Have this summer’s heat waves brought you to the boiling point? Before you commit to installing or replacing central air conditioning, consider a mini-split system.
Also known as ductless systems, mini-splits are just what the name implies—small components split into individual areas. They can be single-purpose heating or cooling units or combination systems to do both. Both heat and cooling are provided by a compressor. In the winter, the compressor acts like a heat pump and in summer it’s similar to other refrigerated systems like those in your home, car, or refrigerator.
Mini-Splits Are Efficient and Comfortable
Unlike central heat and air that treat your house as a whole, mini-splits serve specific areas, allowing much more efficient use of energy (and lower energy bills). They are individually controllable, eliminating wasteful cooling and heating of unoccupied or unused spaces. Many systems even offer smart controls that can be programmed and operated remotely using your Wi-Fi network.
Where Mini-Splits Save You Money
Equipment and Installation
Our partners at HomeAdvisor.com estimate that adding central air to a 1500 square foot home will range from $4,000-7,000, depending on whether there’s existing ductwork, and upwards of $10,000 for a 2500 square foot residence. Other factors such as equipment location and electrical service affect the cost, too. This means that ductless mini-split systems can save considerably when adding air conditioning to homes without air ducts such as residences with hot water heat.
Depending on the size of your mini-split system, equipment costs can be considerably less than central air and maintenance costs tend to be lower, too.
Ductless systems also are scalable, so you can start with a single room or two and add more units if needed. Just be sure to anticipate future needs and install a compressor that can handle the load. A qualified contractor can help you select the capacity you need without overbuying.
Air conditioning accounts for around 13% of energy use in homes with central air and it’s not unusual to see $400-plus electric bills in the summer with central air running full-time. Add heating and nearly half of home energy is consumed by heating and cooling inside air. Any reduction in those expenses will offset the cost of the system and those savings can be considerable. Plus, a mini-split system can add to your home’s value.
They also deliver the treated air more efficiently, eliminating the losses common to ductwork that runs through hot and cold areas like attics and unheated basements.
Mini-Splits Are Environmentally Friendly
All-electric mini-split systems don’t use fossil fuels like heating oil or gas, and their efficiency cuts down on energy use, reducing the output of generating plants. Their blower fans are quiet, especially compared to fans and window units, so there’s less noise pollution, too.
Things to Consider Before Adding a Mini-Split System
Installation costs can be expensive, especially with multiple outlets, but still tend to be lower than adding a central air system, primarily by eliminating ductwork and its associated costs.
Each ductless unit has its own outlet and controls. They are typically mounted high on interior walls with access to lines on the outside. This may limit placement (or add cost to run inside lines) and some people may find the units esthetically unpleasant. But manufacturers are constantly working to improve their size and appearance and even current units are not much more intrusive than common heating/cooling registers.
Electrical work will be needed with a mini-split system. The compressor may need a dedicated 240-volt line and individual units need power, too. This work should only be done by a licensed electrical contractor but is generally no more expensive than installing a central air system.
Don’t risk your comfort and safety by overlooking important electrical work to make your summer improvements function at their best. Allstar Electrical Services delivers the expertise and quality results you expect and deserve for your summer fixes, whatever your needs may be. Just give us a call at (303) 399-7420 or visit our website. Then use our handy online forms to request a free estimate or set up an appointment. We’ve served the Front Range for over 20 years, are top-rated by the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List and are proud to be listed as a preferred contractor by Home Advisor.