A ductless mini split installation is probably right for you when you are planning to retrofit add-ons to existing systems that lack duct work. For instance, HVAC systems that use hot water, radiant heating grids, wood stoves and gas or oil space heaters can easily be extended. It’s also the ideal solution when you are expanding your residential or commercial space by adding rooms where installing extended ductwork is either impossible or simply not practical.
The Advantages of Mini Split Installation
This system is extremely flexible and allows you to heat or cool various zones independently. Every room or zone relies on its own thermostat for temperature control. This translates into cost-cutting energy savings because you only need to comfortably heat or cool whatever spaces are being used.
Some systems can handle up to four separate zones in which all of them reliant on a single external unit. Ultimately, the number of zones that can be adequately served is determined by several factors, including how well the various areas are insulated and the desired ultimate temperature level.
Ductless mini split systems are relatively simple to install. All it takes to connect the inside unit with the outdoor unit is a 3-inch opening in a wall to accommodate the conduit. The makers of these systems typically have several lengths of connectors available. It’s possible to place the outside unit up to fifty feet away from the interior evaporator. This lends itself to better aesthetics, as the unsightly compressor can be hidden away while providing temperature control to the front-view of your residence or commercial building.
Because there aren’t any ducts, you’re not going to throw your money away on lost energy. It’s a fact that ductwork is directly responsible for consuming in excess of 30% of the energy that’s needed to heat or cool the interior spaces of any building. There’s an even greater loss when the ductwork is seated in areas that aren’t insulated or climate-controlled. Most models come with the added convenience of remote-control operation. Turn the units on/off to suit your own comfort level on a room-to-room basis as needed.
There are several design choices when it comes to mini split system installation. Hang the interior air handlers from the ceiling, hide them away inside a dropped ceiling or place them on a wall. It’s even possible to install units that stand on the floor. They don’t take up much space. The majority of units are slightly more than half a foot thick and have covers that are modern and techy in appearance.
Although it’s not usually highlighted as a benefit, let’s not overlook the safety factor. Air conditioners that are installed through to the exterior and those that are positioned in your windows are inviting entry-points for anyone who wants to gain entry without permission. The ductless mini split ac system deters intrusions by providing a hole in the wall that’s only 3″ or so.
The Disadvantages of Ductless Mini Split Installations
It can be costlier to install a mini split HVAC system. However, it’s not really a disadvantage at all when considering the decreased energy usage and the resulting decreased operating expense. It’s also important to figure in any rebates or energy-saving incentives offered by the unit manufacturers or your local energy company.
This isn’t recommended as a DIY installation project. It’s important to consult with a professional HVAC installer. Each unit has to be of the right capacity for the size of the room or area and has to be placed in the proper location for optimum performance. Installing a unit that’s too large or placing a unit in the wrong location can cause energy-wasting, ineffective short cycling. Also, a mini split system that’s too big for your needs will require a bigger initial layout of money and will create ongoing expensive usage costs.
Your ductless mini split system also needs a spot for drainage of the condensation that will occur around the exterior unit. This is one of the many important factors that’s typically overlooked by the non-professional installer. In fact, many professional contractors aren’t adequately familiar with the ductless mini split installation process.