Pros & Cons to Using Ductless Heating & Cooling in a Large Home
Ductless heating and cooling has become increasingly popular as an alternative to other HVAC systems, such as central ducted units and window air conditioners. It is an excellent way to heat and cool indoor areas of all varieties, such as large homes. Read below to learn more about the pros and cons of ductless heating and cooling in a large home, and then order a mini split system from ComfortUp!
Single- and Multi-Zone Systems
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. They offer many different advantages and benefits over HVAC alternatives, which helps them create the ideal indoor climate in any home or business owner.
Mini splits are available in single- and multi-zone systems, and a “zone” is typically a room, an area, or an entire floor of an indoor area. A single-zone system features one outdoor unit connected to one indoor unit, while a multi-zone system features one outdoor unit connected to multiple indoor air conditioners.Shop Our Selection Of Ductless Mini Splits
Single-zone systems allow you to control the temperature and climate in the zone where the indoor unit is physically located. Settings on the air conditioners in a multi-zone system can be adjusted independently of each other, meaning that you can change the temperature on one indoor unit without impacting the other air conditioners on the same system.
Costs of Heating and Cooling a Large Home
Even though they can have higher upfront costs than other HVAC systems, such as window air conditioners and central air systems, ductless mini splits are cost-effective in several different ways.
To adequately heat and cool a large home, you will likely require a multi-zone system with several indoor air handling units. Some multi-zone systems can feature up to eight air conditioners connected to the same condenser, but ComfortUp sells multi-zone systems including two to five air conditioners. Depending on the size of your home and number of “zones” that need air conditioning, you may require more than one multi-zone system. This will require the purchase of multiple different units, which can be costly.
However, these costs will be offset by lower energy bills and other long-term savings on installation and maintenance. Mini splits have a simplified installation process relative to central air systems, so you will not have to spend as much on labor costs. They also do not require maintenance as frequently as central air and are less prone to breakdowns, resulting in additional long-term savings on labor costs.
Ductless mini splits are the most efficient HVAC system available on the market. Central ducted systems waste roughly 30% of energy produced as it travels throughout the ductwork, but this waste is eliminated since mini splits do not require ducts. This heightened efficiency results in both immediate and long-term savings through significantly lower energy bills. Despite a higher upfront cost required to heat and cool a large home, ductless mini splits are a financially friendly option in the long term.
Mini Split Size
Before purchasing a mini split system(s) for your large home, you must know the size of the rooms where you plan to install mini splits. Mini split size is measured in tons and expressed in BTUs, short for British Thermal Units. One ton refers to the amount of heat, measured in BTUs, that an air conditioner can remove from a given space in one hour.
An improperly sized mini split does not efficiently heat and cool the area and will result in malfunctions such as “short cycling.” This is when the mini split turns on, quickly blows air out into the room, and turns itself off repeatedly. This is very wasteful and inefficient because the constant restarting not only creates an unpleasant environment, but raises stress on the machine, which can decrease its lifespan. It also raises your energy costs.
Depending on your zone sizes, you may need to purchase specific mini split systems with different BTU measurements and capabilities. Certain multi-zone systems feature indoor units with the same specifications, while others have different BTU measurements and other settings.
For example, this GREE Multi 21+ quad-zone system features four 9,000 BTU mini splits while this GREE Multi 21+ tri-zone system features mini splits with 9,000, 12,000, and 24,000 BTUs. The 9,000 BTU mini splits are designed for 300-500 sq.-ft.-rooms, so the quad-zone system is an excellent option to heat and cool four different areas in your large home that are approximately that size.
A 12,000 BTU mini split is designed for 400-650 sq.-ft.-rooms, and a 24,000 BTU mini split for 800-1,300 sq.-ft.-rooms. Therefore, the tri-zone system is an excellent option if you have to heat and cool three differently sized areas. For recommended BTUs by square foot and other mini split size-related issues, please refer to this page.
Primary vs. Supplementary Heat Sources
Mini splits can be used as primary and supplementary heat sources. This means that they are powerful enough to heat and cool any area or large home by themselves but can also coexist in your home with other types of air conditioners, such as a central ducted system.
