Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

The Ductless Mini-Split: Making Major Strides Since the ’70s

Ductless mini-split systems have come a long way in the 40 years since they became popular in Japan. They were originally introduced as an alternative to window units.

One of the primary advantages of mini-splits over window units is the ability to remove the condensing unit to ouThe Ductless Mini-Split: Making Major Strides Since the '70stside the living space of the building. The condenser/compressor unit is what makes the most noise in a split air conditioning or heat pump system.

The ductless mini-split was the beginning of zoning control for HVAC systems, since each condensing unit can serve several indoor air handlers. Zoning systems help you control utility costs by allowing you to independently adjust the temperatures in different zones, or rooms in your house. This is useful for saving energy but also for providing home occupants freedom to adjust temperatures to fit their needs or preferences in certain rooms or areas.

Early ductless mini-split systems weren’t all that strong. They were originally only designed to have a capacity of about 7,000 to 12,000 Btu/h. Btu/h stands for British Thermal Unit per hour.

The original ductless mini-split featured a wall-mounted indoor air handler, which is still the most used design for the systems today. Other designs have been developed, however, such as floor console ductless mini-splits and air handlers suspended from the ceiling. There are also ways that you can conceal the unit, so that it better blends in with the surroundings.

Modern ductless mini-split systems have a much greater capacity than their predecessors. Modern systems have up to a 48,000 Btu/h capacity. Older models required the condenser to be within 15 feet of the unit, now you can have as much as 100 feet between the condenser and the indoor components.

Modern mini-split systems typically meet or exceed efficiency standards set by the federal government, one reason they should help you save money on your utility bills. The other reason is that they don’t require ducts to deliver conditioned air, which is where ample energy is lost in forced-air systems.

These systems have become easier for technicians to maintain. They now offer self-diagnostic capabilities to help the technician determine where problems might exist in the system.

For more information about ductless mini-splits and other home comfort related questions, please contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We are a family-owned HVAC company proudly serving the Yuma area for more than 50 years.




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Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona 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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