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What Is a Mini-Split System?

When you think of air conditioning, most people automatically think of a type of central air conditioning. However, this is just one of several different types of options when it comes to being able to air condition your home. This is important because that means you may be able to find the perfect solution to your air conditioning needs, especially if you just need to add cooling to one particular space or want to do so on a limited budget.

Perhaps the best option in these situations is to purchase a “mini-split” system. These types of air conditioners usually cost just a few hundred dollars or so, can be installed easily in a few hours with little impact to your home, and are remarkably energy-efficient. This makes them ideal for cooling a garage, basement, or an addition to your house. What’s best is using a mini-split system to control these spaces allows you to keep them controlled without having to completely re-route your existing duct system or upgrade your existing air conditioner, which saves you a ton of money.

Advantages of a Mini-Split System

A “split” air conditioner is one that has a separate indoor and outdoor unit. There are systems where the indoor and outdoor pieces are part of the same piece of equipment, such as a window unit, but these systems are generally less flexible in terms of your installation options. Central air conditioning is a type of split system, but on a grand scale. A mini-split system is a type of air conditioning with a separate indoor and outdoor unit, but on a small scale, usually designed to cool just a single room. This means you’ll get all the advantages of having flexibility in terms of unit installation and placement while still in a convenient, small size.

Here are a few other advantages of this type of setup:

Limited Home Interruption

When installing a non-split unit, you’ll either have to sacrifice a window to the cause, losing your ability to ever open it again, or you’ll have to cut a hole in your wall, mount the system, and then wire it into your main electrical grid. Very few people are willing to cut a hole large enough to mount one of these systems, so right away this eliminates non-split systems from consideration for most homeowners.

A mini-split unit, meanwhile, usually requires nothing more than one to three small holes in your walls leading outside: one for the electrical work between your indoor and outdoor units, and two others for refrigerant lines (one going out, one coming back in. In some cases, these can all be fed through the same single hole. Most mini-split kits will come with a pieces that insulates this hole, sealing any air leaks while still allowing the lines to leave your home properly.

No Need for Ducts

Most mini-split systems are designed with the intake and output vents on the same single box as the indoor cooling unit, including your evaporator coils. As a result, you don’t have to worry about tearing open your walls to install ducts that will carry the air throughout your home: everything is taken care of right on the same piece of equipment, which is often mounted to your wall with nothing more than a few simple screws. Minimal wall damage means minimal install time, minimal expense, and minimal hassle, and a much better overall experience.

Low Energy Consumption

Because these systems don’t have to cool your entire home, they produce just a fraction of the air of a central system, and thus use just a fraction of the energy, saving you a ton of money. What’s even better is that when used in an appropriately-sized space, such as your garage, you’ll probably notice how cool they can make the room even faster because of how quickly they work. However, they’re not ideal for replacing a whole-home system; their limited output can handcuff them quickly.

Should You Get One?

Should you get a mini-split system? That depends on your needs. If you’re looking for a cooling solution for your entire home, you should probably consider a central air conditioning solution, particularly if you have a larger home. A mini-split system, ductless or not, is not designed to cool a large space. Furthermore, running several of these units at a time to keep a larger home cool isn’t going to save you a ton of energy and will lead to inconsistent temperatures.

However, if you’re looking for an air conditioning solution for a space such as a single bedroom, addition, basement, or garage, a mini-split system is the perfect solution, offering flexible control, convenience, effective cooling, and ease of use, all for a much lower cost than adding and re-working your home’s duct system to include it in your central heating and air conditioning.

Need a mini-split system installed in your home? Our Palm Beach County air conditioning experts are standing by! Call Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC today at (888) 660-4337!

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