Ductless mini-split heating and cooling is a relatively recent advance in the realm of residential HVAC. As with any new technology, it takes some time to come to grips with the capabilities of mini-split HVAC systems.
Homeowners who have only used central heating and air may feel like they are in somewhat unfamiliar territory, but using your mini-split system will eventually become second nature. Here are three tips for new owners of mini-split heating systems.
1. Get Used to Zone Heating and Cooling
Setting individual temperatures for each room requires a slight perspective shift when you're used to adjusting one thermostat for your entire home. This new style of temperature control is called zone heating and cooling, and mini-split systems make it a breeze with remote controls and room-specific air handlers.
Homeowners who want to "set and forget" their mini-split system can use auto settings for both temperature and fan speed and achieve good results in most cases. When you're ready, you can fine-tune your zone control to keep drafty rooms a little warmer or avoid wasting energy on unused rooms.
2. Set the Temperature Slightly Higher
One of the simplest, yet most essential tips for new mini-split owners is to use a slightly higher temperature than one would with a central HVAC system. Mini-split air handlers are installed close to the ceiling, while central HVAC thermostats are typically installed closer to eye level.
Since hot air rises, it's usually a degree or two warmer at the ceiling where your air handlers read the temperature. Set your air handlers a little higher to account for this difference so you can enjoy the same comfortable temperatures as you would with a traditional system.
3. Remember to Clean the Air Handler Filters
Mini-split air handlers contain small filters that protect the unit from dust, dirt, pet dander, and other airborne contaminants. These filters also help to keep these contaminants out of the air that you breathe.
Much like changing the furnace filter on a forced-air system, cleaning your mini-split filters is an essential maintenance task to keep your system running efficiently. Quickly rinse and dry the filters on the air handlers you use most often at least once per month and clean any filter that is visibly clogged with dust and dirt.
Once you are comfortable with your mini-split HVAC system, you will find that it provides unmatched control over the temperature in your home. Use these tips to get the most out of your new mini-split system.