Ductless Mini Split Systems
Ductless mini split air conditioning systems have become very popular in the last few years.
Its compact design, high efficiency, zone control ability, super quiet air handler and compressor, makes it hard to ignore when choosing the right air conditioner system for your house.
This type of air conditioners has many potential applications in residential and commercial buildings. Unlike a traditional residential A/C system, the mini splits air conditioners have two main components, the indoor unit or air handler, and the outdoor unit or condenser.
Some of the most common applications are for the computer room and conference room in commercial buildings, the living room, the GYM room, and a single office, to mention a few.
You can find a ductless mini split air conditioner for wall mount, ceiling mount and some brands offer the picture frame style, as I explain later in this article, the wall mounts tyle is the less expensive of all 3 and maybe this why this is the most common of all.
The Advantages of a Mini-Split air conditioning System
As I mentioned before, some of the main advantages are the compact size, facilitating the air conditioner installation for the contractor and easy blending with any wall or ceiling, so you don’t have to put a big ugly box on the window.
The ability of zone control. This is one of the things that attract more people because you can have one in each room and operate every one of them individually, which it means that you don’t have to cool down the entire house to feel comfortable, which will translate in significant money savings every month, not bad for a mini HVAC system.
The majority of mini split systems are heat pumps, which means that you can enjoy heating and cooling all in one good looking air conditioner. You can also get a straight cooling system, but the price difference is usually a few dollars; therefore most people rather have a heat pump mini split installed, and enjoy both heating and cooling all in one mini split ac unit.
The high efficiency of this air conditioning unit is the best of all indoor units, compared with a traditional system. The minimum SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) in these ductless systems is 16 SEER, and this is if you get one of those cheap systems, but if you get a sound quality system, most likely you will get between 18 SEER to 20 SEER or even higher.
Another big plus for a mini split unit is that they are super quiet. Most systems range from 30 dB to 50 dB, so you can have a sweet sleep at night without waking up and having the sensation of a helicopter flying over your house.
These systems come with remote control, and some of them are even WiFi compatible, so you can adjust the temperature without stop watching your favorite TV program.
The disadvantages of a Mini-Split air conditioning System
Probably the most common disadvantage is the price. Ductless air conditioners are expensive, probably as expensive as a regular system (Including installation), but it compensates with the energy savings over time. In other words, this kind of air conditioners can pay by itself with all the energy savings.
Some brands in the market are less than half the price, compared with a good system, but I strongly recommend you to stay away from them, because you will end up spending twice as much figuring out the error codes and installing it a couple of times as the very least. We have seen this happening time after time, and at the end, you end up spending more between labor, time and buying (again) a good system
If I have to think of one more disadvantage is that in some cases, the air handler needs a condensate pump to drain the condensation water. The condensate pump goes typically right underneath the air handler and is visible, and some homeowners don’t like how they look. There some pump models that can be hidden within the air handler, but they are usually twice as expensive or even more, compared with a regular condensate pump.
I think these are the most common disadvantages of ductless air conditioning. I hope this can help you to decide if this type of equipment is right for you.
Ductless mini-split air conditioner cost.
The cost for a ductless air conditioner system ranges from $1500 to $4500, for a single air handler, 12000 BTU, heat pump, between 18- 21 SEER. The price depends a lot on the brand and type of air handler you intent to purchase.
In other words, if you purchased a wall mount mini split system, the price would be lower than if purchase a ceiling mount air conditioner or picture frame style. Some of the most expensive brands out there are Panasonic and LG.
One other thing that can affect the price of your mini split installation is the location of the air handler (the unit inside the house) and the location of the condenser (the unit outside the house).
Since most of these systems will be installed on existing buildings, the location of where you want to install your new ductless system plays a big roll on the labor for your HVAC contractor, especially if you live in a two-story house or a condo and you want the installation to be on the upper levels.
Earlier in this article, I mentioned that the compact design of a mini split system, make it easy for a contractor to install the air handler, and this is true.
The installation itself of the air handler is easy as compared to a central A/C because literally it just has to be hanged, but the location of where you wanted can change this radically because it involves the length of the refrigerant lines (copper lines), if you are going to use a condensate pump or not, how many lines set cover you are going to use, etc, etc.
Usually, the HVAC contractor will recommend installing to condenser closer to the main electrical panel and the air handler on an exterior wall to avoid using extra materials and labor.
We are your local HVAC contractor and we can help you with the purchase and installation of your ductless air conditioning system, please don’t hesitate to call us and schedule your appointment for a free estimate. Quantum Air Conditioning Inc. (951)541-5579