Ductless Mini Splits: The Straight Scoop On Inverter Technology

Posted On: April 04, 2013

Although ductless mini splits have been around for many decades and are extremely popular worldwide, the trend has only lately begun to catch fire in the United States. When you learn about the flexibility, efficiency, reliability and ease of installation offered by ductless mini splits, you also may make the decision to employ this technology when upgrading your home heating and cooling situation. Mini splits are also a great option when you’re building an addition on your home and would rather not extend ductwork into the new area.

Since their introduction in the 1950s, ductless mini split heat pumps have offered quiet, compact, easy-to-install, energy-efficient technology. Now, however, modern inverter compressor technology has improved upon what already was a good thing. The heart of the ductless system is the condenser/compressor unit that sits outside the home, similar to the outside unit of conventional heat pumps and A/Cs. For decades, the rotary compressor, which had been the industry standard, served well in its job of producing and delivering conditioned air to the mini split’s inside air-handling unit(s). Inverter compressor technology, however, has made a virtual dinosaur of the old rotary compressor technology in terms of efficiency, longevity, economy and the ability to deliver a higher comfort level.

Simply stated, a rotary compressor is like a standard light switch with only two positions: on and off.  An inverter compressor is like a light control with a rheostat, allowing for gradual, incremental adjustments as needed.

A standard compressor operates at a fixed speed, coming on at full capacity when the thermostat signals a need for heating or cooling. Then, when the desired temperature has been reached, it shuts off completely until called on for another burst of energy. Inverter compressors, by contrast, run at optimal speed rather than maximum speed, using only the amount of energy required to reach the desired temperature and then, rather than shutting down completely, going into a low-consumption idle mode. This produces a more even, continual heating/cooling, consumes less fuel and extends compressor life expectancy.

Ernst Heating & Cooling, serving the Metro-East area since 1951, can answer all of your questions about ductless mini splits. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and provide assistance regarding your home comfort needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about ductless mini splits and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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