Utility costs are getting out of hand. The cost of gas and electricity has skyrocketed, and that has made many of us flock to the ultimate HVAC buzzword: efficiency. The systems that are the most in demand are those with high SEER ratings and low operating costs – because of that, the Mitsubishi mini split systems are getting more and more attention.
If you’ve begun your own search for information on ductless ac systems like these, your most important questions will be financial.
One common misconception about mini splits is that they cost as much to run as windows units, or are less efficient than traditional ducted central air. Proponents of ductless ac will tell you that that is simply not the case.
In fact, the opposite is true: Mitsubishi mini splits have some of the highest efficiency ratings and lowest costs to operate of any residential HVAC solution.
Let’s make sure we’re on the same page.
What is a Mitsubishi mini split?
Mitsubishi ductless ac systems – or “mini splits” – are an efficient and affordable alternative to traditional forced-air heating and cooling. They are small, simple to install, and easy to maintain.
They do have one thing in common with window units as well – unlike a central air system, mini splits focus the cooling on individual rooms and spaces. This allows you to be flexible in choosing where your energy (and thus your money) is directed.
They’ve enjoyed great popularity around the globe for decades, particularly in Europe where energy prices have been high for some time. With the rising costs to heat and cool your home here in the US, more and more customers are asking about ductless ac systems.
They are particularly recommended for spot cooling, such as:
They’ve also begun to see use as a whole-home alternative to traditional systems, particularly when homeowners have the costs broken down. The simplicity of installation is very attractive for many people – it requires only a small hole (3”) for the refrigerant line, drain line, and electrical wiring.
They also run exceptionally quietly and are therefore a great solution for office spaces, workshops, and studios, particularly when ductwork is too expensive an option.
Now, do Mitsubishi ductless ac systems cost more or less to operate than the alternatives?
We like to put it this way: savings are best understood on a small scale. Our favorite unit of time to use is the hour. A Mitsubishi mini split air conditioner can operate on as little as $0.04 an hour.
You didn’t read that wrong, and we didn’t place the decimal incorrectly. FOUR. CENTS. AN. HOUR. To put that in context, a standard ducted central air conditioner is more likely to run somewhere in the neighborhood of $0.50 an hour, or fifty cents an hour.
Now, of course, averages are achieved by looking at a wide spread so your actual costs may vary, but it is without a doubt that an efficient ductless AC system is going to cost you less to operate.
During the hot summer months, a central air conditioner will likely run for the bulk of the day – let’s say 14 hours. That means your air conditioner would likely cost you about $210 each month to operate – that’s a pretty big amount to tack onto an electric bill, especially if you’re cooling rooms that aren’t really seeing any use.
To contrast that, the same amount of time on a Mitsubishi mini split could conceivably cost as little as $12. Now, we’ll grant that a mini split can only cool one area or “zone” of your home at a time, but even if you’re running three or four indoor units at various times, that’s far less than half the cost of a forced-air system.
Why is the difference so drastic?
You can run a central air conditioner for less if you get all the bells and whistles. An expensive central air conditioner will have a higher SEER rating and might include things like a wi-fi capable programmable thermostat, dampers in the ducts, and other mechanics that will allow you to create “zones” in your home.
If you take advantage of all of those, you will likely see a lower bill than we discussed above. However, a Mitsubishi ductless AC system is still very likely to outperform a forced-air central air conditioner for several reasons:
We’re sure you have more questions about Mitsubishi mini split air conditioning systems, and we’re here to answer them, anytime. Give us a call today at 850-895-9712 for your free design consultation!