Split air conditioning consists of an outdoor condenser and one or more indoor air handling units. Also called ductless aircon or mini-splits, these systems improve the comfort of your home, but they also help you save money on home energy bills. Here are five ways that split air conditioning saves energy.
1. Zoned cooling
Mini-splits let you split up your home into zones. Each zone has its own air handling unit. For instance, you may have one unit on the main floor and one on each of the upper floors. You may even have a unit in your kitchen and living room, a unit in the home office and a unit in the master bedroom.
The exact setup varies based on the design of your home. With zone cooling, you only have to cool the rooms that are in use. You don't have to waste money unnecessarily cooling rooms that you aren't using.
2. Built-in fans
The air handling units of a split air conditioner come with built-in fans. An air conditioner uses refrigerant to cool down the air in your home. Fans help to move the cool air around, and this increases the feeling of coolness in your home.
By utilizing fans, these systems are able to make your home feel cooler without consuming as much power. In contrast, if you have a traditional ducted aircon system, you have to pair it with ceiling fans or stand fans to get this effect.
3. No ducts
The lack of ductwork also makes split air conditioning more energy efficient. When the air has to travel through ducts, some of the air inevitably escapes. It goes into crawlspaces, walls, attics or other unused airs. With a mini-split, you don't lose any air because these systems don't have ducts.
4. Features such as occupant sensors
Split air conditioning systems can come with all kinds of advanced features that help boost efficiency. For instance, they can come with occupant sensors. These sensors detect people in the room, and they adjust the system's settings based on the heat generated by the people.
There are also settings that allow you to choose whether you want direct or indirect airflow on the occupants of the room. Options like this increase comfort without driving up energy bills.
5. Optional backup heating source
If desired, you can add heating to your split air conditioner. This typically only increases the cost by a small amount, and when you get a mini-split that heats and cools, you also add energy-efficient heating to your home. These units use heat pumps to heat which is more efficient than traditional furnaces that use fossil fuels.