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

August 18, 2017

The majority of homeowners are most familiar with central air conditioners.

Mini-split systems are a type of ductless heating and cooling. In place of providing conditioned air to the full residence through 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 most closely resemble heat pumps in the way they cool. Both models of equipment provide electric cooling, similar to an air conditioner. This involves using refrigerant to remove heat from inside a building and discharging that warmth outside. Then, a reversing valve enables the system to operate backward, adding warmth to your house in the winter by removing heat from outdoor air and bringing it inside.

The largest contrast between mini-splits and heat pumps is that mini-split systems don’t require ductwork. Instead, the indoor unit has a built-in air handler, which is installed on the wall or ceiling in the space you want to heat and cool. Copper tubes, wiring and a condensate drain line join to an outdoor condensing unit through a little conduit in the wall. This exterior component looks like an air conditioner or heat pump condenser.

Multiple indoor units can connect to one outdoor condenser, allowing you to heat and cool your full house with this system if wanted. This set-up also makes zoning possible, a highly desirable feature that permits you to choose when, where and how much you heat and cool individual areas.

Mini-split basics infographic Nashville 

Is a Ductless Mini-Split Right for My Home?

Mini-splits are an excellent option for many households. Consider these reasons why getting a ductless mini-split might be a good choice for your home:

  • You can heat and cool a total home that has no existing ductwork.
  • It’s possible to turn off the heat and air conditioning in empty rooms to save on your utility expenses.
  • Mini-splits provide additional heating and cooling for areas that are difficult to keep cozy.
  • Use a ductless system to heat and cool a house addition or enclosed patio without the hassle of adding ductwork or the annoyance of using window AC units.
  • Mini split systems 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 highly efficient systems, but you may still be wondering why you would want to choose it over a regular furnace and air conditioner. Here’s why a growing number of Nashville homeowners are using ductless mini-splits:

    • Avoid the hidden issues of ductwork: By giving heated and cooled air directly, air doesn’t go through leaky air ducts on its way to every room. This can save you as much as 30 percent on your heating and cooling costs. Along with that, if your residence doesn’t already include ducts, you avoid the inconvenience and expense that comes with putting them in.
    • Find the best temperature for each room: With zoned heating and cooling from a ductless mini-split, you can keep an office chilly while maintaining a comfortable nursery—all while optimizing energy efficiency.
    • Use less money and energy by not heating and cooling vacant spaces: Shutting supply registers in a central HVAC system can disturb it, straining the equipment and canceling any possible savings. But with independent air handlers in every room, you can heat and cool certain spaces only when you need them.

    Trust Donelson Air Service Experts to Add Your Mini-Split Air Conditioner

    The same as traditional HVAC systems, ductless mini-splits require meticulous sizing and Expert installation to deliver the greatest performance. Our skilled mini split installers in Nashville can help you figure out if a mini-split system will match your needs. We can then help you with determining the exact equipment size and model to make your residence as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.

    For added details, or to request an appointment, get in touch with Donelson Air Service Experts at 615-953-9885. You can also schedule an appointment online.

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