Disadvantages of Mini Split Systems

Disadvantages of Mini Split Systems

I have seen, firsthand, the many disadvantages of mini-split systems. In my time as a mechanical design engineer in the HVAC field, I have experienced the good and bad sides of these convenient yet costly systems. From being used as a supplementary system for a hotel lobby, to providing heating and cooling to older homes, it is crucial to know where these systems are weak, as they are most definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Mini-split systems are becoming a popular choice for homeowners looking for an energy-efficient way to heat and cool their homes. However, there are some significant disadvantages of mini-split systems that should be considered before making a decision. In this post, we’ll take a look at six of the most common ones. So before you decide to install a mini-split system in your home, make sure you know what you’re getting into!

Bottom line: Overall, mini-split systems have a few disadvantages when compared to other HVAC options, such as central air conditioners. The disadvantages of mini split systems include their higher cost, their unsightly appearance, and the fact that they are not as robust as some other types of HVAC systems.

What Is a Mini-Split System?

A mini-split system also called a ductless mini-split, or a duct-free mini-split, is a type of heating and cooling system that doesn’t require any ductwork. Mini-splits have two main components: an outdoor condenser and an indoor air-handling unit (AHU). They are connected via refrigerant piping

Mini-splits are an excellent option for homes that don’t have existing ductwork or for homeowners who want to add heating and cooling to a new addition or converted space. Mini-splits are also more efficient than traditional HVAC systems because they only heat or cool the rooms that you’re using.

Disadvantages of Mini-Split Systems

As technology advances, more and more homeowners are becoming interested in installing mini-split systems in their homes. While these systems have many advantages, there are also some disadvantages that should be considered before making a purchase.

Some of the main disadvantages of mini-split systems include:

Aesthetically Unappealing

As the popularity of mini-split systems grows, so does the number of people who are unhappy with their appearance. While these systems are very efficient and can be easily hidden, they are still not as attractive as traditional HVAC units. This can be a significant problem for homeowners who want to maintain the aesthetic appeal of their homes.

There are a few ways to combat this issue. One is to purchase a mini-split system that has been designed to be more aesthetically pleasing. Another option is to install the system in a location where it will be less visible. Finally, homeowners can work with their professional installer to ensure that the system is installed in the most discreet way possible.

Solution: Room Divider 

Panel Metal Folding Room Divider

Let’s face it, these systems can be an eyesore, and no one wants that in their home. By hiding the system behind a false wall, it becomes less noticeable and more aesthetically pleasing. There are other reasons why false walls are used as well. For example, if the mini-split system is located in an area where there is a lot of foot traffic, the false wall can help protect it from being damaged. In addition, false walls can also help to reduce noise levels coming from the system.

I really like this option for a white room divider because it gives the user lots of versatility when it comes to hiding their mini-split system. It can be moved around easily to create different looks and feels in a room, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s also a very affordable option compared to some of the other room dividers on the market. Overall, I think this is a great choice for anyone looking for an easy way to hide their mini-split system.

High Cost to Install

One of the biggest disadvantages is the cost of installing a mini-split system. This can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than a typical HVAC system.

The high installation cost is because a mini-split system requires two units – an outdoor unit and an indoor unit.  The outdoor unit houses the compressor, and the indoor unit contains the evaporator.

In addition, a mini-split system requires special tools and training to install, whereas a traditional central AC system does not. This means that you’ll likely have to pay more for labor when installing a mini-split system.

You may also need to make modifications to your home to accommodate the outdoor unit of a mini-split system. This could include adding a new duct or cutting through an exterior wall. These costs can add up quickly and make the overall cost of installing a mini-split system much higher than other options.

Difficult to Size

One further potential downside of mini-splits is that they can be difficult to size correctly. This is because each room or space in a home will have different cooling requirements depending on the amount of heat it generates. For example, a kitchen will typically require more cooling power than a bedroom.

When sizing a mini-split system, it is important to consider the square footage of the space that needs to be cooled or heated and the climate. It is also essential to consider the number of people who will be occupying the space and the type of activities taking place there.

If a mini-split system is not sized correctly, it can lead to several problems, such as inefficient heating and cooling, increased energy costs, and a shorter lifespan of the system.

Not as Robust as Traditional HVAC Systems

Another disadvantage is that mini-splits are not as robust as traditional HVAC systems. This means that they are more likely to break down and need repairs. They also have a shorter lifespan than conventional HVAC systems. Additionally, mini-splits are also more likely to experience ice buildup and condensation problems.

Solution: Honeywell Programmable Thermostat

Honeywell Wireless WiFi Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are a great way to prolong the lifespan of your mini-split system. By setting the temperature for specific times of the day, you can ensure that your system isn’t working overtime, and prevent it from overworking itself and wearing out prematurely. In addition to saving energy and prolonging your system’s lifespan, programmable thermostats can also save you money on your energy bills. Thermostats like this Honeywell model will allow you to have full control over your systems 24/7.

