The Perfect HVAC Solution for Healthier Families
Now-a-days, the US population is more aware than ever about clean air. With the internet, literally available at your fingertips at any given moment, people can self-educate any-thing, any-time. Imagine you’re in a smoky bowling alley, you might start to google something about cleaning the air. Maybe you have a child with really bad allergies, bring on the internet-search about in-home air filtration. Perhaps there’s a mass health-scare, “Alexa, what’s a product that can help me keep my family healthy.” Even if you just want to be pro-active and reduce the chances of getting and spreading illness throughout your family, you must take necessary precautions to ensure your indoor air quality remains at a healthy level. The BEST place to start is installing the proper HVAC system.
The best HVAC system to promote a healthy family is a ductless mini split, as they offer countless benefits over other types such as central ducted systems and window air conditioners. Read below to learn more about why mini splits are the best HVAC systems to reduce the risk of spreading illness and keeping your indoor air quality up to par, and then browse our selection and pick one out for your home today!
What Are Ductless Mini Splits?
Ductless mini splits have long been the most popular HVAC system found in European and Asian homes, but they have recently gained popularity in the United States. This is not accidental, as they offer many advantages and benefits over other types.
A ductless mini split system features an outdoor condenser or compressor connected to one or more indoor air handling units. The indoor unit is typically mounted on the wall, but other options such as ceiling cassettes and floor-mounted units are available, depending on the manufacturer make and model.
Certain indoor units are more inconspicuous than others, which makes them appealing for homeowners who do not want anything detracting from the room’s aesthetic. The outdoor and indoor units are connected by a series of copper wires and pipes, and the outdoor unit also features a draining component. Refrigerant, which is a liquid that helps determine and regulate the air temperature, flows throughout the wires and system.
Mini split temperatures and settings can be adjusted via remote control, but many models are compatible with smartphone applications and can be controlled remotely as long as they are connected to a Wi-Fi network. They can also be programmed into specific temperature cycles and activate via sensors that determine when someone exits or enters the room.
Spreading Germs in Ductwork
As their name implies, ductless mini splits do not have the extensive ductwork of older central HVAC systems. This is one of the main benefits of mini splits, as it allows them to operate at a very efficient level. Roughly 30% of energy produced is lost throughout the ductwork, and this waste leads to an increased energy bill and more stress on the HVAC system. Ductwork also has more leaks and other breakdowns, which are costly and time-consuming to repair. Ducted systems are also much more expensive and difficult to install than ductless mini splits.
This lack of ductwork is especially advantageous if you’re looking to reduce the possibility of spreading illness. For example, with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic of 2020, reducing the spreading of the virus has become increasingly important. Of course washing your wands is the best and easiest way to prevent the disease. If you have come in contact with the virus, knowingly or unknowingly, you can still be a carrier without ever experiencing any symptoms. With a ducted system, any germs can easily travel throughout your home in the ductwork and be recirculated five to seven times a day, on average. Next thing you know, your whole family has been exposed.
While general germs may still travel from room to room through doors or other openings, a ductless mini split will not collect and spread germs from room to room. Ductless mini splits will do a much better job containing sickness to its current location than a ducted system.
Single- and Multi-Zone Systems
Ductless mini splits are available in single- and multi-zone systems. A single-zone system consists of one indoor air handling unit connected to one outdoor unit, while a multi-zone system consists of multiple indoor air handling units connected to the same outdoor unit.
Zones typically refer to individual rooms, entire levels, or areas in the house being heated and cooled by a mini split. A single-zone system gives you control over the temperature in the zone where the indoor unit is physically located only. A multi-zone system allows you to control each different zone without impacting the others, which helps to eliminate temperature inconsistencies throughout the home.
Designated “Quarantine” Areas
Many times when you are sick at home, you might have a designated “sick-area”, probably your bedroom, to help minimize the impact of illness throughout the entire house. A designated “quarantine” area could be anywhere in the house, as long as it contains the germs in the area.
