Guide to Mini-Split Air Conditioners: What They Are and How They Operate

August 18, 2017

The majority of homeowners are most familiar with central air conditioners.

Mini-split systems are a kind of ductless heating and cooling. In place of providing conditioned air to the full house through a network of air ducts, they heat and cool a lone room at a time. This delivers more targeted temperature control, increasing comfort and energy efficiency.

How Do Mini-Split Air Conditioners Work?

Mini-splits are most like heat pumps in the way they operate. Both models of equipment offer electric cooling, the same as an air conditioner. This uses refrigerant to extract heat from in a building and issuing that heat outside. Then, a reversing valve permits the system to operate backward, warming your house in the winter by extracting heat from outdoor air and depositing it inside.

The biggest contrast between mini-splits and heat pumps is that mini-split systems don’t have to have ductwork. Alternatively, the indoor unit has a built-in air handler, which fits directly on the wall or ceiling in the space you want to heat and cool. Copper tubes, wiring and a condensate drain line join to an outdoor condensing unit through a narrow conduit in the wall. This exterior component looks much like an air conditioner or heat pump condenser.

More than one indoor unit can connect to a single outdoor condenser, allowing you to heat and cool your total house with this system if wanted. This configuration also makes zoning practical, a highly desirable feature that permits you to customize when, where and how much you heat and cool distinct spaces.

Mini-split basics infographic Roanoke 

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

Mini-splits are a great choice for many households. Consider these reasons why installing a ductless mini-split might be right for your home:

  • You can heat and cool an entire house that doesn’t have existing ductwork.
  • It’s possible to switch off the heat and air conditioning in unoccupied areas to save on your utility expenses.
  • Mini-splits give additional heating and cooling for rooms that are hard to keep comfy.
  • Use a ductless system to heat and cool a house addition or sunroom without the expense of putting in ductwork or the inconvenience of using window AC units.
  • Mini-splits are the natural choice for spaces where traditional ducts is impractical. A few examples are period houses, tiny homes, temperature controlled sheds or workshops, or garage conversions.
  • What are the Advantages of a Mini-Split System?

    Ductless mini-splits are highly efficient systems, but you could still be wondering why you would want to choose it over a regular furnace and air conditioner. Here’s why a large number of Roanoke homeowners are using ductless mini-splits:

    • Avoid the drawbacks of ductwork: By providing heated and cooled air directly, air doesn’t go through cracked air ducts on its way to all rooms. This can save you nearly 30 percent on your heating and cooling bills. Along with that, if your home doesn’t already have ducts, you avoid the hassle and price associated with installing them.
    • Select the best temp for each room: With zoned heating and cooling from a ductless mini-split, you can keep an office refreshing while maintaining a cozy nursery—all while maximizing energy efficiency.
    • Save money and energy by not heating and cooling vacant rooms: Securing supply registers in a central HVAC system can throw it off kilter, putting strain on the equipment and invalidating any possible savings. But with individual air handlers in each room, you can heat and cool specific areas only when you need them.

    Rely on Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to Add Your Mini-Split Air Conditioner

    As with common HVAC systems, ductless mini-splits need accurate sizing and Expert installation to deliver the best performance. Our knowledgeable mini split installers in Roanoke can help you figure out if a mini-split system will fit your needs. We can then help you with figuring out the exact equipment size and model to make your home as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.

    For extra details, or to get an appointment, get in touch with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 540-302-8645. You can also schedule an appointment online.

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