Ductless Mini Splits Improve Air Quality in Homes with Infants & Children
The health and safety of a child are the most important priorities of any parent. One way to improve their health is by increasing the indoor air quality in your home. Fortunately, our ductless mini split systems that not only heat and cool your home but ensure that your child is breathing in high-quality and filtered air. Read below to find out how ductless mini splits can help increase your home’s air quality!
The Importance of Indoor Air Quality
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we spend roughly 90% of our time indoors. The concentration of certain pollutants indoors is two to five times higher than it is outdoors. This heightened exposure to harmful airborne materials can have negative impacts on the development of young children and infants.
For example, it can hinder their neurodevelopment and lead to diminished motor skills or brain function. Indoor air pollution also has a negative impact on young children’s respiratory systems. Their lungs are still growing and developing and prolonged exposure to harmful airborne particles can stunt or hinder this growth. Children are also more likely to breathe through their mouths than their noses. This means that harmful airborne materials are bypassing nasal filters and ingested straight into the lungs.
Indoor air pollution can also weaken children’s immune systems, which leads to frequent sickness such as the common cold and even the development of chronic illness. Chronic illnesses linked to indoor air pollution include asthma, chronic bronchitis, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and more.
Poor indoor air quality can also contribute to allergy development. Without a proper filter, common household allergens such as dust, mold, pet dander, and more can linger in the air to create an uncomfortable environment.
If your child is exhibiting allergy symptoms such as sneezing, irritated eyes, coughing, and shortness of breath, there may be an airborne irritant in your home. In some cases, allergies can develop into other illnesses when not treated efficiently or properly. Fortunately, ductless mini splits can help improve your indoor air quality and decrease the risk of air pollution-related health problems.
What Are Ductless Mini Splits?
Ductless mini split systems consist of an outdoor condenser or compressor connected to one or more indoor air handling units by a series of copper wires and pipes. Indoor air-handling units are available in many different styles such as ceiling cassette and slim duct to meet the design wants and function needs of consumers. All mini splits come with a remote control, but many can be connected to a Wi-Fi network and controlled via smartphone application.
Ductless mini splits have been the HVAC norm in Europe and Asia for decades, but they have seen a recent popularity surge in the United States. This is not accidental, as they offer unrivaled heating and cooling to businesses and homes with a variety of other benefits.
Problems of Ducted HVAC Systems
Many American homes already have central ducted HVAC systems installed for heating and cooling purposes. However, these systems are inefficient and quickly becoming outdated. For example, roughly 25% of energy produced by a central HVAC system is lost as it travels through the ducts. This waste leads to increased energy costs and higher emissions over time, but it can be eliminated by switching to a ductless mini split.
Mini splits are known for their heightened efficiency that leads to savings on your energy bill and a reduced carbon footprint.
Additionally, a central ducted HVAC system may be decreasing your home’s air quality. Dust, dirt, debris, bacteria, and other harmful materials build up in the ducts over time. The dark and damp environment is also the perfect place for mold and mildew to grow. If ducts are not regularly and thoroughly cleaned, these materials are spread throughout the entire house by your HVAC system. This decreases your indoor air quality and exposes your children to harmful airborne materials.
Air Filters and Purifiers
Ductless mini splits are more than just air conditioners; they improve your indoor air quality as they heat and cool your home. Many homeowners have to purchase stand-alone air filters and purifiers, but this need is eliminated with a ductless mini split system.
Each indoor air-handling unit comes with a built-in filter to help remove harmful particles from the air. Mini splits can filter out materials such as dust, dirt, debris, pet dander, mold spores, and various other harmful bacteria or allergens. This significantly improves your indoor air quality and decreases your child’s risk of illness or allergy.
ComfortUp sells ductless mini split filters that can help improve your indoor air quality and keep your infant or child safe. Certain filters offer different benefits and levels of performance.
For example, Mitsubishi makes an anti-allergy enzyme filter designed to help ease the symptoms of chronic allergy sufferers, and Panasonic makes antimicrobial filters designed to catch and kill various bacterias. GREE also makes active carbon filters that trap microscopic airborne particles other filters may miss. A ComfortUp trained product specialist is more than happy to answer any questions you may have to help find the perfect filter and keep your child healthy.
