Are Mini-Splits Efficient?

If you’re looking to improve the home HVAC system in your Cape Cod, MA home, you’ve undoubtedly heard something about mini-splits. These are sometimes referred to as ductless mini-splits, AC mini-splits, ductless AC, or ductless heat pumps. This technology has existed for a while, but it’s only become more popular with time as a highly efficient space-saving alternative to traditional forced air systems. You may be wondering, are mini-splits efficient? After all, every HVAC product on the market brags of its incredible efficiency. And, compared to earlier air conditioning technology, most HVAC products have drastically improved. Where, then, do mini-splits really stand? Continue reading this blog post from Hall Oil Gas and Electric to learn more about the efficiency benefits of mini-splits on the Cape.

The Facts About Mini-Split Efficiency for Cape Cod Homes

What are Mini-Splits?

A mini-split system refers to a heat pump system which doesn’t use duct-work. It’s like an air conditioner, in that it uses refrigerant lines fed to an external unit to move heat around. But, unlike an air conditioner, a heat pump can compress heat and release it at either end, allowing it to work for heating or cooling.

A mini-split system is named thus because the exterior unit is attached via refrigerant lines to small internal units in the room you want to cool, rather than to a central air handler. Some systems have a single internal unit, but most people think of multi-zone mini-split systems when you use the term; a system where multiple internal units are attached to the external heat exchanger, allowing you to heat or cool multiple rooms at once.

So, we’re looking at an electricity-based system that moves heat around. So, how well does that perform in terms of efficiency? Let’s take a closer look.

Related Post: How to Install a Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump System on Cape Cod

Are Mini-Splits Efficient at Cooling?

Mini-splits use some of the most efficient heat exchanging technology on the market. This means that in terms of raw potential, you can expect them to work better at moving heat with the electricity they consume than most air conditioners, but not all air conditioners. Efficiency for practical cooling comes down to the specifics of your home and your cooling needs.

Central air systems can provide a lot of cooling to a large home all the time more efficiently than a ductless system in some cases. But, in any case, where you can take advantage of zoning to only cool rooms you need cool at the time, the advantage of a mini-split system will be substantial. In other words, if you only need to keep your bedroom cool at night, a mini split is an incredibly efficient way to do that compared to running central air throughout the night.

Mini split air conditioning systems offer tremendous flexibility for your cooling needs. They allow you to climate control rooms separately and waste less energy moving air through ducts. Mini-splits use variable speed compressors – meaning ductless A/C units can run as much or little as needed. This contrasts with most (but not all) central air units that have only one or two speeds and need to switch on and off more often during the day.

The ductless mini-split system can have multiple indoor units, or “heads”, as they are known. You can be selective as to what rooms in your Cape Cod home that you install a ductless mini-split head. Then, you can use one or all of them as you see fit. This gives you complete control of your home comfort.

Related Post: Are Mini-Splits Worth It?

Are Mini-Splits Efficient at Heating?

Heating is where mini-splits and heat pumps, in general, shine brightest. Where a heat pump providing cooling isn’t that much different from an air conditioner, a heat pump providing heating is working very differently from something like a furnace. This is because it uses its electricity to gather heat and move it around instead of using that energy to directly generate heat. A heat pump can be 3-5x as efficient as an equivalent furnace under optimal conditions.

A heat pump loses efficiency as the temperature approaches and passes freezing; once the temperature is below freezing, an efficient furnace on paper should be more efficient. This fact leads most Cape Cod residents to utilize mini split units for a three-season application for heat and cooling. Colder months with mini-splits are very expensive for this reason. Instead, we recommend that people should rely on their conventional heating systems during those colder seasons. Then, they can obtain great efficiency from their mini split during spring, summer, and fall.

Mini-splits still have the advantage of zoning, the same as they do in cooling. So, in many Cape Cod homes, you’ll find that a mini-split is competitive, if not superior. And for most days of the year, it will decisively outperform even the most efficient central heating system. This is even before accounting for zoning benefits.

Related Post: Everything You Need to Know About Ductless Mini Split Heat Pumps

Final Thoughts on Ductless Mini-Split Efficiency

As you’ve read, mini-splits should be expected to outperform central air conditioning by at least a little and heating by a lot. They’re also generally considered more comfortable. They provide more targeted heating and cooling (and a gentler heat which won’t dry out your skin, eyes, and lungs). And, of course, you save space which would otherwise be used for duct-work. If you don’t mind the up-front investment cost, mini-splits are a great solution for your home heating and cooling needs at your Barnstable County, MA home.

Contact Hall Oil for Mini-Split Installations on the Cape

Want to learn more about mini-split systems? The experts at Hall Oil Gas and Electric would like to help! If you have any questions about mini splits, we are your Cape Cod, MA experts for heating and cooling systems. We perform the following services related to ductless mini-split A/C and heat pumps:

In addition, we also perform installations, repair, maintenance, and tune-ups for central air conditioning systems, furnaces, boilers, water heaters, oil tanks, and generators. Plus, we also perform installations for gas log sets, gas fireplaces, and gas stoves. Contact the team at Hall Oil by calling our office at 508-398-3831, visit us at our South Dennis, MA office, or contact us online.