What if we told you there was a way to heat and cool your home without worrying about ductwork? Nope, it’s not a joke. With a mini-split AC in Kansas City you can keep your house comfortable, save energy, and even control the temperature in individual rooms.
Santa Fe Air has installed some pretty great mini-split AC systems in the Kansas City area, so we’ve seen first hand the benefits that come with them. If you’re thinking about getting one for your home, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about mini-split AC systems.
What is a mini-split AC?
A mini-split AC system works like a central AC unit but without the ducts.
“Wait, is it possible to cool or heat an entire house without ducts?”
Yup! Here’s how:
Mini-split units are comprised of an outdoor unit (compressor) and multiple indoor units. Basically, you can have indoor units in each room, each with their own thermostats.
For cooling, the indoor unit blows warm air over evaporator coils. Refrigerant runs inside those coils, allowing them to absorb heat and send it to the outdoor unit. The outdoor unit then dumps the excess heat. And there you have it; that’s how you manage the temperature in your entire home.
Because you have indoor units inside various rooms, there’s no longer a need for ducts. It’s a great option if your home doesn’t have ductwork or you don’t want to add additional ductwork to fix heating and cooling issues.
“But how does it compare to central AC systems?”
Great question! Central AC systems use an indoor and outdoor unit as well, but the indoor unit is usually in a basement or attic instead of in individual rooms. Ducts take heated air to the indoor unit where it’s cooled then sent back via ducts again.
Again, the biggest difference is simply the ducts and how the systems distribute air through the house. Let’s go ahead and go into more detail about the parts of a mini-split system.
Components of a mini-split AC
So now you know that a mini-split AC unit has indoor units that connect to a single outdoor unit, but how exactly does that happen?
Well, it all happens through the teamwork of a conduit (holds the power cable), refrigerant tubes, suction tubing, and a condensate drain that all link to the outdoor unit.
Connecting the indoor units to the outdoor unit is pretty simple. It usually only requires about a three inch hole for the conduit to fit in. Refrigerant lines run outside the house and into the outdoor unit to dump warm air.
One of the great things about mini-split systems is that the indoor units can fit with your interior design. For example, a window AC unit can only go in one place: your window. On the other hand there are a variety of ways to install mini-split indoor air handlers such as suspending from the ceiling, mounting on the wall, and there are even floor-standing models available.
Although they aren’t as inconspicuous as a central unit, with the help of an experienced HVAC installer, you can really get creative to have your mini-split AC flow seamlessly into the overall look of your rooms.
Who can benefit from a mini-split AC in Kansas City?
A lot of homeowners can benefit from a mini-split AC system. As with other HVAC systems, a great time to install a mini-split system is when you’re first building a house. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t add one to your current home.
Especially if you have a non-ducted system, you can upgrade your home with a mini-split to help regulate temperatures in each room. If you have additions to your home that your ductwork won’t cover, you can always get a mini-split AC in Kansas City as an alternative to heat and cool the area.
A mini-split system is also a great way to zone your home (we’ll go into more detail about zoning and mini-splits in a bit). As a result, you can regulate the temperature in each room, which can help you save a lot of energy and find the perfect comfort levels for every area of your house.
Zoning versus mini-split systems
“I’m already thinking about zoning my home – is a mini-split AC the same thing?”
Yes and no.
In general, a zoning system separates your home to manage heating and cooling. For example, if your upstairs is always warmer than your downstairs, you can create two different zones for each floor. That way, you can set the temperature upstairs cooler than downstairs to maximize comfort, because who likes rooms that are too hot or too cold? Not us.
So in that case, mini-split systems are inherently zoning systems.
Because each room (or however many rooms you choose) have their own indoor unit along with their own thermostats. As a result, if little Bobby likes his room to be 72 degrees while his sister Susie can only sleep in 65 degrees, you can easily keep them both happy and comfortable.
Let’s put it this way: all mini-split systems are zoning systems, but not all zoning systems are mini-splits.
If you are zoning a system with ductwork, you’re probably not going to install a mini-split system. Instead, an HVAC technician will install dampers into your ducts to regulate air flow to specific areas. Dampers can either fully open or close, or you can install a modulating controller that opens and closes dampers part way.
Deciding between the two could be confusing, but don’t worry. You can always contact your local HVAC specialist in Kansas City to help you make the decision!
Disadvantages of a mini-split AC
A mini-split AC may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s totally fine! At Santa Fe Air, we’ll work you to find the best heating and cooling option for your home. That said, there are some qualities of a mini-split system that some may see as a disadvantage.
A mini-split system comes with a higher upfront cost than a window unit or even a central unit. It can be about one-third more than a central unit and twice as much as a window unit. For many people, the money they save in the long run or the comfort they provide makes the upfront costs worth it. In some cases another heat source may be needed to supplement the mini-split on really cold days.
Even though there’s a variety of ways you could install your indoor units, they’re still going to be visible. Some people may rather have their AC units completely out of sight.
Few qualified installers
Since a mini-split AC requires precision, there aren’t too many technicians who can properly install one. If your technician installs a system that’s too big or just poorly placed, it could lead to shortages and inefficiencies. For that reason, some companies won’t install mini-splits at all.
Fortunately, if you’re in the Kansas City or Johnson County areas, Santa Fe Air has the experience to install high-quality mini-split ACs. In fact, we’ve been in the HVAC game since 2001, so with us you always get the best of the best.
Advantages of a mini-split AC
There’s a reason why we love ductless mini-split systems, and so do our customers! They come with tons of benefits that truly make controlling your home’s heating and cooling (wait for it…) easy.
Not only is saving energy great for the planet, it can also save you $$. Since you don’t have to worry about ducts, you also avoid the unfortunate leaks that could come with ductwork.
💡Did you know that duct losses account for 30% of energy consumption for space consumption?
Plus, its zoning capabilities allow you to manage where air flows. So if you don’t ever go into your basement, you don’t have to worry about unnecessary air blowing there. You know what that means? You could save big on your utility bill.
If you always have areas that are too hot or too cold, mini-split zoning can ensure that you find the “just right” temperature for you and your family. If you have areas that require a specific temperature, such as an at-home gym, you can choose to make those places cooler while keeping the warmth in the rest of the home. Really, it’s all about what you want, and when does that ever happen otherwise? 😂
Comes with different features
You can do so much with a mini-split system. For instance, you can make sure it has heat pump capabilities so that you can use it for heating and cooling. Some come with remote control access, allowing you to manage the temperatures without actually being in the room. Always talk to your technician to find out what kind of features you can add to your mini-split AC.
Santa Fe Air installs the best mini-split AC in Kansas City
If you’re in the Kansas City or Johnson County areas, let our HVAC technicians at Santa Fe Air give you the best mini-split system available. We ensure that everything is installed correctly the first time, so all you have to worry about is…well, nothing.