In an age where technology is continuing to improve, the world of HVAC is keeping up with the pace. Every year, the industry is upping its game to bring homeowners in Columbia, Maryland, the comfort they deserve. With so many options, HVAC technology decisions often come down to what piece of HVAC tech is most suited to bringing you individual and customized comfort, and making that decision requires being informed.
One of the continually improving pieces of HVAC technology is the ductless mini-split system. Among the vast competition, the mini-split system may be the key to comfort and efficiency in your home. Here’s a brief explanation of how these systems work and how they can benefit you.
How Mini-Split Systems Work
Mini-split systems differ greatly from a conventional HVAC system. While conventional HVAC systems force either cooled or heated air through a system of ducts (hence the term “forced-air system”) and into your home, a mini-split is a type of heat pump that moves heat rather than forcing air. Much like a refrigerator, a mini-split moves heat from the inside of your home to the outside. When reversed into heating mode, the heat pump simply moves warm air inside and pushes the cool air outside.
These systems are called mini-splits because their components are split between the inside and outside of the home. On the inside, an air handler (complete with an evaporator), works with an outdoor condenser. Heat is transferred between these two units via refrigerant that is pumped back and forth between them.
But without a duct system, how does the mini-split distribute the air throughout your home? Well, there’s more than one air-handling unit that disperses air. Many homes can have up to four indoor air handlers that are all connected via tubing to the outdoor unit. No ducts are required.
One of the primary advantages of a mini-split air conditioning/heating system is the personalized comfort. Each of the air handlers is installed in different “zones” of the home, each equipped with its own thermometer. Every zone can be set to an individual temperature distinct from the other zones. Different people in different rooms prefer different levels of comfort and mini-splits allow everyone to enjoy their optimal temperature.
While duct systems often work well, there are many disadvantages inherent in them. Even slight leaks in the ductwork can add up to you losing a substantial amount of air, which in turn forces your system to work harder as you try to maintain comfortable temperatures. Some air simply won’t make it through the ducts, and the air that does may not be enough to meet your needs. Ductwork can also grow dirty, causing your system to blow dust and other allergens throughout your entire home.
Not only do individual zones contribute to greater comfort, but they also offer greater efficiency. With the ability to control the temperature in each room, you won’t waste energy by forcing conditioned air into rooms that aren’t often used. You can let them get warmer in the summer or colder in the winter without affecting anyone. Personalized comfort may be convenient, but it’s also more efficient.
In addition to all that inherent efficiency, mini-splits also operate under minimum amounts of energy while still creating comfort. If the energy requirements for the air handler in that zone go down, the system will compensate, dropping its draw of electricity, but not actually turning off (the turning off and on of many forced-air systems wastes a lot of electricity). With a mini-split’s capabilities for conserving energy, you should expect a drop in your monthly utility bill.
There you have it — the result of technological innovation in the world of HVAC. Mini-split systems have been around for a while, but they continue to improve in order to bring you maximum comfort at a minimum cost. If you have more questions about the operation or efficiency of mini-split systems or would like one installed in your home, give Griffith Energy Services a call at 888-474-3391.
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