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Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioning Systems

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About Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioning Systems

 

What is a Ductless Mini-Split System?

A mini-split is a compact heating and air conditioning system. Mini-splits are an excellent choice for room additions or selective-area climate control, such as on one floor, in one wing, or in individual rooms of a home.

Like larger split systems (think central air or forced air systems in most homes), mini-splits consist of two primary components, “split” between indoor and outdoor locations. While larger split systems rely on ductwork to carry treated air throughout the home, mini-splits deliver treated air to each room individually, without the use of ducts. 

Blueridge mini-split systems consist of an outdoor unit called a “condenser”–or, more precisely, a “heat pump”–and an indoor air-handling unit or “air handler” that mounts on an exterior wall. (You might hear the condenser referred to as an outdoor “compressor,” though this term is somewhat inaccurate in that it describes the “engine” within the unit rather than the unit itself.) The two components are connected with electrical wiring and copper tubing (called a “line set”), which allows refrigerant to flow through.

A Cost-Effective Solution

Maybe you’re looking to supplement an existing heating or cooling system that isn’t performing to your satisfaction. Perhaps you want to add climate control to a new or existing space. Or you might be considering a mini-split system as the primary heating and cooling source for your home. Whatever the reason, you’ll be pleased to know that mini-splits are a solution that will save you money. The superior efficiency of mini-splits over traditional HVAC systems results in smaller energy bills. In addition, installation is fast and easy, allowing handy homeowners to complete all or part of the installation themselves. Mini-split systems are also low maintenance, saving you even more time and money over the long term.

The Top 5 Benefits of a Ductless Mini-Split System

The main advantages of a mini-split over other types of heating and cooling systems are:

  1. Energy Efficiency

  2. Whisper-Quiet Performance

  3. Going Ductless

  4. Independent “Zone” Temperature Control

  5. Easy Installation and Maintenance

Energy Efficiency

Compared to traditional HVAC systems, mini-splits are far more energy-efficient. They require less power (less electricity) to heat and cool the air and to maintain your desired temperature over time. Every HVAC system comes with a SEER rating, a numerical measurement of the unit’s efficiency. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system. The minimum SEER rating required by the U.S. Department of Energy is 13; Blueridge mini-splits range from 16 to a whopping 38 SEER! While the upfront cost of a 38 SEER unit will be higher than a 16 SEER unit, the energy and cost savings over time will be far greater with the higher SEER unit.

Whisper-Quiet Performance

Another benefit of a mini-split’s efficient design is its quiet performance. While traditional HVAC systems cycle on and off, resulting in unpleasant temperature swings and periods of powerful air movement that may sound like a cyclone, a mini-split operates on the principle of low-and-slow. After a mini-split reaches your desired temperature, the system will continue working in a slow and ultra-quiet mode to maintain that temperature on your behalf. In concrete terms, Blueridge air handlers at their loudest emit around 50 decibels (dB) of sound, comparable to the sound of a refrigerator humming. In their quietest mode, our air handlers operate at approximately 20 dB, similar to the sound of rustling leaves. Our customers have described their Blueridge mini-splits as having a pleasantly surprising, whisper-quiet operation. 

Going Ductless

In homes with no ductwork or an underperforming forced-air or central system that would be too costly to fix or replace, a mini-split system may be the perfect solution. Simply put, mini-splits take ductwork out of the equation, providing climate control exactly where you need it and not where you don’t. As a result, energy (and consequently money) isn’t wasted heating and cooling areas that are unoccupied or otherwise do not require temperature control.

Place mini-split air handlers in each space that requires heating and air conditioning and connect the unit(s) to the outdoor condenser or heat pump. When powered on, treated air will flow directly into the room, saving time and energy.

Blueridge air handlers come in a variety of mounting styles (wall-mount and ceiling-mount being the two most popular) to suit the needs and look of your space.

Independent “Zone” Temperature Control

In a traditional ducted HVAC system, the homeowner has little control over how the heated or cooled air circulates through the building. Treated air journeys through a maze of ducts before it reaches the various rooms of your home, all the while losing its temperature. A centrally-located thermostat determines when the desired temperature has been reached, leaving many rooms hotter or cooler than expected. Other variables, such as room occupancy and personal preferences, leave many families battling over the thermostat.

Enter the ductless mini-split system, where users can control the climate in each living space or “zone” independently. Each air handler occupies a zone and can be programmed by remote control or, in most cases, connected to a smartphone or smart home hub. When shopping for a mini-split, you’ll look for a single-zone, dual-zone, 3-zone, 4-zone, or 5-zone system, depending on how many spaces you’d like to heat and cool. In multi-zone systems, multiple air handlers will connect to a single condenser or heat pump located outside.

Easy Installation and Maintenance

Customers can purchase Blueridge mini-splits 1) as standalone systems, which include the condenser/heat pump, air handler(s), and remote control(s); 2) as “kits,” which package the standalone system with all the accessories needed to complete 90% of the installation; or 3) as DIY models, which include the standalone system plus a line set that is pre-charged with refrigerant, enabling the customer to complete 100% of the installation themselves. 

That there even exists a DIY option with mini-splits tells you that they are far easier to install than a traditional HVAC system. Many customers choose to complete some or all of the installation themselves. For those who would prefer to hire a professional, Alpine can help you find a licensed pro in your area. However you decide to handle the installation process, the work can be summarized in 3-4 easy steps:

1) Mount 

2) Connect

3) Electrical

4) Pro Start-Up (if not DIY) 

4-step installation process

Compared to traditional HVAC systems, maintaining mini-splits is a breeze. Simply remove the air handler’s filter(s) periodically and wash with soapy water. Occasionally, the filter(s) will need replacement. That’s it!

Why Choose a Blueridge Mini-Split System from Alpine Home Air Products?

With a wide variety of models to suit any project, large or small, Blueridge mini-splits use state-of-the-art technology to deliver outstanding performance year-round. Competitive wholesale pricing and free shipping on your order are just two of the perks that come with choosing a Blueridge mini-split.

Since 2002, Alpine Home Air Products has been a leader in online HVAC sales. With thousands of 5-star customer reviews and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Alpine’s products and services can’t be beat! Customers rely on Alpine’s team of HVAC experts to find the perfect system to meet their needs. And Alpine’s Premium Guarantee backs every purchase with a Money-Back Satisfaction Guarantee, a Warranty Guarantee, and Unlimited Technical Support

The outstanding Blueridge Ductless Mini-Split Warranty covers five years for parts and seven years for the compressor (heat pump). What’s more, Alpine’s in-house warranty processing means that support and replacement parts are just a phone call away. But here’s where the Blueridge warranty really shines: while many mini-split brands warrant their product only when installed by a licensed contractor, Blueridge’s warranty covers do-it-yourselfers, as long as the unit has been installed correctly.

What Size Mini-Split System Do I Need?

The first step in finding the right size mini-split system for your space is knowing your square footage. However, other important factors, such as ceiling height, number of windows, and insulation level, should be considered. Our handy Ductless Mini-Split System Selector takes these factors and more into account. To ensure that your mini-split system is the right fit for your space, your budget, and your needs, we highly recommend confirming your selection with one of our human experts. We want you to love your purchase!

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