What are Mini Split Systems?
Mini split air conditioners are ductless systems with an indoor unit connecting directly to an outdoor unit without the use of ducts. This makes them less prone to air leakage and more energy efficient than conventional HVAC systems. They are a good choice for homes with no ductwork installed or for rooms where extending ductwork installation is not feasible.
How does a Mini Split AC work?
Ductless mini split air conditioner heats and cools your home just like any other HVAC system. There are 2 main components of a mini split AC – the indoor unit and outdoor unit.
Unlike a central air conditioner system installation that requires a series of ductwork networked throughout the ceiling, split air conditioners rely on a set of pipes to connect the outdoor to the inside air unit. The air handlers, or the indoor units you see mounted on the wall, sucks the hot or cold air from the environment and send it across to the compressor in the outdoor unit for treatment. Here in the outdoor unit the air is sent through condenser and compressor for cooling and heating. Once a desired temperature is reached, it is sent back into the environment and distributed via air handlers.
A 3 inch hole is created in the wall and wires are run through them, these wires connect the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. They are responsible for passing the air to and fro from the indoor to the outdoor and visa versa.
Difference Between Mini Split AC vs Multi Split AC
The basic working principle of mini split AC systems and multi split AC systems is similar but the main difference is the ability to set different temperatures around your home. A mini split system has a single indoor unit connected to an outdoor unit with a thermostat or remote control which delivers treated heated or cooled air through the room. While a multi split system has multiple indoor units connecting to a single outdoor unit. These can deliver varying temperatures of cooled or heated air in different parts of your home and are controlled by individual controllers for each of the indoor units.
It is best to use mini split units when you are looking to cover only certain areas of your home and multi split systems when you are looking to heat or cool all the parts of the home. Split AC units are more affordable than the overall cost to install a full HVAC system with ductwork.
Advantages of Mini Split Systems
Ductless mini split systems have many impressive benefits that make them an ideal choice for your home
Regular HVAC systems require ducts to be constructed, repaired or maintained for good performance. This increases the time required for installation or replacement. Since ductless mini split systems do not need ducts the installation process is easy and simple and can be finished in a few days.
Maintains energy efficiency
Regular HVAC systems can be inefficient because they use ducts and vents to distribute cool or hot air. While the treated air moves through the ducts some of the air seeps out which makes the system use more energy to produce the desired temperature. But when ductless systems are installed, there is no chance of the air seeping out making sure the efficiency of the system is maintained throughout the lifetime of the system.
The regular HVAC system has SEER rating from 13 to 30 whereas Ductless mini split HVAC has SEER rating starting from 18 to 30. This shows that they have higher energy efficiency.
Improves Air Quality
Ductless mini split AC greatly improves the indoor air quality. They come with sophisticated filtration cartridges which can be cleaned, washed or replaced and do not need maintenance. They also prevent pollutants, dirt, pollen, and allergens from entering indoors, maintaining air quality.
Maintenance of Mini Split Systems
It is important to pay attention to the maintenance of the system for long term efficiency and good performance. Follow these few basic tips for a long lasting healthy system,
Cleaning Condenser and Evaporator Coils
Other than filter changes you need to clean the coils in the outdoor unit. You can do this yourself or ask for professional help.
You can start by switching off the system and giving it enough time to cool down. After it is cooled down, take a soft dry cloth and clean the accumulated dirt and dust on the coils. While doing so, check for mold and mildew growth around the area. If you see any, then it is time to call the professionals, they will take care of the chemical treatment to be done around the system.
Clean The Pipes
Pipes are the way air is circulated throughout the home, make sure they are cleaned as dirt, dust, and pollutants can accumulate in them and block the air flow.
You should schedule an annual inspection with your contractor to check whether all the units are working properly, and are cleaned. Annual maintenance prevents any high emergency servicing bills that may occur.
Before hiring a professional contractor for installations or HVAC replacements do an extensive research on them, ask for their license, check their reviews online or on Modernize. Use our full checklist on hiring an HVAC contractor and questions to ask before making your decision. Hiring a reliable local HVAC installer is an important part of your project.
Whether you need to cool a single room in your home or the entire house, a ductless mini split air conditioner or a multi split air conditioner is an ideal alternative to a traditional forced air system.