A single-zone system is the perfect heating and cooling option for any designated “quarantine” area. This stand-alone unit will do a wonderful job of circulating and filtering air while regulating temperature throughout the entire room.
Another advantage of mini splits is that they can coexist with other HVAC units, such as a central ducted system. If your home already has a central ducted system installed but it does not reach your designated “quarantine” area, you can easily install a mini split.
Multi-Zone Systems to Control Illness
Multi-zone systems are also great for controlling the spread of sickness. Since each zone can be controlled independently, you can increase airflow in areas with sickness without impacting the others. This will help clear the room of germs faster. A multi-zone system could also be used to heat and cool your whole house and be added into a designated “quarantine” area. For example, the GREE Multi21+ Dual-Zone VIREO is a dual zone mini split that can effectively heat, cool, and filter multiple zones at once!
Mini Splits as Air Filters
Ductless mini splits are not just air conditioners; they double as air filters and purifiers. While they are heating and cooling your home, they are simultaneously filtering the air. By removing harmful airborne particles of dirt, dust, debris, allergens, and smoke, they are improving your indoor air quality. This helps prevent or lessen the effects of illnesses such as asthma and prevents the growth of mold or mildew. Gree has a great selection of upgraded air filters to help reduce odors, eliminate bacteria and viruses from the air, and more.
Types of Air Filters
Three types of air filters work best for reducing the spread of illness within a dwelling. Photocatalytic filters can effectively eliminate 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and unpleasant odors in the air stream. Catechin Filters have excellent antioxidation and sterilization properties, and serves as a natural antiviral and antibacterial substance which can inhibit the growth and spread of bacteria, germs and other contaminants. The Silver Ion filter is highly effective for removing harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, spore, and common allergens from the air circulating throughout your home or office. Please see below for a detailed description of all the filter upgrade options offered by Gree.
ACTIVE CARBON FILTER
Gree Active Carbon Filters are especially useful for eliminating odors from tobacco smoke, pets, common household cleaners and other sources. For the past few hundred years, this type of filter has been used to deodorize and absorb unpleasant smells. The carbon filter uses a charcoal surface treated with oxygen to activate millions of microscopic pores found between the filter’s carbon atoms. These microscopic sites use chemical attraction to absorb and trap small molecules given off by odors. It is one of the best filters for smokers, pet owners or those whose homes or workplaces have heavy chemical odors. Gree Advanced Carbon Air Filter is a passive filtering system that helps clean and deodorize the air in your home or office while using the power from the Gree high-wall unit. It is the perfect way to help keep allergens and bad odors out of the room. Advanced Carbon Air Filters should be replaced every 3 to 4 months depending on room conditions.
The Gree Photocatalytic Air Filter is a specialized air filtration technology based on photocatalytic oxidation (PCO). This advanced air filtration technology oxidizes and degrades organic contaminants found in homes and offices. The filter can effectively eliminate 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and unpleasant odors in the air stream. Gree’s Photocatalytic Filter uses broad spectrum ultraviolet (UV) light and a thin film of titanium dioxide (TiO2) as a chemical catalyst to create hydroxyl radicals and super-oxide ions. These ions eliminate microorganisms absorbed on the catalyst surface and oxidize volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The ions released by this process are 100% safe, unlike those produced by ozone generators. The ions generated by the photocataltytic process do not remain in the air indefinitely. Instead, they are converted back into oxygen and hydrogen once they have done their work of neutralizing odors and fighting pollutants. A photocatalytic filter will effectively reduce air contaminants in many categories, including particles, gasses, and biologicals. This advanced technology reduces common volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as bacteria, mold, fungus, viruses, various allergens and unpleasant odors. Advance Photocatalyic Air Filters should be replaced every 3 to 4 months depending on room conditions.
