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

August 18, 2017

Many homeowners are informed about central air conditioners.

Mini-split systems are a form of ductless heating and cooling. In place of providing conditioned air to the total home with a network of air ducts, they heat and cool one room at a time. This allows more advanced temperature control, improving comfort and energy efficiency.

How Do Mini-Split Air Conditioners Work?

Mini-splits are most like heat pumps in the way they run. Both kinds of equipment deliver electric cooling, just like an air conditioner. This involves using refrigerant to draw out heat from in a building and discharging that heat outside. Then, a reversing valve permits the system to work backward, adding warmth to your residence in the winter by extracting heat from outdoor air and depositing it inside.

The main contrast between mini-splits and heat pumps is that mini-split systems don’t need ductwork. As an alternative, 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 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.

Multiple indoor units can work off of a single outdoor condenser, permitting you to heat and cool your total residence with this system if desired. This configuration also makes zoning practical, an extremely popular feature that lets you choose when, where and how much you heat and cool specific areas.

Mini-split basics infographic Kansas City 

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

Mini-splits are a great option for most households. Think about these reasons why installing a ductless mini-split might be a good choice for your needs:

  • You can heat and cool a complete residence that lacks existing ductwork.
  • It’s possible to switch off the heat and air conditioning in empty rooms to save on your energy costs.
  • Mini-splits deliver added heating and cooling for spaces that are difficult to keep comfy.
  • Use a ductless system to heat and cool a residence addition or enclosed patio without the cost of putting in ductwork or the hassle of relying on window AC units.
  • Mini splits are the perfect choice for spaces where overhead ductwork is impractical. A few examples are historic houses, tiny homes, temperature controlled sheds or workshops, or garage conversions.
  • What are the Perks of a Mini-Split System?

    Ductless mini-splits are very effective systems, but you may still be wondering why you would want to choose it over a traditional furnace and air conditioner. Here’s why a growing number of Kansas City homeowners are using ductless mini-splits:

    • Avoid the pitfalls of ductwork: By giving heated and cooled air directly, air doesn’t go through holey air ducts on its way to every room. This can save you as much as 30 percent on your heating and cooling expenses. Also, if your home doesn’t already include ducts, you avoid the inconvenience and cost that comes with adding them.
    • Choose the best temperature for all rooms: With zoned heating and cooling from a ductless mini-split, you can keep an office refreshing while maintaining a cozy nursery—all while optimizing energy efficiency.
    • Conserve money and energy by not heating and cooling empty rooms: Shutting supply registers in a central HVAC system can disturb it, straining the equipment and invalidating any likely savings. But with detached air handlers in each room, you can heat and cool particular rooms only when you need them.

    Trust Neal Harris Service Experts to Add Your Mini-Split Air Conditioner

    Much like regular HVAC systems, ductless mini-splits need careful sizing and Expert installation to ensure the best performance. Our skilled mini split installers in Kansas City can help you figure out if a mini-split system will fit your needs. We can then assist with finding the precise equipment size and model to make your house as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.

    For more information, or to book an appointment, get in touch with Neal Harris Service Experts at 816-787-0500. You can also schedule an appointment online.

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