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Mini-Split AC Shopping Guide: Pros and Cons

Although they are gaining in popularity, mini split AC systems are still not well-known in the US.

As a leading manufacturer of all types of air conditioners and other home appliances, TOSOT has been producing these units for years across the globe, but only recently started to make them available to our US customers.

But what is a mini-split air conditioner?

Mini-split AC units are like a cross between a whole-home central HVAC system and a removable window air conditioner - with a few notable differences.

Let’s dive into some details:

Mini-splits are cooling systems that allow you to control the temperature in individual rooms. And in that regard, they are similar to our line of the window or portable air conditioners. The biggest difference between a mini split and those other types of units is that once you install a mini-split, you are not moving it around or taking it down for the winter. It is there permanently. 

Some manufacturers, such as TOSOT, have also added a heat pump to their mini-split units so they can provide your space with year-round comfort no matter what the weather is like outside. 

Mini-split air conditioner units are similar to HVAC systems in that there is an indoor component and an outdoor compressor. The outdoor unit will look like a smaller version of a central HVAC system’s outdoor compressor. But instead of cooling (or heating in the case of TOSOT units!) the entire home, it will only cool the room where the indoor unit is located. 

You have probably seen something similar to a mini-split system in a hotel room. Hotels typically use a packaged terminal air conditioning system (PTAC), where each room has an individual indoor unit for each guest to choose their desired comfort level. 

If hotels used a central HVAC system like the one in your home, some guests would complain it is too cold, some would complain it is too warm, and money would be lost in cooling rooms where nobody is staying. 

For years, hotels have realized the increased comfort and cost-saving of using individual climate control in each room, which is the same thing you can accomplish with your TOSOT mini-split AC system. 

Now that you have a better understanding of what a mini-split AC is and how it works, let’s get into some of the benefits and drawbacks.

Mini-Split AC Benefits

  • More efficient because there are no ducts for the cool air to travel in and leak through 
  • Lower energy bills compared to window/portable units or cranking your central HVAC to a cooler temp 
  • Ability to cool a new room in your home that isn’t connected to your HVAC system 
  • Cool the room where you sleep or spend the most time while letting your central HVAC in the rest of the house run at a higher temperature, saving you money 
  • Some units (like TOSOT’s) have a heat pump built in for year-round climate control 

Mini-Split AC Drawbacks

  • Higher purchase cost than a window or portable unit
  • Cannot be moved from room to room if you want to cool a different area like a Portable or Window AC 
  • Can be challenging to find someone local with experience to install a mini-split 
  • Some people don’t like the way the unit looks mounted on the wall 
  • Cleaning the filter is easy, but other maintenance jobs like recharging the refrigerant and cleaning the coils are best left to professionals, which can be costly.

Choosing The Right Size Of Mini-Split 

We wrote a separate guide for this topic here, but we’ll give you a few high-level points to consider when sizing a mini-split AC for your home. 

1. Your Room Size

A unit that is too small won’t be able to cool your room, while a unit that is too large will put unnecessary wear and tear on the unit as it constantly cycles on and off. 

For a basic overview, use the chart below to choose a unit for your home.



2. Ceiling Height 

Air conditioner size recommendations are based on an average 8ft high ceiling, so if you have a ceiling that is significantly higher than 8ft, you may need to size up from the recommended size unit based on the size of the room you are trying to cool.

3. Insulation Quality

Better insulated homes with efficient windows will be able to hold a more consistent temperature than a poorly insulated home. If your home does not have adequate insulation, you may want to consider sizing up to the next model to ensure that your room stays comfortable.

 

If a Mini-Split AC is right for you, check out our collection of Mini-Split ACs on our website.

If a Mini-Split AC is not the right fit for you, we also have a range of window and portable air conditioners that might be a better fit for your current situation.

And if you have any questions about our products, feel free to send us an email at support@tosotdirect.com so we can help you out.  

 

 


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