What is a Mini Split Inverter?

How satisfied are you with your air conditioner? How about your heater?

If you are among the majority of people still using traditional HVAC heating and cooling systems, your answer may very well be lackluster. Frustrations about the duct system of temperature control found in many homes, apartments, and businesses, have led many to start purchasing ductless mini split units instead.

With advanced technology that increases efficiency, cuts down on noise, and provides a more nuanced way to target your heating and cooling needs, mini split inverter systems may be the right way to go to increase your satisfaction with your current system.

Don’t feel sheepish if you aren’t sure what a mini split inverter is –– here we’ll break down some basic facts about the setup so that you can determine the option that is right for you.

What is a mini split inverter?

Before we get into the specifics about mini split inverters, let’s recap what a mini split AC unit is in the first place. Basically, a mini split AC unit achieves the same goal as a traditional AC unit: cooling your home. The main difference is that mini split air conditioners to do so without relying on ducts, which is why they are also referred to as “ductless air conditioners.”

The cooling (or heating) process uses an indoor/outdoor unit system. The indoor unit blows the warm air over cold evaporator coils containing refrigerant, which absorbs that heat from the air, and runs it to the outside unit. Through the compressor, the refrigerant dumps the heat pulled from your home’s air. The resulting cold air then blows right back into your room.

Within the mini split systems, there are two different types of compressors: rotary and inverter. While a rotary compressor turns on with full power, a mini split inverter uses only enough power to reach and maintain your set temperature, and then idles at that setting until more power is needed.

For this reason, many people prefer the efficiency and cost-saving capacity of mini split inverters to their rotary counterparts.

Mini split inverter technology

You might be wondering how exactly a mini split inverter works, or the mini split inverter technology behind the operation.

As mentioned above, mini split inverters are more targeted because they continuously regulate the temperature. Using a variable-frequency drive, the inverter controls the speed of the electromotor, and by consequence, the heating/cooling output.

A traditional rotary compressor might be rated for 9,000 BTUs of cooling. That means whenever cooling is called for the unit ramps up to full speed and outputs 9,000 BTUs of cooling. An inverted compressor rated for 9,000 BTUs of cooling might have a BTU output range of 1,000 BTUs to 12,000 BTUs. That means when cooling is called for, the unit will start out by providing 12,000 BTUs to quickly cool the space but will then reduce power to a lower amount to maintain the temperature. This speed adjustment results in lower power consumption and more even cooling of the space.

Within this system, a microcontroller can sample the ambient air, and adjust the speed of the compressor accordingly.

Benefits of a mini split inverter

Perhaps the biggest advantage of the mini split inverter as compared to the rotary compressor is its efficiency. Since it operates with a higher level of precision, it doesn’t waste nearly as much energy as the alternative.

Plus, since the sharp fluctuations of the load are eliminated in mini split inverter systems, the parts last much longer and don’t run the risk of needing replacement nearly as quickly.

And don’t forget about the noise –– mini split units in general are much quieter than more traditional systems, too. Even if you need to heat more than one room, multi split units can still do the trick with their multi zone options.

Top inverter mini split systems

LG SEER Art Cool Premier Single Zone Heat Pump Mini Split

Image of LG LA120HYV1 mini split

When it comes to heating needs, you need a system that you can count on. The HYV series from LG features low ambient heating operations down to -13°F, so you know you’ll be covered even in the toughest of weather. Plus, with its various features like optimized air flow and chaos swing, you can be sure that the temperature will be consistent throughout the room where you are using it.

Daikin Aurora Series Configurable Tri-Zone Heat and Cool Split System

Image of Daikin 3MXL24QMVJU

If you are looking to heat your entire home, or perhaps your small business, you’ll want to check out this mini split system from Daikin. It offers both performance and flexibility for a tri-zone heating and cooling experience.

Perfect for cold weather climates, this system has a heating operating range of -13°F up to 60°F and cooling range from 14°F to 114.8°F, making it a prime option for almost any residence in the US. Plus, with its reactive temperature monitoring features, it will automatically adjust output to function more quietly and save you money.

(Not sure how much power you need for your system? Use Total Home Supply’s BTU calculator and chart to find out.)

Find the mini split system for you

Now, with a bit more knowledge about the inner workings of mini split inverter technology, you should be much better equipped to choose a mini split system for home, office, or other location.

If you would like more step-by-step help in determining which one is the right option for you, you can check out our guide, which walks you through how to determine the right amount of BTUs you need, find the right indoor/outdoor units for your needs, understand your warranty, and more.

Or, if you are ready to buy, go ahead and check out the many options available in Total Home Supply’s mini split selection. See you there!

Mickey Luongo

Mickey is the resident heating and air conditioning expert.

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