to the full home through a network of air ducts, they heat and cool a single room at a time. This allows more targeted temperature control, enhancing comfort and energy efficiency.

How Do Mini-Split Air Conditioners Work?

Mini-splits are most like heat pumps in the way they operate. Both kinds of equipment offer electric cooling, the same as an air conditioner. This involves using refrigerant to extract heat from inside a building and exhausting that warmth outside. Then, a reversing valve permits the system to operate backward, warming your home in the winter by pulling heat from outdoor air and adding it inside.

The main distinction between mini-splits and heat pumps is that mini-split systems don’t need ductwork. Instead, the indoor unit has a built-in air handler, which is installed on the wall or ceiling in the space you are looking to heat and cool. Copper tubes, wiring and a condensate drain line link to an outdoor condensing unit through a little conduit in the wall. This exterior component looks similar to an air conditioner or heat pump condenser.

More than one indoor unit can connect to a single outdoor condenser, permitting you to heat and cool your full home with this system if desired. This configuration also makes zoning possible, a highly attractive feature that lets you choose when, where and how much you heat and cool individual spaces.

Mini-split basics infographic Longmont 

Is a Ductless Mini-Split the Best Choice for My Home?

Mini-splits are a good choice for most households. Think over these reasons why getting a ductless mini-split might be right for you:

  • You can heat and cool a complete house that lacks existing ductwork.
  • You’ll be able to shut off the heat and air conditioning in unused areas to save on your energy costs.
  • Mini-splits give additional heating and cooling for areas that are difficult to keep cozy.
  • Use a ductless system to heat and cool a house addition or enclosed patio without the cost of installing ductwork or the hassle of relying on window AC units.
  • Mini splits are the natural choice for spaces where traditional ducts is impractical. A few examples are historic homes, tiny homes, temperature controlled sheds or workshops, or garage conversions.
  • What are the Pluses of a Mini-Split System?

    Ductless mini-splits are highly capable systems, but you may still be thinking why you would want to select it over a traditional furnace and air conditioner. Here’s why a large number of Longmont homeowners are using ductless mini-splits:

    • Avoid the hidden issues of ductwork: By giving heated and cooled air directly, air doesn’t go through cracked air ducts on its way to each room. This can save you upward of 30 percent on your heating and cooling costs. Along with that, if your home doesn’t already use ducts, you avoid the annoyance and price associated with putting them in.
    • Choose the best setting for all rooms: With zoned heating and cooling from a ductless mini-split, you can keep an office chilly while maintaining a warm nursery—all while maximizing energy efficiency.
    • Use less money and energy by not heating and cooling unused areas: Closing supply registers in a central HVAC system can throw it off balance, putting stress on the equipment and canceling any likely savings. But with independent air handlers in each room, you can heat and cool specific rooms only when you need them.

    Depend on Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to Put in Your Mini-Split Air Conditioner

    As with common HVAC systems, ductless mini-splits need accurate sizing and Expert installation to provide the most efficient performance. Our experienced mini split installers in Longmont can help you decide if a mini-split system will match your needs. We can then help you with finding the exact equipment size and model to make your home as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.

    For added details, or to get an appointment, get in touch with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 303-647-5749. You can also schedule an appointment online.

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