In addition to their air filtration and purification capabilities, ductless mini splits are also dehumidifiers. Mini split systems can dehumidify the air while heating and cooling, but some models have a “dry mode.” This mode allows them to dehumidify without cooling and, much like with an air filter or purifier, eliminates the need to purchase a stand-alone unit.
By removing any excessive airborne moisture, mini splits are deterring the growth of mold and mildew. These harmful substances thrive in dark, damp indoor environments such as basements or bathrooms, and they create a noticeable musky smell. Microscopic airborne particles can irritate infants and childrens, and some may even develop a mold allergy. Fortunately, mini splits can kill any harmful mold or mildew while preventing growth, too!
Single and Multi-Zone Systems
Ductless mini splits are available in single and multi-zone systems. A single-zone system consists of one outdoor unit connected to one indoor unit and allows you to control the temperature in that area only. A multi-zone system is made up of multiple indoor units connected to the same outdoor unit. Depending on the system, up to eight indoor units can be connected to one outdoor unit. A multi-zone system allows you to control the temperature in each “zone” or area independently of the others, which is one of the main benefits of a mini split system.
Mini split systems can be used as primary or supplemental heat sources. This means that they can heat or cool an entire area as the sole HVAC system or co-exist with another HVAC system in the same area, such as a window air conditioner or space heater. This versatility coupled with temperature cycling capabilities and almost silent operation makes mini splits perfect for children's bedrooms.
Many install mini split systems as a supplemental air conditioning source for their bedroom even if they already have an existing HVAC system, while others use it as the main source. Regardless, mini split systems provide optimal thermal comfort and improved air quality for residents as they sleep.
Bedroom air quality is of the utmost importance because children spend a significant percentage of their time in their bedroom. On average, a toddler requires 12 hours of sleep per night while a child aged three to six requires 10-12 hours. The exact number of time spent in the bedroom may be higher because this does not account for other bedroom activities such as napping during the day or playing.
Over time, this exposure to harmful indoor air pollution while in the bedroom can contribute to many of the aforementioned health problems. Fortunately, this can be prevented with a ductless mini split.
Another benefit of ductless mini splits is their temperature-cycling capabilities. Mini splits can be programmed to increase or decrease volumes and temperatures in certain timed intervals. Many use this feature in their bedrooms, as mini splits often have specific “sleep cycles.” Sleep cycles not only alter the temperature, but the noise generated by the system drops dramatically as to not disturb your sleep. Some systems even sound softer than rustling leaves!
The recommended sleeping temperature range for a young child is 68℉ and 72℉, so you can program your sleep cycle to reduce the temperature and keep your infant or child resting comfortably. The cooler sleeping environment will also provide benefits such as increased melatonin and a faster metabolism. A mini split in the bedroom will ensure that they are breathing filtered high quality air as they sleep comfortably.
Mini Split Maintenance
Another reason homeowners love ductless mini splits is their simplified maintenance process. Dust, dirt, debris, and other harmful materials build up and create a thin layer on the coils within your system. Even a coating of ¼ mm can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 20%, but it is fairly simple to wipe them clean. Professional maintenance from an HVAC technician once or twice a year can also help keep your system operating efficiently.
The mini split’s filter also requires some simple maintenance. Depending on your system’s level of use, it should be removed and wiped clean with a cloth every four to six weeks. It should also be replaced annually or semi-annually. The frequency for cleaning and replacing the filter will be specified in the instruction manual. By taking these simple maintenance steps, your system will produce high-quality indoor air, which will result in easier breathing for you and your children.
In conclusion, ductless mini splits are one of the most effective ways to increase your home’s air quality and create a safe indoor environment for your children or toddler. ComfortUp proudly sells mini splits from the industry’s most trusted brands such as Mitsubishi, GREE, Boreal, and more.
After browsing our extensive selection, consider purchasing an extended warranty for your mini split. All mini splits come with a manufacturer’s warranty that covers replacement part costs, but the extended warranty covers labor costs for any repair work done by a professional technician.
Ductless mini splits must be installed by a professional HVAC technician to function properly and validate the warranty. For more information about mini splits or other HVAC related questions, please contact us online today!