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Why a Mini-Split System Could Be Right for You This Fall

mini-split systemAs a resident of Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield (IL), you are certainly familiar with the seasons’ different requirements of your HVAC. You depend on your heat in winter and AC in summer, and you can use them both less often or sometimes not at all in spring and fall.

If you’re one of the many proactive homeowners we serve, as you wrap up your summer cooling you can also start prepping for fall’s changing temperatures and humidity.

Current technology lets you maintain the temperatures you like without having to run your central HVAC through the whole house. As you finish summer and head into fall, you can enjoy greater control of your seasonal comfort with a mini-split system.

What Is a Mini-Split System?

A mini-split system – also referred to as a ductless heat pump – is a home heating and cooling solution that can be installed in individual rooms without ductwork.

To cool a room, the mini-split uses thin copper tubing to pump refrigerant from an outdoor compressor into an indoor air-handling unit that distributes the air to the room.

To warm your room, similar to how a refrigerator operates, the mini-split transfers heat from a cool space to a warm space, which makes the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During late fall and winter, the mini-split will move heat from the cold outdoors and bring it into your warm house.

Mini-splits are highly efficient because they transfer heat into or out of your house without generating it. Even when backup heat is needed from the furnace, as can happen during times of extreme cold in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield, the mini-split helps reduce the furnace’s efforts and power draw.

The mini-split lets you manage temperatures in specific rooms depending on the season. For example, if heat lingers into late summer and early fall, and you spend a lot of time in two or three rooms, you can set their temps as you like them without having to use money and power for other rooms you don’t use as often (e.g., guest rooms, storage rooms, basements).

Why a Mini-Split System?

If your home didn’t come with a zoned HVAC system, you may have rooms that are too hot in summer or too cold in winter.

In summer, you might find yourself really cranking up your central AC to cool a hot upstairs. All the while, the downstairs turns into an oven. In winter, you might be comfortable downstairs but the therm moves too much hot air upstairs.

With a ductless heat pump, you can zone your temperatures without having to modify or retrofit your central forced air by floor level. This lets you establish temperature balance while eliminating hot and cold spots in the house.

Such versatility can really benefit add-on rooms and converted spaces that would otherwise call for a new plenum, zone controller, damper and motor control, separate supply and return trunk, and separate branch and return ducts. That’s a lot of extra work, material and ultimately cost.

Other advantages of ductless heat pumps include:

better use of money and energy. Standard air ducts can lose up to 30% of energy efficiency because of leaks and heat loss. Beyond not needing ducts, some mini-split systems can provide up to 2.5X more efficiency than standard HVAC equipment. That in turn can make a difference in each month’s utility bills. You also lower your carbon footprint without reducing your comfort.

better air quality. If not cleaned periodically, ducts can introduce dust, dirt and other impurities into the house, where they further circulate with your central systems. Because they have no ducts, mini-splits support rather than compromise air quality.

little noise. Ductless heat pumps are quiet. When cooling or heating a room, they make much less sound than a similarly sized window unit or a central system. They also lack the noise of a cycling compressor. This whisper-quiet operation can really be welcome in rooms such as bedrooms and home offices.

installment versatility. Mini-splits are easy to install wherever you determine they will fit the best with the least intrusion, such as on a wall, the floor or the ceiling.

app-based management. Many systems use WiFi to let you control your settings whether you’re in the family room or many miles from home.

Mini-Split Systems: Dehumidification

Relative humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air compared with how much the air can hold at the current temperature. For example, a relative humidity of 75% means the air is holding 75% of its moisture capacity at the present temperature.

Cold air can’t hold as much vapor as warm air can. As temperatures fall, with no change of vapor in the air, humidity rises. Conversely, as temperature rises, with no difference in air vapor, humidity falls.

Humidity changes from summer to fall because fall’s cooler air can’t hold as much water vapor as warm air can. As a result, humidity goes up as temperatures go down.

While many people can achieve comfort with an indoor relative humidity of 30% to 60%, the optimal range is 45% to 55%. Many ductless heat pumps can support the desired humidity in a room by adjusting the temperature to create condensation that it then removes and forces out through a drain pipe.

Mini-Split Systems: Tax Credits & Rebates

As we continue moving toward clean and sustainable energy sources, more incentives are appearing to encourage them. In addition to conserving energy and lowering energy bills, you could gain extra money back when you install a ductless heat pump.

For example, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 offers homeowners federal tax credits of up to $3,200 each year to help lower the cost of energy-efficient home upgrades by up to 30%. Ductless heat pumps are included among the qualifying upgrades.

Commonwealth Edison offers discounts and rebates for energy conservation as well. You can view the many available tax credits, discounts and rebates at the ENERGY STAR rebate finder.

Heating & Cooling for All Times of Year: Contact Us Today

Air Dynamics provides Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield (IL) homeowners the resources for getting more performance for less money from their HVAC. From late summer into fall and beyond, we’ll be here to answer your questions and discuss the solutions that are ideal for your home and budget. Give us a call at (630) 731-1550!

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