There have been many innovative products introduced within the HVAC industry over the years. One such product is the mini split system. But what’s a mini split exactly? And how can it help solve some HVAC issue at my home or business?
Accurate Heating & Cooling is an established HVAC provider serving the greater Omaha metro area. We have been in business for over 20 years. In addition to residential heating and cooling service, we also serve light commercial customers. We also install and service geothermal units. And we install and service mini split systems. Call us today at 402-238-2425 to set up an appointment. Check out our Better Business Bureau A+ rating. And also check out what our customer testimonials are saying about us.
What Is A Mini Split?
Most of us are already familiar with our home air conditioner. It has an outdoor unit and an indoor coil. A refrigerant line set connects the outdoor unit with the indoor coil. The furnace blower fan moves air over the cold indoor coil and out the room registers cooling the home. The traditional home air conditioner requires duct work throughout the home to circulate air.
A mini split system is similar to a traditional home air conditioning system except there is no duct work. A mini split system is more formally described as a multi zone ductless split system. Some designs provide cooling only. And some designs make use of a heat pump which provides cooling in the summer and heat in the winter (except for the very coldest days). The mini split does not use a system of ducts to circulate air through the home.
Components Of A Mini Split
Mini split systems have an outdoor unit. And they have one or more indoor units. The outdoor unit is connected to the indoor unit by a refrigerant line set and communicating wires. The indoor unit contains the refrigerant evaporator coil, a circulating air fan, and an air filter. If the mini split system is for a large space then multiple outdoor units and indoor units may be needed. The indoor unit is also called the head unit.
Basic Residential Application
The image below shows a basic mini split system installation. There is a single indoor head unit cooling the room. And the outdoor unit transfers heat to the environment. The indoor unit is connected to the outdoor unit by two refrigerant tubes called the line set. The indoor unit is controlled by a remote control.
One Outdoor Unit Can Drive Several Indoor Head Units
For installations involving larger spaces we can install a larger system. The design requirements for the space and the model of mini split chosen will determine what equipment is needed. For example, for certain models, a single outdoor unit can handle a number of indoor units. Each indoor head unit would be independently controlled by individual remote controls.
The image below shows one a remote control that can operate an indoor head unit. It may be possible to control an indoor head unit using a wall mounted wired control. This is similar to a traditional thermostat controlling a traditional home HVAC system. Wireless wall mounted control devices are also available. And there are also apps available to allow some mini split models to be controlled using a smart phone.
Mini split systems are popular for adding air conditioning to older buildings that are not equipped with air duct systems. They are also frequently used in offices, motels, and multifamily dwellings. They are a great fit for houses using hydronic or electric baseboard heating. Mini splits are also a convenient solution for providing heating and cooling to room additions. And for small apartments. As well as any situation where extending or installing distribution duct work from an existing HVAC system may not be an option.
So a simple application would be for an apartment added above an existing garage. Installing a mini split system would be a relatively simple solution that does not require duct work.
Another example would be adding office spaces to an existing building that was not set up with heating and air conditioning.
There are some homes out there with one room that is just not that comfortable. Installing a mini split for this one space would be a simple solution.
Mini splits are also great solutions to install in a garage or attic space.
Whisper Quiet and High Efficiency
It is worth pointing out that these newer mini splits are whisper quiet and they are very efficient. Typical efficiencies are in the range of 20 SEER with some as high as 30+ SEER. So think of a whole home that was heated and cooled with mini split technology. Most of the rooms of the home stay unoccupied. Unoccupied spaces could be kept at more moderate temperatures. Occupied spaces could be adjusted using the remote control to the desired temperature. The system as a whole is significantly more energy efficient than an older traditional furnace and air conditioner. And there is additional energy savings from having non-occupied spaces maintained at more moderate temperatures. Mini split indoor heads are also available in fractional tonnage sizing to better match space cooling loads.
Consider mini split technology for some of your special needs spaces. But also consider this technology for office spaces and even for the whole home.
Ultra Cold Weather Heat Pump Limitations
Keep in mind one of the disadvantages of heat pump systems. Mini splits that also provide heat use heat pump technology. Heat pumps experience reduced heat output as outdoor temperature gets very cold. And the heat pump stops providing heat when a certain very low outdoor temperature is reached. Supplemental electric heat may be necessary.
Some additional images are provided below to help provide some perspective.
Wall Mounted Head Units
A wall mounted Mitsubishi mini split indoor head is shown above the book shelf in the photo below.
A closer image of a wall mounted mini split indoor head is shown below.
Ceiling Mounted Head Units
There are also ceiling mounted Mitsubishi mini split indoor head models like the one shown in the image below.
A closer view of a ceiling mounted Mitsubishi mini split indoor head is shown below.
Outdoor Condensing Units
The outdoor unit is more compact than a traditional air conditioner condensing unit.
A closer image of a smaller outdoor unit is shown below. And the newer models are whisper quiet. You literally cannot hear the smaller ones running while you are standing right next to one. The fan blade turning is the only indication that the unit is running on the smaller models. Perfect for helping to maintain a quiet outdoor deck area or similar application.
Additional Product Information
Accurate Heating & Cooling can service your existing mini split system. Or call us today at 402-238-2425 to have us install a mini split system. We also will handle all your residential and light commercial HVAC needs. We have service programs to maintain your furnace and air conditioner. And we can install and service geothermal units.