A big advantage of installing ductless heating and air conditioning units is their simplicity and effectiveness at keeping you cool where space is limited in your home or office.
Since there is no ducting work necessary with this type of HVAC option, individual units can be placed in each room without the need for extensive disruption during installation.
This kind of heating and cooling device is becoming hugely popular with homeowners and businesses alike where cooling or heating needs must be met quickly and with the minimum of construction work.
Let's look at the advantages and any disadvantages of this option over installing a building-wide HVAC system.
Advantages of Mini Split HVAC Systems
The main advantage is the ease of installation where all that is needed is access to a few square feet of unobstructed external wall both inside and outside the building where the two parts of the device can be mounted for maximum effect and minimum disruption. The indoor units are generally fairly compact and are mounted high on an external wall so they don't get in the way of anything.
The outdoor units can be mounted directly on the wall with suitable brackets or for larger devices, mounted on the ground on a suitable platform that raises them a few inches above ground level. The smaller external units are often seen mounted near the top of a will or even placed on a balcony or ledge near to the location of the interior unit.
Why The Two Units Must be Near to Each Other
The two units interact with each other so need to be placed relatively close by so that the connecting hose-work is not overextended. The hoses allow hot air produced by the air conditioning compressor assembly in the interior unit to be extracted from the building along with excess moisture that is condensed and then released harmlessly into the outside atmosphere when the unit is set to cool.
Naturally, the connecting hose works best when shortest. So the most efficient setup is with the external unit very close to the internal one. The hole made in the wall is generally located behind the interior unit so is easily concealed, through which the hot air and moisture exhaust hoses are installed to connect with the extractor/condenser unit outside.
Having a dedicated heating and cooling unit in each room in a home or office building has the advantage of being highly versatile. Mainly, it means that each room can be set to a temperature that is comfortable for its occupant and that temperature is independent of other areas of the building.
The interior appliances are neatly positioned so they are to all intents and purposes practically invisible and out of the way. This is by far preferable to the free standing portable AC units that often get in the way and take up valuable floor space as well as having an ugly plastic vent hose that needs to be connected to a window or other external wall opening to vent the hot air out of the building.
While the word "economy" is not one generally associated with air conditioning, the latest mini split configuration models are more economical in energy usage than older, larger building-wide machines. They still require common sense usage by the homeowner or building occupier so they don't waste energy, but when used sensibly, they don't necessarily need to be so expensive to run.
Some common sense operating tactics can save a lot of money through conservative use, as follows:
- Maintain a comfortable indoor temperature by setting the thermostat to the right level and not forcing the unit to make it colder (in summer) or hotter (in winter) than is really necessary. The best way to get this right is to aim for a comfort level of around 23 degrees Fahrenheit all year round and that won't overburden the unit to produce more heat or cold than is necessary.
- Make sure windows and doors are kept closed where possible to keep the heat or coolness in the room that is occupied.
- When you leave a room that you don't intend returning to for some time, turn the unit off. You'd be surprised at how much AC or heat (and the energy to produce it) is wasted by units laboring furiously away to maintain a comfortable temperature in an unoccupied room!
There are very few disadvantages in opting for a mini split ductless AC and heating setup over full building installations or smart portable AC, free standing units.
The most often heard complaint of this kind of system is the running costs. This is something that can't really be improved upon when the user is already doing everything they can to minimize the amount of electricity their devices use through common sense operation procedure as noted above.
However, a lot of complaints about excessive utility bills come from people who do not use their HVAC appliances sensibly. This includes people leaving AC running in empty rooms or turning the temperature level down so low there are icicles hanging from the AC unit. It also includes those who turn the heat up so high in winter that they have to sit around in their underwear and even open a window to let in some cool air!
The only disadvantage of ductless mini-split HVAC over portable units is they need to be installed by a professional installer, which is an additional cost but one that is soon recovered through more economical running costs over portable versions.
All in all, this kind of heating and cooling solution is generally very well liked by the majority of users over other systems.
Its popularity in the number of new sales and installation that continue to rise is obvious and a physical, viewable statistic that proves this is a very good choice for maintaining a comfortable indoor climate all year round.