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    Mini-splits are more popular in Europe, the Caribbean, South America and much of the rest of the world than in the United States. They have several advantages when compared with a central system:

  1. 1)Because they have no ducts, mini-splits avoid the energy loss inherent in a ducted system.

  2. 2)Each wall-mounted air handler can be separately adjusted, so a multiple air handler system creates individual zones that can be separately adjusted to the requirements of each room.

  3. 3)The small size makes them easier to install, and they are often the only choice when retro-fitting a system into a home with no attic or crawl space for duct installation—unless you are will willing to tolerate the noise and inefficiency of a wall/window air conditioner.

    There are, of course, a couple of disadvantages:

  1. 1)A mini-split unit is about 30% more expensive than a central split-system.

  2. 2)Some people do not like the appearance of a wall-mounted air handler in a room.

    You can usually tell what type of system is inside the home by the shape of the outside condenser unit. Mini-splits have tall and narrow condensers compared to the cube shape of most central split-system condensers, as shown in the photo below.

    Mini-split condensers are also often bracket-mounted on the side of urban buildings in some areas.

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
© McGarry and Madsen Inspection


More blog posts about heating and air conditioning:

  1. How can I find out the size of my air conditioner?

  2. How can I find out the age of my air conditioner or furnace?

  3. The coils on my heat pump are covered with ice on cold mornings. What’s wrong with it?

  4. What is the SEER of my old air conditioner?

  5. What is the difference between the “ON” and “AUTO” settings on my thermostat?

  6. What is a “ton” of air conditioning?

  7. What is the best air conditioner for a mobile home?

  8. How do I find the right size air conditioner for my house?

  9. What is an HVAC system?

  10. What is the difference between the SEER and EER of an air conditioner?

  11. What does an ultraviolet air treatment system do?

  12. The coolant line to the outside unit of my air conditioner is frozen. What's wrong?

  13. What size air conditioner is right for my mobile home?

  14. What is the minimum SEER rating for a new air conditioner?

  15. What does the “AFUE” rating of a furnace mean?

  16. How much life is left in that air conditioner?

  17. Why is there mold around the air conditioning ducts?

  18. What is a geothermal heat pump?

  19. What is the difference between a heat pump and a cooling air conditioner?

  20. Is it alright to close the air conditioning vents in unused rooms?

  21. What is the right MERV number for my air conditioning filter?

  22. Should I move my air conditioner into the attic?

  23. What are the minimum requirements for bathroom ventilation?

  24. What is an air conditioning heat recovery system?

  25. When should I switch the thermostat to “EMERGENCY HEAT” for my heat pump air conditioner?

  26. Why does the air conditioner condensate drain line need a trap in it?

  27. What is the average lifespan of an air conditioner?

  28. Should I remove an old whole house fan or keep it?

  29. How can I find out the SEER of my air conditioner?

  30. Is it acceptable for an air conditioning condensate drain line to terminate under the house?

  31. How much will I save on my utility bill if I get a new higher SEER air conditioner?

  32. Will closing doors reduce my heating and cooling costs?

  33. Why is there a wall switch next to the furnace or indoor unit of the air conditioner in the garage?

  34. What are the most common problems with wall/window air conditioners?

  35. Which one is better for a home heating system: electric or natural gas?

  36. Why does an air conditioner condenser need to be level?

  37. What is a return air plenum for a furnace or air conditioning system?

  38. Why does it take so long to cool a house when the air conditioner has been off for a while?

  39. What are the right words to use when talking about a heating and air conditioning system?

  40. Is a furnace allowed in a bedroom, bathroom, or an adjoining closet?

  41. What is a FanRecycler and AirCycler?

  42. Why is my bathroom vent fan not exhausting enough air?

  43. Why has the thermostat screen gone blank?