Ductless mini splits are an alternative heat source to central ducted systems. Ductless systems have a host of benefits, from cleaner air to cost-effectiveness. If you have an older home with an outdated heating system, a furnace on its last leg, or just want to upgrade to something less expensive, then a mini split system is for you.
What Types of Ductless Mini Splits Are Available?
Mini splits come in a variety of mounting options and sizes, depending on your needs. Wall-mounted units are the most popular choice on the market, but they must be mounted high and can take up a good amount of wall space. You can also go with ceiling-mounted options, such as a suspended model or a small cassette.
You can also find floor-mounted units if you prefer not to have the unit mounted. Each of these units comes with an outdoor compressor and an indoor heating and cooling unit.
Another option for ductless systems is to buy either a single-room unit or a multi-zone unit. Single-room units come with a single indoor component and an outdoor compressor. Multi-zone systems include one outdoor compressor that can connect to up to four indoor units.
What Are the Benefits of Ductless Mini Splits?
Probably the best thing about mini splits is the cost. While upfront costs can be a little high, the money you save in the long run on your electric bill more than makes up for it. When air or heat is pumped through ducts, a lot of it is lost through damaged or cracked ducts. A ducting system also runs through an entire house, losing heat or air in areas where you don’t need it, like attics. The cost of running a ducted system adds up over time.
You have endless options when it comes to mini splits. These systems can be added to homes with or without an existing duct system. You can add as many or as few indoor units as you like. Each room’s or zone’s temperature can be changed, leading to fewer arguments about the temperature in the home.
Another benefit of these systems is that they perform both heating and cooling functions. The system works by pulling warm air out of the house to cool it off and pulling heat from outside and pumping it inside to heat the house. This way, you don’t have to have separate units for heating and cooling cluttering up the space around your home.
Mini splits are easy to install. Rather than adding ductwork to an addition in your home, which will require days or even weeks of extensive renovation, why not try a single-room mini split? An HVAC professional installs the unit by drilling one three-inch hole into a wall and feeding the refrigerant tubes and power cord through to the outside compressor. The indoor unit will cover the hole, and the whole process can be done in a day.
Maintenance on mini splits is easy. Rather than paying for extensive cleaning or repairs on complicated duct systems, an HVAC professional can check refrigerant lines, clean the unit, and evaluate performance in a short amount of time. Keeping the system maintained once a year by an HVAC professional can help your mini split last up to 30 years.
Which Type of Mini Split Will Work Best For My Home?
The first and most important consideration is whether you need a single-room unit or a multi-zone unit. Single-room units work best if you have a home with an addition that has not been ducted or if someone in your home suffers from allergies and being in a ducted room is not an option. Multi-zone systems are better for older homes with no central HVAC system or if you’d like to upgrade your existing system.
One of the great things about ductless systems is their flexibility. If you prefer not to have several units in your home, consider putting a larger unit on each floor of your home instead. You can also install one unit at a time to see how it works for you to save on upfront costs.
When choosing which type of mini split to install, take into consideration your personal preferences. Ceiling-mounted units are smaller and less conspicuous than wall-mounted units, but some wall-mounted units are cleverly disguised as picture frames so as not to be too noticeable.
Floor units can work well in large homes with plenty of floor space where they can be put somewhere out of sight. Measure out your wall space and floor space in each room where you plan to install an indoor unit.
Another thing to think about when choosing a mini split is the BTU level. BTU stands for British Thermal Units, which is a way of measuring how many tons of air one unit can heat or cool. To calculate what level BTU you need, first get the square footage of the room in question by measuring the room’s width by length and multiplying the two numbers. If a room has a length and width of 25 and 20, then you’ll have a 500-square-foot room. Then, take this number, and multiply it by 25. Using the 500-square-foot room example, your BTU will be 12,500, so you’ll want to get a mini split with a rating of at least 12,000 BTU.
Mini splits come in BTU ratings from 6,000 to 56,000, with each size increasing by increments of 6000. It’s vital to get the correct rating of BTU because otherwise, your mini split will not heat effectively. You might be tempted to get a lower-rated system because they’re less expensive, but your system will wear out sooner because it is running all the time to try to reach the correct temperature. On the other hand, buying a system that is too large for your square footage will cause the heat pump to short cycle, meaning it reaches the correct temperature quickly, then shuts off again, over and over. Short cycling wears the motor of your pump down more quickly, leading to constant maintenance costs.
If you plan to have a multi-zone unit, then you’ll need to calculate the square footage of each room or floor where you plan to have an indoor unit. If you opt for one unit for the whole floor, you’ll need one with a higher BTU rating. Measuring a whole floor can be intimidating, so don’t hesitate to call in an HVAC professional to look at your house to determine which level of BTU will work best.
How Do I Get My Mini Split Installed?
Be sure to hire an HVAC professional to handle the installation of your mini split. HVAC systems use refrigerant, a substance that should be handled by a trained professional. At Temp Air System Inc., we offer installation, repair, and maintenance services on mini splits. We also install and repair air conditioners and heaters, and we offer indoor air quality help and duct cleaning. We serve the greater Los Angeles County area, as well as parts of San Bernardino County. Please contact Temp Air System Inc. today for a quote or for more information about mini split systems.