What exactly is a ductless mini-split AC system? This air conditioning and heating installation is a ductless system that consists of an outdoor unit and one or multiple indoor units. They can be used as both a standalone or supplemental solution to ensure cool comfort or cozy heat in the rooms of your home.
When it comes to the pros of these cooling units, the main ones include easy installation, built-in zoning, efficiency, ideal solutions for additions, and clean air quality. However, you may not enjoy the appearance of these units, the installation and maintenance costs, or their performance in extreme temperatures. These are all important factors to consider when picking your ideal HVAC service.
Learn all about how ductless mini-split AC systems can provide you with quality cooling and heating in your home. From the perks to the disadvantages, this article will explain everything you need to know about these modern, efficient air conditioning units.
How Do Ductless Mini-split AC Systems Work?
One important thing to understand is exactly how these AC units function in your home. They are similar to your typical HVAC system, mimicking the same process with exterior and interior units. Mini-split AC systems have dual function, offering both heat and cool air all in one unit.
Your exterior unit works to draw in air through either one or two vents and delivers it inside your home through a flexible tube. The interior units that are placed in the home will let the air through from your outdoor unit, providing you with an efficient cooling and heating solution.
Control your mini-split AC system by remote so you can choose the temperatures convenient for you effortlessly. That’s all there is to it- no extensive ductwork or additional steps necessary. This process is simple and efficient.
Pros of the Mini-split AC System
Let’s discuss the positive qualities of the ductless mini-split AC system. While you may already know its main purpose of cooling and heating your home efficiently, they certainly pack on other pros that are all things to carefully consider when choosing your AC system of choice.
Easy To Install
One of the best perks of a ductless system like the mini-split AC system is that it is simple to install. Especially if you live in a home lacking ductwork, this unit will be a breeze with installation as opposed to choosing a forced air HVAC system.
If your home doesn’t have the ductwork, you also want to take the expense into account as the process can be extensively long and pricey. Forget the headache of installing ductwork and opt for the easy three inch holes they will cut to connect to your indoor units.
You only need a small area for your units, as they are sleek and slim. Your outdoor units also ensure better security than installing window units, since that requires an open window to enable the cool air.
Superior Air Quality
In addition to providing you with cooling and heating, these systems are also air filters and purifiers- one quality that is really important to parents of infants and young children, or people who suffer from allergies.
Each unit comes with a built-in filter to ensure all harmful particles are eradicated before coming through the vent. Mold, dander, dirt, dust and harmful allergens are no longer a concern with the ductless mini splits.
One other quality that is especially beneficial for those who suffer from allergies is that they also serve as dehumidifiers in your home.
You don’t have to worry about dampness and musty smells, because many of these models have “dry mode.” Prevent mold and harmful bacteria from growing in the home year-round with this awesome perk.
Efficiency is always something you want to take into consideration. The cost of running your cooling and heating systems is a huge factor when choosing a system. The good news is that they do, indeed, achieve a higher SEER efficiency rating.
One thing about ductwork with typical HVAC setups is that when air travels through the system, it loses some energy which can result in poor efficiency at times.
You also have to worry about how efficiently its been installed- poor ductwork can lead to a huge loss of up to 25%. With the mini split systems, you don’t have to worry about lost energy in the process.
The targeted comfort of adding units in different rooms means you are efficiently heating or cooling each room. Turn rooms on and off according to which ones you are using to ensure you are efficiently only cooling the rooms that are occupied.
Built-in Zone Control
Zone control is a fantastic perk of ductless mini-split AC systems. When you have zone control it means that you can cool or heat a specific part of your home without having to do the same for the whole home.
Zone control not only offers extra efficiency when it comes to costs, but it allows you to personalize your preferences according to how much you use each part of the house. With this benefit built in, you can pick and choose your temps with the effortless click of a remote.
Great For Additions
Since these systems are great for cooling small areas that the units are installed in, they are also great for supporting HVAC systems in general.
If you’re making an addition such as a new sunroom or garage, these units are the perfect, easy solution. These systems also help when your space has an unconventional layout where there isn’t much room to work with, as each unit is very slim and compact.
They are also great for rooms that struggle to stay cool or warm for added support to ensure comfortable living.
Cheaper to Run
Thanks to the increased efficiency and no energy lost while moving from outdoor to indoor units, you will also be saving a bit of money.
Your ductless mini-split AC system doesn’t have to work as hard as some others on the market, thus meaning you won’t be breaking the bank to heat and cool your home.
In general, this system is well known for its cheaper running costs in comparison to other HVAC systems thanks to the ability to use efficiently by room and by no energy lost through faulty ductwork.
Cons of Ductless Mini-split AC System
From the hefty cost to making a distinct appearance inside your home, the ductless mini-split systems do have a few negative qualities that you might not be a fan of.
Let’s dive into the cons of this cooling unit and give you some insight before you make any final decisions about whether this system suits your needs.
While the cost will definitely depend on a few factors, these systems are known to cost up to 30% more than traditional HVAC systems.
Take the number of rooms and the size of your system and the number of units into consideration when picking a model. Here is a comparison of the price of mini-split systems to other systems on the market.
|Ductless Mini-Split AC System||$2,000-$14,000|
|Central Air System||$3,500-$7,500|
|Traditional HVAC System||$6,000-$12,000|
As you can see, the costs for each system range widely because they are dependent on so many factors but this chart is able to give you an estimate of what to expect.
While most cooling and heating systems do require maintenance from time to time, it’s important to know what you’re up against when it comes to maintaining your units.
WIth a traditional forced air system, you need to replace your disposable every 1, 3 or 6 months depending on the model and filter type you use.
With ductless mini-split systems, the reusable filter needs to be cleaned out monthly to ensure efficiency. One great thing is that you don’t need to purchase disposable filters and you can keep reusing, with that little bit of maintenance involved.
A clogged filter will mean that your unit is not running efficiently or properly so keeping the filter clean is simply a must.
Performance in Extreme Temperatures
This particular system has been known to struggle when it comes to performing in extreme temperatures.
While not impossible, if you live in extreme heat, your system may have difficulty keeping up with providing you a cool space. The same goes for the extreme cold- the mini-split system will work overtime, thus resulting in a less efficient process.
Their efficiency decreases below freezing or about 95 degrees so you will be constantly running the units to keep up with these extreme temperatures. Forced air HVAC systems are sometimes more suitable solutions to these brutal temperatures.
For each area you are cooling or heating, you need a separate unit. While these units are not particularly large, some won’t want the appearance of this unit on their walls for decorative purposes.
Forced hot air systems typically have small vents on the floors, walls or ceilings that are discreet and not as attention-grabbing.
For people who don’t wish to have their units on display, the mini-split AC systems may not be the right choice.
The takeaway of the ductless mini-split AC system is that it offers an array of beneficial perks such as high-efficiency cooling and heating, easy installation, and clear air quality.
While the cons include a hefty price tag, maintenance and appearance, this AC system is definitely a competitor in the market. If you’re looking for something without the extensive process of ductwork, this unit will be high on your list of solutions.
Ruben has a diverse background in the home services industry, with experience running a construction company, a kitchen and bath showroom, and a moving and relocation company. This breadth of experience has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various areas of home improvement in general and specifically in the heating and plumbing niche.