It’s almost spring in much of North America, which means it’s time once again to tune up your air conditioner or send it to the big home improvement store in the sky. Even an older A/C unit that’s still functional may need to be replaced simply because of how inefficiently it’s running.
Before you shell out for a new central air system for some or all of your living space, it might be time to look at your options. Here are five good reasons to switch to a ductless mini-split air conditioning system.
What Is Ductless Mini-Split System?
Like all air conditioners, ductless mini-split systems rely on the expansion and contraction of refrigerant moving through a closed system to affect the temperature of a room. But instead of pushing cold air through long networks of ducts and vents, mini-splits cool the air right where it’s needed. This means that air never has to travel through ducts and complicated installations aren’t necessary.
These systems are incredibly popular in parts of Asia, especially where small living spaces are the norm. They are slowly catching on in the US as an alternative to both central heat and air systems and older forms of non-ducted climate control.
The Big Secret of Mini-Splits and Five Other Reasons to Own Them
The neat thing about most ductless mini-splits is that they’re actually heat pumps, rather than air conditioners. A heat pump is nearly identical to an air conditioner, but it has a switching valve that can change whether it’s pushing hot air into a room or pulling it out, giving you more climate control options.
Pretty cool, huh?
But that’s not all there is to these tiny wonders. Oh no. These are other great reasons to install a mini-split system this spring:
- You can finally afford to cool spaces that weren’t built into your home’s original ductwork.Because mini-splits are inexpensive to acquire and need very little in the way of installation, your garage, workshop, added-on rec room, attic conversion and so many other spaces can finally be appropriately climate controlled. The small size of the units and tiny holes that are required to connect the indoor unit to the outdoor one make them good for almost any room.
- Every room in your home can be custom climate controlled. Yes, you heard it here first. Because each indoor mini-split unit is essentially its own system, you can set each one to a different temperature and expect that the room will actually reach the target temp. No more trying to balance your 80 degree office with your 70 degree living room, they can both cruise at a comfortable 72 degrees all the time.
- You’ll save money and use less energy. They do tend to go hand-in-hand. Since you’re not having to produce enough cold air to push through ductwork that is likely both a bit leaky and also just inefficient due to a lack of insulation, your ductless mini-splits are already hugely more efficient than their central cooling counterparts. According to Fujitsu, just one manufacturer of these units, homeowners generally see a savings of up to 24 percent on their utility bills when they make the switch.
- They’re so smart! Smart home technology isn’t anything new, but it has yet to gain wide acceptance in the heating and air space. Ductless mini-splits are often fully loaded with WiFi controls that you can access from anywhere without adding any additional equipment like a smart thermostat, which can run you a couple hundred dollars extra per room.
- And super reliable. Because they have so few moving parts and no ductwork to speak of, mini-splits rarely suffer significant breakdowns. They’re easy to maintain and they only need a little bit of attention throughout the year.