Tips and tricks with tech air owner ryan withouski: Everything you need to know about our new mini-splits
The Mini-Splits have been getting so popular in the HVAC industry but most people who don't work in heating and air conditioning still have no idea what a mini split is... So, we sat down with Ryan and asked: What exactly IS a Mini-Split?
A mini-split system is a relatively new and highly efficient way to have both heating and air conditioning in single rooms. These units are generally wall mounted and remote controlled. You've probably seen them in hotel rooms and experienced how easy they are to keep the room at the exact temperature you want. Each unit in the house works independently of the others, even if they're connected to the same condenser. Because of their flexibility and extreme efficiency, the mini splits are getting very popular.
They are called "splits" because the system itself is split, meaning there's an indoor unit (or units) and an outside condenser. The "mini" part is pretty self explanatory, they take up a lot less room than the traditional central heating and air conditioning package units. Most residential central air units are split systems as well, but mini splits are smaller and they are not connected centrally by duct work. Because there is no duct work involved and the units work independently there is no wasted heating or cooling. There is no circulating air from one location, through the duct and into individual rooms. Each room is circulated by the return and supply air directly from the unit itself.
What are the parts you're talking about - indoor and outdoor. How does it all work?
Ok I'll create a pretty basic scenario as an example: Say you have a 2br house that has no prior heating and air conditioning system and want to install mini splits because you've been freezing lately and like the option of having AC in the summer too. In that case we would install 3 indoor wall mounted units; one in the living room and one in each of the two bedrooms. Each unit would be individually connected to the condenser. The condenser is the outside unit that is typically on the side of the house or roof, depending on the job requirements. The condenser supplies the units refrigerant via a heat pump through copper tubing. The copper tubing is connected directly from the condenser to each unit. The coils inside the indoor units will get hot (or cold) and the supply air (existing air in the room) circulates around the coils and then pushes out warm, return air, back into the room.
*In this scenario we're heating the room. On the cooling setting, the refrigerant will cool down the coils, cooling the circulating air in the room.
Is three the limit or can you add more?
Oh you can add as many as you want. We've done big commercial jobs where there are 25+ 1-3 bedroom apartments and every singe room has its own wall mounted unit. In an ideal scenario you would connect about 3-5 units per condenser but that all depends on the size of the condenser and the distance to each of the indoor units, as well as the size of the room needing temperature control. For that job specifically we had 10 condensers and roughly 35 indoor units.
There seem to be a lot of different options out there, which company do you recommend?
We typically use the Halcyon Mini-Splits by Fujitsu. They are high quality units that you can count on and are so technologically advanced. Because I've installed so many of the Fujitsu Mini-Splits they recently made me an "elite dealer". Basically all that means is they know I install the units correctly and don't cut corners so they offer my clients an extended warranty. I love how Tech Air can offer that to our customers because if installed correctly these units should never really have any issues. The Fujitsu units I install come with a 12 year warranty as opposed to the 6-10 years that most other companies can offer.
What are some pros and cons of the Mini-Splits?
-They are very efficient
-They work extremely well - you'd be shocked at how well these things work even in large rooms
- The are incredibly smart systems. Each unit is basically and HVAC computer
- They are convenient and flexible. You can program them to stay at a certain temp during different times of the day so you stay comfortable in each room of the house. The whole house could be off except for your bedroom while you're sleeping for example. You can also control everything right from your phone through an app. For example, if you want to cool down your house an hour before you get there, you can do it easily from your phone.
-They are great for upgrading current HVAC or retrofitting into an existing house with no central air
-They are about 20-30% more expensive initially. However, it is likely you'll save quite a bit of money in the long run on your energy bill. Also, they are much cheaper to install in existing homes that have no duct work as opposed to having duct work installed post build.
If you are interested in learning more about our various Mini-Split offerings or are interested in receiving a free quote give us a call at 619 541-8088 or fill out the form on our contact page.