Choosing the Right Size Mini-Split for Your Home

Choosing the Right Size Mini-Split for Your Home

If you own a home in Browns Summit, NC, and need a new HVAC system, you face a big decision. One of the most critical aspects of your choice is what type of HVAC system to purchase. If you’re considering a ductless mini-split as your home’s HVAC solution, there are some things you should know first. One of those things is how to choose the right size mini-split for your home. Here’s everything you need to know about how to do it.

A Word About BTUs and Tons

Before you can choose a mini-split for your home, you must first understand how the manufacturers express their capacity. In general, you will find that most mini-splits come in sizes measured in BTUs or tons. BTUs, or British thermal units, are a standard measure used in the HVAC world. A BTU is how much energy it takes to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. However, when you see a BTU capacity rating on a mini-split, it can mean one of two very different things. This is because manufacturers use BTUs to indicate heating capacity and cooling capacity.

BTU ratings in a cooling context tell you how much heat a given unit will remove in an hour. In a warm-up context, it’s the opposite. It tells you how much heat the system can add to your home in an hour. In some cases, a mini-split will have identical heating and cooling capacities in BTUs. In other cases, they will be quite different. Therefore, you must read carefully when evaluating prospective mini-split HVAC systems.

You should also know that some manufacturers express the cooling capacity in tons. That is the same measure used by central AC systems. The good news is that it is interchangeable with BTUs. One ton is equivalent to 12,000 BTUs.

How many BTUs do you need?

Now that you understand how to interpret mini-split capacity ratings, you can start estimating how many BTUs you need. In general, you will want between 20 and 25 BTUs of capacity per square foot of living space. For an accurate measurement of your needs, you should have our professional HVAC technicians perform a Manual J calculation. They will evaluate everything from your home’s insulation to its orientation, windows, and doors. Those factors and more can influence your home’s heating and cooling needs.

How Many Rooms Would You Like Your Mini-Split To Serve?

Unlike central HVAC systems, ductless mini-splits require an air handler installed in each room they serve. So, once you know the total number of BTUs your home needs, you’re still not done. Next, you need to determine what share of that capacity each room needs. That’s because different indoor air handlers offer different heating and cooling capabilities.

You may only use a combination of air handler capacities that add up to the total system capacity. And even the largest mini-splits can only support up to eight air handlers. This limits your overall system design options and can force you to be creative in meeting the needs of your home.

For example, it is not uncommon for some homeowners to choose two smaller mini-splits to service their home. By splitting the total load over two systems, you simplify the installation and give yourself more air handlers to work with. Two mini-splits can support up to 16 air handlers and operate identically to one system. This is because each air handler operates independently anyway. The only complication that a multi-system approach introduces is the need for some additional electrical work.

Your Local Ductless Mini-Split Experts

Of course, the best way to choose the right size mini-split for your Browns Summit home is to leave it to Custom Air Inc.. For over 20 years, we’ve served local homeowners with quality HVAC installation, repair and maintenance services. . This includes the sale and installation of the latest HVAC mini-split and heat pump systems. In addition, we handle geothermal, indoor air quality, and duct services. We also offer 24/7 emergency services, so we’re always here when you need us. We are even accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. So, you can count on excellent customer service and workmanship from us.

If you need a mini-split installed in your Browns Summit home, contact our experts at Custom Air Inc. today!

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