Guide to Mini-Split Air Conditioners: What They Are and How They Operate

August 18, 2017

Many homeowners are most familiar with central air conditioners.

Mini-split systems are a type of ductless heating and cooling. Rather than providing conditioned air to the entire residence via a network of air ducts, they heat and cool a single room at a time. This allows more advanced temperature control, enhancing comfort and energy efficiency.

How Do Mini-Split Air Conditioners Work?

Mini-splits most closely resemble heat pumps in the way they run. Both kinds of equipment offer electric cooling, similar to an air conditioner. This involves using refrigerant to draw out heat from in a building and exhausting that heat outside. Then, a reversing valve permits the system to work backward, adding warmth to your residence in the winter by removing heat from outdoor air and depositing it inside.

The biggest distinction between mini-splits and heat pumps is that mini-split systems don’t need 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 connect to an outdoor condensing unit through a small conduit in the wall. This exterior component looks much like an air conditioner or heat pump condenser.

More than one indoor unit can link to a single outdoor condenser, allowing you to heat and cool your entire house with this system if wanted. This configuration also makes zoning practical, a very attractive feature that allows you to determine when, where and how much you heat and cool individual rooms.

Mini-split basics infographic Elkhart 

Is a Ductless Mini-Split the Best Choice for My House?

Mini-splits are a good solution for the majority of households. Think about these reasons why using a ductless mini-split may be a wise choise for you:

  • You can heat and cool a total residence that doesn’t have existing ductwork.
  • It’s possible to switch off the heat and air conditioning in unused rooms to save on your heating and cooling bills.
  • Mini-splits deliver additional heating and cooling for spaces that are tricky to keep comfortable.
  • Use a ductless system to heat and cool a home addition or enclosed porch without the expense of putting in ductwork or the hassle of relying on window AC units.
  • Mini-splits are the ideal choice for spaces where overhead ductwork is impractical. A few examples might be historic homes, tiny homes, temperature controlled sheds or workshops, or garage conversions.
  • What are the Perks of a Mini-Split System?

    Ductless mini-splits are extremely capable systems, but you might still be thinking why you would want to choose it over a regular furnace and air conditioner. Here’s why a growing number of Elkhart homeowners are installing ductless mini-splits:

    • Avoid the pitfalls of ductwork: By providing heated and cooled air directly, air doesn’t go through holey air ducts on its way to each room. This can save you nearly 30 percent on your heating and cooling expenses. Also, if your residence doesn’t already include ducts, you avoid the annoyance and price connected to adding them.
    • Choose the ideal setting for each room: With zoned heating and cooling from a ductless mini-split, you can keep an office cool while maintaining a cozy nursery—all while optimizing energy efficiency.
    • Save money and energy by not heating and cooling unused rooms: Shutting supply registers in a central HVAC system can throw it off balance, putting stress on the equipment and canceling any likely savings. But with individual air handlers in all rooms, you can heat and cool specific spaces only when you need them.

    Trust BW/Cook Service Experts to Add Your Mini-Split Air Conditioner

    The same as traditional HVAC systems, ductless mini-splits call for accurate sizing and Expert installation to deliver the most efficient performance. Our knowledgeable mini split installers in Elkhart can help you determine if a mini-split system will fit your needs. We can then help you with figuring out the correct equipment size and model to make your home as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.

    For more info, or to book an appointment, contact BW/Cook Service Experts at 574-218-6404. You can also schedule an appointment online.

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