If you’re looking for an affordable solution for cooling and heating your home, you should think about investing in a mini-split. Mini-splits, also known as ductless mini-splits, can be very effective at their job. Many models have heating and cooling functions, allowing you to stay comfortable all year long, and some others cool only. This overview will go over the benefits of mini-splits and will provide you with some helpful information about them.
No Central Air Required
Central air is found in many homes. It can be convenient to have, as it allows you to easily cool and heat your entire place by just setting the thermostat. However, it can be expensive to install. If you’re building a brand new place, adding central air can result in a significantly increased final cost. If your home currently does not have ductwork, your costs could be very high. Extensive work would need to be completed in your home to accommodate ducts. Many ducts measure between 6 and 12 inches in width, and some old homes weren’t built to accommodate ducts of these sizes. To put in ducts, workers would have to tear down some walls and ceilings and change the way your home is structured. The cost of doing all of this could be significant.
A ductless mini-split solves the issue. It requires hardly any alterations to your home. For this reason alone, many people in homes without central air have turned to mini-splits for their heating and cooling needs.
Another scenario involves a homeowner who has central AC and a network of ducts in the home but has recently added more square footage. Perhaps an addition has been built or a garage or attic has been converted into living space. In this case, the extra area would probably not be connected to the ductwork. It can be expensive to modify the ductwork to accommodate this additional room. Instead, it can be a smarter idea to go with a mini-split for the extra space. This area would then be more comfortable in both the winter and summer.
Mini-Splits Versus Window AC Units
If you don’t have central AC, you might have already considered or even purchased window AC units. These can be great solutions in some cases. They’re fairly affordable, and they come in a variety of sizes. However, it can be a chore to get them ready and take them down each year. Some people can’t do this on their own and need to hire help. It would be difficult to put in a window AC unit in a second or third-floor window, for instance.
There are some other downsides as well. If you end up leaving the window AC unit installed during the winter, some heat can escape through it, even if you cover your unit. This can lead to increased utility costs and a slightly colder room. Window ACs only cool rooms, and they have to be placed in windows to work properly. Some people don’t find them very attractive in this location. In comparison, mini-splits offer more flexibility in terms of placement. They don’t obstruct any of your views from your windows, and many of them can heat and cool.
As we’ve alluded to, mini-splits are versatile systems. You can choose from a variety of locations when having one installed in your home. Many people like to have their mini-splits installed on their walls. This keeps them out of the way and allows them to efficiently cool or heat an area. It can often be better if you place the unit on a perimeter wall, away from large electronics and appliances, and out of direct sunlight.
Manufacturers also make mini-split units that can hang from ceilings. Ceiling placement may work better in rooms that already have many items on their walls. For example, if built-in shelving takes up an entire wall, then a ceiling unit might be the right option.
If you’d like to have more than one mini-split setup, that’s fine, too. In fact, many people have chosen to do this. This allows them to set up different zones in their homes. Sometimes, people have mini-splits installed in each bedroom. This ensures that everyone can get a break from the heat when they relax at night. In other cases, customers have put mini-splits in their main living and dining areas since those locations are where they spend most of their time. The configuration of your mini-split system is completely up to you.
What’s great is that you can have control over each mini-split unit. If someone prefers colder temperatures at night, then her/his room can be set to a different temperature. Plus, some mini-splits can be programmed and/or controlled remotely. This would provide you with more control over your energy usage, and you could potentially lower your utility bills.
To Heat or Not to Heat?
It was mentioned above that some mini-splits only cool while others can heat and cool. If you’re primarily using your mini-split as a way to stay comfortable in the summer and already have a heating system in place, then you might choose to get a cooling-only unit. This could be a way to save some money.
On the other hand, if you’re building a new home or need to maintain the temperature in an addition, you may want to get a model that has both functions. When a mini-split heats an area, it can be pretty energy-efficient. That’s because it transfers heat instead of having to make its own heat. Its system is designed to absorb heat from the outdoors and bring that heat inside, where it gets released. Refrigerant is what absorbs and gives off heat, and since refrigerant can get very cold in the mini-split system, it can still absorb heat from the outdoors even if the temperature is very low.
When looking at mini-splits from a financial standpoint, you’ll want to consider the initial costs and long-term costs. You can likely save money in the long run if you get a unit that uses less energy. ENERGY STAR units will use less energy than their counterparts, and you can look for the SEER rating of units, too. SEER is a ratio that lets you know how efficient an air conditioner is, with higher SEER numbers corresponding with higher efficiency.
Here to Help Customers
If you’d like assistance with a mini-split installation if you live in the Bountiful region, turn to Blue Best Heating & Air. In addition to installing one of these systems, we can help you maintain it and will be ready to jump into action if a repair is necessary. We can perform these same services for other heating and cooling systems, and we offer services related to heat pumps, fireplaces, and indoor air quality units, too. We take pride in being a women-owned and -operated HVAC company. With more than 20 years of experience, we know what it takes to get the job done correctly. Call us to schedule an appointment.