Pros and Cons of Ductless Mini-Split Systems
Split-type air conditioners are almost everywhere these days.
They are more noticeable indoors than central air conditioning systems with mere vents for indoor components.
A ductless mini-split system has no visible or hidden ductwork within a structure’s walls, but its indoor units aren’t as discreet as vents.
While conventional HVAC systems are standard in the United States, air conditioners require more energy-efficient components to produce good indoor air quality without significant surges in energy costs.
The erratic rising temperatures in today’s climate have left Americans trying to keep their home cool with rapidly increasing utility bills for the summer.
If you live somewhere with a Mediterranean climate, like Utah, your energy bills consistently spike during the summer months.
Enter the ductless mini-split system!
Mini-Split Air Conditioning: Outdoor and Indoor Units
The more advanced HVAC system has gained prominence over the years in line with climate change.
They are reportedly more efficient in managing heating and cooling. Its sophisticated system is more compact and housed within fewer units, making air exchange more direct.
The swift transmission is thanks to its lack of ductwork. Air travels from one component to the other.
One outdoor unit and one indoor unit comprise a ductless mini-split system.
Outdoor Units (Condenser)
The outdoor unit, called the outdoor condenser, is responsible for collecting outdoor air. It also houses thermal control systems.
The heat pumps manage temperatures by either storing or releasing heat indoors, depending on the area’s local climate and the homeowner’s preference.
The air gathered by the condenser is filtered and processed before conditioning for indoor transmission.
Air flow is swiftly transmitted from one component to another without going through ducting systems to reach various outlets.
It is primarily one outdoor and one indoor unit, but multi-zone systems incorporate more indoor units.
Indoor Air Handlers
Indoor units are also known as indoor air handlers. They are responsible for managing air indoors by lowering or heightening temperatures.
All indoor units come with their own control system, a remote controller, or a thermostat. Each room can be set to different temperatures, granting users more liberty.
Multi-splits work more efficiently due to their systematic independence from centralized air conditioning, bypassing significant distribution efforts for heating and cooling an entire home.
What’s the Difference Between a Ducted System and Ductless Air Conditioning?
While the main difference between newer and more traditional HVAC systems is their ductwork, more differences are beneath the surface.
These include the flexibility of its hardware, the cost of its functions, and its overall efficiency.
Central air conditioning may be practical for commercial establishments like malls, office buildings, and restaurants.
However, residential homes with more than one resident might have trouble controlling temperatures and keeping up with energy costs.
Mini-splits offer users more liberty and independence.
While its initial cost might be higher than central air conditioner options, it will save you more over time.
Mini-Split Systems: Pros
You might be seeing more and more of this technology at your friend’s house, local grocer, or neighborhood coffee shop.
If you’re considering changing out your current AC system, here are a few reasons why you should consider it.
Common Problems with Central Air Conditioners
A traditional HVAC system requires more room for installation. The central system manages air through ductwork that goes all-around your home’s foundation.
Some large air ducts are built within walls, ceilings, and flooring. You can opt for visible ducting. However, it can be unsightly for some guests.
It also costs more as add-ons to any structure, requiring more demolition and building back up to make room for its necessary ductwork. It provides home and business owners with fewer interior design options.
Central systems also require more maintenance with an increased risk for contamination should you miss an annual tune-up service.
All in all, it can cost you more in the long run. Here are some of Americans’ most common central heating and cooling systems problems.
- Flexibility: Temperature control is a significant issue with central air conditioning. The whole system sustains one temperature and distributes air according to that standard. However, it doesn’t always succeed. If one area’s temperature is naturally different than all others, it requires air that’s conditioned to be at a higher or lower temperature to achieve uniform room temperature. Natural temperatures and varying preferences aren’t the only issues you could have with central heating systems. Short cycling is one of the most common problems anyone could have with air conditioners.It happens when it’s too cold outside, and your systems are running too cool. It could shut down when your system assumes the desired temperature has been reached.
When you share one heating and cooling system, everyone is affected.
- Efficiency: Central air conditioners possess a more conventional heat pump, which requires more power to sustain a constant air flow between outdoor and indoor units. Air going through lengthy and drawn-out ducts take up more resources to maintain air distribution for the whole house. It is less cost-efficient in delivering warm or cool air.
- Costs: Homeowners might notice a much higher electricity bill than they are used to come summertime. Air exchange that goes through ductwork is more susceptible to air escaping through abrasions that may be too thin or too small for the naked eye to see. When air escapes through ducting systems, it will be harder to sustain indoor temperatures. Some of its components might overcompensate and take up more energy. You will pay more for the indoor quality you are used to due to your unit’s overcompensation.
- Maintenance and Tune-Ups: An HVAC professional will sometimes have to crawl inside the ductwork to give the entire system a thorough cleaning. While general cleaning only involves dismantling the indoor vents and its outdoor condenser unit, some instances call for dislodging things caught within the ductwork. Debris, loose parts, and rodents are just some things that get caught within your central AC’s ductwork. Anything that gets into your ductwork may clog filtration and distribution, leading to energy loss and higher electricity costs.
