The Ductless Mini-Split: How a Great Technology Got Even Better

One of the most versatile ways to heat and cool interior spaces that would otherwise be challenging is with a mini-split system. Since their development decades ago, ductless mini-split technology has improved to the point where these rival the efficiency of other kinds of conditioning systems.The Ductless Mini-Split: How a Great Technology Got Even Better

Besides having the advantage of not requiring ductwork to deliver conditioned air, the technology that’s embedded in these systems improves their efficiency since their development in the 1970s in Japan. Major development along the road includes:

  • Larger systems. The early ductless mini-splits could deliver from 7,000 to 12,000 Btus (British thermal units). Air conditioners and heat pumps are sized by their tonnage, and each 12,000 Btus translates to a ton. Today’s systems can be as large as 48,000 Btus, translating to a 4-ton system. Such a system can support four separate air handlers, which allows you to zone a home, reducing energy consumption in spaces you don’t need to heat or cool continually.
  • Longer conduits. The length of the conduit for the first mini-splits was just 15 feet long. The conduit connects the outdoor condenser and the indoor air handler. It contains the drainpipe, the refrigerant coil and power. Units are now available with conduits as long as 100 feet.
  • Better temperature range. High efficiency ductless mini-split technology is available that can heat when temperatures fall as low as 0 degrees F and cool when it’s 115 degrees F outdoors.
  • Safer refrigerant use. Manufacturers have stopped using R-22 in mini splits and most now come with the higher efficiency R-410a refrigerant that’s both safer for you and the environment and is capable of better heat transfer.
  • Use of electronically commutated motors (ECMs). Some systems use ECM motors in the air handlers that run quietly and use far less electricity.

The experts at Amarillo Air Conditioning can help you learn more about ductless mini-split technology. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for Amarillo homeowners for more than five decades.




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Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about ductless mini-splits and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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