How Do Mini-Splits Work?
Mini-splits are heating and cooling systems that allow you to control the temperatures in individual rooms or spaces. Ductless systems have two main components – an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit (evaporator). They are convenient to install usually requiring only a three-inch hole through a wall for the conduit; which houses the power and communication cables, copper tubing, and a condensation drain line, linking the outdoor and indoor units.
Heat pumps for these systems are not only great solutions for whole-home or new constructions but make good retro-fit add-ons to houses with “non-ducted” heating systems, such as hydronic hot water heat, radiant panels, and space heaters (wood, kerosene, propane). They can also be a good choice for room additions where extending or installing distribution ductwork is not feasible, and energy-efficient new homes that require only a small space conditioning system.
Mini-Splits vs. Central Air Systems
Mini-split systems have no ductwork, so they avoid the energy losses associated with the ductwork of central air-forced 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 or basement. Central air systems require expensive and intrusive ductwork.