Customer Reviews

Are Mini Split Air Conditioners Worth It?

Today, mini splits are trending in American homes, often seen as the best option for both new builds and replacement efforts. Naturally each home and situation is different, so it is best to take some time in research and consultation to determine what will be best for your specific situation. Our expert staff is just a click or call away, at HVACDirect.com, ready to help you in any way.

Are Mini Splits Worth the Investment?

Ductless mini split systems can help save money in three major ways: no ducting cost, energy efficiency, and power consumption.

  • Mini split vs. central air efficiency: Mini split systems are up to 30% more efficient compared to conventional central air systems. Their enhanced efficiency is tied to two main variables:
    • Mini splits consist of an outdoor condenser that connects via refrigerant line sets and wiring to indoor units. These individual units can be placed throughout the home to adjust the temperature in each zone. Homeowners can then customize heating and cooling preferences per zone, based on sizing and location. For example, homeowners can completely turn off the heat or air in unoccupied zones, so only areas that need heat or cooling receive it.
    • With traditional AC units, hot or cold air can be lost through leaks in the duct system. This forces HVAC units to work harder and use more energy to make up for air that escapes. Mini splits, on the other hand, are ductless systems, which means losing hot or cool air via duct loss is impossible.
  • Central AC vs. split AC power consumption: The average central air conditioning unit operates anywhere from 3,000 to 3,500 watts per hour. Conversely, mini splits operate at 2,000 watts per hour at peak cooling. That's a significantly lower power output compared to a conventional air conditioner.

When you combine lower watts per hour, the ability to customize zone cooling, and the ductless factor, it adds up to considerable savings in heating and cooling costs. It is important to remember that all the mini splits offered at HVACDirect.com are heat pumps, providing electrical heating and cooling year-round.

How Much Does a Mini Split Cost?

One reason homeowners stick with central air over a mini split is because of the upfront cost. When installing a multi-zone mini split system throughout a home, it can cost $1,500 to $6,000. plus an additional $700 to $2,300 for each additional indoor unit. For example, at HVACDirect.com, our average order value for a mini split is $2,500. 

While the upfront cost can be higher for a mini split system, it can be considered an investment. When weighing whether or not mini split systems are worth it, consider the following:

  • While replacing a cheap air conditioner costs about $4,000, higher quality units can cost up to twice that. Additionally, installing a new AC unit and ductwork can cost upwards of $10,000, and installing ductwork can take days. Maintenance costs for ductwork should be considered as well. It can be more economical to go ductless, especially for new construction or home addition situations.
  • A ductless system can pay for themselves over time with increased efficiency and reduced utility costs.

What is the Life Expectancy of a Mini Split System?

As long as a mini split is well maintained, it's common to get 20 or more years of use out of it before replacement is necessary. This makes mini splits a solid long-term investment. The typical central air conditioner only tends to last for about 15 years.The average warranty for a mini split is 7 years.

Also, a mini split unit is known for being easy to care for. While homeowners should adhere to manufacturer-recommended maintenance, caring for mini splits consists of regularly changing (or cleaning) the air filters and giving units a good annual deep cleaning. Most mini split issues are easy to troubleshoot and don't always require a call to an HVAC professional.

Should Mini Splits Replace Central Air?

Can you replace a conventional ducted air conditioning system with a ductless mini split air conditioner? 

Absolutely. Some situations where replacing your central air makes sense are:

  • When your conventional AC system has reached the end of its lifetime. Rather than invest in a new AC unit, choose to invest in one or more mini split AC units.
  • When you are adding on to your home. Instead of extending existing ductwork, it's often easier and more practical to install a mini split for an addition to a home.
  • To make your home more sustainable. Instead of a traditional HVAC system, mini splits conserve energy through the lack of ductwork and zoning capability.

Do Mini Splits Work Better Than Central Air?

The short answer is "yes."

Mini splits:

  • Use less power to operate
  • Can last for up to 20 years
  • Are easy to clean and maintain
  • Offer custom zone heating and cooling
  • Don't experience heating or cooling loss through ductwork

Contact HVACDirect.com Today

For more information on the value of mini split ductless AC systems, contact HVACDirect.com today.

May 4, 2023
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