What is a mini-split system?

An AC system without ductwork!

A mini-split system (ductless heat pump) DuctlessHeatPumpsis similar to a central air conditioner or heat pump, with the condenser fan, coils, and compressor in an outdoor unit, which is flat and small.

Some models allow the outdoor unit to be placed up to 100 feet from the room or group of rooms to be cooled or heated. This virtually eliminates indoor noise pollution from these components.

Instead of having the indoor cooling coil in an air-duct system as with your existing central air conditioner, the coil is mounted in a fan unit on the wall or ceiling of the room. It’s connected to the outdoor unit by refrigerant and electric lines. Only a 3-inch-diameter hole needs to be cut through the wall, and the condensate drain from the evaporator coils can go out through the same hole.

Mini-split systems can also be used to cool an entire house by installing indoor wall units in several rooms. This is commonly done in houses using baseboard electric or hydronic heat, which lack a duct system. Installing a duct system for central air-conditioning in an existing two-story house can be an expensive project.

In addition to the high SEER rating, installing a mini-split unit allows for the zone cooling of your house, which can also lower your electric bill.

Some mini-split systems have features such as the remote control  with several modes of operation, including a dehumidification setting for the summer, which slows down the fan speed so the indoor air is dehumidified more than it is cooled. This is ideal for allergy sufferers who are sensitive to high humidity but don’t want a cold room.

Some models also have a “jet” setting that switches either the heating or cooling mode output and fan speed to high for quickly changing the temperature. This feature conserves energy because you can turn it on only when using a particular room instead of keeping the room hot or cold continuously. Interested parties can ask contractors questions about these features and more.

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