Mini-split air conditioning systems are a fantastic option for homeowners looking to retrofit the convenience of central air conditioning into older homes. These units provide most of the features of duct-based systems, but without the need for disruptive ductwork installations. Choosing the right mini-split system for your needs isn't hard, but there are a few crucial considerations to keep in mind.
If you're planning on a new mini-split installation soon, then this article will help you to prepare for this home upgrade. Below you will find three tips to size your system and choose the right equipment for your needs.
1. Choose the Right Size
As with any air conditioning system, choosing a correctly sized unit is critical to cool your space adequately and keep your utility costs under control. If you're installing an air conditioner for a single room or single zone, then the process is relatively straightforward. In these cases, a simple BTU sizing chart and the square footage of the area to be cooled are all you need.
Sizing a multi-zone system can require a little more work. If you're going to cool multiple rooms, then you'll need to determine the square footage of each zone. Every zone in your house will require a separate air handler unit of the appropriate size. Additionally, the outdoor condenser unit will require enough power for the combined needs of every zone.
2. Select Mounting Styles
Mini-split systems aren't all rectangular boxes that you stick on your walls. Mini-split indoor handlers are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, including units that mount to both walls and ceilings. You can even install concealed units in out-of-the-way areas such as utility closets and simply route air to vents with a compact duct system.
Selecting the right mounting style for your home is a matter of preference and budget. In most cases, wall-mounted units are the most cost-effective and least disruptive option. Ceiling or concealed units can provide a more seamless install, but at a higher cost and typically with more disruption during the install process.
3. Decide on Zone Layouts
Mini-split systems can offer zoned cooling in the same way as a traditional central air conditioning system. You should determine the best zone options for your home based on your budget and your home's layout. If your home has many wide-open spaces, then it may be challenging to divide these up into independent cooling zones.
On the other hand, a home with many discrete areas is a perfect candidate for zoning. In this case, identify areas that your family may occupy at separate times during the day. Dividing your zones up in this way can help to improve energy efficiency by reducing AC usage in unoccupied areas.
For more information on installing a mini-split air conditioning system, talk to an AC installation company in your area.