When shopping for a heating and cooling system for your home, it’s crucial to choose one that balances efficiency, performance and budget. That’s why many families look to mini-splits to heat and cool their home.
Mini-splits—often called ductless mini-splits—provide a variety of advantages that make them an attractive solution for both homes and businesses. They're extremely energy efficient, decreasing energy consumption and saving on utility bills, because they avoid the energy losses affiliated with the ductwork found in traditional HVAC systems. They also enable users to control the temperature in each room, boosting overall comfort while not wasting energy.
If you’re interested in mini-split installation in Newark, it’s important to first determine if these devices are recommended for your living situation. Here, we’ll explore how mini-splits measure up to other heating and cooling methods.
What a Mini-Split Is and How It Works
A mini-split, or ductless mini-split, is a heating and cooling mechanism that doesn't need ductwork to function. It's often used in homes that don't have existing air ducts and for homes with rooms that aren’t served well by an existing HVAC system.
A mini-split system has two primary components: an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling device. These are linked by a conduit carrying the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing and a condensate drain.
Here's how it works: the exterior compressor distributes the refrigerant necessary for heat exchange within the coils and the air handler. The indoor unit brings in air from the room, cools or heats it over the coils and pushes the conditioned air back into the room.
Mini-Split vs. Central Air
Mini-splits provide targeted cooling in certain rooms or zones of your home. They are known for energy efficiency because they only provide hot or cold air for the areas you choose. However, they sometimes don't blend seamlessly into every location due to the fact they have wall-mounted indoor units.
On the contrary, a central air system uniformly conditions your entire home, generating consistent comfort levels throughout. Its ductwork is out of sight, preserving the interior design of your home. On the other hand, it might not be as energy efficient as a mini-split, especially in quite sizeable homes or residences where certain spaces may not need constant conditioning.
Mini-Split vs. Window AC/Window Unit
Mini-splits are typically more energy efficient and quieter than a window air conditioning unit and are capable of cooling multiple rooms. This is why mini-splits are a flexible alternative for many homeowners. They also use a type of refrigerant that is more environment-friendly, limiting their environmental impact. These systems can even add value to your home due to their reliable nature and superior cooling capabilities. However, they come with a higher purchase price.
On the other hand, window air conditioners are less expensive to purchase. They are often a good fit for homes that cannot accommodate a central Air conditioning system or for homeowners with budget constraints. In spite of these advantages, window units can consume up to 40% more energy than ductless mini-split systems and are often noisier.
Mini-Split vs. Portable AC
The answer to what is better, a ductless mini-split or a portable air conditioning unit, will depend on on your goals. If your main worries are energy efficiency and ability to quickly cool a room, a mini-split is considered far superior to a portable AC unit. However, if budget is a significant concern, a portable AC is less expensive.
Mini-Split vs. Gas Furnace
The choice between a mini-split system and a gas furnace depends on an assortment of factors which can include the climate in your city, home size, energy efficiency preferences and budget.
A mini-split system typically is more energy efficient than a gas furnace. It can heat and cool targeted areas in your home, providing custom climate control in specific rooms. Mini-splits also are for the most part quieter and have a greater up-front cost, but their operating costs are usually less due to their improved energy efficiency.
However, a gas furnace can be a very effective heating solution, particularly in colder climates where mini-split heat pumps may not be able to maintain comfort levels in the bitter cold. While they are less energy efficient than mini-splits, gas furnaces ordinarily cost less. But, their operating costs can be higher, especially if natural gas prices jump up.
Mini-Split vs. Heat Pump
Mini-splits and heat pumps use the concept of heat transfer. They are both energy efficient, but a heat pump's ductwork can use more power. However, the choice between a mini-split and a heat pump often relies on a homeowner's needs and circumstances.
Case in point, if you reside in a warmer climate and mostly need cooling, a mini-split system might be a better choice. But then again, if you need both heating and cooling and already have ductwork in your home, a heat pump may be a more efficient option.
Mini-Split vs. Space Heater
When it comes to heating and cooling a household, mini-splits and space heaters each have strengths and weaknesses. However, for all around efficiency, versatility, comfort and safety, mini-splits outperform space heaters. Mini-splits have superior energy efficiency because they deliver conditioned air directly to different zones and can serve numerous rooms at once.
Space heaters are far less expensive to buy but are typically reserved for heating a limited area or just one room. They also are usually less energy efficient. In contrast to mini-splits, space heaters do not deliver cooling. The greatest drawback for space heaters is the chance of fire. Authorities say some 1,700 fires per year involve space heaters.