Mini splits run nearly all the time. But, unlike forced-air systems, they don’t use nearly as much energy. That’s because ductless heating and cooling systems use low-power modes that maintain the temperature without clicking on and off all the time.
Here at John Cipollone, we sell a lot of ductless systems to homeowners in Havertown, PA, the Main Line, and across DelCo and Montgomery County. And, we answer a lot of questions about these setups.
One frequent concern we hear is whether the ductless system, or mini split, will run “all the time.” People are worried that their new setup will make their electric bill skyrocket because it never seems to turn off.
The good news is that mini splits use far less energy than conventional HVAC systems like furnaces, boilers, and even central air. But, at the same time, they rarely shut off completely.
But, since they operate very differently than those other systems, they actually end up using less energy as a result.
We’ll explain just how that happens in this article. And we’ll address some related questions we get a lot.
Why Do Mini Splits Run All The Time?
Your mini-split runs all the time because the heat pump uses Inverter technology to run at various speeds. This way, it’s got more settings than just “On” or “Off.”
We’ll compare this to conventional HVAC to illustrate why this makes a huge difference.
Traditional Single-Speed Units
As we mentioned, most furnaces, boilers, and central air units can only turn on or off. So, they’re always correcting the temperature when it drifts too far from where you want it.
Here’s how that works.
Let’s say you set the thermostat to 69 degrees in the winter. Once the temperature drops below that setting, the heater kicks on.
It stays on until the room where the thermostat is located is a few degrees warmer than 69. It has to overcompensate. Otherwise, it would get overworked.
When everything’s working properly, the system clicks on for a few minutes a couple of times every hour. That’s enough to course-correct when it gets too chilly. By going up a few extra degrees, it can go longer without having to come on again.
That’s important because it takes a lot of energy just to get the system up and running. Think of it the same way “city” miles use more gas in your can than “highway” miles.
Your car uses more gas to start from all those dead stops than it does when you’re cruising at a consistent pace.
Inverter Technology Is More Energy-Efficient
Now, let’s compare that to how Inverter technology works. And why that technology, which is used in mini-splits, is more energy-efficient.
The big difference here is that Inverter technology allows your heat pump to work at variable speeds. All of a sudden, you don’t have just a full-blast setting or nothing at all.
This way, there’s none of that course-correcting or overheating (or over-cooling, with your AC in the summer).
And, this is why ductless heating and cooling seems to run all the time while still using far less electricity than conventional HVAC.
Now, the heat pump doesn’t switch off once you reach the temperature you want. Instead, it continues running to keep that temperature steady.
But, just like cruise control on your car, consistency doesn’t require nearly as much energy as stopping and starting.
So, the mini split spends the bulk of its working time in low-power mode to maintain the setting you want.
How Much Noise Does Ductless Heating And Cooling Make?
The air handlers and heat pump that your ductless heating and cooling system use are virtually whisper-quiet. On the one hand, they are almost always running. On the other hand, you barely notice them.
We’ll make some comparisons to explain just how quiet they are.
At their loudest, the air handlers in your house produce up to 25 decibels of sound. That’s about the same people whispering of leaves rustling outside.
That’s lower than a conventional AC unit 100 feet away. Even quieter than people talking in a restaurant, and certainly quieter than a forced-air system in the same room as you.
So, while a mini split runs almost all the time, it not only uses less energy than other systems. It also makes less noise.
Mini Split Installations In Havertown, PA
If you have any other questions about ductless heating and cooling, or if you’re ready to start talking about a mini split installation in your Havertown, PA home, call or email us here at John Cipollone!
Starting with a free consultation, we’ll help you decide if a system like this is right for you. And, we’ll work closely with you to create a custom design that fits your home and your needs.