Why Home and Business Owners are Choosing Mini-Split Systems

A businesswoman wearing a red long sleeve shirt using a digital tablet at home while sitting comfortably on a sofa at home.

Have you noticed an increase in the number of mini-splits in other homes, offices, or your favorite local establishments? As an HVAC company, we’ve witnessed this trend firsthand. Yet, for many, the rationale behind this shift remains puzzling, especially given the enduring popularity of traditional HVAC systems. While traditional systems still dominate the market, mini-splits have gained significant momentum due to their suitability for various situations and settings. Understanding the many reasons behind the rising popularity of mini-splits requires understanding the technology and its exceptional climate control abilities.

Mini-splits, the air-source heat pumps that operate independently of ductwork, are built for convenience. Among the various heat pump options, such as geothermal and ducted air-source, they are the least intrusive solution for buildings without ductwork. A ductless mini-split system consists of an outdoor unit and one or more indoor air-handling units connected by refrigerant lines and electrical cables. Their simplified configuration streamlines operation, installation, and maintenance processes, offering a hassle-free solution.

Efficiency in Many Forms

Ductless mini-splits are extremely energy efficient HVAC systems.

The efficiency of mini-split systems stems from their ability to generate more energy (in the form of hot or cool air) than they consume (in electricity). At the heart of a mini-split’s operation lies the refrigeration cycle, which entails transferring heat from one location to another. Unlike traditional systems that rely on fuel or electricity for temperature adjustments, mini-splits utilize refrigerant to capture heat, which is then harnessed within the system to regulate indoor temperatures. Refrigerant’s remarkable capacity to capture heat, even in sub-zero conditions, ensures mini-splits remain highly effective regardless of outdoor weather, ensuring year-round indoor comfort.

In heating mode, a mini-split utilizes a remote control to adjust the indoor air handler’s thermostat. Once the desired temperature is set, the heat exchanger within the mini-split absorbs heat from the outside environment using refrigerant. The outdoor unit then processes the refrigerant, raising its temperature through evaporation and condensation to match the thermostat setting before sending it through the refrigerant lines into the indoor unit. The indoor unit then uses the refrigerant’s heat to adjust the air temperature and circulate it throughout the space.

Cooling mode operates similarly. The indoor air handler removes hot air from the indoors based on the thermostat setting. The refrigerant absorbs this heat, and the outdoor unit alters it so it can be safely released outdoors. Simultaneously, the indoor air handler circulates the cooled air throughout the building.

We have covered how the heat pump technology used by mini-split systems creates more energy than it uses, however the design of these systems yields itself to further efficiencies. Traditional HVAC systems lose a significant amount of energy through ductwork. It’s estimated that duct losses can account for more than 30% of air conditioning energy consumption. Mini-splits eliminate this concern by delivering conditioned air directly. The result? Reduced energy waste and lower utility bills.

Installation & Versatility

Mini-splits offer both heating and cooling eliminating the need for separate HVAC systems.

Another reason home and business owners are turning to mini-splits instead of traditional systems is the assurance of a surprise-free, straightforward experience. Unlike ducted systems, which require meticulous planning and extensive ductwork installation, mini-split systems offer a predictable installation experience with minimal disruption. And you’ll never have to replace ductwork if it isn’t needed! Perhaps the most versatile aspect of mini-splits, is that many of them can heat and cool. By investing in a dual-function system, users eliminate the need for separate heating and cooling systems, reducing both installation and maintenance costs. Furthermore, the ductless design of mini-splits allows for flexible installation in virtually any location, making them an ideal solution for spaces where traditional ducted systems are impractical or impossible to install, such as basements, attics, home additions, and sunrooms.

Hyper-Specific Zoning

Mini-splits excel at maintaining varying climates throughout a building simultaneously. Unlike traditional systems, which may offer zoned heating and cooling but lack specificity, mini-splits deliver precise temperature control for each zone without the influence of shared ductwork. This feature allows occupants to customize the temperature of their zone to suit individual preferences and requirements. Whether managing temperature variations between a commercial kitchen and dining area or optimizing comfort in an office setting, zoning capabilities enhance energy efficiency and comfort by heating or cooling only occupied spaces as needed. Many office managers also know how temperature impacts productivity at work. Zoning is helpful if you only want to heat or cool rooms when occupied or adjust them around the weather to save on your electricity bill.

Quiet Operation

Mini-splits offer whisper quiet operation for spaces where peace and quiet is desired.

In residential and commercial environments alike, quiet operation is often appreciated. Mini-split systems deliver on this front, offering exceptionally quiet operation, making them ideal for bedrooms, offices, or anywhere else where peace and quiet are desired.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

Mini-splits are excellent at air filtration, improving indoor air quality, and this feature is essential for maintaining a healthy home or business. By filtering out allergens and pollutants, mini-splits help to alleviate respiratory issues and maintain a clean and comfortable indoor climate.

Sustainability and Environmental Impact

Some home and business owners prioritize environmental friendliness when making purchases, and mini-splits are a great choice because their energy-efficient performance translates to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller ecological footprint.

Space Savings

Ductless mini-splits are great solutions for small living spaces.

Their compact size and ductless design reduce the room needed for HVAC equipment in the home or business, making mini-splits desirable to those working with limited space.

Smart technology options

Modern mini-splits often have smart technology integration that allows for remote temperature control from a smart device. This capability enables users to adjust settings based on occupancy, weather conditions, and other factors, maximizing energy savings and convenience.

Long lifespan

With proper maintenance and care, mini-split systems can provide reliable performance for over 15 years, offering long-term durability and value for home and business owners.

If your question isn’t answered here, contact the Pierce Refrigeration team, and one of our experts will guide you in finding your solution.

Need 24-7 emergency service? Looking for advice on improving your everyday air quality and comfort at home and work? Contact the friendly staff at Pierce Refrigeration at 800-696-1088 or email us at: info@piercerefrig.com.

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