When you want to condition a space that you’ve renovated or are going to add to your home, consider a mini split for heating and cooling. This option doesn’t use ducts to distribute the air, but instead blows the air directly into a room. Besides not having to sacrifice space for ducts, ductless systems offer energy efficiency, easy installation and flexibility.
- Energy efficiency: These systems have to meet the same energy standards that heat pumps do, which is a SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, rating of 13. Because the mini splits don’t use ducts, their efficiency is higher since no air is lost to duct leaks or from thermal losses that occur in uninsulated ducts. An upgrade that makes the ductless system even more efficient is a variable-speed motor that runs the fan. Also called electronically commutated motors, these use less electricity to run. Besides being quieter, the motor runs more slowly, which helps remove more humidity.
- Easy installation: Not having ducts eliminates the time and expense associated with central heat pump installation. A ductless system has an outdoor compressor and an indoor air handler. A conduit connects the two and contains the refrigerant, drainpipe, power and a vacuum line. The HVAC technician doesn’t have to charge the system on-site, since the refrigerant has been installed at the factory. The conduit connects the air handler and condenser. Small mini splits can be plugged directly into 110-volt outlets, while larger systems may require a separate circuit.
- Flexibility: Larger condensers can support up to four separate air handlers, which makes it possible to expand the system down the road. The air handler can sit on the floor or hang from a wall or ceiling. Each air handler has its own temperature controls, giving room occupants choices as to the indoor temperature.
If you have a space in your home that’s hard to cool or you’re adding on, please contact Rite Way Ventilating Co. We’ve provided HVAC services to homeowners in the Tucson area since 1959.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about mini splits and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.