Ductless mini-splits have several advantages that make them an efficient option for cooling and heating. One of the most significant advantages is that they allow for independent cooling zones, enabling individual spaces within a building to be heated or cooled separately. This prevents energy from being wasted in unoccupied areas or those that are already at an appropriate temperature. This is in contrast to central systems, which must condition air throughout a building.
Additionally, ductless mini-splits are more efficient than central HVAC systems because they lack ductwork. In central air conditioning systems, over 30% of energy can be lost through ductwork, especially when the ducts are in unconditioned spaces that become extremely hot in summer.
Ductless mini-splits also have an advantage over window units and portable air conditioners in that the evaporator and condenser are separated by an insulated exterior wall, preventing heat from leaking from the hot condenser coils outside to the cold evaporator coils inside.
Finally, when used as heat pumps, mini-splits are much more efficient than other electric heaters such as electric furnaces or baseboard heaters.
Mini-split systems have several performance ratings, including cooling and heating capacity measured in BtuH, and SEER ratings to describe cooling efficiency. Higher SEER ratings indicate more efficient units, with a linear relationship between SEER ratings and electricity use over the summer. Local utility companies and Energystar's Rebate Finder may offer incentives for upgrading to high-efficiency ductless mini-splits.