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What are Ductless Mini-Split Systems and What are the Benefits of Using Them?

Ductless mini-split HVAC systems are state-of-the-art individually zoned heating and cooling systems that don’t require duct work and can be utilized in spaces where traditional ducting is either not feasible or not ideal.

These types of HVAC systems are relatively new here in the United States but are steadily gaining popularity. Since many people aren’t aware of these systems and the benefits they offer, we want to highlight some of these benefits for you.

Even though these types of systems are not as wide-spread as standard ducted systems here in the United States, they are very common overseas and have been for quite some time.  In European cities where existing architecture is much older and harder to duct, they have been the go-to system for many years.  Due to their convenience, energy efficiency and relative ease of placement, they are emerging Stateside as great alternatives to ducted systems when the situation fits.

How do they work?

In a typical installation, you would have a single outside unit (essentially the brain of the system) that branches out to multiple indoor units that can be placed on the walls or even flush mounted in the ceiling of the rooms in your home. These systems operate electrically so there is no need for a separate fuel line.  Every zone has a separate remote control that operates each room/zone independently of the others.  Because the inside wall unit creates the forced air from an internal fan, there is no ducting needed.  Simply a refrigerant line and electrical line that connects from each inside unit to the main outside unit.

The Benefits:

Individually Controlled Rooms

One of the biggest benefits of these systems is being able to control each room independently from other rooms in the house with a separate remote for each inside zone.  With traditional ducted systems, it is not uncommon to have one room (or a handful of rooms) that are perpetually hot or cold compared to the rest of the home.  This is especially true for two story homes.  Although there are options to even out these temperature discrepancies with traditional systems, a mini-split system really shines in this area.  On top of that, most people within a household have different preferences for how cool they like to keep their respective rooms.  These systems allow for one room to be set at a modest 73° while another family member can keep their room crisp at 68° without interfering with one another.

Energy Efficiency

With an all electric operation, properly installed and configured mini-split systems can be incredibly energy efficient.  This is especially true if you either have, or plan on getting, solar panels or solar operated battery systems in your home.  In some cases, depending on the battery capacity of your solar system, a mini-split system can be run entirely off of battery power which means full HVAC functionality during a power outage.

Renovations, Additions and Separate Structures

Pretty much all standard family homes in the United States are built with HVAC ducting in mind.  That said, when renovating a home with additional space/rooms, or outfitting a separate structure on your property, it can become tricky to tie these additions into an existing ducted system.  By adding a mini-split system to these locations, you can save quite a bit on engineering new ducts and bypass the process of figuring out where to put new duct work altogether. This also means you can run a single-room mini-split system for that hard-to-duct room or area without interfering with your existing ducted system.

The bottom line is that it’s best to know your HVAC options! If you are replacing your HVAC system, upgrading to a new system, or looking for HVAC ideas in your new building project, Bob’s Air Repair is here to help.