One drawback of central-ducted systems is that any area in the home not along the duct’s path will not be heated and cooled properly. Areas such as basements, garages, or attics are not usually along the ductwork’s path. Any area of the home built after the ductwork was installed is also not along the path. Heating and cooling these areas would require extending the ductwork, which is very costly and intrusive.
Fortunately, you can install a mini split system instead. It can adequately heat and cool any area in your home that is not along the ductwork’s path!
Improved Air Quality
Ductless mini splits not only make your home more comfortable but healthier as well. As they heat and cool your home, they are also improving your indoor air quality! Inside of each air conditioner is a filter that removes harmful airborne contaminants such as dust, dirt, debris, dander, and more.
It also removes any moisture to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Removal of airborne moisture is especially beneficial in dark and damp areas of your home such as basements and garages because that is the ideal environment for mold. You can also install ultraviolet lights as an accessory to your system that will further kill harmful bacteria and moisture.
The improved air quality that comes with having mini splits in your home is especially beneficial for certain age and health demographics. The immunocompromised, the elderly, and infants and children are more susceptible to health problems caused by poor indoor air quality. Fortunately, a mini split helps keep them safe and healthy!
Mini split filters require periodic maintenance and replacement. This maintenance generally involves removing the filter and wiping it clean with a cloth. The filter will also need to be replaced annually or semiannually, depending on your system’s condition and usage. Filter maintenance and replacement guidelines and instructions will vary from filter to filter but will be clearly outlined in any accompanying documents.
Neglecting filter maintenance and replacement is detrimental to your system. A dirty filter cannot properly remove harmful airborne contaminants, which means you and your family will be at a higher risk of exposure to allergens or pathogens. It also decreases your system’s efficiency, which can lead to higher energy bills and lower performance.
Different Indoor Air-Handling Units
There are several different types of indoor air conditioners available. Wall-mounted units are the most common, but other styles provide the same heating and cooling experience in a different shape and look to accommodate design and function needs. They are also not ideal in rooms with limited wall space, but styles such as ceiling cassette, slim duct, and concealed mount would work better in rooms with less wall space. Some designs are also very inconspicuous, so they will not clash with the room’s aesthetic.
When ordering a multi-zone mini split system from ComfortUp, you often have the ability to pick and choose different styles of mini split units to meet your home’s needs. This means you could have a traditional wall-mounted unit, a ceiling cassette, and a concealed mount all on the same system. A trained product specialist at ComfortUp can help you find the perfect combination of air-handling units for your system.
Mini Splits Use Smart Technology
Ductless mini split systems utilize modern “smart” technology to provide the user with more control over their system. For example, many mini splits are controllable via smartphone application. While each unit comes with a physical remote that allows you to change the settings, these applications give you the ability to adjust your mini split even when you are not physically in the same room, or even house.
This is ideal for those in large homes, as you can adjust the settings on one mini split from across the house with ease. This allows you to turn down or off entirely any air conditioner in a currently empty room. An air conditioner running in an empty room is wasteful and inefficient, and turning it down or off reduces stress on your system while further decreasing your energy costs.
These applications also give you more advanced statistics, concerning your system, such as humidity levels, airflow, and more. You can even pair your mini split with a smart thermostat for an even more advanced level of control.
One way mini splits utilize smart technology is through temperature cycling. These programmable settings allow your system to turn on and off in timed intervals of your choice. For example, you can program a cycle that shuts your mini split off during the day while family members are at work or school and turns it back on right before you arrive home. A temperature cycle allows you to arrive at a comfortable home without having to leave your mini split wastefully running and consuming power all day.
Sleep cycles are also common. These cycles significantly reduce the noise level of your machine while still creating the ideal cooler sleeping environment.Cool Down With ComfortUp!
Order a Mini Split System from ComfortUp Today!
ComfortUp proudly carries mini split systems from the best HVAC brands in the industry, such as GREE, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, LG, Boreal, and more. We also have necessary accessories such as line sets, filters, remote controls, UV lights, and more.
If you are unsure of the exact heating and cooling needs for your home, give ComfortUp a call at 1-855-337-0001 or contact us online today. We have a team of trained product specialists who are more than happy to evaluate your situation and pair you with the perfect mini split system.