Tell me if any of these situations sound familiar:
- You have an older home with rooms that are hard to cool.
- You are adding a room (Arizona room, sun room, garage, etc) to your home. But it’s expensive and complicated to change the ductwork around to cool the room.
If any of these apply to you, then you should consider a ductless, mini-split system. It’s a flexible, affordable and energy-efficient way to bring air conditioning to rooms in your home.
We’ll describe mini-split system in more detail and their advantages and disadvantages compared to other cooling options.
What are ductless, mini-split systems?
Ductless, mini-split systems (also called mini-splits) help fill the gap between central air conditioning and window air conditioners.
Basically, they can cool a single room (or more) in your home without any ducts (unlike central cooling). And they take up less space and are safer than window air conditioners
Like split central air conditioning systems, mini-splits are comprised of two main components:
- Outdoor compressor/condenser
- Indoor air-handling unit
The two components are linked by a conduit which houses the power cable and refrigerant tubing.
Advantages of mini-splits
- Small and unobtrusive – You’ll hardly know a mini-split is there, unlike wall-mounted air conditioners which can ruin the decor of your home.
- Cheaper installation than redoing your ductwork – While central air conditioning requires that you rework your ducts to accommodate for a new room, mini splits avoid all that hassle, saving you a ton on installation costs.
- Allows more flexibility for zoning or heating and cooling individual rooms – Many models can handle four indoor air handling units connected to one outdoor unit to cool upt to four rooms.
- Saves you money by avoiding energy losses associated with ductwork – No ducts needed means no lost air. According to ENERGY STAR, this can cut 30% off your heating and cooling bill.
- Offers more flexibility in interior design options – The indoor unit can be suspended from a ceiling, mounted flush into a drop ceiling or hung on a wall. Many also offer a remote control to make it easier to turn the system on and off when it’s positioned high on a wall or suspended from a ceiling.
- Keeps you safer – Window mounted room air-conditioners can provide an easy entrance for intruders. Mini-splits only need a small 3 inch hole in order to be installed.
Disadvantages of mini-splits
- Costs more thant window units – Mini-splits generally run between $1,500 to $2,000 per ton (12,000 Btu per hour) of cooling capacity. That’s is about twice as much as a window unit of similar capacity.
- Requires qualified installer – Finding a qualified installer is more difficult. This can complicate things since, like your air conditioner, the mini split needs to be sized and placed in the appropriate location or you’ll waste more energy than you’ll save.
Should I get a mini-split?
So is a mini-split right for you?
Depends on your budget and situation. Like we said at the beginning, if you’re trying to cool a room that requires complex work on your ducts, a mini-split becomes a cost-effective option.
If you need help determining if a mini-split is right for you, talk to one of our heating and cooling experts. They’ll be happy to help.
Need a ductless mini-split system installed in your Fountain Hills-area home? Schedule an estimate online.