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Disadvantages of Mini Split Systems

Disadvantages of Mini Split Systems

Jon Hubal
7 minute read

Mini-splits have become incredibly popular as an efficient, eco-friendly way to cool and heat your home. While these systems have several benefits, it's essential to understand the disadvantages of mini-split systems.

Disadvantages of Mini Splits Systems

In this article, we'll be taking a look at the cons of mini-split systems. We'll cover some disadvantages of mini-split systems related to installation and repair costs. Ultimately, we want you to make an informed decision about whether or not this type of system is right for you.

Disadvantages of Mini Split Systems

Increased Installation and Setup Costs

The price of installation and setup is one of the most significant disadvantages of mini-split systems. Ductwork between the outside and inside units must typically be run during installation, which can be expensive. You might also need to engage a skilled installer and an electrician to ensure the unit's wiring is done correctly. Although the energy savings you receive from the system may partially offset this expense, it is still worth considering.

Some HVAC companies do not offer mini-split installation as a part of their offering - which also contributes to the increased cost of the HVAC shops that offer mini-split installation. Ultimately, there is less skilled labor on the market that can adequately install mini-splits.  

Repair and Maintenance

Costs associated with repair and maintenance are yet another possible downside of mini-split systems. You might need to contact a technician to fix the appliance if something goes wrong. Depending on how severe the problem is, this might be pretty expensive. Additionally, performing routine maintenance on your appliance is critical because it can keep it operating well and increase its lifespan. This could entail a yearly inspection, filter replacements, and any other maintenance procedures required to keep your system operating effectively.

Cons of Mini Splits: Troubleshooting Issues With Multiple Zones

A micro split system can provide individualized climate control for several rooms or zones in your home that you want to heat or cool. This can be intriguing if family members have varying temperature and humidity preferences. However, there are several possible problems to be aware of when implementing a tiny split system in numerous zones.

Balancing and Noise Issues with Mini-Split Systems

For instance, one zone can receive too much or too little air if the system is not correctly balanced. As a result, some areas of your home might get too hot or chilly. It's crucial to consider the rooms' size and confirm that the system is strong enough to regulate the air properly in each one.

Another issue is that there will be multiple outdoor condenser units and corresponding indoor heads for cooling and heating different rooms. The outdoor units are typically noisy, so if you're dealing with several at once, you'll have higher noise levels from the system as a whole.

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What are the Disadvantages of a Mini Split

Mini-split air conditioning systems can be very beneficial in many ways, but there are some downsides to consider as well. For example, when installing a ceiling mini split, you must consider its potential damage to your ceilings.

Limitations of Ceiling Mini Splits

The main limitation of ceiling micro split systems is that they must hang from the ceiling. As a result, the unit's heavier components must rest directly on the ceiling, which may break or sag over time. This could be a significant problem if you put a ceiling micro split in an ancient house with flimsy ceilings.

Additionally, given that these units hang from your ceiling and require maintenance every few years, some holes may be drilled into the drywall for maintenance purposes. Damage may result from this as well.

Difficulty Heating or Cooling Large Spaces

  • A 3-ton central air conditioning system may be used to cool a standard 1800-square-foot single-family home. It frequently converts to 4-5 small split units for the same property.
  • A ductless mini split typically has a starting cooling capacity of about 9000 BTU.
  • A typical largest model's cooling capacity is 36000 BTU.
  • A typical 1800 square foot home comprises three bedrooms, each with a floor size of about 150 square feet.
  • The required cooling capacity for a 150-square-foot room is typically between 400 and 5000 BTU, which equates to one micro split per bedroom. In most cases, a micro split unit is also required in the dining and living rooms.
  • Thanks to its variable speed compressor, a typical 9000 BTU mini split may run at a cooling capacity ranging between 4000 BTU and 10000 BTU.
  • Therefore, 5 micro splits are already required for an 1800 square foot home.
  • You need more micro splits if your home has more rooms. So, if you pick a ducted kind where you may divide it between two to three rooms, the more rooms you have, the smaller splits you'll need.
  • Additionally, you'll need to buy a separate mini-split for the garage
  • Naturally, the purchase, installation, and maintenance of additional tiny splits will be more expensive.
  • Mini-split systems are not recommended for large buildings.

what are the disadvantages of a mini split

Cons of Mini Splits: Potential Issues With Mini Split Output BTU

Although mini-split systems work excellently for heating and cooling a room, did you know that they might not be able to sufficiently heat or cool a room of any size? Yes, mini-splits sometimes lack the power needed for larger spaces.

Factors Affecting Consistency of BTU Output in Mini-Split Systems

So why isn't the output of BTUs more consistent? Well, there are a few things to consider:


Mini-splits rely on air exchange between indoor and outdoor units to cool or heat the room—that means that the space in which they're placed needs proper circulation and intake of outside air. If your space doesn't have an efficient ventilation system, the system can become overwhelmed.


The larger the area, the more BTUs are necessary for adequate cooling and heating—and if you need too many BTUs, then it's not practical for a mini-split system as its output is limited.

Temperature extremes

In some climates with extreme temperatures, very small mini-splits may not be possible to keep up with demand—even with proper ventilation in place. Typically, these units are best suited to milder environments.

cons of mini splits

Disadvantages of Mini Splits: Is It Worth the Investment

Despite their many advantages, mini-split systems have some distinct disadvantages. They tend to be more expensive initially than traditional systems, and some of the higher-end models require professional installation, which can add to the cost. They are also unsuitable for larger spaces, typically limited to two or three zones. Finally, they are comparatively loud, which can be an issue in quieter environments.

Choosing the Right Mini-Split System for Your Home and Budget

Despite the downsides, mini-split systems can be an excellent option for homes with limited space and/or budgets. By carefully considering the pros and cons of each type of mini-split system, you can decide which one is best for your home and lifestyle.

Learn The Advantages of Mini-Split Systems

If you found this mini-split-related content useful, be sure to check out some of our other blog posts on the topic. We have a comprehensive guide on how to choose the right mini-split system for your home, as well as an article on the benefits of mini-split systems over traditional HVAC systems. Additionally, we have a post on Mini Split Installation Guide: Where to Install Mini Split, Do Mini-Splits Increase Your Home's Value? Yes, Here's Why, Mini Split Sizing Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide, How Do Mini Splits Work: Mini-Split 101, and Are Mini-Splits Right For You?

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