How Does a Mini Split Work?

by Pete Lader June 24, 2022

Source: antoniodiaz /

Mini split heating and cooling systems, also called ductless air conditioners, are popular alternatives to traditional air conditioning units. They are easy to install and highly efficient, making them excellent options for a new building project or upgrading your existing system. 

A key advantage of installing a mini split in your home or commercial property is that they operate without unsightly ductwork. 

Mini splits also help you reduce energy loss and fit discreetly into any room to complement the aesthetic. Many homeowners don’t understand how these units work, despite being popular modern heating and cooling systems. Learn the answer to how a mini split works to help you decide on the next air conditioning system for your home or commercial property.

How a Mini Split Works

Like traditional central HVAC systems, mini splits have two primary components: one outdoor condenser unit and at least one indoor air-handling unit. Other secondary components include a conduit (for the main power cable), a refrigerant line, a suction tube and a drain line. Each of these lines connects to the condenser and the indoor unit. 

The indoor air-handling unit contains evaporator coils that hold refrigerant liquid. This unit pulls warm air from the room, passing it over the evaporator coils. The coils absorb the heat and transfer the warm air through refrigerant lines to the outdoor condenser unit. This process cools the air. When the air reaches the condenser, it is recycled back into the indoor unit and dispersed around the room as cold air. 

Mini splits contain heat pumps, meaning they can also heat your space. Their energy efficiency ensures you can enjoy year-round temperature-controlled comfort. The lack of ductwork reduces dust and keeps the air clean and pure. One indoor air-handler is designed to treat the air in a single room or space. If you require a cooling system for an entire home, you’ll need to install a multi-zone mini split with separate air-handling units for different zones within your home. 

Go Ductless with MRCOOL Mini Splits

Types of Mini Split Systems

There are two main types of mini split systems: single and multi-zone units. Choosing the right size system with enough output for your space is important. If your mini split is too small for the space, it won’t have sufficient capacity to control the room’s temperature. An oversized system is likely to short-cycle, causing damage to the unit and wasting energy. 

a man adjusting the temperature of a mini split with a remote

Source: antoniodiaz /

Single-zone mini split systems

A single-zone mini split system is designed to heat and cool air for one designated room. If you’re in the market for a single-zone unit, determine the space’s BTU capacity to find the right unit. Generally, you need 20 BTU for every square foot of space. Consumer Reports suggests adding 600 BTU for every person that regularly occupies the space and 6,000 BTU for units in the kitchen.  

At Premium Home Source, we stock various systems from industry-leading brands — like a MRCOOL DIY Mini Split. MRCOOL mini split systems are designed for DIY installation, saving you money on professional installation costs. By browsing our online selection, you can find a system that meets your heating and cooling requirements. We carry the following size mini split systems: 

  • 9,000 BTUs (up to 375 ft²)
  • 12,000 BTUs (up to 500 ft²)
  • 18,000 BTUs (up to 750 ft²)
  • 24,000 BTUs (up to 1,000 ft²)
  • 36,000 BTUs (up to 1,500 ft²)

Explore Our Ductless MRCOOL DIY Mini Split Systems

Multi-zone mini split systems

A multi-zone mini split system consists of one outdoor condenser and at least 2 zone mini split units. Premium Home Source carries MRCOOL multi-zone split systems with up to 5 zone mini split units for energy-efficient cooling in large or multi-room spaces. Each indoor handler is controlled separately, allowing you to set custom temperatures for each room. Some mini split systems contain integrated smart technology so you can control the temperature remotely using an app. 

A multi-zone mini split is ideal for properties with uneven temperature distribution. For example, many two-story homes collect heat on the second floor while remaining relatively cool on the ground floor. With a 3-zone mini split, you can install two air handlers upstairs and one downstairs, ensuring even temperatures throughout the entire building. 

a technician repairing a mini split air conditioner

Source: Andrey_Popov /

Upgrade Your Home’s Heating and Cooling System Today

Choosing the right mini split system depends on your specific heating and cooling needs, your space size and your property’s design. Speak with representatives at Premium Home Source to discover multiple mini split options for your home or commercial space. 

Our online store allows you to browse multiple options according to your size requirements, the number of BTUs, zones and more. If you need help deciding on a system, our virtual assistant is available to answer any of your questions. For more information on our products and services, browse our website, email us at [email protected] or call us. 


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