Pros and Cons of Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners

Pros and Cons of Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners

A ductless mini split air conditioner is a newer alternative for cooling your home. You will commonly find them in residential homes, apartments, commercial spaces, and buildings where traditional ductwork installation is impractical or costly. Before we jump into the pros and cons of the ductless mini split air conditioner, let’s first get on the same page about its definition.

What is a ductless mini split air conditioner?

This type of air conditioner includes one outdoor unit and one indoor unit, connected by refrigerant tubing and electrical wiring. The indoor units, which you mount on walls or ceilings, contain the evaporator and a fan to distribute the conditioned air.

The outdoor unit contains the compressor, condenser, and other components responsible for cooling or heating the air. You install it outside the building, typically on a wall, roof, or on the ground.

A ductless mini split is responsible for cooling specific zones or rooms. You can control each unit independently, allowing for personalized temperature settings in different areas of the building.

Note that there are mini splits that can both heat and cool your home, making them useful year-round. It eliminates the need for separate heating systems and ensures consistent comfort throughout the year. We will cover heat pumps in a later post.

Benefits of ductless mini split air conditioners

Easy installation

A ductless mini split system is relatively easy to install. As its name implies, it doesn’t require extensive ductwork, which is costly and time-consuming to install. Instead, the indoor and outdoor units are connected by a small refrigerant line, requiring only a small hole in the wall for installation. This makes it a great option for retrofitting older homes or buildings where installing ductwork can be a problem.

Energy efficient

The ductless mini split system is energy efficient. They offer cooling zones so you can cool specific areas or rooms of your home instead of the entire house. In contrast, central air is known to be less efficient. Energy is lost as it travels through the ductwork of a central air system.

Since the mini split air conditioner delivers the air directly into the area it serves, energy isn’t wasted. It also allows for more precise temperature control, which results in an added benefit of reduced utility bills!

Improved air quality

Traditional central air systems accumulate dust and other contaminants in their ducts. These contaminants will then circulate throughout a building. A ductless mini split system eliminates this concern since there is no ductwork. Most come equipped with an advanced filtration system, helping improve indoor air quality by reducing dust, pollen, and other particles.

Less noise

The ductless mini split air conditioner is quiet! The compressor, which generates the most noise, is located outside, while the indoor unit produces minimal noise. This makes a mini split system a good option for bedrooms, offices, or any areas that need a quiet, comfortable environment.

Increased home security

Unlike window AC units, ductless mini splits can be installed permanently into your walls. This eliminates any potential access to your home if someone can remove the window unit. The small hole needed for installation is easier to seal and provides less opportunity for intruders to enter the premises.

Disadvantages of ductless mini splits

Cost

Ductless mini split systems tend to have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional central air conditioning systems or window units. The cost includes the outdoor unit, indoor units, refrigerant lines, and installation. Units can be a few thousand dollars depending on the brand and size you decide on.

However, the long-term energy savings and other benefits can offset the initial investment. Plus your state may have tax credits or rebates, which can help offset the initial cost.

Appearance

While the design of the system is compact and discreet, you still need to install the system on walls or ceilings throughout your home. These units can be unattractive and distracting and may not align with your home’s décor.

Conventional systems have their ductwork hidden behind walls or ceilings. Ductless mini split systems require an indoor unit for every area they are heating or cooling. This adds to the visual clutter of your space. If appearance is a concern, consider these visual aspects to determine if they’re the right choice for your home.

Maintenance

Like all heating and cooling systems, ductless mini split systems require some regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly all year round. Clean the filters regularly, at least every three months. Be sure to check for leaks in the refrigerant tubing and repair if necessary. And keep the outdoor unit clear of debris and leaves.

Performance in extreme temperatures

The ductless mini split may have an issue heating or cooling your home in extreme cold or hot climates, reducing comfort and efficiency. They lose efficiency when temperature dips below freezing or above 95 degrees. If you live in an area that has extreme weather, you may need to add a supplemental heating or cooling source to maintain your desired indoor temperature.

Is a ductless mini split worth it?

It’s important to note that while ductless mini split systems offer many benefits, they may not be the ideal choice for every situation. You should contact an expert who will help you consider other factors such as the size of the space, climate conditions, and individual preferences.