What is a Mini Split AC?
As the warm Summer months make their appearance, so does the question: is this the year to buy an Air Conditioner? If you are considering an Air Conditioner, make sure to have all the facts.
What is a Mini Split Air Conditioner: A Mini Split Air Conditioner is a type of AC that can be installed into a house without installing Ducts. It is more energy-efficient than a typical AC unit. A Mini Split AC can regulate the temperature in different rooms to different amounts.
Whole-house AC Systems can cost thousands of dollars to install. Depending on the age of your house it may not be feasible to install a Duct System. A Mini Split AC on the other hand is the perfect installation for older homes, multi-family homes, or home additions.
What is a Mini Split AC Unit?
A Mini Split AC Units is similar to a regular AC system, but it is smaller and does not require air ducts. Unlike a regular AC a Mini Split AC can control the temperature in different rooms. The unit consists of an outdoor part, the compressor and condenser, and indoor parts, the air handling unit. These two parts are connected by a conduit.
A Split Mini AC can have as few as 1 indoor air handler and as many as 4 indoor air handlers attached by conduits to 1 outdoor compressor and condenser. The conduits connecting indoor to outdoor parts protect the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and condensate drain.
Mini Split AC are great for houses being retrofitted with a new AC as they do not require as much installation as an Air Conditioner Duct System. They can also be a great choice for someone who wants to cool different areas of their home to different temperatures.
How does a Mini Split Air Conditioner work?
A Mini Split Air Conditioner works similar to a regular AC, but it does not need air ducts. The unit cools the air using refrigerants, then releases the cooled air back into the home.
A Whole-house AC System pulls all the warm air into an attic unit where it then cools it off before sending it back to the house using air ducts. A Split Mini AC on the other hand has indoor units in different rooms.
By installing multiple indoor units in your house, you can get the same or even better cooling than a Whole-house AC System with air ducts. In addition, each indoor unit is adjustable so you can adjust room temperatures as needed.
Mini Split ACs use less energy than Duct Systems as they do the cooling in the room and do not have to pull the air through the house. They also do not have the problem of air leakage. The air ducts in a traditional system often leak air, both hot and cold. This means that some hot air escapes and not as much cold air returns to the house.
How to Install a Mini Split Air Conditioner
While you can install a Mini Split Air Conditioner yourself, it is always a good idea to have a professional double check your work. If you decide to do it yourself, here are some tips.
First, make sure you purchase a DIY (Do-it-yourself) unit. Do not purchase just any Mini Split AC unit or you will have to pay someone to prepare and complete the refrigerant setup. If you buy a DIY unit then the refrigerant setup will already be completed and charged.
Second, make sure you not only follow the directions but also look up youtube and other DIY videos (including any provided by the unit maker). This is not something you want to install incorrectly.
Lastly, keep in mind that your house is different and extra materials such as the conduits and the parts they protect may be necessary. If this is the case, having a professional do the installation ensures that everything is well connected and working.
If you decide that you would prefer to have a professional help you with installation the cost of the actual installation can run a couple thousand dollars depending on the time needed and any extra materials, they may need to purchase.
Mini Split AC vs Small Portable AC
If you are looking for something that does not require any installation, you may want to consider a Portable AC. Mini Split Air Conditioners require some installation and they have the bulky outdoor unit. A Portable Air Conditioner or Air Cooler on the other hand is one complete piece.
If you go with an Evaporative Air Cooler instead of an Air Conditioner then you can remove the use of toxic refrigerants. Air Coolers use water features instead.
A Mini Split AC System can cost $3,000-10,000 to purchase and install. A Portable Air Conditioner costs from $100-$1000 to purchase and there is no installation necessary, just plug it in. A Portable Evaporative Air Cooler also costs about $100-$1,000.
If you are looking for something affordable, energy efficient and environmentally friendly go with a Portable Evaporative Air Cooler.
Where can I buy a Small Air Conditioner?
Whether you decide to purchase a Portable Air Conditioner or a Portable Evaporative Air Cooler, you can purchase them at many places.
They are sold at most hardware and home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowes. They are also sold at places like Best Buy and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. You can also find them at stores such as Fred Meyer, Costco, and similar stores that sell a little bit of everything.
You will find the greatest variety in store at places like Home Depot and Lowes. You can also purchase one online. If you decide to go the online route, make sure to investigate and compare the available options.
When buying a Portable AC, consider the cost, the reviews, the ratings, and whether you will need multiple to cool different rooms in your home.
How many Watts does a small Air Conditioner use?
Here is the breakdown on electrical usage (or watts used per hour) for each type of AC unit.
- A Traditional Duct System AC uses 3,000-3,500 watts per hour on average.
- A Mini Split AC Unit uses 500-1000 watts per hour on average.
- A Portable Air Conditioner uses between 500-1,500 watts per hour on average. Size and the temperature of the room affect this number greatly.
- A Portable Evaporative Air Cooler uses 400-1000 watts per hour on average. Size and the temperature of the room affect this number greatly.
- A Whole-House Duct System Evaporative Air Cooler uses 700-1,500 watts per hour on average.
During extreme high temperature days these units will most likely use even more watts.
How to Install a Small Air Conditioner
Small Portable Air Conditioners do not need installing. All you have to do is plug them in and get them going. Small Window Air Conditioners need only be placed in their windows and plugged in to get started cooling. The same goes for Small Evaporative Air Coolers, whether portable or window versions.
The Blast Auxiliary Portable AC is a great option for those looking into purchasing one or more portable units to use in their home. It works as a humidifier, fan, air cooler, and the water feature helps remove allergens from the air.
Check out the website to learn more.
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