Whether you’re moving into a new place or upgrading your home’s heating and cooling system, you might be considering a mini-split unit. Naturally, you’re going to have some questions about capability. Is one unit sufficient for heating a small apartment? Or, will I need to invest in several to cool my entire home? Here, we’ll take a deeper look into how much space a mini-split can cover and how you can determine which is best given the size of your home and its energy needs.

Why is it important to understand ductless mini-split sizing?

In order to reap all of the benefits of a ductless system, you have to make sure your mini-split sizing is optimized for your home. When measured properly, you’ll increase energy-efficiency while cutting down on your monthly utility bills. In addition to sizing specs, mini-splits have to be installed in the proper location to maximize efficiency. Understanding mini-split sizing and choosing correctly for your home can help you make the most out of this heating and cooling investment.

What influences the sizing of a mini-split system?

There are three primary factors that go into determining the proper sizing of your mini-split system:

Your home’s insulation levels.

The amount of warm and cool air your house is able to keep trapped inside will need to be taken into account as this insulation plays an important role in your ductless system’s overall performance.

The size of the space you’re cooling.

Ductless mini-splits are sized in large part based on your capacity requirements. Larger spaces will require more powerful units while tinier rooms can be controlled relatively easily with smaller units.

The number of handlers you want.

Depending on your heating and cooling needs and the size of your property, you’ll need to choose between having one or multiple handlers. While there are some benefits to a multi-zone ductless system, this setup won’t suit every homeowner. However, your mini-split sizing needs will depend on which you choose.

How are ductless mini-splits sized?

The industry-wide standard for sizing mini-split units is in British Thermal Units (BTU) which are used to measure an energy source’s heat content. More specifically, it’s the amount of heat needed to increase a pound of liquid water by a single degree Fahrenheit or roughly the amount of energy a burning match will release. When you’re talking about a mini-split unit’s BTU level, you’re referencing its ability to cool a room efficiently. The higher the BTU number, the larger an area the unit can handle.

Although the precise sizing requirements are dependent upon the variables we just discussed, here’s a rough guide to show you how many square feet mini-splits of varying sizes can cool.

Space CapacityBTU Level
350 square feet9,000 BTU
500 square feet12,000 BTU
750 square feet18,000 BTU
1000 square feet24,000 BTU
1250 square feet30,000 BTU
1500 square feet36,000 BTU

The Importance of Hiring a Professional

Although you can find competitive and flexible financing options for your new ductless mini-split system, it’s still a considerable investment. And, in order to make the most out of this expense, it’s advisable to hire a highly trained technician to handle the installation process. While you might be tempted to install a mini-split unit on your own, you can rest assured you’re getting exactly what you need when working with a professional.

If you choose a mini-split that’s the wrong size, you end up losing out on the benefits these systems provide. Go with a unit that’s too small and you’ll overload its capacity, leading to lower efficiency. Alternatively, a system that’s too big for your needs will increase your energy costs resulting in unnecessary expenses.

Here are some other advantages of hiring a professional:

  • You maintain the unit’s warranty.
  • You’ll avoid potential safety hazards.
  • Professionals have highly specialized equipment and tools.
  • Your technician has the ability to handle potential hazardous refrigerants.
  • You’ll get access to years of professional experience and expertise.

Not sure what size mini-split to get? The experts at New England Ductless have you covered. Whether you’re making the switch to ductless systems for the first time or just need routine servicing, we have the expertise and highly trained staff to deliver professional results. Feel free to schedule an appointment with New England Ductless today.