A ductless mini split cooling and heating system is beneficial if you prefer room-by-room temperature control, or zoning. It can be used in a home or a variety of commercial and institutional environments. Whether you’re retrofitting a multifamily residence, wish to expand your HVAC system to a non-ducted space, are building a room addition, or have a small apartment, a mini-split system can serve you well.
How Does a Mini-Split Differ from a Central AC System?
Like a central air conditioning system, a ductless mini-split has an outdoor compressor and condenser unit and an indoor air-handling unit. Multiple air handlers can be connected to the outdoor unit via conduits. Requiring only a three-inch hole, each conduit includes a refrigerant line, power cable, suction tubing, and condensate drain. While a central AC is controlled from a single thermostat serving the entire house, a ductless system allows you to adjust the temperature in each room or to turn individual units off.
How Much Energy Can I Save with a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner?
Ductless mini-splits save energy in two main ways. First, you can turn units off in rooms that are unoccupied, without compromising the function of the entire system. Closing central AC vents can cause problems. Since ductless units aren’t connected in the same way, turning a few off won’t impact performance; in fact, it can reduce power consumption and operating costs.
The second way mini-splits conserve energy is by eliminating ductwork. Over 30% of energy consumption in central AC systems can be attributed to losses in ducts, whether caused by air leakage, poor installation, dirty filters, or blockages. Ducts in attics and other unconditioned spaces are often subject to heat loss that also increases energy usage.
How Are Ductless Mini-Splits Installed?
Mini-splits offer more flexibility than other types of systems. Conduits are available in different lengths, so an outdoor unit can be up to approximately 50 feet away. The indoor units can suit your interior design scheme. Depending on the air handler, it can be hung from a wall, suspended from a ceiling, or mounted flush in a drop ceiling configuration. The profile of an indoor unit is generally a few inches deep, which is generally suited for most rooms depending on interior design and mounting style.
How Much Does a Mini-Split AC Cost?
Ductless mini-split systems are efficient, but generally cost about 30% more than central air conditioners. The price of a mini-split depends on the brand, size of the system in tons, number of indoor blower units, and Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). Another downside is aesthetics, given the size and standard beige or white color of indoor units. Maintenance is another factor; filters must be washed monthly or more frequently to avoid expensive professional cleanings, repairs, or premature system failure.
In the past, mini-splits weren’t effective in extremely cold weather, unless a fuel-based backup was installed. However, newer higher-capacity systems suit homes in colder climates.
Contact Sky Heating & Air Conditioning
Serving Oregon and Southwest Washington, Sky Heating & Air Conditioning can make sure your home, business, or facility gets the most out of a ductless mini-split air conditioning system. Our technicians are licensed, trained, and highly qualified. We also partner with Mitsubishi Electric to ensure any type of cooling demand is met. Our customers benefit from zoning, quiet operation, and flexible installation as well as programmable operation, which helps conserve energy when you’re away. To learn more about our ENERGY STAR-rated models, schedule an appointment online or call 503-235-9083.