If you’re a homeowner in Charleston (especially downtown Charleston), you’ve might of heard from friends, colleagues or other Lowcountry residents about them having their HVAC company install a ductless mini-split hvac unit in their home rather than a traditional central air conditioner.
If you’re not familiar with how a “ductless” air conditioner might work and if it could be right for your home, here’s a quick rundown of mini-split systems for you to review.
Similar to central air conditioners, the heart of the mini-split system has components on the inside and outside of your home that work together to cool or heat your home.
The largest difference is that the inside unit is much smaller and isn’t connected to any integrated duct work in your home.
Instead the mini-split system provides cooling to one room (or zone) that the indoor unit is installed in. Multiple indoor units in each room/zone in your house then connect to the outdoor unit — via a small conduit line — to form a multi-zone ductless mini-split HVAC system. Each room/zone then can be independently controlled operated according to each one’s comfort needs.
One of the main advantages of a mini-split system is its efficiency. Temperature conditioned air is pushed directly into each room in your home, which means no energy is lost by having to push it around in ductwork. This ultimately can lead to large energy savings in the right circumstances.
The other obvious advantage to these systems is no ducts required. This means if you have an older home that doesn’t have ductwork already installed or if you’re building an addition onto your home that will be difficult to connect to your existing ductwork, then a mini-split system can give you the comfort you need without having the pain of retrofitting new ductwork.
Also, if you’re having your ductwork constantly flood out, a mini-split is a great way to avoid having to clean/replace that ductwork as you’ll no longer require those to transport air around your home.
While there aren’t many disadvantages to systems like these, when there are several rooms/zones — it can be difficult to run the needed conduit from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. That said, an experienced HVAC company (we’ve done several large homes) will have no problem scouting and running the conduit in larger houses with multiple units.
The other disadvantage is the aesthetic of the indoor unit. Whereas a traditional central ac has most of its components hidden in attics or closets, the mini-split’s indoor unit will have to be mounted and visible in each room.
Mini-split system designs are very sleek, however and most homeowners and business owners barely notice them after time.
If you believe your home or business can take advantage of the flexibility and efficiency of a ductless mini-split system mentioned above, then it can definitely be a great choice for year-round comfort anywhere you need it.
Ultimately, if you have any questions about mini-split systems and whether they would be right for your home or other building, having a professional HVAC company come out and take a look is always the best way to be sure.