Is a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner Right for Your House?

Choosing an air conditioner for your home is a big decision. Not only it is an expensive purchase, but one that impacts the comfort and value of your home. When looking for a Fort Collins HVAC company, consider the types of units they sell. A ductless mini-split air conditioner could be a good option for some homes. Here’s what you need to know when considering a ductless mini-split air conditioner.

What is a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner?

Unlike traditional air conditioners, ductless mini-split units don’t require full-sized ductwork. Instead of using a single unit to push cold air through the house in a series of large air ducts, a ductless air conditioner uses an individual fan and evaporator in each room of the house. That means each room or zone has its own thermostat and is controlled separately. Depending on the size and power of the unit, many ductless mini-split air conditioners can have up to four indoor units for four rooms that are connected to a single outdoor unit.

What Are the Benefits?

Because each room has its own fan, it is much easier to control the temperature with a ductless mini-split air conditioner. Homeowners have the power to turn off or turn down the air conditioning in rooms that are rarely used and tailor each room to the perfect temperature for the space. That means that rooms that naturally get hotter can have a different temperature than rooms on the other side of the house, just as bedrooms can be customized with the perfect temperature for each occupant.

Ductless mini-split air conditioners also tend to have lower energy costs because they are so customizable. Instead of blowing air to all parts of the house in an effort to cool down one room and raising energy costs, mini-split units allow users to target the cool air to the right area of the home. Losing cold air through leaks in the ductwork can account for up to 30% of energy consumption in some homes. Without ductwork, there isn’t a chance of cold air escaping and raising the energy bill.

Ductless mini-split systems are also quieter, less expensive, and easier to install. Most units only require a three-inch hole in the wall to connect the indoor and outdoor units, as opposed to the large amount of space required to install ductwork.

What Are the Disadvantages?

With all of those perks, could there really be any disadvantages to a ductless mini-split air conditioner? The most obvious disadvantage is the high cost. Ductless mini-split systems can cost up to 30% more than central air systems. There’s also a risk of not getting the right sized system. Units that are too small aren’t effective, and units that are too large raise the cost.

Ductless air conditioners are also more obvious in the room than traditional units. In most rooms, they stick out from the wall towards the ceiling, but it can still be a noticeable feature that some people don’t want. Ductless systems are also limited to a smaller house because most are only equipped to handle four rooms or zones. Mini-split systems tend to require more maintenance to keep clean. If the system gets clogged with debris, it can lead to costly repairs.

Should I Consider a Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner?

Mini-split units are most commonly used in retrofitted or remodeled homes that don’t have existing ductwork. Instead of the cost and time of installing ductwork throughout the house, ductless air conditioners provide an energy-efficient and budget-friendly option. Mini-splits are also a good option for room additions and apartments where adding ductwork simply isn’t an option.

When deciding the best air conditioner for your home, a ductless mini-split system could be a good option. Consider your home size and cost preference to make the best decision.