How Does A Mini Split Work?

How does a mini split work?

When it comes to finding the right way to cool a room or your home, you may have visions of lugging a window unit out of the home supply store, turning on six different fans, cranking up the central air system, or even cracking open a window and hoping that a breeze will come in.

Indeed, when the weather is hot, we depend on our cooling systems to make sure that we stay comfortable even amid intense heat.

One option you may want to consider in your cooling hunt is a mini-split or ductless air conditioner. You may find that it’s a quieter and more efficient alternative that can keep you cool whenever you need it. But what are they? How does a mini-split work and what about multi-zone mini-splits?

What Is a Mini-Split?

In a nutshell, a mini-split AC unit does the same thing as a traditional AC unit: it cools your home. The big difference between the two is that mini split air conditioners manage to do so without ducts (why you might also hear them referred to as ductless air conditioners).

Mini-split units are growing in popularity for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common advantages cited are their efficiency and quiet operation.

Because mini-splits are ductless machines, they reduce a large amount of energy that is often lost through leaks and cracks in duct systems. For this same reason, mini splits work much more quietly since they are not blowing air through ducts all over a room or home.

How Does a Mini-Split Work?

So then, how do mini-split units operate?

Most simply put, mini splits consist of two parts: an indoor unit and an outside unit. The indoor unit blows the warm air from your home over cold evaporator coils. Inside the coils is refrigerant, which absorbs that heat from the air, and runs it to the outside unit. By way of a compressor, the refrigerant then dumps the heat pulled from your home’s air. The resulting cold air is blown right back into the room.

This system differs significantly from a conventional central air conditioner, which usually works with one air handler, evaporator coil, and blower. Then, a complex duct system delivers air into each room of a building from a single point of origin.

Difference Between Single and Multi-Zone Mini Splits

But how do ductless air conditioners work when you need to cool an entire home and not just one room? For that option, you can choose either single-zone mini-splits or multi-zone mini-splits. In this case, single-zone mini splits are not better than multi-zone units, or vice versa. This is dependent on your personal needs at home. Here is a breakdown of each system to help you decide which one you should purchase for your home:

Single Zone Mini Splits

  • How this mini-split works: These include one outdoor and one indoor unit, where the indoor unit is placed in the particular room you want to cool or heat individually. It can also be used in one total area in your home rather than just one room.
  • These systems are particularly great if you only want to cool and heat one specific room like an attic or garage. They are also great when you don’t want to mess with existing ductwork.

Multi-Zone Mini Splits

  • How this mini-split works: In a multi-zone system, several indoor units all hook up to a single outdoor unit. As these multiple units (dependent on how many rooms you want to control), they will connect back their one compressor outdoors.
  • As the name suggests, this system can occupy several different rooms or areas within a home. This is great for cooling and heating several rooms with different temperatures to accommodate each family members’ temperature preferences. Multi-zone mini splits are also great for avoiding ductwork as well.

Overall, your decision to just heat or cool one or multiple rooms in your house will be the answer to which mini-split system you’ll need. Also, depending on the size of your cooling needs (which you can calculate and compare here), figuring this out may help in making your decision as well.

Single-Zone and Multi-Zone Products to Check Out

If you are thinking that a mini-split air conditioner sounds like the perfect fit for you, you are already in the right place to find one. Total Home Supply carries a variety of mini-split units available for purchase.

GE 9,000 BTU Caliber Series Single Zone Mini-Split System

GE AS09CRA 9000 BTU Caliber Series 18 SEER Single Zone Mini Split Heat Pump Air Conditioner - 115V

From a brand you trust, this easy to install single zone mini split unit can cool a 450-square foot room. It features a room temperature display on the unit along with sleep mode and 5 fan speeds. Inverter technology allows you to run your system much more efficiently, reducing energy costs, while cooling the space and reaching your set temperature more quickly.

Daikin Single Zone System

Image of Daikin FTX12NMVJU / RX12NMVJU Mini Split System
The Daikin FTX12NMVJU / RX12NMVJU single zone mini split

If you’re looking for versatility, this mini-split unit might be just the way to go. It operates as both a heating and cooling system and has a space-saving, modern design that could be placed in almost any location.

LG Configurable Quad-Zone Multi F Mini-Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump

Image of the LG LMU300HHV mini split
The LG LMU300HHV mini split inverter

Time to bring out the big guns! This mini-split system can connect to up to four indoor units, giving you maximum control over several zones you would like to heat or cool in your home. Its LGRED° Heat Technology can heat when outdoor temperatures are as low as -13°F and even uses environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant.

Find the Mini Split That Is Right for You

There’s no doubt that mini-split air conditioners and heating units are growing in popularity, as they offer a quieter, more efficient system that does not require the use of ducts to deliver air to different rooms. Depending on your needs, you may find that a single zone multi-split is most appealing, where you can purchase a PTAC or mini split system. Or you can simply opt for a multi-zone setup for your entire home.

Whatever you end up choosing, Total Home Supply has you covered. Check out the mini-split units available on our site, and upgrade your cooling system before the dog days of summer arrive.

Related Articles

What’s a Mini-Split AC System? – What Is a Mini Split AC?

Mini Split vs Central Air/Heat: Which is Right For You?

What Is a Mini Split Inverter?

Mickey Luongo

Mickey is the resident heating and air conditioning expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry.


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