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 conditioner 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 mount style is the less expensive of all three, and maybe this is why this is the most common of all.
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. Zone control is one of the things that attract more people to purchase a mini-split air conditioner because you can have one in each room and operate every one of them individually.
What this means is that you don’t have to cool down your 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 in the market today 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 (Cooling Only), 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. Still, if you get a good 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 leaving the couch.
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 intend to purchase.
In other words, if you purchased a wall mount mini-split system, the price would be lower than if you buy 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 are installed on existing buildings, the location of where you want to install your new ductless system plays a big roll in 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 it just has to be hanged. Still, 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.
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.