5 Reasons to Consider Ductless Mini-Splits
Ah, the garage. The original man cave. It’s where you keep your tools and it’s the staging area for household projects. It can also be a brick oven, as hot as 110 degrees in the summertime. You would never think about spending more time out there than you have to, especially with the garage door closed. Too bad it isn’t air conditioned. But who ever heard of putting air conditioning in the garage?
Enter ductless mini-split air conditioners. Because of their size and simplicity, they can be installed anywhere, even in a garage. So, why not?
They’re called mini-splits because they’re smaller versions of traditional central air conditioning systems, known as split systems, which have an outdoor compressor/condenser unit and an indoor air handler. The air handler might be placed in its own small closet or hidden behind sheetrock.
With a ductless mini-split, instead of conditioned air flowing through an air handler and ductwork hidden behind sheetrock, there is a single, wall-mounted air handler that can keep the room it’s installed in as cool as you like with the touch of a remote control. A small – perhaps 2-inch-diameter – hole drilled to the outside accommodates a condensate drain line and allows an electrical and a refrigeration line to be connected to the outdoor unit, which has a significantly smaller footprint than regular outdoor units
A Brief History
Ductless air conditioners first hit the market in Japan in 1959 as an answer to the central air conditioning systems being imported from the United States. Because bulky ductwork and noisy compressing/condensing units did not fit into close-knit Japanese neighborhoods with homes typically smaller than those found in America, Japanese engineers reimagined the American central air split system and developed a less obtrusive, ductless mini-split system.
Today in America, ductless systems are creating something of a revolution in residential heating and cooling because of their flexibility and versatility. Here are five reasons why.
- Good for stubbornly hot or cold areas: For all the owners of older homes who have ever wished for a do-over in planning the layout of ductwork, mini-splits are the long sought-after solution for stubbornly hot or cold areas. If you have a basement that’s always too cool or a groovy, Greg Brady-style attic space that’s always too warm, then a ductless system is a great way to solve the problem. And yes, long line lengths between the outdoor and indoor units can reach from the ground all the way up to the attic.
- Good for new construction: Not just for the odd spaces in existing homes that fall into climate twilight zones, ductless mini-splits are providing a new HVAC option in new construction. In homes that are 2,000 square feet or smaller – including trendy tiny houses, which are 1,000 square feet or less – a ductless mini-split can handle the cooling and heating just as well as a traditional central air system.
- Good for the ears: Ductless mini-splits make less noise than a traditional split system. Although the noise level varies among brands and systems, Carrier offers compressors/condensers that produce 50.2 decibels. The typical outdoor compressing/condensing unit of a traditional split system can produce noise as high as 60 decibels.
- Good for versatility: Ductless mini-splits can provide zone control to cool or heat multiple rooms in your home. One compressor/condenser can operate several air handlers. To achieve this with a traditional split system, you would have to modify your air ducts with internal dampers to make a zoned system work.
- Good for the bottom line: As with anything electrical system, the more efficiently something operates, the less energy it requires. Ductless mini-splits typically have higher SEER or “seasonal energy efficiency ratio” ratings than traditional split systems. In fact, the best ductless systems are rated up to 27 SEER, with the best central systems topping out at 21 SEER.
With virtually endless configuration options, a Carrier ductless mini-split provides flexibility to work where traditional split systems cannot. To learn more about this highly versatile HVAC option, call Barineau Heating and Air Conditioning at (850) 580-4029.