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

August 18, 2017

The majority of homeowners are most familiar with central air conditioners and furnaces, but don’t forget about other solutions including ductless mini-splits.

Mini-split systems are a kind of ductless heating and cooling. Rather than giving conditioned air to the total house through a network of air ducts, they heat and cool one room at a time. This delivers more advanced temperature control, improving comfort and energy efficiency.

How Do Mini-Split Air Conditioners Work?

Mini-splits most closely resemble heat pumps in the way they operate. Both models of equipment provide electric cooling, similar to an air conditioner. This requires using refrigerant to draw out heat from inside a building and discharging that heat outside. Then, a reversing valve allows the system to operate backward, heating your house in the winter by removing heat from outdoor air and bringing it inside.

The largest difference 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 fits directly on the wall or ceiling in the room you want to heat and cool. Copper tubes, wiring and a condensate drain line link to an outdoor condensing unit through a narrow conduit in the wall. This exterior component looks similar to an air conditioner or heat pump condenser.

More than one indoor unit can work off of a single outdoor condenser, allowing you to heat and cool your complete house with this system if if you want. This configuration also makes zoning practical, an extremely desirable feature that lets you determine when, where and how much you heat and cool specific areas.

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

Mini-splits are an excellent solution for most households. Think about these reasons why getting a ductless mini-split might be a wise choise for you:

  • You can heat and cool an entire home that lacks existing ductwork.
  • It’s possible to shut off the heat and air conditioning in unoccupied rooms to save on your utility expenses.
  • Mini-splits deliver additional heating and cooling for spaces that are difficult to keep comfortable.
  • Use a ductless system to heat and cool a residence addition or enclosed porch without the hassle of adding ductwork or the annoyance of having window AC units.
  • Mini split systems are the natural choice for spaces where ductwork is impractical. A few examples are period houses, tiny homes, temperature controlled sheds or workshops, or garage conversions.
  • What are the Perks of a Mini-Split System?

    Ductless mini-splits are very capable systems, but you could still be wondering why you would want to choose it over a traditional furnace and air conditioner. Here’s why more Knoxville homeowners are installing ductless mini-splits:

    • Avoid the pitfalls of ductwork: By giving heated and cooled air directly, air doesn’t pass through holey air ducts on its way to every room. This can save you as much as 30 percent on your heating and cooling costs. Plus, if your home doesn’t already use ducts, you avoid the hassle and expense that comes with adding them.
    • Select the right temperature for every room: With zoned heating and cooling from a ductless mini-split, you can keep an office chilly while maintaining a comfortable nursery—all while making the most of energy efficiency.
    • Conserve money and energy by not heating and cooling empty rooms: Closing supply registers in a central HVAC system can throw it off kilter, straining the equipment and canceling any potential savings. But with independent air handlers in all rooms, you can heat and cool specific spaces only when you need them.

    Trust R & M Climate Control Service Experts to Put in Your Mini-Split Air Conditioner

    Much like standard HVAC systems, ductless mini-splits call for careful sizing and Expert installation to provide the most efficient performance. Our experienced mini split installers in Knoxville can help you figure out if a mini-split system will meet your needs. We can then support you with finding the precise equipment size and model to make your residence as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.

    For added information, or to get an appointment, contact R & M Climate Control Service Experts at 865-229-6176. You can also schedule an appointment online.

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