Mini-Split Heating - A Good Fit for Your Lifestyle?

Does your home have cold spots? Are there some rooms that just won't stay warm? Are you thinking about upgrading your furnace or getting a new one altogether? Before you spend a lot of money, make sure you consider mini-split heating. A modern and efficient ductless mini-split heat pump could be the tool you need to bring direct, effective heat to a hard to reach space like a home office, garage, or workout room.

So, what do you really need to know about mini-split heating?

What is a Mini-Split?

Most modern HVAC systems are central air units that rely on ductwork to disperse conditioned air throughout the home. However, a mini-split system works differently. Rather than relying on ductwork, a mini-split heat pump uses an outdoor condenser and an indoor air handler directly connected through the wall.

The indoor air handler is typically mounted directly on the wall and is responsible for cooling a small area. In the case of a mini-split with a heat pump, the same handler can also heat the area.  A single condenser can power multiple air handlers, all of which have their own thermostats, allowing occupants precise control over each individual area.

Modern mini-split heat pumps and air conditioners are used all over the world. They're popular in Europe, Asia, and Central America. Mini-split usage is also growing rapidly in the United States. More and more homeowners find that a mini-split can deliver the exact amount of heating or cooling they need, so they can avoid a costly central air expansion.

What are the Benefits of Mini-Split Heating?

Precise Temperature Control

Most people are familiar with the following scenario: It’s 7:00 in the evening in the middle of winter. Mom is checking her newsfeed and watching Netflix in the living room, while the kids are making a last ditch effort to avoid bedtime by running circles throughout the house. Dad has just finished his evening workout and is getting ready to shower before bed.

This idyllic scene seems lovely—except for fact that Mom is freezing, the kids are yelling, “It’s too hot in here!!!” and Dad is dreading spending time in an over-heated bathroom after working up a sweat at the gym.

With a ductless mini-split system, the previous picture ceases to be a problem with a clear solution—zoning. With zoning, individual air handlers allow precise temperature control in each area of the home.

Plus, using a ductless heating, Mom is free to crank up the heat in the living room while keeping her kids’ rooms nice and cool for bedtime. Dad can choose to turn on the air conditioning in the bathroom if he wants, even though it’s the middle of winter!

Less Waste

Because each air handler works independently of the others, you won’t have to spend money heating or cooling an area of your home that you rarely use, such as guest bedrooms, basements, and garages.

And a lot of energy is lost pushing air through ductwork. Mini-splits eliminate all of that waste.

Easy Installation

Installing new ductwork for a traditional HVAC setup is time-consuming, costly, and messy. There’s a reason that ductwork on new home builds requires an inspection before finishing work can begin. Making changes to existing ductwork or installing new ducts is a headache that most people simply don’t want to deal with.

The ductless mini-split system eliminates this headache with an extremely simple and low-stress installation process. Most mini-split air handlers can be installed with a simple three-inch hole through an existing wall. Modern do-it-yourself products like the MrCool DIY are trivially easy to put in. You can learn more about them here.

When is a Mini-Split Heating Ideal?

This minimalist heating and air setup is an excellent choice for small areas that may not require ductwork. This includes apartments and condos, offices, and outbuildings. It also counts garages, workshops, sheds, detached garages, and any other non-ducted space you want to spend time in.

Mini-split heating is even a great choice for older buildings. Homes built before the invention of central air often don't have the interior spaces to accommodate an effective central air system. Mini-split units can literally work around that. They don't need a lot of space either.

Finally, the ductless mini-split can be an excellent option for supplemental heat in a space that already has central HVAC, but that may need a little boost from time to time. Do you have a back bedroom that never feels quite right? What about a home gym that could really use its own air system? Mini-split heating is exactly what you need.

What About Aesthetics?

Some homeowners do not want interior air handlers stuck on the walls of their home. This is understandable. There are alternatives for these discerning folks.

The first option is a ceiling cassette. Many mini-split heating models can be configured to use an easy-to-hide air handler that is installed in your attic. The only part you see is the vent that distributes the air from your ceiling.

The second option is a mini-split heating unit with a concealed duct air handler. These can be hidden out of sight in crawlspaces or attics. The installation is a bit more complex than with a typical wall-mount, but you get the aesthetics you want.

How Long Will a Mini-Split Heating Unit Last?

A major benefit of mini-split heating units is that they can last for years. Properly maintained, they can last for decades. At the very worst, they're competitive with more expensive central air options.

The Mini-Split is a Modern Solution to an Age Old Problem

Traditional central heating and air can’t provide perfect temperature control in each area of a home. If one area is too cold, turning up the heat will inevitably make another area of the home too warm.

Mini-split heating solves this problem by allowing a home’s occupants to control the climate of each individual zone. Not only does this allow comfortable climate control for everyone, it also saves money by not wasting energy dollars on heating and cooling unoccupied areas.

Mini-Split Heating Options on IWAE

Interested in exploring our inventory of mini-split heating systems? You can learn more here. You can also call us at 270-575-9595 to speak with one of our product pros about the best system for your home. If you have questions, just leave them in the comments below!

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