Is a Ductless Mini-Split Right for Your Home?

mini split system

All Things Ductless Mini-Split

The ductless mini-split deserves plenty of consideration for those with homes without ductwork who are looking to make a smart investment in their home heating and cooling.

These handy heat pumps come with attractive federal rebates and tax credits and share benefits that include improved energy efficiency, lower energy bills, and easy installation.

Is a ductless mini-split right for your home? Here's what you need to know.

First, What Is a Ductless Mini Split?

There are several types of ductless HVAC systems on the market. While the functionality may differ, a true ductless system relies on an indoor unit and an outdoor unit.

Heat Pump Mini Split

One common ductless mini split is a specialized heat pump HVAC system that delivers cooling, heating, or both to a number of quiet, individually adjustable blowers (air handlers) distributed throughout your home, fixed to your wall or ceiling in each room.

Ductless Air Conditioners

A ductless AC unit relies on an indoor component with an evaporator coil and blower fan. Like a heat pump mini split, this unit is installed high on a wall, usually in a shared space like a living room. The outdoor unit is connected to the indoor unit through an exterior wall with copper tubing and electrical wiring.

Both heat pumps and AC mini splits offer two key advantages. The system's simplicity and the low installation cost make them a popular choice in the greater Austin area.

How Does a Mini Split Work?

Mini splits give you individual climate control for every room in your home—or perhaps just a single room; the choice is yours. A mini split heat pump will heat your home in the winter months and act as your air conditioner in hot weather (though it works differently than how an AC works).

As the name implies, an AC mini split will only provide cooling.

Some homeowners in the Austin area also choose to install cooling-only mini-splits, which are essentially air conditioners that you can adjust individually for each room in your home. The outdoor unit pumps refrigerant to the indoor unit's evaporator coil. The liquid refrigerant turns to gas, removing heat and humidity from your home, which it then cycles back outdoors.

Related: What Is a Heat Pump and How Does It Work?

Ductless Mini Split HVAC System Configurations

Single zone

A single-zone system is designed to heat or cool a single space, usually a large living space like the living room or kitchen. Think of it as a one-to-one system; one indoor unit, one outdoor unit, and one electrical and refrigerant connecting each.


A multi-zone system features an outdoor unit sized to power up to five indoor units efficiently spread strategically throughout the home. Each indoor unit can be operated independently via a wireless remote or a dedicated app on your smartphone.

Are Ductless Mini Splits More Efficient?

Yes, they are. The most efficient ductless mini split units typically receive higher efficiency ratings than traditional AC units. Models vary, but the average central AC units run on 3000-3500 watts per hour. In comparison, a mini-split AC peaks at 2,000 watts per hour for the same output.

Placement also matters. Your Precision Heating & Air technician can work with you to identify the right room or rooms to install your system and optimize the exact place on the wall, floor, or ceiling to distribute airflow without impacting the look and feel of the space.

The Pros and Cons of a Ductless Mini Split

These systems work extremely well and can play a role in your family's focus on saving energy. Federal tax credits are also available when you upgrade to a high-efficiency heat pump or cooling-only mini split!

Here's how the benefits and disadvantages stack up:

Pros of a Ductless Mini Split

  • Room-by-room temperature control
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to install
  • No ductwork needed
  • Focused heating or cooling to high-occupancy areas of your home

Cons of a Ductless Mini Split

  • Wall-mounted indoor units can stand out in a room.
  • Single-zone systems offer limited benefits unless used to support an existing HVAC system.

Is a Ductless System Right for You? Let Us Help You Decide!

Before investing in your home's HVAC system, speak with a professional technician. We'll help you determine the most energy-efficient and cost-effective way to heat and cool your home and get the system installed right the first time. It’s a great time to reduce your home's energy consumption. Schedule an appointment or call 512-379-6385 today.