Ductless mini-split systems are much more flexible and energy-efficient than traditional furnaces or air conditioners. They’re often used to provide temperature control to new add-ons or renovated areas. These systems can even be used alongside your existing central HVAC system to provide supplementary comfort. Since they don’t require ductwork, the installation process is relatively easy and doesn’t require extensive construction. Keep reading to learn how a new ductless mini-split can boost your home’s comfort this season.
Facts About Ductless Mini-Splits
Mini-splits allow you to control the temperature in specific rooms of your house. This efficiency saves you money that would otherwise be wasted by pumping treated air into rooms that aren’t being used. For example, your guest bedrooms and sunrooms don’t need year-round temperature control. Many of these systems have smart controls that can be adjusted whether you’re at home or out running errands.
Ductless mini-splits use the same processes as your typical central system but can instead be modified to deliver heating or cooling to one or several rooms. Ductwork dampers, which can adjust where the airflow is directed, aren’t nearly as effective as installing a mini-split. A ductless system often includes one outdoor unit and at least one indoor unit. The external unit houses a fan, compressor, and condenser coil that’s connected to the indoor handler via a copper tube filled with refrigerant.
During a cooling cycle, the external compressor will push liquid refrigerant into your indoor handler. This chemical mixture then turns to gas as it absorbs the heat and humidity from your living space. The air that’s released back into the house during this process is cooler and more comfortable. The refrigerant returns to the outdoor unit, where it releases its heat and starts the process again. During the winter, this process is reversed to provide your home with heating.
Best Placement Options
You can install a mini-split in any house or room that doesn’t have direct access to a traditional forced-air system. This includes add-ons, guest homes, attics, basements and other newly renovated spaces. In some cases, you can even add a mini-split to supplement your existing system. For example, installing a ductless system upstairs during the summer will make it easier to stay comfortable if your AC unit can’t provide enough cooling.
Mini-splits can be installed in one room or across several. Homeowners have the option to connect many indoor air handlers to the same outdoor unit. This makes it possible to keep an entire floor of your house or a separate in-law suite comfortable. The temperature in these zones is easily controlled via your smart thermostat.
It’s important to keep in mind that the position of your mini-split handler plays a huge role in its efficiency. These systems must be placed on an exterior wall so that they can be easily connected to the outdoor unit. Installations on interior walls will cost more because of additional difficulty and the potential need for a condensate pump.
Unfortunately, finding the ideal indoor unit placement is more complicated than simply putting it out of the way of your furniture. Mini-splits can’t be near any obstructing objects like light fixtures, computers, or shelves that may block their ability to correctly read the temperature. Similar to thermostats, they also need to be away from windows and out of direct sunlight.
Your wall-mounted mini-split should be installed about six feet off the floor but not too close to the ceiling. You should easily be able to reach it to routinely switch out its filter. This will also make it easier for a technician to complete routine service and repairs when necessary. By keeping these tips in mind, you can start to plan out the rooms and walls of your home that would best work with a new ductless system.
Pros of Ductless Systems
Ductless mini-splits are much more energy-efficient than central HVAC options. Furnaces and AC units that have to use ductwork are more susceptible to energy loss and leakage. Mini-splits don’t have any ducts, allowing them to push the warm or cool air directly into your home. They also come with variable-speed compressors that adjust the system’s output based on your temperature needs rather than shut down completely.
These systems are easy to install and don’t require any extra ductwork hassle. They also eliminate the need for bulky indoor wiring. All of their electrical components are contained within the small copper tubing. They’re the best option when you need flexible temperature control in areas like your attic, garage, or basement. If you live in a large house, a mini-split can help you keep rooms far from the HVAC system comfortable all year.
Instead of attempting in-depth construction on an older home, you can instead preserve the building’s integrity with a ductless system. Low-profile indoor units are available that won’t disrupt the decor or aesthetic appeal of your living spaces. Mini-splits can be installed anywhere in your house that’s not comfortable enough or is struggling with uneven airflow or temperatures.
Cons of Ductless Systems
Installing a ductless system is usually more expensive than installing a central furnace or an air conditioner. However, your energy costs will be lower over time than if you went with a traditional system. Additionally, unlike vents that are small and toward the floor, ductless mini-splits use highly visible wall-mounted handlers. Fortunately, there are plenty of modern and sleek designs that won’t have a huge impact on your room’s appeal. In general, however, they do tend to be more noticeable than vents and registers.
Importance of Professional Installation
Even though ductless mini-splits are easier to install than traditional systems, you should still call for professional service when considering an installation. HVAC systems are complicated, expensive machines that require specific care and handling. Any accidents while moving the refrigerant or indoor units can result in future inefficiency and safety issues. Do-it-yourself installations can result in extra noisiness, a shortened lifespan, and higher energy costs.
The average homeowner doesn’t have the training, tools, or experience to correctly install an HVAC system. Instead, you should contact a professional technician to prevent system issues and maximize your family’s comfort. A heating and cooling expert will fine-tune your system to best match your needs. Relying on a professional for installation and service is also often a requirement of many mini-split warranties.
Superior HVAC and Plumbing Services
Southport Home Services has been a premier supplier of heating, cooling, and plumbing services in Wausau, WI since 2005. We’re a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer that was recently recognized as a top medium-sized business to work for by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Our company employs exceptional NATE-certified technicians and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Allow us to maintain, repair, or replace your boiler, furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner. We also offer indoor air quality solutions and plumbing services like leak repair and water treatment. Call Southport Home Services today to schedule an appointment or ask about our 24/7 emergency repair service in Wausau.