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1 Ton Mini Split

When your central AC unit dies and you’re tired of paying for expensive repairs or waiting on the HVAC repair guy to show up whenever he feels like it. It’s time to consider an efficient alternative like a mini-split system. A 1-ton mini split is perfect for cooling a few rooms in your home without the hassle and high cost of a full central AC replacement.

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How Many Square Feet Can a 1-Ton Mini Split Cool?

Optimal Cooling for Small Spaces

  • A 1-ton mini split, which provides 12,000 BTUs of cooling, is best suited for small rooms like bedrooms, home offices, or garages. It can handle basic cooling needs, but won't be powerful enough for large, open-concept spaces or rooms with lots of heat sources like server rooms or kitchens.

Finding the Perfect Fit

  • For the average 10x10 bedroom with standard insulation and few windows, a 1-ton mini split should do the trick nicely. However, if your room is on the higher end of the range at 12x15, has vaulted ceilings, or gets lots of direct sunlight, you'll want to consider upgrading to a slightly larger unit, like a 1.5 or 2-ton.

Professional Assessment for Precision

  • In the end, the most accurate way to determine the right size mini-split for your room is to have an HVAC contractor evaluate your unique space and cooling requirements. They can measure the room dimensions, assess the insulation, and recommend a properly sized unit so you get the cooling power you need without overpaying for excess capacity.

What Is the BTU Rating of a Standard 1-Ton Mini Split?

Understanding BTU Ratings

  • A 1-ton mini split has a BTU rating of 12,000, which means it can cool spaces up to 500 square feet. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and measures how much heat an AC unit can remove from a room. The higher the BTU rating, the larger the space it can cool.

Matching Cooling Power to Room Size

  • For a 1-ton unit, 12,000 BTU is typical and good for most small rooms like bedrooms, offices, or recreational spaces. It may struggle in open-concept areas or rooms with lots of windows or heat-generating electronics though. If that’s your situation, you’ll want to size up to a 1.5 or 2-ton mini split with a higher BTU rating of 15,000 to 24,000 to handle the extra load.

Balancing Efficiency and Performance

  • On the flip side, a unit with too high of a BTU rating for the room can short cycle, meaning it cools the space too quickly and turns off before removing enough humidity. This results in an inefficient system that doesn’t dehumidify properly and causes temperature fluctuations. It’s best to choose a mini split with a BTU rating that matches your specific room needs.

How many areas Will a 1 Ton Mini Split Cover?

The short answer is 300 to 600 square feet, depending on factors like insulation, windows, and climate. Here are some tips to help determine if a 1-ton mini split can handle your space.

Calculate the Square Footage

  • First, measure the length and width of the rooms you want to cool to get the total square footage. If multiple rooms are open to each other, measure them together. For the best results, choose an area that is within the 1-ton unit’s 300 to 600-square-foot range.

Consider the Climate

  • The hotter the climate, the less area a 1-ton unit can cool effectively. If you live in a typically warm or hot region, aim for the lower end of the range. Colder climates may allow a single unit to handle up to 600 square feet.

Check for Heat Sources

  • Rooms with lots of windows, and skylights, or that face west or south will be harder to keep cool and reduce the coverage area. The same goes for spaces with heat-generating equipment like ovens, stoves, or electronics. For the best performance, avoid installing a mini split in areas like these when possible.

Improve Insulation

  • Adding insulation, sealing cracks and drafts, and replacing inefficient windows can significantly improve your mini-split's effectiveness. Well-insulated spaces are easier to keep comfortable, allowing a single unit to cool more square footage. Consider these types of upgrades to boost your unit’s coverage.

Get the Proper Size

  • If after evaluating the factors above you find a 1-ton mini split won’t quite cut it for your needs, you can size up to a 1.5-ton or 2-ton unit. Conversely, for a smaller, well-insulated space, a 3/4 ton mini split may work great. The key is getting a properly sized unit for maximum efficiency, performance, and comfort.

What Is the Amp Draw of a 1-Ton Mini Split AC Unit?

Standard 1-Ton Units

  • A typical 1-ton mini split AC unit will draw around 15 amps when the compressor is running. The actual amperage will depend on the efficiency and specifications of the particular unit you choose. More efficient inverter-driven units may draw slightly less, while lower SEER-rated units could draw slightly more.

Start-Up Surge

  • When the compressor first kicks on, there is an initial surge of power to get it started that can be significantly higher than the running amperage. This start-up surge, also known as locked rotor amps (LRA), in a 1-ton mini split can be 60-100% higher than the rated amperage. So your 15 amp unit may temporarily draw 22-30 amps for a second when starting up.

Choose the Right Circuit

  • To properly power a 1-ton mini split AC unit, you'll want to install it on a dedicated 20 amp circuit. A 20 amp, 240V circuit should be able to handle the running amperage load as well as the temporary start-up surge without issues. Installing the unit on an undersized 15 amp circuit could cause problems, with the breaker tripping repeatedly. It's best to have an HVAC professional size and install the appropriate circuit for your mini split system.

Other Considerations

In addition to the AC unit itself, also consider any additional components that will be installed and powered on the same circuit, such as:

  • An air handler or fan coil unit
  • A thermostat to control the system
  • Condensate pumps to remove excess moisture

The combined amperage of all components should be considered to properly size the circuit and avoid overloading. It's also a good idea to leave some spare capacity on the circuit, around 20-25%, for the temporary surges and spikes that can occur. Properly sizing the circuit and components of your mini-split system will help ensure efficient, trouble-free operation for years to come.

Mastering the Basics: Deciding if a 1-Ton Mini Split is the Perfect Heating and Cooling Solution for Your Space

That covers the basics of a 1-ton mini split system. Now you've got the knowledge to make an informed decision about whether a mini-split is right for your space. These efficient, customizable units can be a great solution for heating and cooling if you're looking to reduce energy usage and costs. And with so many options on the market, you're sure to find a model that suits your needs. So start shopping around, get some estimates, and before you know it you'll be enjoying stable temperatures all year long. The hardest part will be deciding which shows to binge-watch first in your comfortable new space!

Contact The Trade Table!

Contact The Trade Table!

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