How A Mini-Split Air Conditioning System Works
As summer approaches with more people likely at home during the hot weather, it might be no surprise that the demand for home air conditioning is high. Whether you need to cool a large home or a smaller space, the type of cooling system that will work best depends on a variety of factors that account for both your preferences, and your environment.
One of the more flexible options are ductless mini-split air conditioning systems, also called ductless air conditioning systems. We’ll look at how they work, why they make an appealing choice, and compare them against other air conditioning options.
Like central air conditioning, mini-split air conditioning has the same basic components — an outdoor compressor and an indoor air-handling unit. The difference is that with a central air system, the cool air is distributed through the house through a series of ducts. With a mini split, the unit is mounted to the wall in the room and requires no ductwork. The air handler portion of the system forces warm air across refrigerant lines, cooling the air, and then passing it directly into the room where it is mounted.
Some of the advantages to split air conditioning systems are the way they work and the flexibility that comes with their design.
Why People Chose Mini-Split Air Conditioning Systems
Mini-split air conditioners offer flexibility in cooling and are especially well suited for cooling individual rooms or portions of dwellings that may not be connected to existing HVAC. Mini-split a/c systems can also be installed in more than one room, cooling additional locations while all connecting to the same outdoor compressor. This gives you individual temperature control room by room for those with very specific cooling needs.
Split systems can also be much more energy efficient than central air conditioning, since they don’t rely on ductwork to distribute cool air — which is where most leaks and inefficiencies are found in central air.
Many mini split air conditioners also offer different designs and mounting options so you can choose where, and how, your system will be installed in your room, whether that’s a ceiling mount, wall mount, or flush mount of either. Mini splits can be adapted for a variety of otherwise harder-to-cool-environments — learn more about the differences between mini split and central air conditioners.
What Makes Mini-Split AC Systems Different Than Other Systems
What primarily separates split systems from the air conditioning pack is their flexibility and energy efficiency. Additional advantages of the mini split air conditioner include:
- Easier installation than central air
- More efficient than both central air and window units
- Flexible solution to targeted cooling needs — offers room-by-room cooling and independent temperature control
- Many also offer remote controls and can be compatible with Alexa and Nest smart home platforms
Comparing the Cost of Mini-Split AC Systems vs. Other Systems
Mini-split air conditioning systems will generally land somewhere in the middle of the home cooling options —less than central air (usually) but more expensive than a window unit. Factors like:
- Size/square footage
- Number of rooms, or zones
- Cooling preferences
- Existing HVAC structure
All impact the price of a mini split, and should be considered before evaluating your cooling options. In general however, expect to pay between three and five thousand dollars for a standard mini-split system and install.