Advantages of Ductless Mini-Split Units
Ductless, mini-split-system heat pumps (mini splits) have many advantages over traditional or window unit air conditioners and heating systems.
Mini-splits are retrofit add-ons to houses with “non-ducted” heating systems, such as hot water heat, radiant panels, and space heaters. They can also be a good choice for room additions where extending or installing distribution ductwork is not feasible, as well very efficient new homes that require only a small space conditioning system. Like standard air-source heat pumps, mini splits have two main components — an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit.
The main advantages of mini splits are their small size and flexibility for zoning or heating and cooling individual rooms. Many models can have as many as four indoor air-handling units (for four rooms) connected to one outdoor unit. The number depends on how much heating or cooling is required for the building or each zone. Each of the zones has its own thermostat, so you only need to condition occupied spaces. This saves energy and money!
Ductless mini-split systems are easier to install than some other types of space conditioning systems. For example, the hook-up between the outdoor and indoor units generally requires only a three-inch hole through a wall for the conduit. If necessary, you can locate the outdoor unit as far away as 50 feet from the indoor evaporator. This makes it possible to cool rooms on the front side of a house, but locate the compressor in a more advantageous or inconspicuous place on the outside of the building.
Mini-splits have no ducts, so they avoid the energy losses associated with the ductwork of central forced air systems. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.
In comparison to other add-on systems, mini splits offer more interior design flexibility. The indoor air handlers can be suspended from a ceiling, mounted flush into a drop ceiling, or hung on a wall. Floor-standing models are also available. Most indoor units are about seven inches deep and have sleek, high tech-looking jackets. Many also offer a remote control to make it easier to turn the system on and off when it’s positioned high on a wall or suspended from a ceiling.
Split systems can help keep your home safer, because there is only a small hole in the wall. Through-the-wall and window-mounted room air conditioners can provide easy access for intruders.
Fsi Oil and Propane is experienced with installing these types of systems so please contact us with any questions you might have.
Excerpted from https://energy.gov/energysaver/ductless-mini-split-heat-pumps