What's a ductless/mini-split system anyway?
A ductless system is made up of two individual units: an indoor unit (the evaporator) and outdoor unit (the condenser). Each condenser comes pre-charged with refrigerant and is connected to one or more evaporators. Think of a mini-split system like an upgraded space heater (that heats and cools your whole room) and cleans your rooms air of allergens and pathogens while potentially saving you on your monthly energy bill.
Is there a difference between "Single Zone" and "Multi-Zone" systems?
Single-zone systems are made up of one indoor evaporator and one outdoor condenser. Single zone system configurations heat/cool one room or "zone," depending on the size of the system.
Multi-zone systems are made up of more than one indoor evaporator and one outdoor condenser. At most, up to eight (8), indoor evaporators can be connected to one outdoor condenser. Multi-zone system configurations heat/cool multiple rooms or "zones."
What's a zone?
A zone is a set area that needs to be heated or cooled. Most homes weren't designed with zones in mind. If a homeowner wanted to "zone" their current heating and cooling system to make their home more comfortable, they'd need complex zoning equipment & systems - which would be expensive.
Multi-zone ductless mini-splits make zoning a home or office building simple, as simple as setting a remote control. The installation team takes into account the unique requirements of each room, then sizes and places the indoor evaporators appropriately to zone your space.
What advantages do mini splits have over conventional HVAC systems?
Ductless systems give you the flexibility of controlling the temperature in each room/zone. They give you individual room/zone air filtration and precision room temperature, making you more comfortable. And if you're constructing a building from the ground up, they allow you to keep ceiling/wall space because you don't need to run ducts through the walls or ceilings.
Besides that, they're variable speed heat pumps, while most conventional systems only single or two stages. That makes a big difference to your energy bill because conventional systems are either on all the way or off - ductless systems can ramp up or down depending on your needs. Imagine driving and only being able to slam on the accelerator or slam on the brake, that's what a conventional system does.
What types of rooms/installations work best for ductless?
Additions, nursery's, sunrooms, home offices, basements, in-law suites, guest houses, workout rooms, living areas, and dining rooms work well for ductless systems. The majority of single-zone installations are done for master bedrooms or sunrooms.
Because there aren't any ducts that need to be installed, older homes that don't have air conditioning or want to switch oil/propane/natural gas to a more sustainable source of energy are ideal. There's very little that needs to be done to the house to upgrade the current HVAC system to a state-of-the-art ductless/mini-split system.
How big should my ductless mini-split be?
The size of your ductless system depends on the size of the space you want to heat/cool. Our Size Your System BTU calculator can help you size the system you need.
If you're thinking about a multi-zone system, reach out to our customer care (email@example.com) team and they'll guide you through the sizing process. Multi-zone sizing is slightly more complex than single-zone system sizing.
Are ductless units noisy like window air conditioners? What should I expect?
Ductless systems are engineered to be quiet. The compressor (which makes the most noise) and evaporator are extremely quiet. Inside your home or office, you shouldn't notice either running. Most units operate as low as 19 dB, which is comparable to a very light breeze or an extremely faint whisper.
Can I install a ductless mini-split system myself?
All ductless systems come with an installation manual.
Installing a mini-split is more complicated than putting in a window unit, but far less complicated than installing a central HVAC system. You'll need to run refrigerant lines for the coolant, wires for electricity, and line drainage for condensation. Please follow manufacturer instructions carefully.
Although the systems come pre-charged with refrigerant, we highly recommend you allow a manufacturer-trained technician to handle the refrigerant. The EPA Clean Air Act (PDF) carries harsh penalties for refrigerant leaks. The maximum civil penalty for a Clean Air Act violation is $93,750. And EPA regulations 40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act states: technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release ozone-depleting refrigerants into the atmosphere must be certified.
We'll recommend a technician/company to handle a Certified Start-Up™ by a manufacturer-trained technician. They'll also make sure the installation was done correctly, evacuate + charge the refrigerant as needed and check/start the system.
How long does the installation of a ductless system take?
To give you a rough idea, highly trained technicians can install a single zone mini-split system in about 6-8 hours. It all depends on the size of your system, complexity of your particular application and amount of zones you have.
You can reach out to us during normal business hours (9 AM through 5 PM) at our customer care number (866) 399-0206 or at any time through our customer care email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to get more information about installation.
What if I need technical assistance?
What is the warranty?
