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Getting More From a Ductless Mini Split in Chilly Weather: 7 Tips

A ductless mini split is the favorite heating and cooling option for a growing number of homeowners. With advanced features of Mitsubishi Electric ductless systems, efficient heating is available to more homeowners throughout the country, including northern regions with cold winters. If you live in a region with extended periods of chilly and cold weather, consider these seven tips to leverage the best performance from your new Mitsubishi ductless system.

Button Up Your Home to Prevent the Cold

Before any heating and cooling installation, it's well worth the modest effort and expense to perform a home energy audit, either do-it-yourself or professional, and implement home-efficiency upgrades to seal your home from air leaks and heat gain/losses.

A professional energy audit produces more thorough and accurate results, and you'll receive tips on how to better conserve energy in all your home systems, such as water heating, appliances and lighting and electronics, in addition to maximizing energy savings in HVAC -- the largest consumer of energy in the home.

Sizing a Mitsubishi Ductless Mini Split

Ductless mini splits are available in capacities to heat and cool one room or multiple rooms (ductless multi-split system). Accurate sizing is very important for comfort and efficiency, and any shortcuts in sizing your new ductless mini split may compromise its excellent efficiency rates (HSPF and SEER).

Your Mitsubishi Electric contractor uses sophisticated software to input dozens of home design calculations and assessments to accurately size the capacity of your new ductless mini split or multi-split system to meet the heating and cooling load of the room or rooms to be heated and cooled.

Selecting Advanced Features

The ductless systems available today by Mitsubishi Electric have the capacity to provide ample heating for homeowners in cold-winter regions of the country. Some of the technological improvements of ductless systems include advancements in compressor efficiency to pump precise amounts of refrigerant to the evaporator and condenser (heat-exchange coils).

Scroll compressors and mulit-speed inverter technology produce substantially less noise, last longer and help ductless systems effectively heat indoor living spaces when outdoor temperatures dip into single digits.

Installing the outdoor unit

The outdoor unit houses the compressor, condenser and other key electrical components. It's very important to follow correct installation procedures to promote optimal airflow, which includes taking measures to prevent airflow blockages from snow and ice.

Installing the unit on the ground typically involves pouring a 3x3-foot (approximate) concrete slab, and ensuring that vegetation and other objects do not block airflow. If it's going to be a chore to ensure that snow and ice don't accumulate around and on the unit, another option is to mount the unit to the home's exterior a few feet off the ground.

Installing the Indoor Air Handlers

The versatile installation options of the compact air handlers are another nice feature of a ductless mini-split system. The air handler houses the evaporator coil to provide heated and cooled air directly inside the living spaces, rather than heated and cooled air being transported by bulky and often inefficient air ducts.

The air handler may be mounted to any ceiling, or mounted flush inside a suspended ceiling panel, which would resemble the air-supply outlets of a central system. Wall-mounted air handlers are another option, which also save space like ceiling-mounted air handlers, and promote even and comfortable airflow.

Linking the Indoor and Outdoor Units

One consideration for installation locations of the outdoor and indoor units is noise. If the units are too close together, less than about 15 feet, the conduit connecting the components carries noise from the compressor. It's not a significant amount of noise. However, positioning the indoor and outdoor units farther than 15 feet apart will avoid any noise issue.

Heating and Cooling Efficiency

One last consideration for installing a ductless mini split in colder climates is the HSPF (heating efficiency) and SEER (cooling efficiency) ratings. The factors which ultimately influence heating efficiency are the average low temperatures in which your ductless mini split will be operating and the distance between the outdoor unit and the indoor air handler(s). The higher the HSPF rating of the ductless system, the better heating performance you'll receive on extremely cold days.

The high-efficiency components of Mitsubishi ductless systems allow for distances of over 100 feet between the outdoor unit and the indoor air handlers. However, the greater the distance between the outdoor compressor and indoor evaporator coil, the less energy-efficient a ductless system becomes.

For more information about getting the most out of your current or new ductless mini split, contact a Mitsubishi Electric contractor near your home.


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