When it comes to cooling and heating solutions—whether at home, in a commercial establishment, or in an institutional facility—unbalanced temperature is one of the biggest challenges.
With the lack of options, it has become common for many of these types of environments to have some areas that are not cool enough or warm enough. Thus, it is not surprising that most homes have one or two rooms that are rarely used because the climate inside are either intolerably hot or unbearably cold.
If you are using a centralized air conditioning and heat pump system, for example, you are almost powerless over these hot spots and cold spots. And the worst part is, you have no means of controlling the energy that the problematic areas consume. You might as well imagine the airflow that comes out of the vents inside these rooms as wasted energies that would just keep padding your electric bill.
Obviously, the unbalanced temperature brings you the following main concerns:
1. You don’t really get the exact comfort that you need
2. More chance for disagreement over the temperature among family members
3. Some rooms are not fully maximized
4. Energy is wasted
5. You get higher electricity bill
Why Unbalanced Temperature Happens?
Most of the time, the varying and unstable temperature inside the house can be attributed to some factors that specifically relate to the following:
1. The way the house is designed and built. The construction design of a house does not only affect the way an air conditioning system is installed, but how the different types of rooms as well as their locations impact the effectiveness and efficiency of the whole climate control system. Sometimes, it is not unusual for some two-storey homes to have different degree of temperature in each level despite having a centralized AC system. During Summer, for example, just imagine the discomfort if the upper level of the house is not cool enough while the lower level is too cold. Conversely, picture yourself out not being able to stay in some rooms downstairs for a longer period during winter because the area either remains cold or inadequately warmed.
2. The air conditioning system is not versatile enough. Traditional systems, like a central air conditioning unit, are sometimes ineffective when it comes to cooling and heating challenges that are unique to particular situations. In retrofitting a detached garage or a basement, for example, you’ll observe that the primary concern is always about the impracticality of accommodating the space with the existing HVAC system, either due to high cost of the project, complexity of the process that you will need to go through, or aesthetic and structural considerations.
While it is easy to resign to the fact that almost everybody deals with unbalanced temperature, it is never wise to sacrifice comfort because you’re not sure about the best alternative.
Well, guess what? If you’re ready to give your old system the boot, your best option is a multi-zone ductless mini split cooling and heating system.
What is a Multi-Zone Ductless Mini Split Cooling and Heating System?
Also referred to as multi-room HVAC split system, a multi-zone ductless mini split cooling and heating solution refers to the mini split system configuration where one outdoor compressor/condenser unit can be connected to a number of indoor units or air handlers that are mounted in different rooms inside the house or a facility. Typically, most multi-zone mini split systems provide a connection of one outdoor unit with up to eight or nine air handlers.
In a multi-zone installation of a split system, every room with an installed air handler is considered a zone. The existence of two or more zones creates a network of zones that, collectively, make for the whole-home cooling and heating system. Typically, the units in each zone can be controlled independently courtesy of a dedicated thermostat and remote controllers.
Most multi-zone ductless mini split systems come with a variety of indoor units or different types of air handlers which are specifically designed for many unique applications. The different units or systems are also available in different capacities or Btu configurations.
When It Is ideal to Install a Multi-Zone Split System?
Zoned systems can be used anytime. It works as a perfect alternative to traditional HVAC systems as well, especially the centralized HVAC unit. Ideally, however, there are some specific situations when a multi-zone split system is the best option when you need a cooling and heating solution for multiple rooms. These are the following:
- When you have a large space to cover and not just one room. The best example are two-storey homes, dormitories, nursing homes or assisted care facilities, offices, and many others.
- When some rooms that you need to heat or cool are out of the path of your existing ductwork.
- When you’re living in an old home with no existing ductwork or when ductwork is not feasible.
What are the Advantages of a Multi-Zone Mini Split Cooling and Heating?
Using a multi-zone ductless mini split system can give you many advantages that you would not normally get from a traditional system. These benefits include the following:
- Customized Cooling and Heating, Personalized Comfort. A multi-zone mini split system will enable you to directly set the temperature in each zone according to your own needs or preference, allowing you to have a completely personalized comfort experience.
- Precise Temperature Control, Enhanced Comfort Experience. At the end of the day, a cooling and heating system is always about giving you the best comfort experience that you need. Unlike conventional systems, a multi-zone ductless mini split system has better technology, functionalities, and components that enable you to enjoy the exact temperature that you need without worrying about unbalanced temperature in some parts of the home.
- High Energy-efficiency, Bigger Savings. Aside from being a system designed with high energy-efficiencies, a multi-zone ductless mini split system lets you save more energy by providing you with an option to turn off the indoor unit in rooms that are not occupied. Of course, lower energy consumption means lower electricity bill.
- Smarter Control, Greater Convenience. In a multi-zone configuration, you have indoor units that you can use with a dedicated thermostat as well as handheld or a remote wireless controller.
- Flexible Installation, Versatile Application. Due to lack of ductwork, a multi-zone ductless mini split system can be installed in any residential, commercial, or institutional facility regardless of style and other key considerations, like the size of the space to heat or cool. It is also perfect when installed in a specific environment where ductwork is an issue, such as a garage, attic, basement, and other types of a room addition. The air handlers, although typically stylish, are also designed compact, simple, and subtle in appearance which allow for unobtrusive installation in any type of room.
What are the Examples of an Excellent Multi-Zone Ductless Mini Split System?
Almost all of the top ductless mini split manufacturers provide their own multi-zone mini split system. For your guidance, here are some of the top brands when it comes to this type of system:
- Gree Multi 21 Zone System and the soon-to-be-released Gree Multi 21+ Series which are both a configuration of up to five zones. Gree also offer its innovative Super Multi-zone Inverter Heat pump system.
- Mitsubishi Electric has a Zoned Comfort Solution™ that includes one outdoor unit that can be connected to up to eight indoor units.
- LG Ductless Multi-zone System that can be configured for multiple-room heating and cooling through one outdoor unit that is connectible with up to eight air handlers.
- Panasonic Total Home Comfort Solution that combines the powerful capabilities and excellent performance of a ductless mini split system and a highly advanced ventilation system.
How Much Does a Multi-Zone Mini Split Cost?
Multi-zone mini split systems are definitely more expensive than single-zone solutions and even traditional systems. The many benefits of owning one, however, would offset all the expenses. In other words, if you’re talking of value-for-money, say between a multi-zone mini split system and the traditional centralized HVAC system, then there’s no question that the former would be the smarter choice, financially.
Keep in mind that the cost of a multi-zone mini split system depends on the following:
- The type of the system.
- The size of the mini split unit
- The number of air handlers that you need
- The complexity of installation that is required
- The necessity for other accessories
A unit or a system-only, at the minimum, would cost you $3,000 dollar up to 8,000 dollars. Some really high energy-efficient and bigger units can even go higher than that figure. When installation cost and other expenses related to accessories are considered, your total whole-home comfort solution project using a multi-zone ductless mini split would actually cost you around $10,000 and maybe higher.
If you think a multi-zone mini split solution is best for your home and situation, then here are the few things that you need to consider before setting out with the purchase and installation.
- The size of your home or specific rooms that you need to heat or cool.
- The capacity of the system that you need in relation with the size of your home or the rooms.
- The type of indoor and outdoor units that suits your situation and installation requirements.
- The different key accessories that you need in relation to the installation of multiple indoor units and their connection with a single outdoor unit.
For a selection of some of the most powerful, highly energy-efficient, completely versatile, and superbly stylish multi-zone ductless mini split systems, you can visit Comfortup.