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Mini Split Single Zone

As an energy-conscious homeowner, you're always looking for ways to improve efficiency and reduce utility bills. One upgrade that can make a big impact is installing a mini split single zone system. A ductless mini split is an innovative heating and cooling solution that provides targeted temperature control for specific areas of your home.

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Let's see how a mini-split single-zone system can help lower your energy usage and create an optimized level of comfort in your home.

What Is the Largest Single Zone Mini Split System?

As an alternative to central HVAC, mini-split systems can effectively heat and cool your home. For large spaces, the largest single zone mini split system may be required.

  • A single zone mini split system has one outdoor unit connected to one indoor unit. The largest options can handle areas up to 1,500 square feet. Popular brands like MrCool, Buck Cool, Mitsubishi, LG, and Samsung offer single zone systems in the 24,000 to 36,000 BTU range, suitable for most residential and light commercial needs.

Factors to Consider When Determining the Size of an Air Conditioner for Your Space

Square footage

  • The larger the area, the higher the BTU requirement. For the biggest single rooms, choose a capacity of at least 30,000 BTU.

Windows and doors

  • More openings mean more opportunities for heat/air loss and gain. Increase BTU for spaces with lots of windows or doors.


  • Well-insulated areas require less heating and cooling. For poorly insulated spaces, choose a unit with a higher BTU to account for energy inefficiency.

Room use

  • Bedrooms and living rooms have higher capacity needs than storage areas or garages. Consider how the space is used when determining the right size.

Where to Buy Mini Split AC Single Zone Systems

When looking to purchase a mini split AC single zone system, you have several options
to consider:

Local HVAC contractors

  • Many HVAC installation companies sell and install mini split AC systems. Working with a local contractor allows you to get professional guidance on sizing and installing the right system for your needs. They can also handle the installation and any permits required. However, their prices may be higher than other options.

Home improvement stores

  • Large home improvements retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s offer mini split AC systems for sale. They may have more affordable options and can also arrange for installation. However, their selection may be more limited, and you will still need to work with an HVAC contractor for installation and permits.

Online retailers

  • Websites like Amazon, Walmart, and also sell mini split AC units. You may find lower prices online, especially if you’re comfortable handling the installation yourself. However, you will need to handle arranging installation and permits with an HVAC contractor in your area. Shipping and handling the units yourself can also be difficult due to their size and weight.

HVAC equipment distributors

  • Some HVAC equipment distributors sell directly to consumers. They focus specifically on HVAC equipment so may have a wider selection. However, they typically do not handle installation, so you would still need to arrange that separately. Prices may be lower than contractors but higher than large retailers.

How to Install a Multi-Zone Single Mini Split

To install a multi-zone mini split, follow these steps:

Plan Your Zones

  • Decide how many zones you need based on the layout of your space. Each indoor unit, known as an air handler, will connect to one zone. For the best efficiency, group rooms with similar heating and cooling need together in the same zone.

Choose Equipment

  • Select an outdoor condenser unit that can support the number of zones in your plan. The condenser contains the compressor, condenser coil, and fan that produce the hot or cold refrigerant for your system. Choose high-efficiency, variable-speed compressor models for the best comfort and energy savings.

Install the Condenser

  • Place the condenser on a level concrete pad in an area with plenty of airflows, like the side of the house. Secure it to the pad according to the manufacturer's instructions. Run refrigerant lines from the condenser to each of the zones in your system. Bury at least 6 inches of the refrigerant lines for protection and insulation.

Install the Air Handlers

  • Mount the air handlers for each zone on an exterior wall, in the attic, or a closet in the zone it will serve. Connect the refrigerant lines from the condenser to the corresponding air handlers. Run a condensate drain line from each air handler to an appropriate drain or pump. Connect the air handlers to a dedicated 240-volt circuit in your electrical service panel.

Perform Start-Up

  • Have a professional HVAC technician start up your new multi-zone system. They will pressure test for leaks, charge the system with refrigerant, program the thermostats for each zone, and ensure proper operation. Follow all recommendations from the technician and manufacturer to keep your system running efficiently for years to come.

How Many BTUs Do I Need for a Single Zone Mini Split?

To determine the appropriate BTU rating for a single zone mini split in your space, you'll need to consider several factors.

Size of the Area

The larger the area you want to cool, the higher the BTU requirement. For a small area like a bedroom (10x12 feet), a unit with 9,000 to 12,000 BTU is typically sufficient. For a medium-sized living room (15x20 feet), choose 18,000 to 24,000 BTU. A large open space (20x25 feet) will need at least 30,000 BTU to cool effectively. Measure your room's square footage and consult the manufacturer's recommendation chart.

    Weather and Insulation

    In warmer climates or a room with lots of windows, a higher BTU is needed. A well-insulated space won't require as much power. Consider your local weather and the room's features.

    • For hot, humid weather, increase BTU by 10-30%
    • Lots of windows/poor insulation, increase BTU by 10-20%
    • Well insulated with few windows, decrease BTU by 10-15%

    Additional Heat Sources

    If the room has heat sources like large appliances, electronic devices, or an indoor fireplace, the mini split will have to work harder to keep the room comfortable. Add 10- 15% more BTU for multiple heat sources.

    Occupancy and Usage

    A frequently used living space with multiple occupants will need more cooling power than an infrequently used guest room. For a main living area, increase BTU by 10% per additional person. For high-traffic commercial spaces, add 30-50% more BTU.

    Long-Term Benefits of Installing a Mini-Split Single-Zone System for Temperature Control and Efficiency in Your Home

    As you've seen, a mini-split single-zone air conditioner and heat pump can be a great choice for efficient cooling and heating of specific areas of your home. While a single-zone unit may lack some of the advanced features of a multi-zone system, for cooling and heating a single room they can be very effective. With proper installation and maintenance, a mini-split single-zone system can provide comfortable temperatures for many years in an eco-friendly, cost-effective manner. A mini split may be just the solution you're looking for to improve the temperature control and efficiency in your home.

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