What is a ductless mini split air conditioning system? It's one of the newest and most advantageous HVAC systems you could ask for.
So, what are the advantages of ductless mini splits? For starters, they cool every room in your house more efficiently and they reduce energy waste. They're also extremely quiet to operate and very versatile in their temperature control options
For full details about what their advantages/disadvantages are and how they work, you'll have to keep reading and find out. In this guide, you'll learn how ductless mini splits compare to other types of air conditioners in terms of both cost and efficiency. You'll also discover all the ideal reasons for choosing mini split ductless air conditioning units and whether or not it's better to choose something else.
To learn all about it, read this ultimate guide on ductless mini splits.
What Is a Ductless Mini Split?
A ductless mini split is essentially a more efficient upgrade of the central air conditioning system most of us are familiar with. As you probably know, centralized AC consists of both an indoor evaporator unit and an outdoor compressor unit.
The large indoor unit pulls heat from the warm indoor air and sends it out of the house. The compressor unit cools the outside air and pumps it back into the house. The cooled air is then pumped into each room through a single, connected network of ducts.
The ductless mini split is a modification of this same technology. It still has one compressor unit outside. But, instead of one large indoor unit, the system is split into several smaller indoor units, one for each room.
Each indoor unit is connected directly to the outdoor unit. Thus, there is no need for a connected network of ducts.
There are several advantages to this upgraded air conditioning technology. We'll now explain each one of them in detail.
More Efficient Temperature Control
Ductless mini splits give you more precise temperature control than ever before. Since each room has its own cooling unit, room temperatures are individually controlled. Every room will always be the perfect temperature.
Also, each room unit has a lot less space to cool down. Thus, the units cool every room much faster than one large unit trying to cool the entire house. This also requires a lot less energy.
Tenant-Specific Temperature Control
When was the last time everyone in the house agreed on the ideal thermostat setting? That's a trick question.
We all know how rare it is that even 2 people agree on what temperature the house should be. And the more people you have in the house, the more disagreements there are over the thermostat.
Mini splits minimize the need for these arguments because everyone can set their own room temperature as warm or cold as they want without imposing on anyone else.
Besides, sometimes the members of the household aren't just being picky. Most houses have rooms that tend to run warmer or colder than the others.
Sometimes, this is because some rooms get more sun exposure during the day. In this case, the indoor unit of these sunnier rooms will automatically cool more often than the other room units. Simply set the temperature on each room unit and they will cool each room more or less as needed.
No Air/Temperature Leaks
Hotspots/coldspots can also be caused by the inefficiency of ducted air conditioning systems. Often, rooms that are closer to the large indoor unit of the centralized AC system get cooled better than those that are far away. That's because air pressure or coldness is sometimes lost by the time the air gets to the far end of the house.
This is commonly caused by holes in ducts that aren't sealed properly. The average house loses 20% of its conditioned air to these duct leaks.
Poorly-insulated ducts can also cause cooled air to lose some of its coolness before reaching certain rooms. Besides, even if the ducts are properly insulated, they still allow some of the air's temperature to escape during its journey through the ducts. This flaw is simply inherent to ducted air conditioning systems.
Obviously, having an individual, ductless unit in each room eliminates these problems.
No More Wasting Energy on Empty Rooms
Furthermore, you may have some rooms that don't need cooling at all. This is especially true for "empty nesters," those whose children have grown up and left the house. This leaves homeowners with a lot of uninhabited rooms that no longer need to be air-conditioned.
In such situations, if you have a central air conditioner, you can try to shut the vent in these rooms to save energy. However, this doesn't completely block the flow of air to these rooms; some air will still leak through the closed vents.
And, regardless, the central air conditioner will still work just as hard trying to cool these rooms. Thus, shutting the vent does little to change how hard the system works/how much energy it uses.
Mini splits offer the perfect, energy-saving solution. Simply turn off the indoor units in rooms you're not using.
This way, your air conditioner isn't running at full power to cool only half the rooms in the house. It only works as hard as you need it to.
Huge Energy-Saving Benefits
All of the benefits listed above mean huge energy savings. And that saves you money every month on your energy bill.
For example, individual temperature control in each room means the system never works longer or harder than it needs to. Empty rooms no longer waste energy. Sunny rooms don't cause the entire system to work harder.
We also mentioned how rooms are cooled faster with mini splits, which means they run less throughout the day. And, since the indoor units are so small, they require far less energy to run than a central AC's large indoor unit, anyway.
Lastly, mini splits never lose energy to leaky, poorly insulated ducts, because there are no ducts. This is probably the biggest energy-saving benefit of all.
Central AC systems can get louder as they age. And window air conditioners are loud, regardless. In fact, these systems can be so loud that they're illegal to operate in some areas.
But, since mini splits are so small and require very little energy, you'll barely hear them running. And your neighbors won't complain, either.
Ease of Installation
Finally, one of the greatest benefits of mini splits is how easy they are to install. This is especially important to consider if you're having a new home built.
In comparison, centralized AC requires a large network of ducts to be installed between the ceiling and the roof. This is an extensive project that requires a lot of work and time. It also requires the ceiling to be lower in each room.
Alternatively, some homeowners use window air conditioners. This robs you of the ability to use that window as an actual window. Not to mention, they're not at all pleasing to look at. Plus, these imposing requirements make either of these systems difficult or impossible to install in certain homes/situations.
Conversely, mini splits need no ductwork installed, nor do they need to commandeer any of your windows. All they need is two small holes in any wall to connect each indoor unit to the outdoor compressor.
More Installation Options
This gives installers/homeowners far more options when deciding where to install them. Plus, they allow for higher ceilings and the use of all your windows.
And, because they're so unimposing to install, it's unlikely you'll ever have any problems installing mini splits. No matter what AC system is currently installed in the home, it won't make it any harder to install a mini split. On the other hand, replacing a ductless system with a ducted system would be much more difficult.
They May Be More Expensive Up Front
The only possible disadvantage to the ductless mini split system is the installation cost. But this disadvantage doesn't apply to everyone because it depends on how many indoor units you need. That is since the system requires multiple indoor units, each one adds to the total cost of installation.
This is good news for small homes with few rooms. If you only need 3 or less indoor units, the installation price will be comparable to that of centralized AC.
Unfortunately, if you own a large house with many rooms, installation can be very expensive. On the other hand, it's these large homes that will benefit the most from an energy-efficient mini split. So, while it's definitely worth it to install a mini split, you may have to pay a very high upfront cost.
Want to Know More About Ductless Mini Splits?
What is a ductless mini split? It's convenient, efficient, and the perfect temperature in every room.
Does your AC cost an arm and a leg to run each month? Is it loud, inefficient, or unreliable?
If so, then there's one more thing a mini split should be: your next air conditioner.
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