What is a Mini-Split?
Mini-split systems allow you to heat and cool your home by individual rooms by creating individual living spaces. Each indoor mini-split unit can be set to a different temperature, leading to smaller lines rather than huge ducts. Most mini-split systems have two main components, outdoor and indoor units. This includes an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit evaporator. Unlike your traditional air conditioning or heating system, these systems allow you to have complete zone control.
Your mini-split functions similarly to a traditional central air conditioner system. In the cooling mode, it removes heat energy from the inside and blows it outside.
The main difference is where the cool air blows from. Mini-splits can blow air from up to 6 air handlers, so you have complete zone control. In a central HVAC system, it comes from a single air handler.
Mini-splits allow you to choose the number of zones or individual rooms you can control throughout your home. You can install one indoor unit for a single room or 5-6 indoor air handlers to cool or heat your whole household.
If you are installing an additional single zone for cooling or heating for a garage or workspace, mini-split air conditioners are ideal due to being non-ducted.
What is a Ductless Mini-Split?
A ductless mini-split air conditioning system is exactly how it sounds, a smaller version of mini-split air conditioners.
Since installing distribution ductwork can be very time consuming and expensive, a ductless HVAC system helps give you year-round comfort at a reasonable price without damaging your walls.
With a ductless air conditioner, thin copper suction tubing pumps refrigerant from the outdoor compressor to the indoor air-handling unit. The air is distributed quietly to interior spaces. This process helps remove the need for basements or attic evaporators and big, bulky, expensive ductwork.
Ductless mini-split air conditioning systems only require a 3-4 inch hole through a wall or ceiling to connect to your indoor and outdoor unit.
Instead of window units, the ductless systems are quiet and small, which makes them more energy efficient. Installing a ductless mini-split air system is the best option for add-on spaces in your home or converted spaces.
Someone in your household is always going to be uncomfortable. You may have rooms that are too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. A basic AC system may cool your home’s upstairs but not the downstairs area. This will increase your energy consumption since your unit works harder to cool multiple spaces. It’s also more prone to duct losses during this process, as well.
When you have a ductless mini-split air conditioner, you won’t have to waste money cooling and heating rooms you’re not using, like sunrooms, basements, or guest bedrooms.
What Home Alterations Are Required Before Installing Mini-Split Systems?
Installing mini-splits in your home doesn’t require extensive home renovation. Installation costs are normally much cheaper than traditional installation costs.
The only necessary home alterations will be cutting a small hole to run the conduit through. While the installation process can seem straightforward, it’s best to contact a Shreveport HVAC expert.
Since the home refrigerant line must be cut and charged, a professional air conditioner installer usually installs ductless mini-split systems. It is possible to set up the air handler and condenser unit yourself and then call an HVAC technician to install the refrigerant tubing.
If you’d like to complete the installation of your ductless mini split system on your own, many DIY mini splits come with the refrigerant line already charged.
Mini-Split Air Conditioning Systems
Mini-splits offer the ability to be installed virtually anywhere in your home. This lets you install the mini split in any room you want to cool.
Choosing the right mini split air conditioning system depends on several factors, like where you want to mount the system, what look you’re going for, your budget, and what type of airflow you want circulating through the room.
The four main types of ductless mini-split systems are:
- Ceiling mounts are typically the most expensive type of mini split. These systems are great for people that want a high level of airflow with a low profile while still maintaining the benefits of the mini-split system. Ceiling units come in both duct and ductless versions.
- Concealed units are similar to ceiling units but can be installed upright or on their side. This is a great option for your home if you prefer a more traditional look. Although it is on the higher price point side. These mini splits typically have built-in condensate drain pumps. When you’re limited on space, these are also a great option since they are a more compact system.
- Wall-mounted units are the most common type of mini split air conditioning system. The wall mount is more cost-friendly than the ceiling and concealed indoor units. The only downfall is that you must have the required upper wall space for the installation.
- Floor units are great for homeowners that don’t have the upper wall space for a wall-mounted unit and don’t want to spend the money on a ceiling or concealed unit. These units are another low-cost option and a popular mini split air conditioner system. Floor mini-split units are relatively compact and have a low profile. They’re usually placed under windows.
How Are Mini-Split Air Conditioning Units Controlled?
Mini split air conditioning units are controlled with a specific remote control for that unit instead of a thermostat.
Remote controls are a benefit of having ductless mini splits since you can customize that particular room’s temperature without affecting the temperature in the other rooms.
Some brands of mini split cooling systems, like Fujitsu, have a feature that you can use to control the temperature with your phone and is Wi-Fi enabled. Some apps can pair with different brands of mini splits that allow you to control the temperate with your phone.
Mini-Split Heat Pumps
Mini-split heat pumps are ductless systems that are made up of indoor and outdoor units.
These heat pumps are the same as mini-split air conditioners; it just reverses the process. Most mini-split systems are both cooling and heating systems.
What Is a Mini-Split Inverter Heat Pump?
A mini split inverter pump allows for continuous temperature regulation.
The smart sensors sample the room’s temperature and adjust the output accordingly. Depending on the target temperature, the ductless air conditioner will run cycles to either cool or heat the room. The warm air is drawn in and pressurized during the summer until it’s condensed. That air is run through an evaporator that turns the air back into a gas. When the gas decompresses, it expands and is blown into the room. When the room reaches the desired temperature, the mini-split shuts off until it senses a rise in the room temperature. During the colder months, the mini split cooling systems work in the opposite way to hear the room.
When using a mini-split inverter, your room will never be too hot or cold. Once the room reaches the right temperature, the unit will shut off and not run again until the room needs to be cooled or heated. This feature saves money and is energy efficient.
What’s the Difference Between Inverter + and Inverter ++?
Mini split inverters are either Inverter+ or Inverter++.
The main difference, besides their efficiency, is how they perform in cold weather. The Inverter + will shut down if the outdoor unit reaches less than 5 degrees Fahrenheit, while the Inverter++ functions until the outside temperature reaches -13 degrees Fahrenheit. The heating capacity of the Inverter++ is also greater since it comes with an auxiliary heat strip in the outdoor unit.
Another difference between the Inverter+ and the Inverter++ is the SEER rating. SEER stands for the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.
To calculate the SEER rating, the cooling output of an air conditioner system is divided by the energy it consumes in watts per hour.
Usually, the higher the SEER means the system is more efficient. This normally leads to lower energy bills. The Inverter++ has a higher SEER than the Inverter+, so it is more energy and cost-efficient while delivering the same performance. The Inverter++ also has a higher Energy-Star rating, which means it meets the federally mandated guidelines to avoid energy losses.
What Size Mini-Split Do I Need?
When considering what size mini split unit you need, consider the size of the room or rooms you want to cool. You can calculate this yourself, but it’s recommended to consult an experienced HVAC technician when determining the size of the mini split air conditioning systems you want to install. Other factors to consider are ceiling height, quality of insulation, your home’s age, the climate you live in, the number and quality of windows, sun exposure, and various other factors like lighting, flooring, and appliances.
Call Pioneer Comfort Systems for All Your HVAC and Mini-Split Tech Support Needs!
For more than 60 years, we’ve been servicing Shreveport-Bossier and the surrounding areas. We pride ourselves on offering top-quality customer service seven days a week. If you’re interested in installing a mini-split system in your home, call the experts at Pioneer Comfort Systems. One of our experienced technicians will evaluate your home and help you decide on the best options for you and your home. Schedule an appointment today by calling 318-378-5729.