A ductless mini-split is an HVAC system that doesn’t require ductwork. These systems blow air directly into living spaces. Mini refers to the overall compact nature of the design. Split indicates that it’s a split system. That means that it has an outdoor condenser unit and at least one indoor air handler. A system with one indoor unit is a single-zone mini-split. A system with two or more indoor units is a multi-zone mini-split. Let’s explore the reasons you should consider these setups for your Oklahoma City, OK, home.

Long Lifespan and Low Maintenance Requirements

A well-maintained ductless mini-split can last upwards of 20 years. The good news is that maintenance is minimal. Manufacturers do recommend seasonal HVAC maintenance. During this appointment, your HVAC technician will inspect the system, clean it, including the condenser and evaporator coils, and replace the air filter. Experts do recommend a unit with a dry mode, but that feature is ubiquitous nowadays. The only maintenance you really must do yourself is clean the air filters every so often.

Installation Requirements

Ductless mini-splits have few requirements and are suitable for almost any home. This includes older homes that don’t have ducts. In fact, the only real requirement is that the installer be able to run a 3-inch conduit through the wall. The conduit connects the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. Most manufacturers provide a variety of conduit configurations to support nontypical installation scenarios.

Flexible Installation Options

Typically, your installer will place the outdoor unit within two to three feet of your home. That said, it’s possible to situate the outdoor unit as far away as 50 feet away if necessary. You also have options when it comes to mounting the indoor units within your home. There’s no need to have the same setup in every room. The most common configuration is to mount the air handler on the wall. Ceiling mounting is an option as well. Many manufacturers offer cassette-style units. They eliminate many of the hassles and costs associated with traditional ceiling mounts. You can even mount the unit on the floor in rooms that require it.

Installation Time

Installing a ductless mini-split is generally easier than installing a central air conditioner, heat pump, or forced-air furnace. The average installation time from start to finish is four to six hours. That estimate includes projects that involve installing between two and four indoor air handlers.

Integrated and Flexible Zoning

All multi-zone mini-split systems have HVAC zoning as an inherent feature. This is notable because zoned HVAC is expensive and complicated to add to an existing central system. Even if you opt for it at install, it’s pricey. It requires a variable-speed blower and, often, duct dampers.

With a multi-zone mini-split, it’s simply a natural aspect of the design. If you opt for a quad-zone mini-split, for instance, you will have four distinct zones. That could include two bedrooms, a main living area, and a kitchen. Multi-zone mini-splits are also scalable. The only limit is the upper head count of the outdoor unit. That’s often as high as eight. In that case, you could add up to four additional indoor units down the line. In extreme cases, you can also add an additional outdoor unit and link them.

An Option for Central HVAC Zoning

If you do have central HVAC and want to add zoning, a mini-split is often the easiest and most affordable way. You could, for instance, have a mini-split for the bedrooms to maintain cool sleeping temperatures. You could then maintain a much more energy-efficient setting for the central air overnight. It’s also a good option for sunrooms and similar spaces to reduce the burden on a central system.

An Option for Disconnected Living Spaces

If you build a home addition or set up a garage apartment, connecting it to the central HVAC is difficult. It will be cost-prohibitive for the average homeowner. That isn’t the case with a ductless mini-split. You can easily add units to disconnected garages, work sheds, and other satellite buildings.

Cooling and Also Heating

There are two core types of ductless mini-splits available: air conditioners and heat pumps. Often called cooling-only mini-splits, ductless ACs provide air conditioning exclusively. Ductless heat pumps are similar in their design but have a reversing valve. That valve lets the refrigerant cycle run in the opposite direction to transfer heat into the home as well.

Energy Efficiency

Ductless mini-splits are among the most efficient HVAC solutions on the market. That’s true whether you opt for a ductless AC or ductless heat pump. One reason for this is that a mini-split is generally able to use electricity more efficiently. This is because it has a variable-speed compressor that can slow down and speed up as necessary.

Another reason for the efficiency is the absence of ductwork. The average central HVAC system loses between 30% and 40% of its cooled and heated air through its ducts. For heating, a heat pump is also a lot more efficient in general than alternatives like furnaces and boilers.

Remote Access and Control

Most, if not all, manufacturers include a remote for each indoor unit that comes with the system. The remote lets you change the temperature and other settings without getting up off the couch. You may also want to consider a mini-split with Wi-Fi capabilities. By putting the remote into Wi-Fi mode, you can now control every indoor unit in the home without getting up. Many brands also offer an app that you can install on your smartphone or other smart devices. This lets you use your phone instead of a dedicated remote.

Directional Airflow

Another advantage of the modern mini-split is being able to direct airflow. Most modern mini-splits support this. Many units offer mechanically assisted adjustment. This lets you control airflow from your remote or phone. There are also units with sensors that will adjust the airflow automatically. In the default setting, it will detect people in the room and keep direct airflow off of them. In the optional setting, it will keep the air directly on you. This is nice, for instance, when working out in front of the TV.

Self-Cleaning Mode

A self-cleaning mode is a common feature in modern mini-splits. These units also have a dry mode that you can enable for some additional dehumidification. Mini-splits with a self-cleaning mode will automatically enable the dry mode when the air turns off. This will remove moisture from the evaporator coil and help to avoid bacterial growth on it. This makes a mini-split less prone to unpleasant odors. It also makes it much easier to keep your unit clean in between professional maintenance appointments.

Professional Ductless Mini-Split Installation in Oklahoma City

True Climate Heat + Air has served the Greater Oklahoma City area since 2005. Our HVAC technicians install, maintain, and repair both ductless ACs and heat pumps. We also specialize in ducted furnaces, heat pumps, and AC units. Our indoor air quality experts install air scrubbers. We also have plumbers that clean drains and install fixtures, garbage disposals, tank and tankless water heaters, and anti-scale systems.

Contact us today with any questions or to schedule an in-home consultation or service appointment in the Oklahoma City area for ductless AC services.

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