All About Mini-Split Air Conditioners: What They Are and How They Work

August 18, 2017

Most homeowners are acquainted with central air conditioners.

Mini-split systems are a kind of ductless heating and cooling. Instead of providing conditioned air to the total house through a network of air ducts, they heat and cool a lone room at a time. This allows 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 cool. Both models of equipment deliver electric cooling, just like an air conditioner. This involves using refrigerant to extract heat from within a building and discharging that heat outside. Then, a reversing valve allows the system to run backward, adding warmth to your home in the winter by extracting heat from outdoor air and bringing it inside.

The biggest contrast 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 area 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 like an air conditioner or heat pump condenser.

Several indoor units can work off of an individual outdoor condenser, allowing you to heat and cool your complete home with this system if if you want. This set-up also makes zoning possible, an extremely desirable feature that lets you customize when, where and how much you heat and cool individual spaces.

Mini-split basics infographic Columbia 

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

Mini-splits are a great solution for many households. Consider these reasons why using a ductless mini-split might be right for you:

  • You can heat and cool an entire house that doesn’t have existing ductwork.
  • You’ll be able to turn off the heat and air conditioning in empty areas to save on your heating and cooling costs.
  • Mini-splits give supplementary heating and cooling for spaces that are tricky to keep comfy.
  • Use a ductless system to heat and cool a home addition or sunroom without the expense of installing ductwork or the hassle of using window AC units.
  • Mini split systems are the natural choice for spaces where overhead ductwork is impractical. A few examples might be historic houses, tiny homes, temperature controlled sheds or workshops, or garage conversions.
  • What are the Pluses of a Mini-Split System?

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

    • Avoid the hidden issues of ductwork: By providing heated and cooled air directly, air doesn’t move through holey air ducts on its way to all rooms. This can save you upward of 30 percent on your heating and cooling expenses. Plus, if your residence doesn’t already include ducts, you avoid the inconvenience and expense connected to installing them.
    • Select the ideal temp for all rooms: With zoned heating and cooling from a ductless mini-split, you can keep an office cool while maintaining a comfortable nursery—all while optimizing energy efficiency.
    • Conserve money and energy by not heating and cooling empty spaces: Shutting supply registers in a central HVAC system can throw it off balance, putting stress on the equipment and canceling any possible savings. But with individual air handlers in all rooms, you can heat and cool particular areas only when you need them.

    Depend on Midland Air Service Experts to Put in Your Mini-Split Air Conditioner

    As with traditional HVAC systems, ductless mini-splits need careful sizing and Expert installation to ensure the best performance. Our experienced mini split installers in Columbia can help you decide if a mini-split system will match your needs. We can then support you with determining the precise equipment size and model to make your home as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.

    For added information, or to schedule an appointment, call Midland Air Service Experts at 803-399-7208. You can also schedule an appointment online.

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