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

August 18, 2017

Most homeowners are most familiar with central air conditioners.

Mini-split systems are a form of ductless heating and cooling. Rather than delivering conditioned air to the entire home with a network of air ducts, they heat and cool one room at a time. This provides more direct temperature control, increasing comfort and energy efficiency.

How Do Mini-Split Air Conditioners Work?

Mini-splits are most similar to heat pumps in the way they run. Both models of equipment offer electric cooling, the same as an air conditioner. This uses refrigerant to draw out heat from within a building and issuing that heat outside. Then, a reversing valve permits the system to work backward, adding warmth to your house in the winter by removing heat from outdoor air and bringing it inside.

The main 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 is installed on the wall or ceiling in the space you wish to heat and cool. Copper tubes, wiring and a condensate drain line connect to an outdoor condensing unit through a small conduit in the wall. This exterior component looks much like an air conditioner or heat pump condenser.

Several indoor units can connect to an individual outdoor condenser, enabling you to heat and cool your full house with this system if wanted. This set-up also makes zoning practical, a very attractive feature that allows you to customize when, where and how much you heat and cool individual areas.

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Is a Ductless Mini-Split Right for My Home?

Mini-splits are a good solution for most households. Think about these reasons why installing a ductless mini-split may be right for your needs:

  • You can heat and cool an entire home that doesn’t have existing ductwork.
  • It’s possible to shut off the heat and air conditioning in unused areas to save on your utility costs.
  • Mini-splits deliver supplementary heating and cooling for spaces that are hard to keep comfy.
  • Use a ductless system to heat and cool a residence addition or enclosed porch without the hassle of putting in ductwork or the inconvenience of using window AC units.
  • Mini splits are the perfect choice for spaces where overhead ductwork is impractical. A few examples are historic homes, tiny homes, temperature controlled sheds or workshops, or garage conversions.
  • What are the Pluses of a Mini-Split System?

    Ductless mini-splits are extremely effective systems, but you might still be thinking why you would want to install it over a common furnace and air conditioner. Here’s why more Tempe homeowners are installing ductless mini-splits:

    • Avoid the drawbacks of ductwork: By delivering heated and cooled air directly, air doesn’t go through holey air ducts on its way to all rooms. This can save you nearly 30 percent on your heating and cooling expenses. Along with that, if your residence doesn’t already include ducts, you avoid the annoyance and expense connected to installing them.
    • Select the right setting for every room: With zoned heating and cooling from a ductless mini-split, you can keep an office cool while maintaining a cozy nursery—all while optimizing energy efficiency.
    • Save money and energy by not heating and cooling vacant areas: Closing supply registers in a central HVAC system can throw it off balance, putting strain on the equipment and canceling any possible savings. But with individual air handlers in every room, you can heat and cool particular spaces only when you need them.

    Trust Orangutan Home Services to Add Your Mini-Split Air Conditioner

    The same as traditional HVAC systems, ductless mini-splits require careful sizing and Expert installation to provide the most efficient performance. Our knowledgeable mini split installers in Tempe can help you figure out if a mini-split system will fit your needs. We can then support you with finding the correct equipment size and model to make your home as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.

    For extra details, or to request an appointment, get in touch with Orangutan Home Services at 602-906-0111. You can also schedule an appointment online.

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