Guidebook to Mini-Split Air Conditioners: What They Are and How They Work

August 18, 2017

Many homeowners are most familiar with central air conditioners.

Mini-split systems are a kind of ductless heating and cooling. Rather than delivering conditioned air to the entire residence with a network of air ducts, they heat and cool a single room at a time. This allows more targeted temperature control, improving comfort and energy efficiency.

How Do Mini-Split Air Conditioners Work?

Mini-splits are most like heat pumps in the way they run. Both models of equipment provide electric cooling, similar to an air conditioner. This uses refrigerant to draw out heat from in a building and exhausting that warmth outside. Then, a reversing valve permits the system to run backward, adding warmth to your home in the winter by extracting heat from outdoor air and adding it inside.

The biggest difference between mini-splits and heat pumps is that mini-split systems don’t require ductwork. Instead, the indoor unit has a built-in air handler, which is installed on the wall or ceiling in the area you wish to heat and cool. Copper tubes, wiring and a condensate drain line link to an outdoor condensing unit through a little conduit in the wall. This exterior component looks similar to an air conditioner or heat pump condenser.

More than one indoor unit can connect to a single outdoor condenser, enabling you to heat and cool your complete home with this system if if you want. This set-up also makes zoning possible, a highly coveted feature that permits you to customize when, where and how much you heat and cool distinct spaces.

Mini-split basics infographic Champaign 

Is a Ductless Mini-Split Right for My Residence?

Mini-splits are a fantastic choice for many households. Think about these reasons why using a ductless mini-split may be a good choice for your home:

  • You can heat and cool an entire house that doesn’t have existing ductwork.
  • You’ll be able to switch off the heat and air conditioning in unoccupied spaces to save on your utility bills.
  • Mini-splits provide additional heating and cooling for rooms that are tricky to keep cozy.
  • Use a ductless system to heat and cool a home addition or enclosed porch without the expense of installing ductwork or the hassle of using window AC units.
  • Mini splits are the natural choice for spaces where ductwork is impractical. A few examples might be period homes, tiny homes, temperature controlled sheds or workshops, or garage conversions.
  • What are the Benefits of a Mini-Split System?

    Ductless mini-splits are highly effective systems, but you may still be wondering why you would want to select it over a common furnace and air conditioner. Here’s why a large number of Champaign homeowners are installing ductless mini-splits:

    • Avoid the drawbacks of ductwork: By delivering heated and cooled air directly, air doesn’t go through cracked air ducts on its way to all rooms. This can save you nearly 30 percent on your heating and cooling expenses. Along with that, if your residence doesn’t already have ducts, you avoid the inconvenience and cost that comes with adding them.
    • Choose the right temperature for each room: With zoned heating and cooling from a ductless mini-split, you can keep an office cool while maintaining a warm nursery—all while optimizing energy efficiency.
    • Conserve money and energy by not heating and cooling vacant rooms: Securing supply registers in a central HVAC system can throw it off kilter, putting strain on the equipment and invalidating any possible savings. But with individual air handlers in every room, you can heat and cool particular spaces only when you need them.

    Depend on Chief/Bauer Service Experts to Add Your Mini-Split Air Conditioner

    Much like standard HVAC systems, ductless mini-splits need accurate sizing and Expert installation to provide the most efficient performance. Our experienced mini split installers in Champaign can help you determine if a mini-split system will meet your needs. We can then assist with figuring out the precise equipment size and model to make your residence as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.

    For extra details, or to schedule an appointment, get in touch with Chief/Bauer Service Experts at 217-689-2469. You can also schedule an appointment online.

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