Homeowners Guide to Single- and Multi-Zone Ductless HVAC

Many homeowners in Collegedale, GA, use a ductless HVAC system to control the temperature in different rooms. These heating and cooling systems minimize energy consumption and increase comfort levels for all your occupants. Here are five factors to consider when buying a ductless HVAC system:

The Number of Zones

First, determine the number of zones you need to cool and heat when choosing the right ductless HVAC system. You can choose to buy either a single- or multi-zone mini-split system depending on your needs. A single-zone unit works well if you want to heat the bedroom or other rooms without central heating and air conditioning ducts.

A multi-zone mini-split system can handle several rooms simultaneously, even those on different floors. If you don’t have a central air conditioner, you may want to consider this option.

Efficiency and Power Requirements

Mini-split systems are very efficient when heating or cooling well-insulated rooms. These units don’t experience the energy loss associated with ducted HVAC systems. If you choose an ENERGY STAR-rated unit, you can expect it to consume about 60% less energy than a conventional electric HVAC system.

When selecting a system, check the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating as well. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your mini-split system.

Another essential feature to consider while buying a mini-split system is the power, usually indicated in BTUs. If you want to cool or heat a large space, consider a unit with higher BTUs. For a 150- to 250-square-foot room, you can use a 6000-BTU mini-split.

Some conditions also affect power requirements. If you have a ceiling higher than 8 feet or a poorly insulated house, add around 20% BTUs when choosing your system. If you reside in an area that experiences extreme weather changes, add an extra 30% to your BTU number.

Installation Requirements

Mini-split units have fewer installation requirements than other air conditioning systems. However, mini-splits run on electrically charged and pressurized materials that can be hazardous if you handle them improperly. Also, incorrect installation can lead to under-performance and inefficiency.

It’s crucial that you have a certified service technician do the installation. Some manufacturers require that a licensed service technician install the mini-split system if you want to keep the warranty valid.

The Available Modes

Mini-splits have various modes aimed at improving your indoor comfort levels. If you don’t have a central air conditioner and wish to use the mini-split system as your primary means of cooling or heating, look for a model with various heating modes. This will help maintain comfortable temperatures even in frigid months.

Check whether the system has a dehumidify mode to remove excess moisture in the basement or other areas with high humidity levels. It’s also a good idea to choose a mini-split system with a fan-only mode if you want to circulate air around your house without using the cooling function.

The sleep mode will help maintain a favorable room temperature while you’re resting. Also, pick a system with an automatic mode to maintain ambient room temperature depending on your needs.

Additional Features

It would be best to choose a mini-split system with various convenience features. Some models allow you to adjust the airflow remotely. You may also want to consider a mini-split system with washable filters to save on replacement costs.

Other models have a programmable timer. You can set it to turn off when you leave the house and back on as you return, so you don’t have to run the air conditioner all day.

Choose a model with an automatic restart feature. If the power goes off, the split will restart on the last programmed setting once the power comes back on. This prevents circuit breaker damage and protects the compressor.

Mini-split systems are ideal alternatives if you want to meet varying cooling and heating needs across your home without using a central air conditioning system. Consider the above features before purchasing a mini-split to make sure you pick the option that best suits your needs. Contact us at Dalton Heating & Air when you’re ready to install a mini-split system.

Image provided by iStock

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