Ductless mini-splits have gained popularity over the years due to their advantages over traditional HVAC systems. They are easy to install and only occupy a small amount of space. You may also enjoy reduced energy bills due to their high energy efficiency. Besides these benefits, there are some tips you can employ to ensure you utilize your ductless mini-split for increased system performance, efficiency and indoor comfort. Let’s explore how ductless mini-splits operate and what to do so they give you maximum service.
How Ductless Mini-Splits Operate
Ductless mini-splits include an indoor blower unit mounted on the wall or ceiling and an outdoor condenser. The two units are connected by a small conduit that’s passed through a small hole in the wall. The conduit contains electrical wiring, refrigerant lines and condensate tubing. You can get up to eight indoor blowers connected to a single condenser with some models. Each indoor unit has its own thermostat so that you can get precise control over the temperature in individual rooms.
The indoor units have evaporator coils that are cooled by the refrigerant. Warm air in the rooms blows over, and the evaporator coils absorb heat. The refrigerant moves the warmth to the outdoor condenser. In heating mode, the refrigerant absorbs warmth from the outside air and transfers it inside.
For ductless mini-splits, the location of the blower in the room being heated or cooled reduces energy loss. Also, transferring heat uses less energy than producing it, making ductless mini-splits about three times more efficient than traditional HVAC systems.
Clever Ways of Utilizing a Ductless Mini-Split for Detached Rooms
You can leverage some of a ductless mini-split’s unique capabilities for maximum benefits. One significant benefit of ductless mini-splits is the zoning feature. Traditional HVAC systems condition the entire home equally, and a homeowner needs additional equipment, like zone control panels and dampers, to create zones. With ductless mini-splits, you can zone without supporting systems. Detached rooms, including gyms, sheds or workshops, have different heating and cooling needs.
Below are tips to use for maximum utilization of your ductless mini-split.
1. Smart Scheduling
You can set your mini-split to align with your different schedules for better energy utilization. For instance, if you work out at your home gym early in the morning, program your mini-split to cool the gym room during the hours you are actively working out. Smart scheduling ensures your mini-split does not waste energy cooling a vacant room.
You will have to turn your system on or off every time you enter or leave a detached room, but manually doing this can reduce efficiency. There is a possibility of unintentionally leaving the system running. Some mini-split controllers allow you to customize run times for different zones, so it can automatically stop conditioning the gym as you leave and condition the place you go to after working out in the gym.
2. Supplement Heating and Cooling
If you have additional outbuildings as part of your home, your current HVAC system may fail to provide the desired temperatures adequately. Extending ductwork can be expensive and complicated. Specific spaces like the kitchen and gyms have a higher demand for cooling. They may get shortchanged of airflow from traditional cooling systems. A benefit of a mini-split is that it can add extra cooling or heating in these areas.
3. Get Better Use of Empty Rooms
The compact and flexible design of ductless mini-splits allows you to turn uncomfortable areas into usable spaces. Some areas, like the basement, garage and attic, are off the ductwork path and typically do not receive conditioned air. They can get too cold in the winter or hot during the summer, making them unpleasant for extended occupancy. You can use a ductless mini-split to make these areas comfortable for use as gyms, art studios or man caves.
If you have preferred to turn one of your detached rooms into an office, you need to ensure the climate inside favors maximum productivity. You can use a mini-split to maintain a cooler temperature, which is ideal for alertness, focus and concentration while you work. Dedicated climate control will help reduce noise as the doors and windows will not need to be kept open. You can also add humidity control so your electronic appliances operate correctly.
Most sheds are far from the main house, and extending your HVAC ductwork to the shed is uneconomical. Most sheds are not adequately insulated and are exposed to extreme temperature changes. The best choice is to use a ductless mini-split to turn the shed into a comfortable space. You can store old photos, electronic appliances and paints or turn it into a grow room or an office.
Expert Ways of Maximizing Efficiency in Ductless Mini-Splits
Even though ductless mini-splits are known for their energy efficiency, having proper system control can help increase energy savings. There are various tips for doing this.
1. Consider Airflow
Warm air is less dense and will rise as cold air moves toward the ground. You can reduce energy consumption in your ductless mini-split by using this concept. During the warm months, adjust the airflow upward. In the colder months, adjust the airflow downward so the warm air flows toward where you are.
If your indoor unit is located on the ceiling or high on the wall, it will detect warm air while the temperature at your sitting level is still cool. On warm days, the mini-split has to work harder to cool your home, even though you feel the temperature is right. You can use a smart mini-split thermostat to ensure the unit gets accurate temperature readings of the area around you.
2. Check Home Energy Efficiency
The condition of your home largely influences the performance of your ductless mini-split. Properly insulating and sealing your home prevents conditioned air from leaking into or out of your home. Use sufficient insulation on the walls and roof. Ensure the doors and windows are correctly installed and sealed.
3. Proper Maintenance
Without regular maintenance, the efficiency of your ductless mini-split reduces. Ensure the air filters are cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions in the user’s guide. The condenser coil should also be cleaned regularly with a soft, dry cloth, and the area around the outdoor unit should be clean as well. Debris can get inside the unit and block the airflow. It is crucial to ensure your system gets professional maintenance at least once yearly and receives prompt repair services when there are problems.
4. Get Proper Sizing
Get the right mini-split system size for your home for maximum efficiency and consistent comfort. A professional HVAC expert will determine the right mini-split size for your home for you.
If you are in the market for a new ductless mini-split, need a professional HVAC expert for the installation process, or need expert repair services, look no further. We have professionals at American Air & Heat ready to deliver HVAC services in and around Oviedo, FL. Whether you need air conditioning or heating system repair, installation or maintenance, contact American Air & Heat today for high-quality service.