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Split Personalities: Why Dual Zone Mini Splits Are Perfect for Couples
A dual zone mini split is the perfect system for couples. Whether it’s installed in a city apartment or a larger two-story home, it is a fantastic way to add customized climate control without the need for messy ductwork or adjustments to the existing HVAC system. One of the major benefits of a mini split system is its efficiency. It is easier to install and much more cost-effective than a window unit or central HVAC. A mini split is one of the greatest ways to supplement an existing heating or cooling system. When combined with other smart technology-based home appliances, a mini split becomes even more effective.
Dual zone mini splits involves an installation process which means you’ll need a qualified installation company to ensure the system run properly and as designed. This is mainly because the refrigerant line must be cut, and then charged. However, you may be able to install the handler and condenser before hiring a professional to finish off the refrigerant line setup. They will also be able to validate the manufacturer’s warranty, which in most cases, system failures are due to proper installations.
Why Dual Zone Mini Splits Are Perfect for Couples
In North America, 20% of households are made up of couples. It is becoming increasingly common for couples to cohabitate early in their relationship. This means that the type of home couples share can vary significantly. Some occupy apartments, others live in large houses, while many share a living space with others. No matter what type of home a couple lives in, a dual zone mini split is the perfect system. Here are some of the most important reasons.
- Customizable Controls
Couples generally spend most of their time in certain areas of their house, such as their bedroom, kitchen, and living room. While other rooms may be used occasionally, they don’t always require constant heating or cooling. This is where a dual zone mini split system comes in handy.
If you want to heat or cool specific rooms in your home without worrying about others, the mini split system gives you this control. It is more efficient and aesthetically pleasing than window ACs and space heaters and less complicated than a central HVAC. While central HVACs can produce excellent temperature control for an entire house, they usually pump air through multiple rooms, heating and cooling areas that aren’t being used. For couples without roommates or children, this is far from desirable when it comes to energy costs.
Dual zone mini split systems consist of one outdoor heat pump or air conditioning unit, plus two indoor air handlers. The indoor handlers can be programmed or controlled to provide an optimal temperature. Some modern appliances contain sensors that can automatically adjust the temperature when someone enters or exits the room.
Mini split systems are not ON or OFF appliances. Instead of intensive heating or cooling cycles, they offer continuous or consistent heat. When programmed correctly, the temperature doesn’t fluctuate much, creating a comfortable environment at all times. They also eliminate excess moisture in the air, further increasing the comfort of a home. Mini splits are generally controlled using a remote or a wall-mounted controller or through a smartphone application. Couples have the power to adjust the individual handlers as they choose.
Since dual mini split systems require specific knowledge and training to install safely, installation fees can be high. However, they are cost-effective over time. A couple looking to invest in something that will ultimately save them money in the future can experience tremendous benefits from this. To understand how a mini split system can save you money, you must first understand how they work.
With a dual zone system, the home or building is divided into two separate zones. The air handlers are placed in these zones to control the climate within. These are called ductless mini split systems. Instead of operating from one central unit that feeds the area through ductwork, they use metallic lines to feed air into a room—similar to window air conditioning units. No matter your current heating or cooling set-up, a mini split can help you achieve cost savings. Mini splits conserve far more heat than duct systems. Ducts are notorious for glaring inefficiencies and can lose up to 30% of generated heat.
Instead of generating heat by burning fuel, mini splits use electricity to move heat. During the cooler months, the outdoor condenser draws heat from the air to be distributed to the interior zones. This requires less energy than generating heat. The greatest cost savings are possible when your dual zone mini split system is used as the primary heating or cooling source. As we all know, heating your home is costly. Couples should look to efficient home systems like mini splits to help reduce their annual costs.
- Personal Preferences
Most people can appreciate that living with your better half has its challenges. Whether there are arguments over who’s cooking dinner or regular tugs of war over sharing the duvet cover, different people tend to have their individual preferences. The same goes for the temperature of their living space. Some people are much more sensitive to heat, while others struggle with the cold.
Dual zone mini split systems allow people to set their ideal temperature in two separate areas of the house. Although couples have to agree on a temperature if they intend on sharing the room, they can each choose to spend time apart in individually heated or cooled zones. While temperature adjustments are possible using smaller appliances like fans, heaters, window units, or portable air conditioners, a mini split system is much more effective in dispersing air and achieving your desired temperature. What’s more, it is a lot quieter and can be virtually silent in many circumstances.
- Multi-Story Homes
A common complaint of couples living in multi-story homes is that their house’s temperature is inconsistent, depending on what floor you’re on. As hot air rises, upper floors often get uncomfortably hot in the summer, while the downstairs can be very cold during winter. It is difficult to find the right balance of temperature.
