Is A Ductless Minisplit Air Conditioning System Right For My Home?

Find out what minisplits are and how they can benefit your Tucson home.

Minirsplit air conditioning and heating installed on a wall inside a home in Tucson.
Minisplit indoor unit installed in a living room in Tucson, AZ

Table of Contents

What is a minisplit air conditioning system?

Ductless minisplit air conditioning and heating systems are an advanced solution to keeping our homes and buildings comfortable all year round. As their name suggests, ductless minisplit systems are both ductless – meaning that they do not require any ductwork at all – and small. 

Minisplit air conditioning technology was first invented in the late 1950’s as a way to be able to install cooling and heating in buildings and homes that did not have the space or ability for a traditional HVAC system and its required ductwork.  Today, modern minisplit systems are leading the pack when it comes to air conditioning efficiency and home comfort due to their innovative design and improved engineering.

Minisplit air conditioning has many advantages because of its versatile and energy efficient design. The systems are ultra-quiet and can be tastefully installed in rooms and buildings that might not otherwise be able to have air conditioning.  They are very capable of keeping even large rooms well conditioned, providing reliable air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter. Because of their energy saving properties and near-silent operation, ductless minisplit systems are popular for whole-home heating and air conditioning.

A diagram showing the two main components of minisplit HVAC systems : the outdoor condenser and the indoor air handler
The two main components of a minisplit air conditioning system: the outdoor condenser and indoor air handler

A ductless minisplit HVAC is made up of two main components – an outdoor unit (the condenser), and an indoor unit that with the help of the outdoor unit creates and distributes the cold or hot air. The outside condensing unit is responsible for sending pressurized refrigerant to the indoor units.  The indoor units then use the refrigerant from the condenser to create cold or hot air by passing it through its internal coils, creating an evaporative effect that produces the refrigerated air.

One outdoor system can be used to power one in door system, such as when using a minisplit system to condition an addition or garage, or up to 5 in door systems, depending on the system. Indoor minisplit units can either be installed as mounted wall units (like the picture above), or as vents coming from the roof if the house has an attic. 

Unlike a standard air conditioning and heating system, minisplit systems split up the job of creating cold and hot air to every room of your home. This allows for some interesting benefits, such as reducing energy usage and allowing for a more even air conditioning and heating of all the rooms and spaces in your home. 

What are the benefits of minisplit air conditioning systems?

  • Save energy! Ductless mini-splits are the most energy efficient HVAC systems available today.
  • Minisplits can better control the temperature and humidity of each room, keeping you comfortable.
  • Minisplits allow you to have different temperatures for each room – everybody gets to choose!
  • Get rid of hot spots! Minisplits can cool a room that does not get enough air from the central HVAC system.
  • Minisplits can cool and heat rooms that are not being air conditioned (such as a garage or addition).

Minisplit air conditioning and heating - more efficient air conditioning

Are minisplit systems more energy efficient than regular air conditioning and heating systems?

The short answer is yes.

In a standard air conditioning and heating system, all of the cold or hot air is created at a central location – the HVAC system itself. This air is then pushed with the help of a strong fan motor through the  duct system of your house. This process of having to push the conditioned air throughout the entire building is not the most energy efficient strategy because the air loses some of its warmth or coldness as it travels the duct system of your home.   

Minisplit air conditioning systems, on the other hand, create hot or cold air directly inside the spaces being conditioned. This is done by having an indoor system, usually installed either on a wall or on the ceiling, creating the refrigerated air directly inside the room and areas that need to be conditioned. The result is an air conditioning and heating system that minimizes energy waste.

Additionally, minisplit air conditioning and heating (HVAC) systems are a source of innovation for the industry and usually enjoy more advanced features and technology than conventional systems. One of the biggest innovations as far as saving energy was the invention of the inverter compressor. This new design for HVAC compressors only uses the specific amount of refrigerant and compressor power to create the required cooling or heating in the home. This makes modern mini-split systems even more efficient because of the inverter technology, which is not commonly found in conventional central air conditioning and heating systems.

Photo of two HVAC technicians installing a minisplit air conditioning and heating system for a home
A minisplit air conditioning and heating system being installed for a home in Tucson, Arizona

Minisplits are great for a single room or for your whole home

Does your home happen to suffer from a dreaded air conditioning hot spot? A hotspot can be a room, part of a room, or a part of your home that gets too much sun and heat in the summer and not enough air conditioning to balance it out. Hotspots can make whole portions of your home uncomfortable even if your house has a central air conditioning system. Thankfully, minisplit air conditioning systems present a good solution to already-built homes suffering from pesky hot-spots caused by lack of proper air conditioning.

Instead of having to redo the duct systems of your home and possibly having to increase the size of the central air conditioning system, minisplit systems provide a cool and affordable solution to problem rooms.

Ductless minisplit air conditioning and heating systems are also an excellent solution for air conditioning entire homes. Because of their energy efficient design, having minisplit air conditioning systems be the main source or air conditioning and heating for your home or office means that you will be paying less every month on electric bills. Additionally, cooling your home with minisplits allows you to have different air conditioning settings for different areas of your home, allowing you to have complete control over the air conditioning and heating of your home.

Whether for a single room or for your whole home, ductless minisplits are efficient, effective and near-silent. They provide a quality solution to air conditioning new additions to your home, and are a luxurious way to air condition and heat your home or building year-round.

How much do minisplit air conditioning systems cost?

There are a lot of variables that can determine the total cost of having minisplit systems installed. For a single area system to cool a room or garage, you could expect to pay between $2,000 – $4,000 to have a modern minisplit system professionally installed, depending on the brand and model chosen.

Whole home minisplit installations require more systems, more material, and more labor to achieve the final product. Therefore the costs of having minisplits installed for your whole home are higher, and can be roughly the price of a single room minisplit install multiplied by the number of rooms in your home. 

Minisplit system installations for the entire home are usually a little more expensive than installing a regular central air conditioning system. However, central air conditioning costs make up the majority of most electric bills in hot areas like Arizona. By paying a bit more up front, you can have a quieter air conditioning system that consumes half as much electricity as a standard system and therefore save a lot of money in electric consumption over the long run.

If you are in Tucson or the greater Southern Arizona area and are interested in purchasing a minisplit air conditioning installation for your home or office, call us or message us via our contact form. Our team of professionals will be happy to help you with a free project consultation and quote.

 

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