Ductless mini-split HVAC systems, or simply “mini splits,” are air conditioners and heat pumps that are designed to heat and cool smaller rooms. They require no ductwork, and are ideal when only individual rooms are used in a building at any given time. In this blog post, Superior Air takes a look at how efficient they are compared to standard HVAC systems.
Ductless Mini Splits Vs. Central HVAC Systems
First, let us take a look at the differences between central HVAC systems and ductless mini split systems. A residential ducted HVAC system sized for the entire house. Its indoor unit feeds conditioned air into an air handler, which distributes the air through air ducts throughout the house. Mini splits, on the other hand, has the air handler and thermostat built into the indoor unit, and are sized for the room. A single house may have multiple mini splits heating and cooling installed.
Are Mini Splits Energy-Efficient?
So to answer the question: are ductless mini splits energy-efficient? The answer is more complex than just yes or no. A central HVAC system provides conditioned air depending on the thermostat’s reading of the indoor temperature, which sometimes doesn’t necessarily represent conditions throughout the house. The ductwork can also be a weak link if it’s not sealed and maintained regularly. Also, the rooms that are furthest from the thermostat usually get the least heating and cooling.
Mini splits, on the other hand, don’t rely on a ducted system; they’re essentially dedicated cooling systems for every room. This means they can be turned off or kept running at low output when the room isn’t occupied, consuming less energy compared to a central system that’s running at all times. Also, many ductless mini splits are equipped with an inverter-controlled variable speed compressor that helps improve efficiency.
When Should You Get Mini Splits?
If you are replacing an existing central system, the potential upfront and maintenance cost may be higher because you’re essentially switching from one large system to several smaller ones. You must weigh this against the potential savings down the line. Mini splits are also great for home additions because you don’t have to install air duct extensions. An existing central HVAC system may also end up undersized if the floor area is increased.
Our technicians in Superior Air can help you decide whether mini splits are the right systems for your home. Call us today at (559) 734-2002 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve Tulare, CA and the surrounding communities.