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Going Ductless: Do You Need a Mini Split or a Multi Split System?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Greater energy efficiency, improved temperature control and ease of installation are a few reasons to consider a ductless heating and cooling system. Of the system types available, the ductless mini split is the most widely advertised, but it's not right for every home. Some homes would be better served by a multi split system. To make your choice, you'll need to understand how ductless systems work.

Ductless systems operate much like air-source (conventional) heat pumps. In fact, they're often called ductless heat pumps (though in some cases they only provide cooling). Like other heat pumps, ductless systems have an outdoor compressor/condenser unit, an indoor evaporator/air-handling unit, and a conduit line connecting the two units, which contains the wiring, refrigerant line and condensate drain.

The difference is that a ductless system doesn't rely on ducts to distribute conditioned air throughout your home. Instead, the air handler is placed on the wall, ceiling or floor and delivers cool or warm air directly into the room.

Mini split or multi split?


Both ductless mini split and multi split systems can involve multiple air handlers, but a mini split has only one control for the entire system. All the indoor units turn on and off at the same time and all provide air at the same temperature. You can't control each unit individually.

In a multi split system, however, each indoor unit is directly connected to the outdoor unit, which lets you control the indoor units separately. This feature, known as zoning, allows you to provide different levels of cooling and heating to different areas of your home. For instance, a sunny room may need more air conditioning than a shady one, or an upstairs floor more cooling than a finished basement.

Multi split systems are ideal for:

  • Multi-story homes
  • Homes with sprawling floor plans
  • Rooms with large windows or high ceilings
  • Rooms that receive intense sun exposure or heavy shade
  • A finished attic or basement, or a new addition
  • Seldom-used spaces, such as guest rooms
  • Homes with uneven temperatures

If you're not sure whether a ductless mini split or ductless multi split is right for you, an authorized Mitsubishi Electric dealer can help you decide. Use Mitsubishi Comfort Dealers' "Find a dealer" feature to locate a dealer near you.


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