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Rosie on the House

Four pros and cons of a mini-split air-conditioning unit

(AP Photo)

You may be asking yourself, what is a mini-split air-conditioning unit?

That’s not too surprising, but they are definitely something you need to know about here in the desert.

Mini-splits are small, ductless, split-system air conditioners that are becoming more and more popular.

They’re a great solution for small apartments, garages and those bedrooms that you can never seem to cool down, even though you have central air conditioning.

Just like larger central air-conditioning systems that are called split-systems, they have an outdoor compressor or condenser plus an indoor handling unit with tubes running between the pieces of equipment.

The advantages:

  1. They’re small and flexible.
  1. They are easy to install and need only a three-inch hole punched through a wall for the conduit that carries the tubes.
  1. They require no ducts so they avoid energy loss associated with leaky ducts that are often problems in central AC systems.
  1. They can hang from a ceiling, be mounted on a wall or can be floor-standing units. For a one-room unit, the indoor air handler can be about a yard wide by a foot tall and 7-10 inches deep. The condenser outdoors is about a yard wide by a yard tall and a foot in depth.

The disadvantages:

  1. They can be expensive. These systems can cost twice as much as similar window A/C units, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
  1. Although the air handler units are small, they’re more noticeable than an indoor vent for a central air conditioning system might be.
  1. Units must be carefully installed by contractors who know how to work with them.
  1. Although you might be able to use one outdoor unit to run a couple of indoor air handlers in separate rooms, they generally would not be able to cool an entire house.

For more homeowner advice, DIY tips and videos, and information about all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at RosieontheHouse.com.

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at RosieontheHouse.com – Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

Tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!

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