You need a new HVAC system but loathe the thought of yet another enormous, noisy, energy-guzzling whole-house HVAC installation. Mini-split ductless systems may be a good choice in such a situation.
Ductless air conditioners resemble traditional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning HVAC systems. They generate warm and cooled air, dehumidify the space, and even boost the air quality inside.
Nevertheless, unlike traditional air conditioning systems, ductless systems are more cost-effective, less harmful to the environment, and more efficient. In this article, we’ll discuss why ductless air conditioners could be the future of AC.
What Is a Mini Split Air Conditioner?
Mini-splits are a flexible and scalable cooling and heating solution for individual rooms in a building. Ductless systems, as their name suggests, don’t necessitate ductwork to regulate the temperature inside a building.
The systems have an exterior unit housing the fans, expansion valve, and compressor. They have an interior blower with:
- Evaporator coil
They’re more beneficial as an addition to your current air conditioning system since they’re easier to set up and more powerful than window units or central HVAC.
Mini-splits, with their thermostat-like controls and sophisticated connectivity, sound fantastic, but their high installation costs might put them out of reach for many people. Most local power companies provide rebates to offset the cost partially.
Mini-split system is a good solution for home heating and cooling. The type you choose depends on your specific needs and the availability of competent installers in your region.
Because they don’t need expensive ductwork, mini-split installation is usually a retrofit into already-built structures. As a result, they can deliver a greater volume of the conditioned air they generate.
Mini-splits are attractive since you can modify the system to meet your specific requirements. The two units that make up the system include an exterior condenser and an independently controlled air-delivering interior unit. A refrigerant line and a drain line join these two components.
The interior unit’s positioning is usually high on a room’s wall and is about the size of a long duffel bag. However, the sizes vary depending on the room’s requirements. Specific interior units may also be floor-mounted or ceiling-recessed.
The ceiling units are less visible, but their installation is more intrusive. The exterior unit might be as small as a piece of luggage. It’s worth noting that the higher the number of interior units, the higher the power requirement from the exterior equipment.
Mini-splits provide a great deal of control. The more advanced models can detect whether or not someone is in the room and modify the temperature accordingly. Furthermore, depending on your preference, they can alter the airflow direction from you or toward you.
Many devices come with a wireless remote or wall-mounted controller, while some will allow operation through a smartphone, or you can connect them to an already existing system.
For What Types of Applications Are Ductless Air Conditioners Best?
Mini-splits are perfect for rooms that don’t have an existing air conditioning system, such as a garage workshop. In climates with a milder year-round temperature range, mini-splits can function as a confined space’s central air conditioning system.
Furthermore, you can use them as air conditioners in areas with a lot of foot activity, such as a kitchen or sitting room, or even in a space where you want extra temperature control, such as a nursery.
A few interior units in a strategic position will suffice to meet the heating and cooling requirements for some homes all year round. Instead of regulating the whole house, ductless systems let you control each room independently.
For example, four people live in your house and want their bedrooms kept at various temperatures. You cool those rooms separately. Rather than using additional energy to cool the whole home, you can cool just the bedrooms. You’ll be in charge of everything, saving your monthly energy costs.
How Do the Mechanics Work?
Here are seven simple steps to help you understand how mini-split systems function.
Step 1: Refrigerant Moves to the Inside Unit
A compressed refrigerant in liquid form from the outside travels through refrigeration lines to the inside unit.
Step 2: Refrigerant Transforms to Gas
When the liquid refrigerant reaches the evaporator cooling coils in the interior air handler, expansion occurs, which subsequently changes its state from liquid to gas. The process is endothermic, which implies that cooling of the coils occurs in the process.
Step 3: Cool Air Gets Blown Into the House
A warm blower draws air from within and forces it over the cold coils. That not only makes the air cooler but also makes it less humid. The cool and dry air gets blown into your house via the interior air handler, and you can feel your home getting chilly.
Step 4: Refrigerant Moves to Indoor Unit
Through the refrigerant lines that connect the indoor and outdoor units, gaseous refrigerant makes its way back to the indoor unit.
Step 5: Compressed Refrigerant Transforms to Liquid
The mini split compressor in the outside unit compresses the refrigerant, turning it back into a liquid state. The process is an exothermic reaction, which produces a great deal of heat. Because of this, outdoor systems can run quite hot. A compressor’s primary function is to remove the accumulated heat from the refrigerant.
Step 6: Liquid Refrigerant Return to Interior Unit
After converting the refrigerant back into its previous liquid state, it is sent back into the interior unit through the refrigerant lines.
Step 7: Cycle Repeat Itself
You’re now at the start of the mini split refrigeration cycling. The cycle will repeat itself until you achieve the ideal temperature within the building.
Why Are Mini Splits So Efficient?
Ductless mini-split heat pumps move heat from inside to outside. The fact that they do not generate heat like a furnace that runs on natural gas allows them to conserve energy efficiently. All they do is move heat from one location to another.
A refrigeration cycle is a foundation for the fundamental operation of the mini split systems. It’s a well-known thermodynamic cycle that transfers heat through a system by compressing and expanding refrigerants, such as R410A and R22.
HVAC systems can lose up to 30 percent of their effectiveness in the ducting between the air handler and the vents. For this reason, it’s best to use routine maintenance systems like Needs Attention to ensure they are regularly serviced.
But when you install several mini split air conditioners throughout your home, you not only minimize temperature waste in the ductwork, you also have greater control over individual room temperatures.
If you heat or cool one or two rooms at a time, you can minimize the energy you use by around 80 percent compared to your present HVAC system.
Consider removing your central HVAC system if you want more room in your attic, garage, or utility closet. Since your mini-split system doesn’t have hidden components, it is much simpler to identify any potential faults with your air conditioning unit, which reduces the amount of money spent on repairs.
The sales of ductless mini-split air conditioning systems are catching up to those of central HVAC. Since their introduction about a decade ago, mini-splits are now a favorite alternative for many new home builders. We hope our guide helps you understand why ductless air conditioners could be the future of AC.