This inconsistency is typically due to the ON or OFF cycling of an air conditioning unit or HVAC heating system. These single-speed options are generally relatively cheap to buy initially, but they lack heat distribution. A dual zone system allows couples to create two separate zones, upstairs and downstairs. Each zone can be set and regulated at specific temperatures, ensuring an evenly heated or cooled home. While dual zone systems are often enough to cater for a couple, a larger home may require more air handlers. Multi zone systems can feature up to eight indoor units, providing even more customized controls and will allow for better temperature consistency in larger homes.
What Size Mini Splits Are Best Suited to Couples?
The one-size-fits-all mantra doesn’t apply to mini split systems. Different homes with various room sizes get the best results from systems with specific output capabilities. To accurately size your mini split appliances, you must first measure the square footage of the rooms you intend to use them in.
For a dual zone system, you need each air handler to have enough BTU capacity for its designated space. The combined BTU of both units decides what total outdoor capacity is required. A mistake in this regard reduces the appliance’s effectiveness and could lead to more expensive energy bills in the long-term.
Each air handler is purpose-built to cater to a certain sized room. Bigger doesn’t always mean better; a small size room garners better results from a smaller unit. You might assume that an over-sized unit is capable of doing an adequate job in a small space. While it may suffice in some cases, an over-sized unit can cause issues.
Short cycling is a common occurrence with oversized units. The unit cools or heats the room very quickly, and it begins turning itself on, expelling air, shutting down, then repeating the process. This is because the system is trying to maintain the set temperature. With short cycling, the unit runs for short periods before shutting down, meaning the air humidity can’t regulate effectively. Cycling also causes the unit to run less efficiently, resulting in increased energy loss. Not only does this raise utility costs, but it can damage the system.
In contrast, a small unit won’t have enough power to adequately heat or cool a large space. It forces a couple to have any units running continuously. Even at maximum capacity, these models lack in terms of performance and raise your utility costs. It’s always best to have a reputable HVAC tech run a Manual J calculation on your home/space to ensure you’re looking for the appropriately sized system.Stop Dueling With The Thermostat, Get A Dual Zone Mini Split!
- Mini Split Size Guide
The following guide can help you determine what BTU capacity is required per air handler, based on a room’s square footage.
Load calculations must then be performed to determine the capacity needed for a condenser. If both handlers are intended to operate at 100%, the condenser BTU capacity must be greater than or to equal both indoor units’ combined capacity. However, this is rarely the case, so a smaller condenser is often adequate.
- Other Factors that Influence the Recommended Unit Size
The general climate has a major influence. Certain areas experience more extreme weather and temperature fluctuations than others. If an area is subject to extreme heat or cold, it can be a good idea to increase the BTU capacity by 20% per unit. Buildings with poor insulation may also require up to a 30% increase in BTU per unit. More power is necessary to regulate a poorly insulated home effectively.
Couples should consider a more powerful unit if ceilings are higher than average (8’ to 9’). Around 20% more BTU should be enough to heat or cool the area properly. Finally, if a couple’s home is heated or cooled by multiple appliances, it will affect what BTUs are needed per unit. The exact influence can vary, depending on the heat and cold sources.
What Couples Should Look For in a Dual Zone Mini Split System
There are several desirable characteristics in a mini split system apart from the BTU capacity and price. Here are some other characteristics to look for.
- Energy Rating
Mini splits are generally known for their efficiency. However, some systems are more efficient than others, and most home appliances should have an energy rating from a governing agency. Energy Star is one of the most reputable and common energy ratings. Couples must ensure they check the energy rating of a unit before purchasing it. This could have a major impact on utility costs down the line.
- Smart Technology Compatibility
Smart technology has a growing influence on home appliances. Many modern mini split systems are integrated with smart technology, allowing them to be controlled using a phone or tablet. This can be a handy feature, enabling you to set the temperature before arriving home. It also comes in handy if you forget to switch on or off a unit.
Even the best-quality appliances can break down. Products that come with a long-term warranty provide peace of mind that the manufacturer stands behind its units’ quality. Couples should take the warranty into account when choosing a dual zone mini split system.
- Noise Output
Mini splits are usually far quieter than traditional ducted HVAC systems. However, this is not always the case. While a noisy unit in the basement or kitchen may not matter, most couples want a bedroom appliance to be as quiet as possible and look for air handlers with a lower dB(A).
Dual Zone Mini Splits for Couples
At ComfortUp, we supply a range of dual zone mini split systems that are perfect for all types of homes. For further information on our products or additional help researching what type of unit is best suited to your home, schedule a FREE 30 minute consultation with one of our product experts now!
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