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Ask These Questions to Know if a Mini Split Installation Is for You

A mini split is a versatile appliance that may be exactly what you need in your home to condition some of its spaces. These systems operate like central air conditioners, but they don't use ductwork. They can also heat as well as cool, as long as it's a heat pump, similar to an air conditioner, but with a reversing valve that switches the refrigerant's flow.

How to Tell if a Mini Split Would Work for You

If any of these conditions exist in your home, you may be able to take advantage of the many benefits of ductless mini splits:

  • A space you're planning to add will be difficult to run ductwork to condition it. Sometimes it's inconvenient or expensive to install ductwork in a new space. Doing so may require increasing the size of your existing equipment, which is an expensive project. Costs will further increase for the additional ductwork and the space it takes. 
  • There's an area of your home you've remodeled or retrofit to livable space that you won't use continually. The mini split has its own temperature control, so when you're not using that room, you can save energy by turning it off or by adjusting the temperature.
  • You have a family member who requires more heating or cooling. The mini split can provide individualized comfort without it affecting the comfort of other family members. 
  • You have space outside of your home for an outdoor condenser. The two main components include a condenser and an indoor air handler. They connect with a thin conduit that contains the refrigerant, condensation drain line and the power. The condenser's size depends on the system you need and the largest available mini splits can handle four separate air handlers. 
  • Installation is much faster and easier than with a central system since there's no ductwork required and the equipment comes with the refrigerant already installed. You'll need a professional HVAC contractor to complete it, however, to keep the warranty active. An HVAC pro will also size the system properly based on calculations that Manual J software provides for precise sizing. This exercise prevents installing a system that's either too small or large, which affects your comfort, system longevity and your energy bills. 
  • If energy efficiency is a serious consideration for you, mini splits offer some of the best efficiency of any heating and cooling system. They must have a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 13 or higher for cooling and in the case of heat pumps, an HSPF of 7.7 or more. Mini splits pick up extra efficiency because they don't use ductwork that can have thermal and air losses from leaks. Leaks can happen at any time, but since the ductless system delivers air directly through an indoor air handler, no losses can occur.
  • Higher efficiency mini splits are available for areas in the country that have extreme temperatures. A standard unit can cool when temperatures are as hot as 109 degrees. A heat pump ductless system carefully installed with a scroll compressor can handle temperatures in the teens. If the air handler has a supplemental heating coil inside it, and the structure is well insulated, air sealed and has efficient windows, the mini split may be able to meet heating requirements in the colder regions of the U.S. 
  • Personal security is another issue that a mini split addresses. While you can use window and wall air conditioners to provide conditioning for smaller spaces, they pose a security risk since they can be removed. Mini splits offer more security because the hole the conduit needs won't permit any sort of ingress into your home. At most, it'll be three inches in diameter and tightly sealed against air infiltration. And, since they have an outdoor condenser, you won't need a bulky hose that exhausts the heat outside with portable air conditioners. 

To learn more about the many benefits of a mini split in your home, contact us to find a trusted Mitsubishi Electrical contractor in your area. 

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