The Mini-Split Systems Solution
Here are some of the most significantly more effective solutions mini-split systems offer your home.
Mini-splits condition one room instead of your whole home, giving your family and friends the freedom to set their desired temperature.
Instead of family members and guests piling on blankets for temperatures too low and going commando for higher temperatures, they can set their thermostat to their comfort level.
Independent temperature control, among other perks, makes mini-split systems a more viable alternative for homeowners looking for more affordable options.Its ductless system is a more energy-efficient option. When indoor air handlers are switched off, so are its corresponding outdoor condensers.This lessens electricity costs and the negative impacts on the environment.Additionally, only one unit suffers from short cycling. It is more manageable to rectify issues one unit has than deal with various indoor units affected by one issue.
The shorter the distance ductless systems have for air to travel allows the mini-split’s cooling system to be more cost-efficient.Air conditioning travels through shorter tubes within a mini-split unit, which requires less energy to fulfill.The less distribution required and fewer chances for air loss reduce the risk of air and energy loss.
- Maintenance and Tune-Ups
Ductless mini-split systems have fewer components, making maintaining them an easier feat for licensed HVAC technicians.Ductless mini-splits are more compact, and their systems are configured more strategically to reduce risks of contamination and clogging.A licensed technician will have an easier time dismantling and managing your air conditioner’s indoor air handler and outdoor unit than dealing with over-sized heating and cooling systems.Critical components within ductless systems are easier to locate, inspect, and reach, making its annual maintenance and repair service quicker and less costly.
The Bottom Line
Those living in hotter climates can save more with a ductless mini-split system than an AC unit with a ducted system.
Consider a ductless system if you build a new structure or conduct renovations. They are easier to install into fundamental structures, and you don’t have to rip into your ceiling to install air ducts. Integrating their systems into any wall will only require a small hole.
While they are more manageable, they aren’t flawless.
The Cons of Ductless Systems
A ductless system will cool down or heat up enclosed spaces quickly and reliably for lower utility costs. However, some things bother users.
- Aesthetics: Not everyone is used to seeing an indoor handler as big as mini-split systems. Some prefer vents embedded into your wall or ceiling rather than large units protruding from them. If you can live with an arguably minor setback, you can save more than a few bucks with every billing cycle.
- Upfront Costs: Upfront costs turn some off as they are typically fifteen to thirty percent higher than your average air conditioner. A central system might save you more on initial costs if you have larger commercial spaces.
- Noise Level: Some have an issue with the noise mini-split systems produce indoors.
Its larger indoor handler might be louder than some central air conditioning vents. However, some noises are only due to poor maintenance and can be remedied by a thorough cleaning.
Contrary to Popular Belief
Mini-split systems are not a luxury buy.
While you pay more upfront, they will save you more in the long run. Its more manageable and sustainable systems help keep your purse strings intact when summer rolls around.
Instead of thinking about how much more you are paying for one unit, you can consider it an investment.
You aren’t just paying for an air conditioner; with mini-split systems, you pay for liberty, efficiency, and sustainability.
Thanks to its multi-zoning methods, you can also connect more than one indoor handler to one outdoor condenser, reducing its initial cost.
What is Multi-Zoning?
When you install one condenser to serve one indoor component, that’s called single-zoning.
However, you can install one condenser to manage multiple indoor handlers.
Multi-zoning uses less hardware while remaining equally effective as single-zoning.
The condenser will carry out the same initial process, such as filtration, but thermal conditioning can still be set individually per zone.
Each indoor handler will still have its own thermostat or remote controller.
In hotter states like Utah, multi-zoning is ideal for smaller homes. One condenser may evenly distribute high-quality air up to two zones.
Needless to say, entrust all installations, maintenance, and repairs to a reliable contractor or technician.
It could mean trouble when one component, especially the condenser, is haphazardly handled.
Don’t settle for less reliable or inexperienced contractors. Look for licensed HVAC technicians to conduct any work on your heating and cooling systems.
What Are My Options?
Flexibility is one of the most significant perks of ductless systems.
Typically, a wall installation is a go-to placement. Still, there are other places you can choose.
The drop ceiling placement is more convenient for some, while others prefer floor-standing units.
Floor-mounted mini-splits are more common in sprawling spaces but carry out the same functions and efficiency as their hanging counterparts.
The Best HVAC Technician in Sandy, Utah
If you are within Sandy, you are within our service area.
You won’t have to DIY drilling holes into your wall to integrate new heating and cooling devices.
Don’t risk your health and safety by conducting your own maintenance and repairs.
Leave that to us!
Reach Out to One Stop Heating and Air Conditioning Now
If you are considering an upgrade, we can help you with that.
We’ll let you know what’s best for your space and how you can stay cool for summer!
We can also conduct the necessary inspections of your current system and help keep it in tip-top shape.
Visit our website for installations, repairs, and routine maintenance.
We’re there for you 24/7.
Our phone lines are also open for immediate concerns and emergencies.
Call (801) 355-9500
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