The Gree Catechin Air Filter is one of the most popular choices for improving health and well-being. It is made with Catechin, which is an all-natural extract from green tea. This naturally occurring additive features excellent antioxidation and sterilization properties, and serves as a natural antiviral and antibacterial substance. It can effectively absorb tobacco smoke and pet smells while it inhibits the growth and spread of bacteria, germs and others contaminants. As a completely natural component of green tea, Catechin has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times. These legendary bioflavonoid molecules are infused of our Advance Filters, enabling them to strip the passing air molecules of odor-causing and pollutant particles. These particles are trapped in the filter which then deactivates microscopic bacteria and viruses, helping to diminish or prevent their spread. The Catechin air filter should be replaced every 3 to 4 months depending on room conditions.
SILVER ION FILTER
The Gree Advanced Silver Ion filter is highly effective for removing harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, spore, and common allergens from the air circulating throughout your home or office. Silver ions are a colorless and tasteless ion that have no side effects, irritations or pollution. The technology at work in our silver ion filter is a relatively new concept. It is commonly found in touch screens, mobile phones and textiles because of its ability to destroy harmful microorganisms on surfaces and prevent their growth. The filter generates and releases silver ions into the air stream, where they attach to microorganisms, destroys microbes on the molecular level, and effectively prevent reproduction and growth. Since the ion recycles itself after sterilizing, it is durable and long-lasting. In addition to long-term sterilization, the silver ion filter is environmentally friendly, safe and effective at reducing harmful airborne contaminants. The Silver Ion air filter should be replaced every 3 to 4 months depending on room conditions.
Ultraviolet (UV) filters and lights are another excellent option. UV lights can also eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria, odors, and other harmful airborne materials. UV lights are also excellent at deterring the growth of mold and mildew.
Heating and Cooling Capabilities
Filtration and purification capabilities are not the only way mini splits demonstrate their versatility. They are also able to both heat and cool any indoor area, unlike other systems that only do one or the other. This makes them a viable HVAC system even for those living in extreme climates. In fact, mini splits are designed to produce heat in temperatures as low as -31 °F! Your mini split can switch from heating to cooling mode at the flip of a switch or push of a button!
During operation, mini splits heat and cool in different manners. When mini splits are cooling, they take warm air from inside and run it over cold evaporator coils in the indoor air handling unit. Here it is exposed to a refrigerant that absorbs the heat and pushes it to the outdoor unit to be drained. When mini splits are heating, they pull air from outside of the home and run it through the condenser to heat it up. The hot air is then expelled into your home through the indoor unit.
The versatile heating and cooling capabilities of mini splits are very beneficial for you in-home patient. It allows them to be comfortable indoors at whatever temperature they need in that room, without affecting everyone else’s comfort in the house and regardless of the outdoor temperature.
Mini Split Maintenance
A simplified maintenance process is another excellent reason why ductless mini splits are perfect for reducing the spread of sickness and other germs. This keeps your system operating at a highly efficient level in all areas, mainly heating and cooling and air purifying. An efficient mini split means optimal air quality and a lower energy bill. Regular maintenance also increases the lifestyle of your system, as some can last up to 20 years if properly maintained and cleaned.
To get the best results out of your mini spit, the most important maintenance task is regularly cleaning the filter. Each filter is different, so make sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendation for how to properly clean your air filter. Filter cleaning is recommended every four to six weeks, especially if you have a higher “risk” situation in your home, be it chronic or intermittent, you may want to clean them more frequently. Most filters should also be replaced annually for peak efficiency.
Another important task is cleaning the condenser coils. A “micro-film” of dust, dirt, and other microscopic particles builds up on the coils over time, which significantly harms your system. A 1⁄4 millimeter film on the coil decreases efficiency by up to 20%, so be sure to clean it - you can wipe it off annually with soap and water or they have a simple "spray it and forget it" foam for your convenience.
In conclusion, ductless mini splits offer countless benefits and advantages that make them the perfect system for reducing the spread of germs and illness.