Why Your Current Central Air System Might Not Work
By remodeling your attic or basement, you can instantly increase the square footage of your home, but heating and cooling this new space with your existing central air system presents a couple of challenges.
- You’ll have to extend the ductwork. This process is complicated, disruptive and expensive. And in the case of a detached in-law suite, not an option.
- The HVAC unit in your house was sized to heat and cool a certain amount of square feet. Expanding your home means you’ll have to upgrade to a larger capacity central air system or risk shortening the lifespan of your existing unit and diminishing your level of comfort.
Why a Ductless Mini-Split is a Better Option
As the name implies, a mini-split system does not require ducts. Instead, it provides warm or cool air directly from the source. Though a mini-split still requires professional installation, it won’t be nearly as disruptive or costly. It can be installed in a matter of hours.
A mini-split system consists of an outdoor condensing unit and an indoor air-handling unit connected by a tube containing refrigerant, suction and condensate lines, and power cable. The indoor unit mounts flush against the wall or can be suspended from the ceiling.
A ductless mini-split operates independently of your central air system, so they’ll be no need to upgrade to a larger whole-house unit.
What Size Mini Split Do I Need?
Here are the steps AC specialists take to conclude what size mini-split you need for your home: (1) Find out if you need a single-zone or multi-zone configuration, which will determine whether you should consider the size of one or multiple rooms, and if you'll require multiple air handlers (2) Calculate the square footage of your room(s) by measuring the length and width, multiplying them, and then getting the sum. (3) Identify the approximate BTU rating by multiplying the square footage of the room(s) by 25. Discover what mini-split size you need based on area size and recommended BTU below.
Ductless Mini-Split AC BTU Sizing
- 150 to 300 sq. ft.: 6,000 BTU
- 300 to 500 sq. ft.: 9,000 BTU
- 400 to 650 sq. ft.: 12,000 BTU
- 500 to 800 sq. ft.: 15,000 BTU
- 600 to 1000 sq. ft.: 18,000 BTU
- 800 to 1,300 sq. ft.: 24,000 BTU
- 1,000 to 1,650 sq. ft.: 30,000 BTU
- 1,200 to 2,000 sq. ft.: 36,000 BTU
- 1,400 to 2,300 sq. ft.: 42,000 BTU
- 1,600 to 2,650 sq. ft.: 48,000 BTU
- 1,850 to 3,100 sq. ft.: 56,000 BTU
The Advantages of Using Ductless Mini-Splits
More efficient: By virtue of the fact that a mini-split operates without ducts, it solves one of the biggest problems associated with central air systems -- energy loss. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, some 30 percent of warm or cool air escapes through holes and gaps in your ductwork before it reaches the vents. A mini-split bypasses ducts, providing cooling or heating comfort directly from the indoor unit.
Zoned comfort: Multiple indoor air handlers can be connected to the condensing unit outside, providing zoned comfort control to other areas of your house. They all operate independently giving occupants in each room control over their own comfort. If you want to install one in the detached in-law suite and that one upstairs room that remains stubbornly hot, a mini-split will provide targeted temperature control in those areas.
Affordable operation: They are cheaper to install initially and are also incredibly energy efficient for day-to-day use. This means you can save money heating and cooling your new space (or spaces if your home has multiple zones.)
Placement options: You can affix the indoor air handler to any flat surface so long as it’s at least six feet from the floor. There are also freestanding floor models.
More convenient: Mini-split systems can be operated from a distance with a remote. Some models are also compatible with smart Wi-Fi thermostats so that you can adjust the temperature and monitor energy usage remotely.
Bottom line: If you are turning your basement or attic into a livable space, a mini-split system is a cost-effective, energy-efficient way to heat and cool your new room. If you want to get help choosing and installing your new system, call Superior Air Repair today at (979) 472-3267.