Should You Consider a Mini-Split System if You Already Have Existing Ductwork?

A central air conditioning system is an excellent way to cool an entire house. With a zoned ductwork system, you can maximize your efficiency while also ensuring all members of your family remain comfortable. While mini-split systems also offer many advantages, homeowners typically choose them when existing ductwork is unavailable.

Although mini-splits are excellent choices for retrofitting air conditioning into homes without existing ductwork, they also have plenty of other use cases. Keep reading to learn three ways that you may want to utilize a mini-split system, even if your home already has existing ductwork for an air conditioner or forced heating system.

1. Adding AC to Unconditioned Spaces

Central AC systems usually cover all the normally inhabited parts of a home, but they may leave some areas unconditioned. For example, very few houses have ductwork to cool or heat a garage. This approach makes sense since most people don't spend much time in their garage, but that may not always be the case.

If you use your garage as a workshop or spend a significant amount of time in there working on your vehicles, air conditioning can provide some welcome relief. A mini-split unit is a relatively affordable and easy-to-install option for this purpose. In many cases, it may be cheaper to install a mini-split than to extend ductwork from another part of the house.

2. Building An Addition

If you're adding on to your home, you might think extending your existing HVAC system into the new space makes the most sense. While expanding your old ductwork provides seamless coverage to your addition, it may be more expensive and disruptive than you first expect. It can be particularly challenging to extend ducts that don't already run through walls near the new expansion.

For this situation, you may want to consider a heat pump mini-split system. Since heat pumps provide both heat and air conditioning, you can keep your new addition comfortable year-round without needing to knock down walls or ceilings to access your existing ductwork.

3. Upgrading a Detached Structure

Extending your home's HVAC ductwork to detached structures such as sheds or separate garages is effectively impossible. If you need to cool these areas, then an independent system is the best option to consider. While a window unit might be sufficient, a mini-split system is more efficient and typically offers more cooling power. You can also install one if your detached structure lacks windows.

Although mini-split systems aren't necessarily cheap, they may sometimes be a more cost-effective option than expanding your existing central air conditioning system. Keep these versatile units in mind next time you need to bring cool air into a new space. For more information, contact a local air conditioning installation service near you to learn more.