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What is a Ductless Air Conditioner, Mini Split?

Mini Split | Ductless Air Conditioner

Are you considering a new HVAC system to cool your home? If you can’t have a central system in your home or building or want to look at other options, a ductless Mini Split system may be the right solution for you.

Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners (referred to as Mini Splits) are attractive and powerful solutions for many different residential and commercial applications. Similar to central air units, the Mini Split consists of an outdoor compressor and an inside air-handling unit. Mini Splits are significantly more compact than central systems and are an excellent solution for smaller spaces that still need a powerful and energy efficient solution. The mechanisms are very similar, with the indoor unit blowing warm air over cold evaporator coils, and all the heat exiting via the outdoor unit. But as you can guess from their name, Ductless Mini Splits do not require access to any ductwork; the units are connected with a series of small wires.

Mini Splits are commonly paired with central air systems, either because the central system doesn’t reach that area of the home or building, or because that area requires its own separate controls. This is very common when homeowners build additions to their house, or for a business with a separate area that requires a controlled temperature. With an entirely ductless home or building, a series of mini splits can keep the entire area cool while controlling each zone’s temperature separately.

Mini Splits vs. Window Units

Most people are accustomed to purchasing window units for homes or offices that don’t have central air. Window units are inexpensive, can be installed instantly and easily, and usually require little or no work on the building itself. Having a window unit is the most popular solution to cooling a home while someone is renting their property or otherwise acting as a temporary solution.

With a wide range of window units available, obviously some are better than others. Generally, window units tend to be very loud, block access to opening the window keeping it fully locked, and most are not very energy efficient. They are also quite bulky and unattractive and can often create a need to move everything in the room to accommodate the unit during the months you need to have it operational. Installing a Mini Split system instead is definitely a more stylish and energy efficient solution. Mini Splits are also very quiet and can provide a controlled output to maintain the temperature.

Types of Mini Split Units

Mini Splits can be installed in the middle of a wall, on your ceiling, or closer to the floor, depending on the type of unit and what makes the most sense for your specific space.

To help you get started on deciding which system is best for your home or office, here are the different types of Mini Split units.

Wall-mounted Mini Splits are very popular and affordable for smaller spaces. The longer horizontal unit needs to be at least six feet off the ground and away from any windows. They must be installed on a wall that is completely vertical, with no angled walls or sloped attic walls. The power of wall-mounted units vary, along with other features such as occupancy sensors, and they tend to be cheaper than other types of Mini Splits.

A Ceiling Cassette Mini Split unit is perfect for cooling larger spaces than wall units handle, and the design is even more sleek since all the mechanics are completely hidden in the ceiling. Four outlets blow air from each side, and the only part you see is about one inch of a two-foot by two-foot grille poking out of the ceiling.

If your home or building is an unusual shape or you have a lot of sloped walls, a floor unit may be the best solution for you. Floor units fit neatly just above the floorboards and have minimal obstruction in the rest of the room; however, you cannot have furniture in front of the unit to try and hide it, as that will obstruct the essential airflow. Though floor units can be wonderful solutions for difficult spaces, we strongly recommend wall-mounted or ceiling units to get you the most for your money.

Investing in Your HVAC System

Depending on the types of unit you choose and how many you may need for your space, Mini Splits may end up costing even cost as much as a central unit. However, if ductwork is also required for a central unit installation, the combined cost would certainly skyrocket. So if you are looking for a practical alternative to a central unit but have no existing ductwork, the Mini Split unit should save you money and improve overall efficiency.

Just the nature of how ductwork is manufactured and installed can cause energy efficiency losses for central systems, which can result in higher electric bills without feeling any difference in the air temperature. Since Mini Splits aren’t connected to ducts, you should be able to tell when it’s working efficiently and when it may need a technician’s attention. It’s important the Mini Splits only be installed by certified technicians. Our LegendAir experts will help you choose the best units for your space, and seamlessly install them so you can stay cool all summer long.

LegendAir is a full-service HVAC company that provides installation, repair, and maintenance services for both residential and commercial applications in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. If you have a home or business in need of a new air conditioning and heating system or would like maintenance or repair service on your existing system, please contact LegendAir Heating and Cooling today. For more information you can contact us at 267-246-1517 or get a quote by completing the simple Request-A-Quote form.

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