Denver Ductless Mini Split Installation

As with any HVAC technology, ductless mini split heat pumps must be used under the right conditions to achieve optimum benefit. And like everything in the internet era, they're subject to all sorts of misunderstanding on the part of consumers.

Ductless, mini-split heat pumps (mini splits) make good retrofit add-ons for homes with "non-driven" heating systems such as hydronic (hot water heat), radiant panels and heaters (wood, kerosene, propane). They can also be a good option for room additions where it is not feasible to expand or install distribution ductwork, and for energy=efficient new construction homes. Select an ENERGY STAR®-compliant unit and use an installer familiar with mini-splits (cough, cough, Tafoya Mechanical). 

Tafoya Mechanical is one of the top Denver HVAC contractors with ductless mini split expertise.

What is a ductless mini split?

Usually, a ductless mini split is a wall-mounted indoor device paired with an outdoor compressor. It is most commonly used when contemplating a window AC unit or baseboard heating, such as a new addition to a home. But unlike window units, ductless units need a very small hole to cut into the wall, making them less vulnerable to air leakage and security issues. They're also much less noticeable and audible.

They're also incredibly energy-efficient. If you buy an ENERGY STAR  model, you can save up to 30% on heating and cooling costs for a room, and you can potentially qualify for a federal tax credit and local utility incentives.

Ductless mini split benefits

Mini splits' key advantages are their small size and ability to zone or heat and cool individual spaces. Many models have four indoor air handling systems (for four zones or rooms) linked to one outside unit. The number depends on how much heating or cooling the building or each zone requires (which in turn is influenced by how well the building is insulated and air sealed). Each zone has its own thermostat, so you need only condition occupied spaces. This saves energy and money.

Simple installation

Ductless mini-split systems are simpler to mount than other space-conditioning systems. For example, hook-ups between outdoor and indoor units typically involve a three-inch hole through a conduit wall. Most manufacturers of this type of device may have a range of connecting conduit lengths and if necessary, locate the outdoor unit up to 50 feet from the indoor evaporator. This makes it possible to cool rooms on a house's front side, but to position the compressor in a more beneficial or unconspicuous location outside the structure.

Energy efficiency

Mini splits have no ducts, thereby eliminating energy losses associated with central forced air systems ductwork. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of space conditioning energy consumption, particularly if the ducts are in unconditioned space such as an attic.

Using mini splits can save you between $1,000 and $2,000 annually in energy costs, making it one of the most energy-efficient air-conditioning and heating systems out there. The cost savings associated with split-ductless heat pumps rely on a variety of factors including performance, condition and position of the original equipment, type of energy and climatic area.

Space flexibility

Mini splits offer more flexibility when compared to other add-on systems. The air handlers indoors can be suspended from a roof, placed in a drop ceiling or hung on a wall. Floor-standing versions are available. Most indoor units are about 7 inches tall, with sleek, high-tech jackets. Some also provide remote control to make turning on and off the device easier when installed high on a wall or suspended from a ceiling.

Security

Split systems can help make the home secure, as the wall just has a small opening. Air conditioners can provide easy access for intruders through-the-wall and window-mounted.

Long life cycle

When properly controlled and serviced, ductless heat pumps have the same life cycle as conventional HVAC systems. Dirt, inadequate application and operation, and lack of preventive care are the key reasons why heat pumps malfunction, so it's essential to track efficiency and schedule regular maintenance just like your car or any other big equipment you run year-round.

Mini split disadvantages

Most homeowners have three strikes against ductless: upfront expense, routine maintenance, and aesthetics. There's a fourth factor for those in extremely cold climates: you'll definitely need a fuel-based backup if you want ductless heat, although some newer models can handle the load even if time falls below zero.

High installation cost

Mini split installation costs may be higher than other systems, but lower maintenance costs and rebates or other financial benefits — provided in some areas — may help offset the initial expense.

The installer must correctly size each indoor unit and decide the best installation position. Oversized or incorrectly placed air handlers will result in short cycling, which will waste energy and not provide sufficient temperature or moisture control. Too big a machine is expensive to purchase and run.

Indoor aesthetics

Some people may not like the system's indoor aspect. Although less obtrusive than a window room air conditioner, these devices have no central system built-in look. Condensate water must also be drained near the outdoor unit.

Hiring mini split experts

Finding skilled installers and service people may be difficult. 

Fortunately, if you're anywhere in the greater Denver metro, Tafoya Mechanical can handle all your ductless systems installation, maintenance, and repair! Just give us a call at 720-615-6358!

We also do:
Air conditioner repair
Air conditioner installation
Air conditioning maintenance
Furnace repair
Boiler repair
and much more!