How Many Zones Can A Mini-Split Have?

mitsubishi heating and cooling systemIf you have a large house, then there are probably areas that go unoccupied at different periods throughout the day. The children’s bedrooms are empty when they are in school. The master’s bedroom is empty when you’re at work. The kitchen may only be busy in the morning. The garage does not need much attention when the car is out. Central air systems waste a lot of energy controlling environments that do not require much heating or cooling. Consider shifting to a ductless mini-split heat pump to improve efficiency through zoning. However, one question that many homeowners ask is “How many mini splits do I need?“. In this article, we discuss this question in more detail.

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How A Multi-Zone Ductless Setup Works

Ductless mini-split systems are getting more popular in the US with many homeowners switching to this technology. The name “mini-split” comes from the fact that the main components are divided into an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. A conduit binds the other two together, allowing the refrigerant to travel from one to the other. There is no need to install large air ducts across the house. A ductless mini-split heat pump is versatile enough to provide both heating and cooling. It is even possible to divide the house into different zones with each having its own temperature setting.

One outdoor unit can usually support up to eight indoor air handlers. You can put one air handler per zone. For example, you might have one per room or one per floor. Each comes with its own remote control so occupants have the power to change the settings however they like. One zone can be freezing cold if the person staying there wants it to be that way. Another zone might have milder temperatures to prevent shivering. You will have a more peaceful home with fewer quarrels over the HVAC system’s temperature setting.

When determining how many zones your home requires, it is best to consult with a professional HVAC contractor. They will be able to match the system to your heating and cooling needs.  Fortunately, with ductless HVAC systems, you can add more zones at a later date if necessary. You do not need to purchase all of the indoor air handlers at once.

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The Advantages Of Ductless Mini-Split Systems

Below, we discuss some of the advantages that come with ductless HVAC systems.

1. No Need To Install HVAC Ducts

image of hvac ductwork installation

Some homes may not have existing HVAC ducts. Maybe it’s an old building constructed before the advent of modern heating and cooling systems. It would be an expensive, difficult, and time-consuming task to carve out big holes in the walls and find ways for the ducts to fit along the ceilings. With ductless mini-split systems, the conduit only requires a small hole to pass through. Around three inches is enough to fit the power cables, the refrigerant line, the suction tubing, and the drain line. Ductless installation is faster and easier. Structural integrity is not compromised.

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2. No Energy Waste From Duct Leakage

Ducts develop holes and cracks over the years. With this, conditioned air leaks out through these holes. In an article, Energy Star claims that around 30% of air leaks through ducts. This means HVAC systems need to compensate for the loss by working longer and harder. They consume more energy because so much of their work goes to waste. Homeowners will need routine checks from HVAC professionals to find these leaks and seal them up — another added cost. A ductless system will not suffer from this kind of air leakage.

3. Ductless Offers Improved Indoor Air Quality

indoor air quality

The holes in the ducts also result in poor indoor air quality. Dust and debris from the surroundings can enter through these openings. The impurities will mix with conditioned air and circulate around the house with a central air system. Individuals who are sensitive to these might have an allergic reaction. Others could develop respiratory issues over time. Ductless systems have no such issues and the filters are far more effective. Indoor air quality can improve after switching to a ductless unit. Your family can breathe a little better.

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4. Less Noise Due To Clever Design

Window units are known to generate a lot of noise as they age. Most of that is due to the compressor which is directly attached to the unit. It is the component that faces the outdoors. Since ductless systems separate the compressor from the indoor air handler, people indoors will not hear its sounds. They can sleep soundly in their bedrooms instead of waking up at night multiple times. You can set the fans at high speed yet the sound will barely be audible. The outdoor unit will also be less noisy than what you would typically find in standard heat pumps.

5. More Efficient Energy Consumption

energy efficient home

Since a ductless mini-split system does not suffer from air leakage, it will operate more efficiently than central air systems. There will be less energy consumption while providing the same level of comfort. The fact that temperature settings can be controlled in each zone also means that unoccupied rooms can have their air handlers turned off. If only the rooms that need cooling or heating are active, then the system will use up far less energy. That is definitely good for the environment and good for your wallet. Ductless heat pumps have some of the highest SEER and HSPF ratings compared to other HVAC equipment on the market.

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6. Lower Monthly Energy Bills

Less energy consumption equates to lower monthly energy bills. Although switching to a ductless system can be a costly endeavor, the reduced operational cost can make up for it over the years. Consider it a smart investment that will pay dividends over the long term. Given the high charges for energy these days, you really need to consider the total cost of ownership instead of just focusing on the price of the equipment.



Ductless mini-split systems are incredibly versatile. They allow homeowners to create zones and provide separate environmental controls. There can be up to 8 zones per 1 outdoor unit which should be sufficient for an average household. You can always add more outdoor and indoor units if you need more zones for a greater degree of temperature regulation. Along with reduced energy consumption, lower bills, better air quality, less noise, and easy installation, this type of HVAC system is truly a compelling option.

Call McAllister Energy For More Information About Ductless HVAC Systems

McAllister Energy
McAllister Energy provides the best cooling and heating services in the area. Our team consists of experienced certified technicians who can assist you with first-rate HVAC installations, repairs, tune-ups, and replacements. All of our technicians have years of experience and advanced knowledge to provide proper HVAC service.

McAllister Energy offers very competitive rates for cooling and heating services in the area. We can recommend the best HVAC replacement systems for you while staying within your budget. Our top priorities are comfort, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency, to name a few. Get in touch with McAllister Energy today for your free in-house estimate or to schedule an appointment.

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