Fight the MA Clean Heat Standard Today! LEARN HOW

Do Ductless Mini-splits Use a Lot of Electricity?

Written on: August 28, 2023

Get comfort and efficiency with Williams Energy!

mini split Braintree, ma If the summertime heat waves have you looking for a cooling solution for your South Shore home, Williams Energy is here to help with ductless mini-split installation and service!

Mini-splits are an outstanding option for people who don’t have ductwork in their home, as you can get the benefit of air conditioning without the expense of adding ductwork for central A/C, along with saying goodbye to the noisy and inefficient window A/C units.

Do mini-splits use more electricity than central air conditioning?

Each mini-split indoor handler consumes between 500 and 700 watts of power per hour, equivalent to 0.5 to 0.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh). Mini split outdoor compressors can connect up to four indoor units to cool these dedicated zones. If all four zones are being cooled simultaneously, the electricity consumption for each hour of cooling ranges from 2,000 to 2,800 watts (2 to 2.8 kWh).

Compare that with central air conditioning, which uses on average of 1,000 watts per ton each hour they are in use. For a house between 1,500 and 2,000 square feet, a 3.5-ton central A/C would be used. That would use 3,500 watts per hour, or 3.5 kWh.

That means that a central air conditioning system would use dramatically more electricity, around 30% more, than mini-splits, making mini-splits a much better choice!

There are other ways that ductless mini-splits offer energy efficiency.

One is through zoned cooling. For example, if your family isn’t using the bedrooms during the day, you can adjust the heating and cooling so it’s not running much in those rooms.

Another way that mini-splits offer energy efficiency is that there is no ductwork. According to the United States Department of Energy, up to 30% of home cooling costs can be attributed to cooling that is lost from leaks in the ducts, especially in spaces like attics and basements.

How do ductless mini-splits work?

Ductless mini-splits consist of two primary components: the outdoor compressor unit and the indoor air handler, also known as the evaporator. These components are connected by a conduit, which contains the tubing, power, communications, and condensate drain lines. This seamless connection ensures efficient operation and optimal performance of the system.

How a mini-split provides cooling: The refrigerant flows into the compressor, where the compressor does what its name indicates and compresses the refrigerant. It then moves on to the condenser, where it relinquishes its heat, transferring it from the device to the surrounding air. Now in its liquid state, the refrigerant is directed through the tube to the evaporator. Here, it absorbs heat from the indoor air passing over the evaporator coils. Finally, the cooled air is released into your home, creating a comfortable environment.

How a mini-split provides heating: During the winter, the closed-loop mini-split system undergoes a reversal. Instead of extracting heat from within the house, the refrigerant now absorbs heat from the outdoors. This change allows for a more efficient and effective heating process.

When the pressure of the refrigerant drops and it transforms into vapor, it becomes significantly colder than the surrounding air. As heat energy naturally flows from hot to cold, the refrigerant absorbs heat from its environment. Once it has absorbed all the available heat, the outdoor compressor then pressurizes the gas, turning it into a hot liquid. This extremely hot refrigerant is then transported to the indoor coils, where the blower is utilized to send the heat into your home.

Ready to get the comfort of ductless mini-splits in your home? Get your FREE estimate from Williams Energy!