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Mini split air conditioners are those that are installed without central air systems, and are used for cooling or heating your place. These systems do not use ductwork or ducted air supply, and thus cannot be mounted in certain spots. These air conditioners are also called ductless air conditioning systems, given that they function in the same way as ducted central AC units, although on a smaller scale. Click here to see the youtube video on how to install a mini split.

What is a Mini Split AC?

A mini split AC unit is something like a hybrid between a small window unit and a central air conditioning system. It is referred to as split because it consists of two basic components – an air handler that is installed into a wall inside the house, and a compressor that is attached outside the house. The indoor system includes a blower, an air handling unit and an evaporator, while the outdoor system has a compressor and a condenser.

Your refrigerator at home functions by removing the heat out of it and releasing it out in the kitchen. However in this process, you do not detect any heat in your fridge. You observe that the refrigerator is cool inside, but you can feel hot air being released on top of it or at the back.

The split system AC operates in the same process. It takes the heat of a particular area and releases it outside, thereby leaving the cool air inside.

These mini split units can be a combination of a single zone or a multi zone. It means that you may choose to cool or heat a single room only, or you can pick a few areas to heat or cool the entire residence.

For example, a single split unit AC is probably what you need to cool or heat your family room. With a multiple AC system, you can get a couple of condenser units outside the house, and have two to four indoor evaporator/blower systems inside. A mini split air conditioner usually has a remote control device that allows you to easily control which areas of the house to cool or heat.

Benefits of a Mini Split AC

The main benefits of a mini split AC are listed below:

  • Most models have up to four indoor air-handling systems, specifically for the four areas or rooms attached to one outdoor system.
  • It is smaller in size and flexible type, when it comes to where it can be installed or which area it should cool or heat.
  • The number of units installed is determined by how much cooling or heating is needed for the house, which is again depending on the insulation of the place.
  • Considering that every area would have its very own thermostat, the only requirement is to set the temperature when someone is there. It will actually help save energy and money.
  • A mini split unit is normally easier to install compared to other types of conditioning units.
  • Another advantage is that many companies that make these air conditioners provide several lengths of linking passages, and so it is easy to cool areas on the forepart of your home together with the compressor in a more advantageous or hidden location, such as outside the house.

Mini Split AC Buying Tips

The mini split air conditioning system is becoming more necessary than ever before. A lot of people have no space for AC ductwork in their residence, and some do not have windows for window air conditioners, creating the necessity for compact but efficient systems. Also, many people have no idea how to select the right mini split air conditioners for their homes.

Here are some tips how you can avoid the common mistakes in buying them:

  • Inspect the decibel figures for the level of noise that each AC unit creates. It is actually not a serious issue as this kind of air conditioner that is best-known for being quiet. Nevertheless, it is advisable to check the figures on the units. Lower decibels normally mean significantly less noise.
  • Consider an AC unit with a high SEER score. These figures indicate how effective a unit is. In here, you would want to opt for a mini split system that has a high figure.Nowadays, it is easy to get a mini split air conditioning unit that has a figure as high as 20 SEER. Think of choosing them as a way to keep your energy consumption ideal.
  • Consider the costs involved in purchasing air conditioning units. Make sure you look for a mini split AC, in which installation is uncomplicated. You may want to perform some of the basic tasks rather than leaving everything to the experienced installers. Sometimes, it minimizes the cost of labor needed in hiring professionals to complete the job for you.
  • When buying your mini split AC unit, make sure that it is worth the money you pay.

Installing Your New Mini Split AC

The installation of a mini split AC is rather easy. You may do the installation yourself by simply following the instructions provided on the manual or have it installed by a professional. The outdoor system is mounted outside the room, which is attached to a solid surface to ensure that it remains stable.

The indoor system that generates cool air is mounted high on a ceiling or wall. A small 3 inch opening is created in the exterior wall, wherein a couple of refrigerant lines that connect the two units can pass. One refrigerant line produces electricity while the other one condensates.

And here are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself before actually going into the whole installation process:

Can I do the installation myself? Not unless you are an expert in heating and air conditioning, but otherwise hire a contractor. Installation involves drainage, electricity and lines for the coolant. The technician should also charge the unit with the right amount of coolant.

Will there be an opening in the wall? Yes, you will need a hole to fit the tubing that connects the air handler to the compressor. The hole is only about 3 inches in diameter, but the exact size will depend on the distance between the outdoor and indoor units.

If you are looking for a quiet, energy-saving way to cool your home, seriously consider the mini split AC.

See below for a very helpful youtube video of ‘This Old House’ in which they install the mini split and explain all the step required.