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Ductless mini-split systems are widely recognized for their versatility. A favored means of heating and cooling in Europe and Japan, they have made significant inroads into the heating and cooling market here, but they also have their limitations. So what situations are best for installing a mini-split system?

What’s a Mini-Split?

What’s not to love about an efficient, quiet cooling/heating system that also doesn’t need ducts? These systems are actually heat pumps, which are better known to American homeowners, but still not widespread. However, unlike the traditional heat pump, they consist only of an outdoor condenser and an indoor air handler, the two parts being connected by a conduit that contains the refrigerant and electrical lines) and do not need ductwork for distribution of conditioned air.

Like a heat pump, they pump refrigerant back and forth between the parts; the refrigerant absorbs heat in the house and exhausts it outdoors to cool; the process is reversed for heating. The air handler distributes the conditioned air. Some models are capable of handling as many as four air handlers, so they can be placed about the house. The air handlers themselves can come in versatile mounting modes, capable of wall, ceiling or floor mounting, or else may be free standing.

When to Use a Mini-Split

Mini-splits are recommended for cooling and heating smaller spaces — around 1,000 square feet — so they are ideal for an add-on room, a garage, a basement, or an attic.

Mini-splits are also recommended for places with moderate climates, particularly when it comes to heating. They generally are not used in situations where winters regularly fall below freezing, so our region is just right for using a mini-split as a heating source in winter.

Because they are powered by electricity, they are considered a clean and efficient way to heat. Particularly in an area with mild winters, they should work well to provide sufficient warmth without the need to use auxiliary heating, which can drive up heating bills.

To learn more about mini-split systems, contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating. We serve Martin, Palm Beach and Indian River counties.