A ductless mini-split is a popular alternative to the conventional heating and cooling system. In recent years, homeowners have chosen the ductless mini-split to cool and heat individual rooms. This is because this choice enables stellar temperature control and promotes efficient use of energy. A ductless mini-split unit can heat up or cool down a specific space within minutes.
This allows homeowners to use heating or cooling only when a room is occupied, thereby conserving energy and potentially saving on utility costs. But there are other reasons to select the ductless mini-split option. A look at some of its most important features can help you determine if this responsive and modern system is right for you.
The ductless mini-split is an air conditioning and heating solution that consists of two primary components. In this system, the first component is known as the outdoor compressor or condenser. The second component is the indoor air-handling unit. In the industry, the term “split” refers to the fact that the system splits or divides its cycle between indoor and outdoor components. In contrast, a “packaged” system often completes its heating and cooling cycle in a single large unit. Finally, the term “mini” refers to the fact that the individual devices or units are often much smaller than traditional HVAC equipment.
While the outdoor compressor portion of a ductless mini-split is mostly out of sight, the indoor air-handling units are visible inside the home. The air-handling components are the active devices that heat or cool down a room. Most air-handling units even have their own thermostats, allowing you to control precise temperature in a designated space. Popular styles of indoor air-handling units include the following:
A home service professional can help you determine the air-handler style that is right for you and install it directly on the floor or wall of the room.
In a ductless mini-split system, the outdoor condenser and indoor air-handler link via conduits known as “line sets.” These line sets contain the power source cable, refrigerant coils, suction tubing, and the condensate drain. The compact design eliminates the need for costly or complicated ductwork.
There are several advantages of installing a ductless mini-split system. Some of the most popular advantages include energy efficiency, zoned temperature regulation, scalability, noise reduction, and elimination of complicated ductwork.
One of the top advantages of a ductless mini-split is energy efficiency. In homes with traditional or forced-air heating and cooling systems, ducts are responsible for distributing conditioned air throughout the house. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 30% of the air that moves through conventional duct systems gets lost due to duct leaks, holes, faulty installation, or old age. These duct leaks can result in higher utility bills, and homeowners may find it harder to keep the home comfortable regardless of the thermostat setting.
Because a ductless mini-split does not use ductwork, this type of system does not lose valuable conditioned air from leaks. The system consumes less energy and may lower utility costs. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that ductless mini-splits certified under the ENERGY STAR program tend to use 60% less energy than conventional systems.
Many types of mini-splits also have high seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) ratings. For example, industry mini-split ratios can range from 18 SEER all the way up to 42 SEER. A home service professional can help you select the best mini-split system that may significantly improve your home’s energy usage in the future. Depending on local regulations, installing a more efficient system can also help you qualify for rebates or homeowner incentives as well. The ductless mini-split system is a worthwhile consideration for homeowners seeking to upgrade to a more energy-conscious home.
Another benefit is that ductless mini-splits allow home occupants to regulate the temperature of a designated space. For example, suppose you would like your master bedroom to remain 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer but do not wish to lower the temperature for the rest of your home. A ductless mini-split has its own thermostat to control the temperature setting of the room. This allows you to set optimal conditions in your preferred area without having to wait for ductwork to deliver cool air or for temperatures to adapt throughout the house. And when you leave a specific area, you can simply turn off the heat or air for additional energy savings.
Conventional heating and cooling systems require ducts that connect to vents and distribute air to rooms. However, installation of new ductwork is an often costly and complicated process. Owners of older or unconventional homes might find that installing new ductwork is completely unfeasible. Fortunately, ductless mini-splits have a shorter and simpler installation process.
This system allows you to place the air handler exactly in the room or area that requires heating and cooling. The ductless mini-split design does include a conduit that houses the coils and power cord. This conduit is more of a link or connector between the outdoor condenser and the indoor air handler. That makes it much more straightforward to install than a complete network of ducts that then become hardwired into the system.
Ductless mini-splits are adaptable to the sizing needs of a household. For example, individuals with a smaller home can add one mini-split as needed. If the homeowners decide to expand, renovate, or build additions in the future, they can simply ask a technician to install more ductless mini-splits as required. This helps reduce the stress or complications of altering your heating and cooling system each time you make major updates to the home.
For those sensitive to noise, ductless mini-splits tend to be quieter than traditional HVAC systems. According to the Department of Energy, a ductless mini-split air-handling unit can have a sound rating as low as 19 decibels (dB). This makes them a great option for individuals who work from home or otherwise need a quiet setting. In contrast, conventional HVAC units tend to make noise during cycle changes. Traditional HVAC systems can also make noise as air sweeps through the ductwork for delivery to various rooms. A ductless mini-split is a much more convenient option for a quiet household setting.
Most property owners can benefit from the professional installation of ductless mini-splits. According to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, ductless mini-splits have clear applications for multi-family housing, duplexes, and smaller houses. In larger homes, ductless mini-splits are perfect for room additions or areas where attempting to install more ductwork is not possible. If you need to add heat or air conditioning to a single room, a ductless mini-split is safer than using a space heater. It is also often more practical than installing a clunky window unit.
Other applications for ductless mini-splits include garages and attics. In many jurisdictions, installing ductwork in a garage is illegal because it can cause harmful fumes to leak back into your home. Therefore, installing a ductless solution is a feasible alternative. Similarly, ductless mini-splits are often great for a basement that you wish to convert into a guest room or recreation area. Finally, a ductless mini-split is often the first choice for slab foundation homes. Because these homes lack the basements that traditionally house large furnaces or HVAC units, a ductless system provides a way to regular indoor conditions without taking up excess space.
Choosing a ductless mini-split can help you create a more comfortable home. Lightfoot Mechanical offers ductless system installation for homes in Weatherford, North Texas, and surrounding areas. Our technicians can also provide information on energy-efficient air conditioners and heat pumps. We provide indoor air quality (IAQ) services as well as all HVAC maintenance. Contact Lightfoot Mechanical today for your home service needs.