This Honeywell wireless 7 thermostat is a great option for providing more control over your mini-split system. It gives the user the ability to create and customize their own settings for different times of the day, as well as providing an energy-saving mode. The large, easy-to-read display is also much better than any of the typical remotes that come with mini-split systems as standard. In my opinion, if you are looking for more control over your system, you can’t go wrong with this model.

Not Meant for Whole Houses

Mini-split systems have many disadvantages that make them ill-suited for whole-house use. The main disadvantage is that mini-splits are not very efficient when heating and cooling large spaces. As mentioned earlier, mini-splits also tend to freeze up in cold weather, which can lead to expensive repairs. Additionally, mini-splits can be pretty noisy, making them unsuitable for use in bedrooms or other quiet areas of the home.

Solution: GE Portable Air Conditioner

GE 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners are easy to set up and can be placed in any room in your house. They are also less expensive to operate than central air conditioning units. Since they don’t require ductwork, they can be used in areas that are not served by your home’s mini-split system.

This can reduce the amount of space that mini-split systems have to cool, and therefore allows them work more efficiently. This portable air conditioner from GE can come in handy to cool accessory rooms that aren’t covered by a mini-split system.

This portable air conditioner from GE gives you an easy way of cooling areas that are not easily serviced by a mini-split system. Think of a basement, an attic or even just a room that is not often used. This unit is perfect for cooling these problem areas without having to install a new ductless system.

The best part about this GE portable air conditioner is that it can be easily moved from one room to another, so you can use it where and when you need it most. And because it doesn’t require any special installation, you can save money on installation costs.

If you’re looking for an affordable and easy way to cool specific areas of your home, then this GE portable air conditioner is the perfect solution.

Maintenance and Repairs are Costly

It is crucial to have your mini-split system serviced regularly. This means that you should have someone come out and inspect the unit at least once a year. They will be able to check for any problems that may be developing and make sure that everything is working correctly.

If you do not service your mini-split system regularly, you may find that repairs are necessary more often. This is because the parts of the system can become worn out and need to be replaced. Additionally, if there are any leaks in the system, they will need to be fixed as well.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should not wait until your mini-split system breaks down before you call for service. If you do this, then you may end up having to pay for a lot of repairs. It is always best to call for service as soon as you notice any problems. This way, the problem can be fixed before it gets worse.

Solution: Pleated Filters

8x24x1 MERV 8 Pleated Air Filter

Pleated filters allow for a more efficient airflow and capture more airborne contaminants. By having a more efficient airflow, the system does not have to work as hard to maintain the same levels of air quality, which reduces wear and tear on the system. Consider something like these pleated filters from FilterBuy, but remember that the filters that live in HVAC systems can vary in size, so be sure to verify the size of your filters before ordering!

These pleated filters are great for providing better filtration of the air that is passing through your mini-split system. By filtering the air better, it reduces the strain on the system and reduces the amount of maintenance that the system requires. Pleated filters are much better than their standard counterparts, and will save you money moving forward!

Recommendations for Improving Mini-Split Systems

As the popularity of mini-split systems grows, so does the need for information on how to keep them running smoothly and looking their best. Here are some recommendations on improving your mini-split system’s appearance and performance:

  • Use a programmable thermostat: If you want to save energy and money, invest in a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature for when you are home and when you are away, so that your system is only running when it needs to be.
  • Upgrade to a more efficient or powerful model: Finally, if your mini split HVAC system is old or outdated, consider upgrading to a newer and more efficient model. Newer models are designed with energy efficiency in mind, so they can help you save money on your energy bills.
  • Install your system behind a false wall or ceiling: If you are concerned about the aesthetics of your mini split HVAC system, you can install it behind a false wall or ceiling. This way, it will be out of sight and won’t detract from the overall look of your home.
  • Buy pleated filters: Most mini split systems come with flat, mesh filters. However, you can upgrade to pleated filters, which are more effective at trapping dust and debris.

Are Mini-Split Systems for You?

Mini-split systems have become increasingly popular in recent years, but they do have some disadvantages. They are more expensive to install than traditional HVAC systems and can be difficult to size correctly. They also are not as robust as conventional systems and are not meant for whole houses. Maintenance and repairs on mini-split systems can be costly, so it is essential to consider all of the pros and cons before deciding if a mini-split system is right for your home.

Have you had any experience with mini-split systems? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!


Question: How does a mini-split system work?

Answer: A mini-split system has two parts: an outdoor unit that contains the compressor and condenser, and an indoor unit that contains the evaporator. The outdoor unit is connected to the indoor unit by small refrigerant lines.

Question: How much does a mini-split system cost?

Answer: The cost of a mini-split system will vary depending on the size of your home and the number of indoor units you need. However, the average cost is between $3,000 and $5,000 for one system.

Question: What are the maintenance requirements for a mini-split system?

Answer: Mini-split systems require very little maintenance. The outdoor unit should be inspected annually, and the indoor unit should be cleaned every three to six months.

Question: What is the warranty on a mini-split system?

Answer: Most mini-split systems come with a 5-year warranty on parts and 1-year warranty on labor.

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