how do mini splits work

How Do Mini Splits Work?

If you’re looking for a flexible solution for heating and cooling individual rooms in your home, you might want to consider a mini split system. So, how do mini splits work?

First of all, let’s talk a bit about the mini split system in more general terms.

Ductless mini split systems such as the Samsung Quantum 2.0 unit offered by American Home Water and Air do not need air ducts like the ones found in traditional HVAC systems. They also differ from traditional air conditioners that only distribute air conditioning to a limited coverage area from a single unit installed in that space. A mini split system can provide heat and air conditioning to multiple rooms or zones utilizing separate fans and evaporator coils connected to a base unit placed outdoors.

Okay, but you still need to understand how multi zone mini splits work. Let’s get to that.

An Overview of the Mini Split System

A ductless mini split system consists of an outdoor and indoor unit. It is classified as “mini” because there are individual units called heads that are more compact than traditional A/C packages or furnaces. You’ll find them of great use in areas that generally don’t benefit from other types of heating and cooling systems. For instance, garages are usually unheated which is not optimal if you are one of those people who use your garage for purposes other than keeping your car.

Since it is not legal to install ductwork in your garage in some areas, a ductless mini split system is ideal for heating and cooling your workshop, hobby room, or other converted garage space year-round. Best of all, it won’t take up much space and is highly energy efficient. The same applies to basements you’ve finished out as extra living space (if you are among the few who have such a unicorn), upper-level areas, or attic rooms. Even a separate external workshop can benefit from a ductless mini split system.

A mini split can also make a useful addition to an existing system. It is useful in bedrooms that are at the farthest ends of your current duct-based system. If you find an area is not being properly heated or cooled by your existing system, a mini split system can be an ideal solution rather than an expensive replacement or modification to the existing ductwork or HVAC unit.

There are other benefits to a mini split system, as well. The evaporator coil on the unit will collect condensate and drain it from your home. Thus, it acts as a dehumidifier. The filtration system helps catch harmful products and remove them from your air, acting as an air filter. It’s not a replacement for a larger air purification system, but it will help to purify the air in your home.

How Do Mini Splits Work?

A mini split functions like a heat pump. It gathers air from outside the home and moves it inside to heat or cool. A single outdoor unit can be split out to multiple indoor areas. Because each of these areas has its own control, you are better able to decide how to heat or cool each one. 

How Does a Dual Zone Mini Split Work?

Unlike a central unit which is operated with a control set on one temperature, each area can be maintained at varying temperatures. Perhaps you like the living room warmer than the kitchen, or you aren’t using certain areas all the time and prefer to keep them cooler than the rest of the house. You may have rooms that you want to keep cooler during the day while no one is using them or while guests aren’t present in that area. A mini split gives you this capability all with the push of a button from a WIFI-controlled remote.

How Many Zones Can a Mini split Have?

A residential mini split system can handle up to eight zones. Keep in mind that a zone is different from a room. You may have smaller areas that can be combined into a single zone or individual rooms that require their unit. For instance, you might have an open floor plan that combines your living room, dining room, and kitchen area which can be combined into a single zone.

Of course, having more than eight zones doesn’t mean a mini split system isn’t right for you. It just means you’ll need more than a single outdoor unit to power the extra zones you require.

What About Maintenance?

Just as with traditional systems, some routine maintenance can be easily performed by the homeowner. The main filter can be removed and replaced. Unlike systems that require a new filter monthly, mini split filters can be washed and dried to be reused. Other cleanings of internal parts should be handled by a licensed technician. 

How Long Will My Mini Split Last?

Mini splits are among the most efficient systems on the market. Because they operate so well, there is less wear and tear on the equipment, meaning they require less maintenance and will last longer than many traditional options. With routine maintenance and proper care, you can expect your system to last 12-15 years, sometimes more.

What Makes the Mini Split More Efficient?

The answer to this question ties back directly to “How do mini splits work?”

Without getting too technical, mini splits use inverter technology and a variable speed compressor. This combination converts incoming high-voltage electricity to DC voltage. By doing so, it requires less energy to do more work. 

The variable speed of the compressor matches the airflow to the temperature, so it only uses as much energy as is required to complete its task. Room sensors gauge temperature and adjust for hot or cold areas, automatically adjusting only as much as needed to maintain the desired comfort level. 

Whatever HVAC solution you choose for your home, American Home Water and Air can help you assess your needs and provide a quality installation that won’t break the bank. Just give us a call.

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