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Mini Split Systems

Mini split systems have become increasingly popular because of the flexibility and application when installed over a hot water or steam heating system to add air conditioning. 3 season rooms are becoming 4 season rooms, small garages and rec rooms, bonus rooms, or even rooms with extreme temperature differentials are perfect applications for ductless or mini split systems.

Some of the advantages of the system are:

  • Customization
  • Energy Savings
  • Improved Air Quality
  • Ease of Installation
  • Carbon Footprint Reduction
  • Zoning

And to be fair there are some disadvantages to the systems. First time shoppers are usually surprised by the price of these units installed, possibly because they continue to be compared to window or through-wall air conditioners, but these are apples to oranges comparisons.

Another is the appearance of the unit. “It doesn’t match the décor, I don’t want to look at that thing…” are a few of the ones we’ve come across. But anyone who’s had one installed will quickly retract their reservations when performance and comfort are experienced.

Application

There are literally endless possibilities to the creation of a mini split system. A survey of the home will identify what areas are in use, what areas are to be conditioned, and what your needs truly are. Perhaps a full central air system isn’t required for the empty nesters that aren’t using 2 of the 3 bedrooms except for when the kids are home for a week here and there. When you walk in the door, you don’t turn on every light in the house, do you? And that’s the mini split principal – the ability to use the zones that have demand

Overview

Mini Split systems have the capability of “cooling only” or heat pump, which does both heating and cooling. Any system with a 2:1 indoor to outdoor ratio is only available in heat pump. Some heat pump systems are available with greater than 8:1 indoor to outdoor units. And the indoor units vary in availability and application.

Ductless

The traditional application is a wall mounted ductless unit – available in sizes from 6,000 BTU to 36,000 BTU sizes. Each wall mounted unit contains the indoor coil, fan, and filter and is controlled out of the box by a handheld controller. Must have sufficient clearances from ceilings, above windows, and outer walls are preferred for easier condensation drain, although interior walls and units ran from overhead are also possible.

Floor Mounted

Still considered ductless, the floor mounted unit can be used in applications where a unit cannot be mounted on the wall, due to appearance reservations, or too many windows, angled walls, etc. Available in various sizes for different room applications.

Ceiling Cassette

Generally more of a light commercial application, there is still an application for ceiling cassettes in larger master bedrooms, rec rooms, bonus rooms, finished attics, etc. Units are installed in a framed opening with refrigerant lines run concealed typically in attic space. Disperses air in 4 directions with air returning and being filtered in the center of the unit.

Ceiling Concealed

Another very commonly used unit is the ceiling concealed, or the ducted component of a mini split system. Available in a low profile application or now standard cabinet air handler. A duct network is added in a smaller form to service desired zones of heating and cooling.

Ceiling Suspended

This one is too ductless, but if anyone knew the size of it, they would run. Let’s not talk about this again.

Mini Split Systems (Including Ductless)