Is a Mini-Split Air Conditioning Unit Right For Your Home?

Is a Mini-Split Air Conditioning Unit Right For Your Home?

Heating and air conditioning unit in back of a residence

This is the big debate of the year in the HVAC realm – are mini-splits worth the investment?  Many homeowners have balked at the awkward nature of window air conditioning units.  For those who hate fussing with the annual install of the bulky window units, the mini-split appears to be the perfect solution.  There are a few things to consider, of course, before opting to have such a system installed.

There are several benefits to the systems.  They do provide a thermostat-controlled cooling, so the homeowner can have accurate control over the comfort level of the space.  Furthermore, with a single outdoor unit controlling up to three separate splits within the home, it can provide whole-home cooling, particularly for an open floor plan or small residence.  Being installed in the wall, as opposed to the window, means that they don’t have to be taken down and reinstalled each year, and that they don’t block out the sunlight.  All of this comes with the added bonus of being able to provide supplemental heat in the cooler months.

With the right sensors and controls in place, mini-split systems can provide comfortable cooling all summer, and can greatly enhance the lifespan of your heating system.  A simple thermostat would even be enough to detect when the mini split is no longer able to keep up with the heating demands of the space, and could send that message along to the primary heating system.

So, what is the downside to what seems to be a rather ingenious alternative to the window air conditioning unit?  For many homeowners, it comes down to cost.  Window units are relatively cheap, and can be installed in DIY fashion.  Mini splits on the other hand do involve a larger upfront price tag.  However, they also tend to be extremely energy efficient and can provide supplemental heat in the cooler months.  It wouldn’t take long for such a unit to pay for itself.