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What is a Mini Split Air Conditioner?

Compact yet powerful, mini-split air conditioners offer viable options in residential and commercial use. In homes, they are ideal for room additions, basements and bedrooms; commercially, they are ideal for conference rooms, data storage units and employee work areas. With their flexible zoning capability, mini-split air conditioners keep each room at a consistent comfort level.

What is a Mini Split Air Conditioner?

A mini-split air conditioner is a ductless cooling system in which the condenser unit is separated, or split, from the air handler unit. The condenser is located in a unit that sits outside of the home or business. Depending on its weight and size, the outside unit may be placed either on the ground or on a concrete pad. The outside unit contains a fan, compressor and condenser coil.

The air handler is located inside of the room or space to be cooled; this area is often referred to as a zone. The indoor unit can be positioned on the floor, wall or ceiling; wall and ceiling units can either be fastened to the surface or recessed into the wall or ceiling. The indoor unit contains a fan, evaporator coil and air filtration device.

A conduit connects the two units; electrical, condensate and refrigerant lines are inside the conduit. In a mini-split system, there is one indoor unit and one outdoor unit. This differs from a multi-split system, in which up to five indoor units can be attached to one outdoor unit.

How Mini Split Air Conditioners Work

A thermostat inside each room controls the operation of a mini-split air conditioner. When the room temperature rises above the desired level, the outside compressor automatically begins to run. Refrigerant, in the form of a gas, starts to flow through the system. As the gas flows through the condenser, a fan removes the heat from the refrigerant and turns the refrigerant into a liquid. The liquid refrigerant travels to the indoor evaporator unit; a fan draws warm air from inside the room into the evaporator. As the warm air flows across the evaporator coil, the cool liquid refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air. The cool air is then blown back into the room. As the liquid refrigerant absorbs heat, it changes back into a gas; this gas returns to the compressor and the condenser. The cycle is repeated until the room is cooled to the desired temperature.

Mini Split vs. Window Unit

Window and portable air conditioners are comparatively inexpensive and can be self-installed, but mini-splits have several advantages. Mini-split air conditioners are 40 percent more efficient than conventional window units; they are less bulky, allow more light into the room and do not obstruct the window view. Because a multi-split air conditioner is often mounted on the ceiling or wall, you avoid the hassle associated with positioning and removing the window unit when the seasons change. Mini-split air conditioners are much quieter than window units because the compressor is located outside. With a window unit, consideration must be given to how the gaps around the unit will be filled so that warm outdoor air does not seep into the room. Window units also pose a greater security risk because an intruder can easily remove them to gain entry.

What Size Mini Split Do I Need?

The primary factor in calculating the size you need is the square footage that needs to be cooled. Other factors such as the number of people, amount of insulation and whether the area is shaded or receives direct sunlight also play a role. An undersized system has to run more frequently to achieve the desired temperature; an oversized system provides more cooling than necessary and wastes energy. Our Mitsubishi Electric contractors can assist you in matching the size of the system to the demand.

Where to Buy Mini Split Air Conditioners

All of the contractors listed on our site are professionals who have extensive experience with mini-split air conditioners. Use our directory to find a Mitsubishi Electric ductless distributor in your area.

How Much do Mini Split Systems Cost?

A mini-split system is cost-effective because each zone is regulated independently. A central air conditioning system has one thermostat; changing the temperature in one room means changing the temperature in every room. This can result in one room being comfortable while another feels like a refrigerator. Mini-splits provide cooling only where, and when, it is needed. The cost of a mini-split air conditioner varies based on the size and number of rooms in your home or business. Contact one of our Mitsubishi Electric contractors today for a free estimate.

Mitsubishi Electric Heat Pumps

For home and business owners who need heating and cooling capabilities, Mitsubishi Electric heat pumps are the answer. A heat pump has the capability to reverse the flow of refrigerant. During heat mode, the roles of the evaporator and condenser coils are reversed; in essence, the evaporator coil becomes the condenser coil and the condenser coil becomes the evaporator coil. Mitsubishi Electric’s innovative heat pump refrigerant circulation system, called Flash Injection Circuit, makes a Mitsubishi Electric heat pump a practical alternative in below-freezing temperatures. Our Mitsubishi Electric contractors are experts in determining whether an air conditioner or a heat pump is your best option.