Mini split systems heat and cool the air without using ductwork. Two parts make up the mini split system: an outdoor condenser placed on the outside of your home, and a wall-mounted indoor air handling unit.
When heating or cooling individual rooms or zones, you need an indoor unit for each space. A single zone system uses 1 indoor unit to go with the outdoor condenser, while a multi-zone system allows up to 4 indoor units to connect to a single outdoor condenser. The conduit houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and condensate drain, which link the indoor and outdoor units. The refrigerant condenses air from the unit’s motor and brings the warm or cold air indoors.
Heat pump systems heat and cool spaces. Heat pumps work by pumping heat outside your home during the cooling season, and into your home during the heating season. It cools by moving heat transfer fluid or refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser, forcing the refrigerant through the circuit of tubing and fins in the coils. The liquid refrigerant evaporates in the indoor air coil, pulling heat out of the air inside your home.
When heating, a reversing valve allows the heat pump to extract heat from outside and release it inside. Since heat pumps transfer heat rather than create it, they can provide up to four times the amount of energy they consume, giving them higher energy efficiency than standard air conditioners. They also dehumidify the air better than a standard air conditioner, making the space feel cooler.
If you want both a heating and cooling system, use an efficient heat pump, which can go between heating and cooling modes. If you already have heating solutions for the winter and are looking for cooling only, choose an air conditioning only option. Alternatively, some air conditioning only outdoor condensers can pair with an indoor heat pump.
Types of heat pumps include:
Many older buildings were not built with ductwork, making new installations a very pricey option. On top of that, there is not always the space for ductwork. A mini split system allows you to heat and cool the air without having to install ductwork. With a central system, up to 30% of energy is lost in the ductwork, while ductless mini split systems stay 100% energy efficient.
Ductless mini split air conditioners also keep your home safer, because all that is required is a 3-inch hole for the refrigerant line. You won’t have to worry about animals or anything else entering your home through the ductwork system.
A remote control helps you operate an indoor air handler located in a hard-to-reach space. Take this a step further with a wi-fi interface, which allows you to control your system from your phone, computer, or tablet.
If your AC parts overheat, internal settings don't work, or the AC compressor won't turn on, you may need to replace your AC control board. Make sure you get the proper one to fit your system's model number.
If you use a wall-mounted indoor air handler or outdoor compressor, wall-mounting brackets help secure your device onto the wall.