How Many Rooms Can You Cool With a Mini Split?

Before the summer heat strikes in Houston, you might want to start thinking about how you’ll keep your home cool. While a central air conditioning unit can get the job done, mini-split systems are a great option with a few added benefits. These compact systems can effectively cool various rooms in your home without the need for ductwork.

Since they don’t use ductwork, mini-split systems typically can’t cool an entire home. With that in mind, it’s natural to wonder how many rooms you can cool with a mini split system. To understand that answer, check out this in-depth guide from the pros at The Lee Thompson Co..

Mini-Split Info

A mini-split is essentially a smaller version of a central air conditioner. These systems have an indoor unit that houses the evaporator coil and blower fan. They also have an outdoor condenser unit that helps control the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant that flows through the system. The key difference between a mini-split system and a central system is that a mini-split system sends its conditioned air directly out of the indoor unit and into the room in which the unit is installed. On the other hand, a central unit uses a system of ducts mounted throughout the home to deliver conditioned air to various rooms. The final component of a mini-split system is the remote control that takes the place of the thermostat in a central system to give you complete control over the output temperature.

Single-Source Cooling

Since a mini-split system doesn’t use ducts, each unit is typically designed to cool a single room in your home. To achieve optimal cooling, technicians will mount the indoor unit high on a wall so that the blower fan can properly circulate the cool air around the room. Since the unit resides in the same room that it’s cooling, the conditioned air that enters the room tends to be cooler than the air from a central system. Because the air doesn’t have time to increase in temperature as it travels through the ducts in your home, the room will cool down quickly without needing extended operating cycles.

Calculating Cooling Needs

It’s important to understand that the cooling needs of a home are typically calculated using the livable area of the entire house. This calculation doesn’t account for walls or other barriers in the home. As long as the system can provide the necessary cooling capacity, it should be able to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. When choosing a central system, the HVAC technician will use this calculation to determine how large your central air conditioner needs to be.

In the case of mini-split units, the technician will use the calculation to determine both the size and number of indoor and outdoor units that will be needed to cool your home effectively. For example, if you want six rooms in your home to have air conditioning, the technician will calculate the air volume of those six rooms and divide that number by six. This will determine how large the individual indoor units need to be since you need to use one indoor unit for each room.

Using Multiple Units

The good news is that using multiple indoor units to cool your home doesn’t necessarily require multiple outdoor units. Many outdoor condenser units can service four or more indoor units. Therefore, even if you decide to use mini-splits to cool every room in your home, you may only need two or three outdoor units, thus saving money and preventing a lot of extra visual clutter on the exterior of your home. This is another time when it’s critical to understand the cooling capacity of each indoor unit. The outdoor unit must be able to expel heat from the refrigerant coming from all of its connected indoor units. The compressor inside the condenser must also handle enough refrigerant to feed all of its indoor units. That’s why experienced technicians will spend extra time checking their calculations to ensure you end up with a system that can effectively cool each room in your home.

Individual Control

Some people look at mini-splits as an inconvenient solution to home cooling. However, there are multiple benefits to choosing these systems to satisfy your home cooling needs. One of the biggest perks is that each room with a mini-split installed can enjoy individual temperature control. Suppose you have one family member who likes to sleep with the air conditioner blasting and another family member who prefers no extra cooling at all. In that case, you can satisfy both family members without installing an expensive central system that has various zones providing control to individual rooms. Another major perk is that if your home doesn’t have ductwork, you don’t have to rip open walls to install new ducts. This makes the installation process faster and less disruptive.

Rooms With No Cooling

If you already have a central air conditioner that serves most of the rooms in your home, a mini-split system may still be able to help you improve the comfort level of your home. Mini-splits offer an excellent cooling solution for rooms where ductwork doesn’t reach. Mini-splits can be large enough to cool an entire garage or small enough to cool a home office. If you have a separate building on your property that is too hot, you can add a mini-split to this building to help make it more habitable. This is when it’s especially handy that a mini-split can only cool one room at a time. Since a mini-split system can provide targeted cooling, you don’t have to worry about wasting energy or changing the temperature in adjacent rooms in your home.

Year-Round Comfort

With mini-split systems, You can be confident that your home will remain comfortable throughout the year. Mini-split systems offer heating and cooling capabilities, making them the perfect solution for those unconditioned spaces in your home. They use heat-pump technology to provide exceptionally efficient heating anywhere they are installed. Thus, you’ll be saving money by employing smaller systems in targeted areas and by using state-of-the-art technology that uses much less electricity than a conventional electric heater.

Taking Care of Your Comfort Needs

At The Lee Thompson Co., we take the comfort of our customers quite seriously. That’s why we install, maintain, and repair mini-split systems of all types and sizes. We also install, maintain, and repair conventional HVAC systems, install ductwork, maintain and repair boilers, and perform commercial HVAC service. For over 60 years, customers throughout the region have been trusting us with their home comfort needs. We’ve continued to earn this trust, which is evident in our A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and our countless five-star customer reviews. To learn more about mini-split systems and how they can help improve the comfort level of your home, contact us at The Lee Thompson Co. today.