Is a Ductless Mini Split A/C Unit Right for You?

Do you have a home that has rooms that are not getting the benefits of air conditioning in the summer? Or maybe you have central air conditioning, but hate spending money to cool the whole house when only a room or two would be sufficient. One option to cool one area without the need for duct installation is a ductless mini spit A/C unit. These smaller, compact A/C units are perfect for cooling confined areas without using a large central air system. 

Uses for a Mini Split A/C Unit

Mini split A/C do not need to be connected to a duct system, making them quick and affordable to install. The smaller units are comprised of a compressor, condenser and an air handling unit that do not need ductwork. These are self-contained and much more energy efficient than running a large system. Some of the ways these can be used include: 

  • Garages and out buildings. If you have a garage or other outbuildings that do not have air conditioning, a mini split is a great option to cool these other areas.
  • New additions. Did you add a room to your home? Instead of spending the money to have this extra room connected to your large A/C system, a mini split might be an alternative.
  • Energy savings. If you find you are only using one area of your home, yet paying to cool the entire home, adding a mini split could give you the option of only cooling a bedroom or living area to save on energy. 

Talk to your local HVAC contractor about the benefits of adding a mini split A/C unit to your home or shop area.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
Marietta, GA
(770) 475-9564

Uneven Cooling Solutions

Many homes with central air conditioning systems have problems with some rooms not being cooled as much as other rooms.  This is especially true for two story homes or additions.  Some homeowners use window air conditioning units to provide extra cooling in warmer rooms.  A window air conditioner has the advantage of low initial cost and easy installation, but they are noisy and take up space in the window.

A quieter, less obtrusive, and more efficient alternative is to install a ductless mini-split system.  The initial cost of a mini-split system is higher and they must be installed by a professional HVAC contractor, but they are much more efficient than a window air conditioner.  In addition, since the outdoor condenser/compressor unit is mounted away from the window, the noise level is much lower and they are not as obtrusive.  Also, most mini-split systems are heat pumps so they can be used for heating as well as cooling.

A mini-split system works much like a central air conditioner.  It has an outside condenser/compressor unit which is connected to the indoor evaporator cooling coils by refrigerant lines.  In a standard central air conditioning system, the cooling coils are located inside a duct system.  A fan cools the air by blowing it across the coils and through a system of ductwork that distributes the cool air around the home.

In a mini-split system, the cooling coils are located in a small enclosure inside the room and fan blows air across the coils and directly into the room to be cooled.  Some mini-split systems use a single outdoor unit to indoor wall units in several rooms.

If your home has uneven cooling issues, talk to your HVAC contractor to see if a mini-split system would be a good solution for you.

Ductless Mini-Split Systems

Central air conditioning systems or heat pumps are the most common types of systems used for cooling most homes.  These systems are very similar.  They each have an outside compressor unit connected to the indoor cooling coils by refrigerant lines.  The indoor coils are located inside of the ductwork and a fan or blower blows air across the cooling coils.  The ductwork distributes the cooled air throughout the home. The primary difference between a heat pump and a central air conditioner is that a heat pump can operate in reverse to heat a home in cooler months.

In some homes, a ductless mini-split system may be a better alternative than a traditional central air conditioner or heat pump.  A mini-split system is similar to a central air conditioner or heat pump.  It has an outdoor compressor unit connected to an indoor cooling coil.  However, in a mini-split system the cooling coil is mounted in a small wall mounted unit inside the room.  A fan blows cool air across the coils directly into the room. In larger mini-split systems, a separate wall mounted unit is installed in each room of the home.

Since mini-split systems do not rely on a system of ducts to distribute the cool air, they are more efficient than traditional central air conditioning systems or heat pumps.  Also, the temperature in each room can be controlled independently.  This makes mini-split systems an excellent alternative for homes that may cool unevenly such as two story homes or homes that more direct sunlight in certain rooms.

Mini-split systems can also be an excellent choice for a home that does not have a duct system such as home that use baseboard heating or some other type of radiant heating system.  They are also a great alternative for room additions or for finishing unheated and cooled space such as an attic or basement.