Is your energy-hog central air conditioner starting to hurt your finances? Is your home cooling unit making you lose your cool due to uneven temperature? Guess what? When it comes to whole-home cooling and heating, you’re not alone aching for a better solution. And there’s no better solution than having an alternative system. Because let’s face it; despite practically dominating the residential HVAC market for many years, the centralized air conditioning system has long been found wanting. The thing is, central air system is no longer measuring up to our expectations. To just be able to cool our home has long ceased as the main goal. As cooling and heating challenges at home evolve, more households seek for better consistency and flexibility. And with the impact of a still-sluggish economy consistently creeping into family budget, the last thing that you’d want is a stubbornly high electricity bills.
But what can you do when your centralized HVAC system is costing you more while giving you less comfort? Over the years, the ductless mini split system has emerged as the most viable alternative to conventional systems. Providing high energy-efficiency and excellent performance, ductless ACs trump room air conditioners in terms of spot cooling and heating and essentially outshine central air systems as a whole-home comfort solution. Despite the great arguments about the exceptional capabilities of ductless units for single-room application, its function as a climate control solution for multi-room environments is what makes it even more an ideal alternative to a central air conditioning system.
Looking at their respective components, the ductless mini split system and a central air conditioning system are both designed as a split-type system. This means that these two systems consist of two separate units that are engineered to work as one system—an outdoor unit that is installed in a suitable area outside the house and an indoor unit that is placed inside the home. The outdoor unit is the compressor/condenser system, while the indoor unit is called the air handler where the evaporator component is located. The condenser consists of a condenser coil and the evaporators consists of an evaporator coil. Both of these coils carry the refrigerant that helps absorb and releases heat. Inside the condenser, the refrigerant gas is converted into a liquid at low temperature. The compressor helps by compressing low-pressure gas. Built with a condenser coil, this component is also responsible for releasing the heat from the refrigerant. The evaporator unit, which is typically located on top of the gas furnace or inside the duct system, consists of an evaporator coil that helps absorb the heat inside the house. The absorbed heat is delivered to the refrigerant and eventually released outside the house.
Take note that the refrigerant moves in a cyclic process, constantly condensing inside the compressor unit and evaporating inside the evaporator unit. During the refrigeration process, the refrigerant goes through both the indoor and outdoor units by being transported through two copper tubing components called the refrigerant line or line set. This line set is composed of the so-called suction line that helps transport the refrigerant as a cool gas and the liquid line that helps transport the refrigerant as a warm liquid. The refrigerant line, an electrical wire that connects the unit to the power supply, and a condensate drain are passed through a small conduit in the wall and serve to link both the indoor and outdoor units of the ductless mini split system and the centralized air conditioning system. The other important components of these systems include the expansion valve that regulates the amount of the refrigerant that flows into the evaporator coil, the blower that helps circulate the air in the evaporator so it can be properly released and distributed inside the house, the fan that blows air in the condenser so that the heat will be released outside, and the thermostat that serves as your control to regulate the amount of cool air that circulates inside the house.
It must be noted that despite the similarities in components, the ductless mini split system and the centralized air conditioning system have huge differences. And these differences basically start with the ducts. Centralized air conditioning systems are designed to operate using a network of ducts where the conditioned air passes and flow before being distributed to different parts of the house through the air vents. Ductwork is costly, complicated to install, and prone to a lot issues, such as air leaks, that can severely affect the performance and efficiency of the whole system. Typical air-duct systems lose 25% to 40% of the heating or cooling energy put out by the cooling and heating system.
In contrast, ductless mini splits do not have any requirement for ductwork. It does not make use of vents that placed in various parts of the house. Instead, a ductless system utilizes a type of configuration where the outdoor unit is linked with different air handlers that are mounted in each specific room inside your home. This is called temperature zoning.
For whole-home climate control, a ductless mini split solution provides multiple-zone cooling and heating. In this type of application, your house is divided into different “zones”, which is defined as spaces where there’s a need for targeted cooling or heating. To make the whole thing works, you will install one air handler for each of these spaces. Normally, ductless mini split solutions allow up to eight air handlers. Remember that the number of indoor units that you can use depends on the number of rooms or zones that you need to heat or cool. These air handlers that mounted and distributed in different rooms can be connected in just one outdoor unit. Each air handler can be controlled individually and independent of each other through the use of a designated thermostat or remote controller. The remote controllers, can either be a handheld or wireless remote controller.
Through these individual controllers, you can now have an option to turn on or turn off the system if the room is unoccupied. This basically enables you cut your energy use and lower your electricity bills. It is worth mentioning that the new generation of ductless mini split systems
now also offer connectivity with smart mobile devices. This allows you to manage and control your ductless whole-home HVAC system directly from your smart phone or tablet. As a whole, this configuration of the ductless mini split system enables you to effectively create a whole-home comfort and climate control system that will not only resolve common hot spot and cold spot issues but also address your need for efficient use of energy when it comes to your cooling and heating system.
You would not be lacking of reasons to replace your centralized air conditioning system. In the same vein, there are excellent reasons why using a ductless mini split system is your best option to have a truly effective and efficient whole-home cooling and heating solution. Three of these exceptional benefits include the following:
• Maximum Comfort Experience. Typically advanced in terms of components and capabilities, the feature-rich ductless mini split systems are built with better technology that ensures maximum level of temperature comfort.
• Control Over Comfort. Through zoning, a ductless mini split system enables you to control the temperature in each individual room inside your home. No hot spots and cold spots, and definitely no more battle over the thermostat. By using a system that allows flexibility of use, each of your family members can now enjoy their preferred temperature wherever they are inside your home.
• Lower Electricity Costs.
Unlike centralized air conditioning systems where energy losses are very common due to duct issues, ductless mini splits are energy-efficient, enabling you to reduce your energy consumption. Lower energy use results to lower power bill. According to the Energy Department, the typical energy consumption of households that use a centralized AC system account for “more than 30%” of energy use. By using ductless mini split, just imagine the amount that you would gain from energy-savings. Of course, the advantages of using a ductless mini split system
for your home is not merely limited to the aforementioned benefits. Some of the other benefits include the following:
• Easy to install
• High energy-efficiency
• Capability to provide comfort even during extreme weather condition
• Highly advanced features and components
• Smart controls
• Remote access and management
• Quality indoor air due to advanced filtration technology
• Secure and reliable as a system
• Low-noise operation that adds to convenience
• Unobtrusive design which makes it ideal to any home environment regardless of style
• Environment-friendly due to recyclable components and use of non-ozone-depleting refrigerant R410A