Each manufacturer has their own warranty. The standard limited warranty is 5 & 7, five years for all the parts and 7 years for the compressor from the date of installation.
You can extend your warranty through a certified contractor, and each manufacturer has a certification program. If you want to go over your options and/or extend your warranty, reach out to our customer care (email@example.com) team and we'll walk you through your options.
What's the average life of a ductless system?
Most ductless systems' lifespans are 13 to 15 years. If your system is over 10 years old, we suggest getting your system checked on a regular basis.
How often should I clean the filter?
Your air filter should be cleaned every 400 hours. Each filter has a life span of 6 to 8 years and needs to cleaning regularly. If you keep your system on 24 hours a day, you'll need to wash the filter once every two weeks. Under normal use, the filter will need cleaning every 3 to 6 months. Make sure you don't go more than 6 months without cleaning your filter.
The filter easily comes out of the unit and should be washed with water and mild detergent.
Some systems notify you when to clean your filters. Since filter cleaning is important, your evaporator will automatically shut down at 500 hours of use if the filter isn't washed, and stay off until the filter is washed.
Should I also clean the outdoor unit?
If you think your outdoor unit needs cleaning, schedule a technician to look at your outdoor unit with a company you trust. They'll diagnose if your condenser needs to be cleaned or not.
EER and SEER Ratings, what are they?
Energy Efficiently Rating (EER) measures how efficiently your system uses energy. In general, the higher the rating, the less energy your system will use to keep your zone/room comfortable.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) measures how efficiently your system heats/cools your zone/room. In general, the higher the rating, the more efficient your system will be at keeping your zone/room comfortable.
Think of it like this, the higher your systems EER and SEER ratings are, the lower your energy bills should be.
What's a BTU?
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. The BTU measurement is used to measure cooling or heating capacity; 1 BTU is the amount of heat required to raise (or lower) the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.
A BTU is the standard measurement manufacturers use to measure the size of their systems. It helps you compare "apples to apple" when you're looking at different mini-splits.
What's IAQ why does it matter?
IAQ means Indoor Air Quality. Ductless mini-splits are equipped with advanced air purification technology designed to remove airborne pollutants, odors and allergens, keeping your indoor environment safer and more comfortable. The better your indoor air quality, the healthier your family can be.
If my heating or cooling isn't working anymore, is there anything I can do?
Before you call anybody, there are a couple of things you can check:
- Make sure your circuit breaker is on and a fuse hasn't been blown
- Make sure your air filters are clean. Dirty or clogged filters damper airflow.
- Check the settings on your remote control. If you want your room cooler, make sure the temperature is set below your current room temperature and the system is on the cool or auto mode. If you want your room warmer, make sure the temperature is set above your current room temperature and the system is set to heat or auto mode.
- Make sure your remote control has fresh batteries.
Can I cover the line sets running from my condenser unit?
Yes, you can. We carry a line set cover system that comes standard in beige (ivory), white and brown colors. It is also paintable. Many different fittings are available to create virtually any design.
Can I paint the ductless mini-split unit?
You shouldn't paint either the evaporator or condenser. And we strongly advise against painting the evaporator (indoor unit). If for any reason a problem occurs with the unit in the future, the manufacturer’ won't honor the unit's warranty.
Will my manufacturer warranty be honored if I purchase my ductless system online?
Most manufacturers have internet sales policies that prohibit online sales. They state: "Retail Internet Purchases Will Not Be Covered By Warranty." When you purchase your system from us with Pro-Install, they are.
Although this is a website on the internet, we're an authorized installer of each manufacturer we offer; and we're partnered with authorized distributors. Your manufacturer warranty might not be honored if you purchase your ductless system from an internet retailer and install the mini-split yourself. The reason manufacturers wouldn't honor their warranty is because systems require pre and post-sale support, and each manufacturer wants to make sure their system is performing as intended.
If you do decide to purchase any ductless system online, make sure you have or are a certified installer. Manufacturer internet sales policies:
If I order Pro-Install, do you service my area?
Currently, we offer pro-installtion in Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, Pennsylvania and Delaware. If you do decide to order pro-install outside of our immediate service area, we will either A) Reach out to our nationwide installation partners who are certified installers for all the brands we offer or B) Refund you the difference between our system/unit only price and our system/unit price with pro-install. Either way, we'll do our absolute best to make sure you're well taken care of.