Tired of your central air conditioner and heater’s limitations? A mini-split system may be the answer.
Check out these FAQs to help you decide if a mini-split system is right for your heating and cooling needs.
1. What Are Mini-Split Systems?
A mini-split is a ductless heating and cooling system that allows you to control the temperature in individual rooms. It’s referred to as “split,” because it consists of an indoor unit (an air handler) and an outdoor unit (compressor/condenser). In contrast, a traditional system’s heating and cooling equipment are both contained in a single outdoor unit and operate via a network of ducts. “Mini” refers to the size of the indoor units.
2. How Do Mini-Split Systems Work?
Mini-split systems use refrigerants to both cool and heat your home. During warm weather, refrigerant absorbs your home’s heat and transports it outside. During cold weather, the refrigerant absorbs heat from outdoors (yes, there is outdoor heat in winter!) and carries it into your house. This is called heat transfer: hot and cold air are transferred in and out of your home.
3. How Many Parts Do Mini-Split Systems Have?
Mini-split systems are simple mechanisms whose two main components are: an air-handling device that is installed indoors and an outdoor heat pump.
4. Do Mini-Split Systems Have Ducts?
A mini-split doesn’t require ducts in order to function. They are ductless.
5. Can Mini-Split Systems Control the Temperatures in Several Different Rooms?
One of the beauties of mini-split systems is that they can be zoned. This means that as many as four indoor air handlers can be placed in different areas or “zones” in your home. You can install one per room or one per floor.
Every zone has its own thermostat, so each room’s temperature can be tailored to individual needs. You can also turn off thermostats in vacant rooms that you don’t want to heat or cool, such as children’s bedrooms when they’re at school. This is very energy-efficient and cost-effective. And no more fighting over the remote. Mini-split systems have individual remote controls for each air handler.
6. Is Mini-Split Installation Difficult?
Installation of mini-split systems is much less time-consuming, invasive and expensive than installation of regular ductwork. If your home lacks ductwork, it would be necessary to create large holes in your walls, and then somehow pass new ductwork through them and along your ceiling. On the other hand, only a three-inch wide hole is required to accommodate refrigerant lines, power cables, suction tubing and a drain line.
7. Can I Install a Mini-Split Myself?
We don’t recommend trying to install a mini-split system yourself. With self-installation, equipment won’t be under warranty, and finding parts will be prohibitively difficult if it malfunctions. You may misjudge the job’s complexity and also lack the proper training, tools and experience to undertake it.
Installation of mini-split systems involves expertise in using combustible materials, working with high-voltage wires and dealing with open flames. You’ll also need carpentry skills.
Mini-split installation is not “plug-and-play.”
8. How Big Are the Indoor Air Handlers?
Indoor air handlers are inconspicuous and come in numerous sizes and finishes, so they won’t interfere with your décor. They can be hung from the ceiling (cassettes) or mounted high atop a wall. Some are attached to the baseboard. Others can be creatively recessed into ceilings, concealed behind wall art or hidden in built-in bookcases.
9. What is a Mini-Split System’s Lifespan?
A mini-split’s average lifetime is approximately 20 years, although some last longer. In contrast, traditional equipment only lasts about 12 to 15 years. Regular maintenance is key to preserving your mini-split system. This includes:
- Ensuring that there is ample space around the outdoor unit.
- Cleaning or replacing the filter.
- Checking the pipes.
- Cleaning the condenser and coil.
- Cleaning the outside of the system.
10. Are Mini-Split Systems Noisy?
Mini-split systems are extremely quiet. They’re designed with special noise-reduction technology, and they make a hushed sound that can be likened to the sound of a ceiling fan or leaves rustling.
Progressive Air System’s expert technicians are ready to install your new mini-split system so your home can be comfortable year round. If you’re interested in adding a mini-split to your space, we can install it and provide regular, dependable maintenance. Call us today to learn more about the benefits of adding a mini-split system to your home!