Updating Your HVAC Unit

Both Sides: The Ups And Downs Of Mini-Split AC Units

These days, there are several types of air conditioners you can choose from. One that your HVAC contractor might recommend is called a ductless mini-split air conditioner. Sometimes, this is referred to simply as a mini-split air conditioner. These systems, unlike typical central air units, do not require ducts to be placed in your walls. They have two components: a condenser and an air handler. So, should you follow your HVAC contractor's recommendation and have a ductless mini-split AC unit installed? Perhaps. Review the following pros and cons of these systems. 

Pro: They are easy to install.

Ductless mini-split systems take less time and effort for HVAC contractors to install, which helps keep labor costs down and minimizes the changes that need to be made to your home. Your contractor will set the condenser up outside and mount the air handler through the wall. They should not have to make any major changes to your windows, floors, or ceilings.

Con: They are on the expensive side.

Although you'll pay less for labor, you may pay more for the actual equipment. Ductless mini-splits are a bit newer to the HVAC world and companies charge more for them because they're so specialized.

Pro: They are energy-efficient.

Ductless mini-split air conditioners use a lot less energy than other types of air conditioners. They are also easy for homeowners to use in energy-efficient ways. Most come with multiple air handlers, so you can turn just one on and cool part of your home without cooling the whole thing. This is not usually an option with a central AC unit; you have to pay to cool the whole home, even if you're not using all the space.

Con: They take up wall space.

The air handlers associated with ductless mini-split systems are a foot or two long and a few inches tall. They are mounted on your walls, usually close to the ceiling. While they are not usually in the way, they do take up wall space. Some people do not like the way they look mounted on a wall. 

Ductless, mini-split air conditioners work well for many people, but they are not a one-size-fits-all solution to your HVAC needs. Talk to an HVAC contractor to learn more about these systems. If your HVAC contractor has recommended one but you're not so sure, don't hesitate to ask about alternatives, such as central air conditioning and portable AC units.

For more information on air conditioning, contact a professional near you.