A ductless mini-split system consists of a heat pump system with an exterior condenser that heats or cools your home. The exterior condenser connects to interior cassettes through mini-split pipes. You can then control each of the cassettes independently, which makes it possible to customize the temperature of different rooms separately. The temperature setting in one cassette is independent of other cassette temperatures in the system.
A Mini-Split Condenser
A condenser or compressor is the heat exchange unit of the HVAC system. It is where the system releases heat from the home or gains it for heating. In a ductless mini-split system, the condenser installs outside the house. Installing the system outdoors allows it access to fresh air to cool the pipes.
A Mini-Split Cassette
The cassette refers to the unit that handles air within the mini-split system. It is responsible for blowing cool or warm air to the room that needs it. A single cassette serves a single room, with larger rooms having more than one cassette. This way, you can set different temperatures for various rooms.
The cassette receives warm or cool air through pipes connecting to the condenser outside. Because you can control cassettes independently, it is possible to have some cassettes off while others are on or have them set to different temperatures.
Ductless Mini-Split Refrigerant Lines
There are no ducts in the lines that connect the entire system. The air that the cassette blows is the recirculated air from one part of the room to the other. Here, the condenser connects to the cassette through a line set in which a refrigerant fluid flows to heat or cool a room. These lines allow the exchange of the refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units. The cassettes also connect to a condensate pipe that drains condensation.
Thermostats and Controls in a Ductless Mini-Split System
Mini-splits give you the convenience of using a remote to control them, but you can also connect them to a thermostat. Using separate thermostats for every room will help you further increase the energy savings by customizing the temperatures in various areas of your residence. You can conserve energy even more by connecting the system to smart thermostats. If you have smart mini-split ACs, you can connect the system to your smartphone and control heating and cooling from an app. This helps you regulate the temperature in different rooms even when you are away from your house.
The mini-split system is a great sustainable option since it makes it easy to control the temperature in various rooms efficiently. You can reduce the energy used to cool or heat unused spaces in your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can reduce energy consumption in heating and cooling by up to 30% when you use a ductless system.
When to Use a Ductless Mini-Split System
You can use a ductless mini-split system in a part of your home or for whole-house heating. If you do not plan to install the ductless system for whole-house heating, there are situations where it can offer an advantage. If you have a new room, say a garage or sunroom, you can correctly size a ductless mini-split system so that you do not overwork an old HVAC system or steal air from other rooms.
The system is also ideal when you need to stop heating some rooms that you never use. If you shut HVAC grilles in rooms you no longer use, you create pressure imbalances and may even cause mold problems. Instead, you can install a ductless mini-split system in the room you use most and set a thermostat to run minimally in the other rooms.
If you need to serve multiple needs in one room, such as when members of a family have different temperature preferences, a ductless mini-split system comes in handy. You can use a ductless system, coupled with thermostats, to create different temperature zones. Although a ducted system also supports a zoning system, it will not be as efficient as a ductless system.
If some rooms have heating and cooling problems, like a small kitchen with a big stove, you can use a ductless system. This saves you the trouble of installing new ductwork. Again, you can add an AC to your property without necessarily installing new ductwork.
The Pros of a Ductless System
A ductless system consists of an indoor unit mounted on a wall and a compressor mounted outdoors. It replaces a baseboard heating or window AC unit that one would consider in a new room. The system is different from a window unit in that it only requires a very small hole in the wall. This reduces the chances of air leakage and security issues. Again, the system is less visible and less audible.
When you remove the ducts, you will have a more energy-efficient system, up to 30% energy savings from heating and cooling. The ductless mini-split system works with inverters that slow down or speed up based on the energy needs of a residence. This is different from traditional ducted systems that shut down completely and consume a lot of energy to start up. You can go for an ENERGY STAR ductless system for more energy savings, and you may even qualify for local utility incentives or federal tax credits.
To get the benefits of a ductless system, you need to size and install it correctly, something that our contractor will help you do. Incorrect sizing and installation can lead to incorrect wall penetration sealing or mishandling of sensitive electronics. Our professionals will help you keep the warranty valid as well as follow EPA guidelines at every stage of the installation.
Situations That Make a Ductless System Challenging to Install
The main challenge in a ductless system is in its cost of installation. If you live in an extremely cold area, you may need to install a fuel-based backup or go with one of the newer ductless models that still handle the load even when the temperature falls below zero.
If you only need the system for a single room, the cost of installation will be several times that of baseboard heating or window units. For whole-house heating, the cost of installing a new ductless system is at least two times that of installing a ducted system. However, the system gives you lower energy bills and makes it easy to heat rooms efficiently and independently.
Maintaining the system requires you to wash the filters of each unit every month. If you smoke or have pets in your home, you need to wash the filters more often. A ductless mini-split system’s fan cannot handle debris, and failure to clean the system might cause it to break down. You can save hundreds of dollars in maintenance by cleaning the filters as often as possible.
Ductless units come in white or beige, two colors that will match with the décor in most houses. After installation, the system operates quietly, and you will forget that it actually exists.
Contact the Pros Today
Contact Polar Air & Heating, Inc. today in the Las Vegas, NV, area for sizing, installation, or maintenance of a ductless mini-split system or any other heating or cooling system, either residential or commercial. Our technicians have the experience and expertise to customize a system to meet your heating and cooling needs. You can also reach out to us with any questions you may have about your equipment.