When shopping for a heating and cooling system for your home, it’s essential to choose one that balances efficiency, operation and the impact on your wallet. That’s why many families look to mini-splits for comfort in their home.
Mini-splits—often referred to as ductless mini-splits—offer several advantages that make them an appealing option for both homes and businesses. They're very energy efficient, decreasing energy consumption and saving on utility bills, because they avoid the energy losses that can come with the ductwork found in traditional HVAC systems. They also allow users to customize the temperature in each room, boosting overall comfort while not wasting energy.
If you’re thinking about mini-split installation in Booneville, it’s important to first research if these devices are the right solution for your living situation. Here, we’ll examine how mini-splits compare to other heating and cooling devices and appliances.
What a Mini-Split Is and How It Works
A mini-split, or ductless mini-split, is a heating and cooling device that does not use ductwork. It's often used in homes that don't have pre-existing air ducts and for homes with rooms that aren’t served well by the residence's existing HVAC system.
A mini-split system has two major components: an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling component. The two are connected by a conduit containing the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing and a condensate drain.
Here's how it works: the outside compressor distributes the refrigerant necessary for heat exchange through the coils and the air handler. The in-house component brings in air from the room, cools or heats it over the coils and sends the conditioned air back into the room.
Mini-Split vs. Central Air
Mini-splits offer targeted cooling in particular rooms or zones of your residence. They are excellent for energy efficiency because they only heat or cool the areas you desire. However, they sometimes don't blend seamlessly into every location due to their wall-mounted indoor units.
Conversely, a central air system uniformly conditions your entire home, keeping consistent comfort levels throughout. Its ductwork is tucked away in a mechanical room or closet, preserving the aesthetics of your home. However, it may not be as energy efficient as a mini-split, especially in larger homes or residences where certain spaces may not need constant conditioning.
Mini-Split vs. Window AC/Window Unit
Mini-splits are typically more energy efficient and quieter than a window air conditioning unit and are capable of cooling multiple rooms. This is why mini-splits are a versatile option for lots of homeowners. They also utilize a form of refrigerant that is more earth-safe, reducing their environmental impact. These devices can even add value to your home due to their long-lasting nature and exceptional cooling capabilities. However, they come with a larger purchase price.
On the other hand, window air conditioners are less expensive up front. They may be a good fit for homes that can't accommodate a central air system or for families with budget constraints. In spite of these advantages, window units can consume up to 40% more energy than ductless mini-split systems and are often noisier.
Mini-Split vs. Portable AC
The answer to what is better, a ductless mini-split or a portable air conditioning unit, depends on your main concerns. If your main worries are energy efficiency and performance, a mini-split is considered far superior to a portable AC unit. However, if budget is a key concern, a portable AC is less expensive.
Mini-Split vs. Gas Furnace
Choosing between a mini-split system and a gas furnace depends on a variety of factors including the climate in your city, home size, energy efficiency needs and budget.
A mini-split system most of the time is more energy efficient than a gas furnace. It can heat and cool targeted areas inside of your home, supplying custom climate control in specific rooms. Mini-splits also are generally quieter and have a higher up-front cost, but their operating costs are usually less due to their better energy efficiency.
Alternatively, a gas furnace can be an extremely effective heating solution, particularly in colder climates where mini-split heat pumps may not be able to maintain comfort levels in the bitter cold. Although they are less energy efficient than mini-splits, gas furnaces likely cost less. However, their operating costs can be greater, especially if natural gas prices rise.
Mini-Split vs. Heat Pump
Mini-splits and heat pumps use the concept of heat transfer. They are both energy efficient, but a heat pump's duct system can cause more energy usage. That said, the choice between a mini-split and a heat pump often is based on on a homeowner's needs and circumstances.
For example, if you are living in a warmer climate and mainly need cooling, a mini-split system might be a good choice. However, if you require both heating and cooling and already have ductwork in your home, a heat pump could be a more efficient option.
Mini-Split vs. Space Heater
When it comes to heating and cooling a home, mini-splits and space heaters each have advantages. However, for all around efficiency, versatility, comfort and safety, mini-splits stand out. Mini-splits have superior energy efficiency because they deliver conditioned air straight to different zones and can serve several rooms at once.
Space heaters are much less expensive to buy but are typically reserved for heating a small area or an individual room. They also are usually less energy efficient. As opposed to mini-splits, space heaters do not deliver cooling. The greatest drawback for space heaters is the risk of fire. Experts say some 1,700 fires each year involve space heaters.