In today’s world, saving as much money as you can is of utmost importance. This is especially true when it comes to the amount you spend on utilities. Your Newbury Park home’s HVAC system makes a major impact on your utility costs because it takes a lot of energy to heat and cool the air in your home. That’s why it’s important to think through the types of HVAC equipment you use to ensure you’re using the most efficient option. Some people opt for mini-split HVAC systems, believing them to be more efficient than their more common central HVAC counterparts. To help you make a cost-efficient decision, the pros at Southland Heating & Air Conditioning want to settle the debate between mini-split and central HVAC systems, once and for all.
What Is a Mini-Split HVAC System?
A mini-split HVAC system is a ductless heating and cooling system designed to heat and cool individual rooms in your home. These systems have two main components. One component has an evaporator coil and a fan and mounts on a wall in the room you want to heat and cool. The other component sits outside and is called a condenser. Together, these two components offer complete heating and cooling capabilities. Typically, you control the temperature in the room using a remote control, making these systems very user-friendly. In addition to being user-friendly, these systems have several characteristics that make them more efficient than central HVAC systems.
Since the heating and cooling components in a central HVAC system can’t be in every room at once, these systems rely on networks of ducts to deliver air throughout the home. The problem with using ducts for air delivery is that these metal chutes are notoriously energy-inefficient. They tend to leak air through small gaps between the sections of ducts, meaning you lose some conditioned air before it makes it to the desired destination. Plus, since ducts are made of metal, they easily change in temperature to match the temperature of their surrounding environment. This means that the conditioned air will flow over surfaces that are vastly colder or hotter than the air itself, resulting in efficiency loss. A mini-split system from Southland Heating & Air Conditioning doesn’t use any ducts at all, meaning you don’t have to worry about losing the air you’re paying to heat and cool.
Another energy-saving feature of mini-split systems is that they allow you to fine-tune the temperature in the individual rooms in your home. If there is a certain room in your home that’s always hot, for example, you can run the mini-split system in that room while leaving the rest of the units turned off. With a central HVAC system, you’re typically stuck with one temperature for the entire home. When the thermostat senses a certain temperature in one room, the entire system turns off, even if the other rooms in your home aren’t comfortable. This means that your HVAC system will likely run much longer than necessary as you try to keep every room comfortable.
Just the Right Size
The smaller size of mini-split HVAC systems is another characteristic that contributes to their efficiency. It takes less energy to operate a smaller HVAC unit because all of the mechanical components are smaller and require less energy input. Plus, there are different sizes of mini-split HVAC systems available. This means that you can customize each system to the room where it will be installed, ensuring optimal cooling without any waste. Large central HVAC systems tend to take a one-size-fits-all approach, even when installed by professionals like Southland Heating & Air Conditioning. With these larger systems, you’ll either end up with a system that’s either slightly too small or large for your home, leaving you with increased energy usage and lower levels of comfort.
Another great feature of mini-split systems is that they use an exceptionally efficient method to heat and cool your home. Every mini-split system is also an air-source heat pump. This means that the system absorbs heat from the outside air and transfers that heat energy into your home. This differs from most central air conditioners that effectively “create” heat using either electricity or natural gas. Pulling heat from the air and then pumping it inside is far more energy-efficient, meaning you’ll notice increased energy savings on top of the energy savings resulting from the other great features of a mini-split system from Southland Heating & Air Conditioning.
If you already have a central system in place in your home, the good news from Southland Heating & Air Conditioning is that you can still use a mini-split system to help save some money. If you have a basement, garage, mother-in-law suite, or another room in your home that’s not supplied by your central HVAC system, you can add a mini-split system to this room at a fraction of the cost of expanding your central system. Since a mini-split system runs independently of your central system, you can ensure optimal comfort in these separate spaces when someone is occupying them. When they’re empty, you can dial the system down so that it only uses a small amount of energy.
The one challenge of saving money with a mini-split system is that the initial cost of installing mini-split systems throughout your home is typically higher than installing a central system. That’s because a central system only requires two main pieces of expensive equipment. The other equipment, including the blower fan and ductwork, is fairly inexpensive. If you install mini-split systems in every room, you’ll need to have an indoor evaporator unit for every room. You’ll also likely need to have multiple outdoor condensers, although some indoor units can share condensers in certain circumstances. However, if you don’t already have ductwork in place and you’re willing to make the higher upfront investment, you’ll be rewarded with significantly lower energy costs over the lifetime of your system.
The Geothermal Wrench
Mini-split systems are exceptionally efficient, especially when heating your home because they pull heat from the outside air and transfer the energy inside. If you still want a central HVAC system but don’t want higher energy costs, then you may want to consider a geothermal system. These systems come highly recommended by Southland Heating & Air Conditioning because they are the most efficient way to keep your home comfortable. Plus, most of the equipment in a geothermal system lasts longer than a conventional system, meaning the higher initial costs will be spread over more years. Geothermal is an especially good option if you plan on staying in your home for a long time.
Installing Great Home Comfort Solutions
At Southland Heating & Air Conditioning, we want our customers to be aware of all their options for heating and cooling their homes. That’s why we offer furnace repair, heat pump installation, mini-split’s , and much more. We can also set you up with a new thermostat to further increase your home’s efficiency. Since our founding, we’ve been working hard to deliver great HVAC service to this community. That’s one reason why we consistently receive five-star customer reviews. To learn more about mini-split HVAC systems, contact us at Southland Heating & Air Conditioning today.