Why Mini Splits Are Perfect HVAC Systems for In-Home Smokers
Twenty-six states have banned smoking in all enclosed workplaces, and another twelve have statewide bans with exceptions for places like bars and restaurants. While this may be an inconvenience for smokers while in public places, there are no bans or ordinances that prevent people from smoking in the comfort of their own home. If you opt to smoke in your home, you must take necessary precautions to ensure your indoor air quality remains at a healthy level. For example, you must install the proper HVAC system.
The best HVAC system for an in-home smoker is a ductless mini split, as they offer countless benefits over other types such as central ducted systems and window air conditioners. Fortunately for you, ComfortUp carries ductless mini splits in both single-, dual-, and multi-zone systems from all of the industry’s most trusted brands. Read below to learn more about why mini splits are the best HVAC system for in-home smokers, 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.
Cigarette Smoke 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.
For in-home smokers, this lack of ductwork is especially advantageous. Environmental Tobacco Smoke (often abbreviated ETS and referred to as secondhand smoke) is a combination of smoke from the cigarette and smoke exhaled by the smoker. With a ducted system, ETS can easily travel throughout your home in the ductwork and be recirculated five to seven times a day, on average.
Yellow stains on the wall and brown residue on fabrics are signs of ETS buildup in the ducts. ETS in the ducts is obviously terrible for your HVAC system. In-home smokers with ducted systems will require more frequent HVAC maintenance because debris from leftover smoke builds up in the ducts over time. Additionally, the already inefficient system will operate even more inefficiently with smoke buildup in the ducts.
While smoke may still travel from room to room through doors or other openings, a ductless mini split will not collect and spread smoke from room to room. Ductless mini splits will do a much better job containing smoke 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 Smoking Areas
Many in-home smokers have designated smoking areas to help minimize the impact of smoke throughout the entire house. A designated smoking area could be anywhere in the house, as long as it contains the smoke in the area, and some even build sunroom-like additions to their house specifically for smoking.
A single-zone system is the perfect heating and cooling option for any designated smoking area. This stand-alone unit will do a wonderful job of circulating and filtering air while regulating temperature throughout the entire smoking area.
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 smoking area, you can easily install a mini split
Multi-Zone Systems for In-Home Smokers
Multi-zone systems are also great for in-home smokers. Since each system can be controlled independently, you can increase airflow in areas with smoke without impacting the others. This will help clear the room of smoke faster. A multi-zone system could also be used to heat and cool your whole house and be added into a designated smoking area.
At ComfortUp, we carry many multi-zone mini split systems that are perfect for in-home smokers. 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.
Studies have shown that the concentration of pollutants is two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, meaning your indoor air may actually be of a worse quality than outside air. Smoking indoors directly contributes to diminished air quality, as ETS contains a high number of chemicals.
Types of Air Filters
Two types of air filters work best for in-home smokers. Active carbon filters use small granulated or powdered pieces of carbon to absorb any harmful materials such as dust, lint, dirt, and other airborne particles from the air. The carbon filters are especially beneficial for indoor smokers, as they can filter out any secondhand smoke.
Active carbon filters have a high surface area and are very hollow, which allows them to absorb smaller materials that may slide through other filters. GREE active carbon filters are great at helping to filter out secondhand smoke and improve your indoor air quality.
Ultraviolet (UV) filters and lights are another excellent option. At ComfortUp, we carry GREE filters that utilize UV lights to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria, odors, and other harmful airborne materials. The GREE Photocatalytic Filters significantly improve your home’s indoor air quality and helps combat the negative effects of indoor smoke by creating hydroxyl radicals and superoxide ions that eliminate harmful pollutants such as bacteria, allergens, and odors. UV lights are also excellent at deterring the growth of mold and mildew.
Mini Splits as Dehumidifiers
In addition to their air filtering and purifying capabilities, mini splits also function as dehumidifiers. By removing moisture from the room, mini splits help limit the growth of mold and mildew. This also helps remove any secondhand smoke buildup in the room, which creates a more comfortable environment and increases air quality.
Some mini split models feature a dry mode where they dehumidify without heating or cooling. This is perfect for in-home smokers, as they can turn their system into dry mode after smoking and leaving the room. This clears all the smoke while also allowing for purification and dehumidification without the extra strain of unnecessarily heating and cooling an empty room. To maximize your mini split’s dehumidifying capabilities, make sure you purchase and install a condensate pump and drain to drain the excess moisture.
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, our 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 smokers. It allows them to be comfortable indoors and enjoy their smoking experience, regardless of the outdoor temperature. Stepping outside in the freezing cold or sweltering heat to smoke is quite a nuisance, but that’s a thing of the past with a ductless mini split in your home!
Mini Split Maintenance
A simplified maintenance process is another excellent reason why ductless mini splits are perfect for in-home smokers. 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.
For an in-home smoker, the most important maintenance task is regularly cleaning the filter. Simply remove the filter, wipe it with soap and water, and replace it. Filter cleaning is recommended every four to six weeks, but in-home smokers may want to clean them more frequently. Most filters should also be replaced annually for peak efficiency, but in-home smokers may want to replace theirs more often because of the increased exposure to secondhand smoke.
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 wipe it off regularly with soap and water!
In conclusion, ductless mini splits offer countless benefits and advantages that make them the perfect system for in-home smokers. For any other questions or concerns, call 1-855-337-0001 or contact us online today.