Old house house renovation.

What is a ductless mini split heating and cooling system?

A ductless mini split heating and cooling system is an HVAC system that does not require traditional ductwork to distribute conditioned air throughout a building. Instead, it consists of an outdoor unit, which houses the compressor and condenser, and one or more indoor units, which are mounted on walls or ceilings and deliver heated or cooled air directly into the living spaces. These indoor and outdoor units are connected by a conduit that houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain. Ductless mini splits are known for their compact size and flexibility in zoning or heating and cooling individual rooms.

Why use this kind of heating and cooling?

People use ductless mini-split systems for various reasons. One of the main attractions is their ability to provide independent temperature control in different rooms or zones. This leads to enhanced comfort and energy efficiency. They are particularly useful in spaces where extending or installing ductwork is impractical, too expensive, or unsuitable for traditional HVAC systems. Mini splits are also popular in old house renovations, converted attics or garages, and small apartments. They provide an efficient way to manage the climate in specific areas without overhauling the entire heating and cooling system. Watch how we used a ductless mini split in our old house remodel.

How is a ductless mini split installed?

Installation of aDuctless mini split condenser ductless mini split system is generally less invasive and quicker than installing a traditional ducted system. It requires drilling a small hole into the wall to connect the indoor and outdoor units through the conduit. However, proper installation is crucial for optimal performance, and HVAC professionals with experience in mini split systems should carry it out. Factors like the placement of the indoor and outdoor units and the length of the conduit can significantly affect the system’s efficiency and effectiveness. A mini-split condenser can be installed on a pad or stand consisting of a metal frame. The condenser stand is used to elevate the outdoor condenser unit off the ground for protection from any environmental hazards such as pooling water, snow, and ice buildup.

Are ductless mini splits energy efficient?

Ductless mini split systems are often more energy-efficient compared to traditional HVAC systems. They avoid the energy losses associated with ductwork, which can account for more than 30% of energy consumption, especially if the ducts are in unconditioned spaces such as attics or crawl spaces. Mini splits also use inverter-driven compressors that adjust their speed to match the heating or cooling demand, reducing energy consumption and costs. Additionally, the ability to control temperatures in individual rooms prevents the unnecessary heating or cooling of unoccupied spaces, further enhancing their energy efficiency.

Are they worth the cost?

A ductless mini split system is worth considering due to its high energy efficiency, flexibility in providing targeted heating and cooling to individual rooms, and ease of installation, especially in spaces where traditional ducted systems are impractical. It offers significant cost savings over time, thanks to its reduced energy consumption and ability to avoid the energy losses commonly associated with ductwork. Furthermore, the system’s zonal control enhances comfort by allowing different areas of a home or building to be heated or cooled based on specific needs and occupancy, leading to a smarter, more efficient use of energy. Despite the higher initial investment, the long-term benefits of improved energy efficiency, increased comfort, and potential cost savings make ductless mini splits an attractive option for many homeowners and businesses.

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