A picture of a mini-split system blowing air into a room.

Your Perfect Definition of Comfort: Mini-Split HVAC Systems

Arguably the most efficient way to control the climate in any home, mini-splits are heating and cooling systems designed to allow homeowners the ability to control the temperature of individual rooms vs. the whole household. Mini-splits systems get their name from their two components: an outdoor compressor and an indoor-handling unit. These units are perfect for both new homes and as a solution for homeowners who want to retrofit a home with non-ducted heating systems.

When it comes to achieving the perfect temperature, the dedicated HVAC team at Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning has you covered! Contact our team today to learn more about our mini-split unit installation, repair, and maintenance services.

How Does a Mini-Split System Work?

Mini-split systems are designed to keep a home feeling comfortable and save homeowners money on energy costs by allowing temperature control of individual rooms rather than creating a base temperature for the whole house. As mentioned earlier, this is done by their two-component system: a compressor/condenser installed outside and an air-handling unit, also known as an evaporator, installed inside.

When you turn on your mini-split system, air is taken from the room through the air handling unit. The air is then transported to the outdoor condenser unit. During travel, the air passes through the conduit (which is installed in the wall) and over coils that house liquid coolant. The coolant changes into a gas, which is then sent to the compressor and recycled back into a liquid and then dispensed into the coils. The newly cooled air is then turned around and passed through the air handler and back out into the room.

How Is a Mini-Split System Installed?

Image of the outdoor portion of a mini split AC systemThese systems typically require a three-inch hole through the wall for the conduit to be installed, connecting the two systems. The conduit also houses the power, communication cables, copper tubing, and condensation drain line. However, to ensure that the unit is installed correctly and safely, you will need an experienced HVAC technician who has worked extensively with these units. An inexperienced technician can cause damage to the conduit and to your wall or incorrectly set up the connection between the two systems, creating costly repairs for preventable malfunctions.

Why Would I Choose a Mini-Split System Over a Traditional HVAC Unit?

Mini-split systems are built for flexibility. Unlike a traditional unit that focuses on keeping the whole home at one stable temperature, mini-split systems focus on individual rooms. This allows homeowners to keep some rooms cold and other rooms warmer, depending on the need of the individual/individuals in the room. These systems do not need extensive ductwork like conventional units do and they do not take up much space. These units have one air-handler unit set up per room and they all connect to one condenser outside of the home. Eight air-handlers can be set up to a single outdoor condenser.

The flexibility of these systems makes mini-splits a popular choice among apartment complexes, smaller office buildings, and homes that are looking to retrofit their system without installing extensive ductwork.

Benefits of Mini-Split Systems

Energy Efficiency:

Mini-split systems do not require extensive ductwork throughout the home as they are more focused on an individual space. This reduces the strain on the unit because it is not constantly using energy to ensure the whole home is at one stable temperature. This could mean that only the living room air is being conditioned while the other rooms of the home are turned off. Once the individual moves to a different room, they can turn the living room unit off and turn on the one they are heading into. This saves energy costs and effectively allows the mini-split unit to pay for itself over time.

When compared to conventional air conditioning units, mini-splits systems have a SEER rating from 18-30 SEER depending on the unit purchased. Conventional air conditioning systems have a SEER rating from 13-20 SEER. This means a mini-split system can save a homeowner 30-40% on energy costs.

Save Money On Installation Costs:

Installing a conventional AC unit with ductwork quickly adds up. This is especially true for older homes looking to update their units with heating and air conditioning. The high cost is due to ductwork having to be routed along the walls or inside them and having to carefully meet at various points throughout the home. This process takes days to plan and then complete.

A mini-split system, on the other hand, removes this cost by removing the need for extensive ductwork. Each indoor air handler is separately installed room-by-room (depending on the needs of the household) and is then connected through small, 3-inch holes in the wall. This is where the conduits are placed, acting as the communication and transportation center of the conditioning air. Unlike installing ductwork, this process typically takes a day and does not cause strain or structural damage to the building.

Supports Better Air Quality:

Mini-split systems are outfitted with filtration cartridges that capture and eliminate pollutants from your indoor air. These cartridges, unlike traditional HVAC systems, do not require regular maintenance and are fairly simple to take out and wash, or even replace, if worn down.

Is a Mini-Split System Right for My Home?

Mini-split HVAC systems are wonderful for several reasons but they may not be right for everyone. If your home is larger and already outfitted for conventional air conditioning, it may not be worth it to change out your entire system. However, if you are building a new home or are faced with the following, a mini-split system may be right for you:

  • A home with no pre-existing ductwork
  • Homes that have individuals with different heating & cooling needs
  • Homes that recently had an extension installed

Looking for Certified Mini-Split Installers?

The team at Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning has been helping the individuals of Fort Worth and Tarrant county achieve their perfect definition of comfort since 2003. Our staff is highly trained to handle any kind of HVAC installation, repair, or replacement services. When it comes to mini-split systems, we know them like the back of our hands and can help you find the perfect solution for your home. Contact our team today for more information on our services or to schedule a quote for a new mini-split installation!