When the weather becomes warm in the summer season, you may be thinking more and more about updating or replacing your air conditioning system. Mini-splits are an increasingly popular option due to the ease of installation and degree of energy efficiency. Mini-split systems also provide flexibility in cooling multiple rooms within a home.
What size mini-split do you need for your house? Sizing a mini-split depends on how much cooling your system will provide in an hour. These measurements are determined in British Thermal Units (BTUs). To size a mini-split properly requires a load calculation. An HVAC expert can calculate the number of BTUs needed per hour based on the square footage of a home and other features.
Our extensive guide will address the importance of choosing the correct size system and how to measure it. We will also look at how many mini-splits you might need and some recommendations for square footage.
Why Is It Important to Choose a Correct Mini-Split System Size
Choosing a mini-split that is too large or too small can have costly ramifications. Mini-split systems that are too large for the room will start to short-cycle.
Short cycling causes a mini-split to cool the room quickly and shut down in repeated cycles, leading to higher electricity bills and greater wear and tear on the system. Homeowners will also notice their rooms won’t feel as consistently cool as they might prefer.
Mini-splits sized too small for a room will have to run at higher levels to cool spaces. Unfortunately, this also leads to higher electricity bills and increased stress on the system, as the mini-split may have to be continuously running to maintain the desired temperature.
How to Size a Mini-Split HVAC System
Mini-splits contain at least two units for inside and outside. The number of inside units you have will depend on the size of your house and the number of rooms you plan to cool. Inside units are sized according to the specifics of each room.
The outside mini-split unit is sized based on the total square footage in your home and how many inside units you install. Keep in mind this estimate is not intended to replace a load calculation provided by an expert that is licensed to perform air conditioning services for homes.
Mini-Split Sizing Calculation and Steps
There are a few basic calculations needed for sizing mini-splits. For every room you will be placing a mini-split system, start by multiplying the room’s length by the width to get the square footage. Next, calculate the number of BTUs needed to cool the room by multiplying the total square feet by 25.
For example, a room 10 feet long and 10 feet wide is a total of 100 square feet. This room will require 2500 BTUs to keep it cool. While this will give you an approximate estimate, experts consider other factors for proper mini-split system installation. A professional will also look at each room’s features, including the number of windows and ceiling height. The age of your house, insulation, and relative climate will also be considered.
Mini-Split System Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Can I Get a Bigger Mini-Split?
Try not to get a larger mini-split than your home needs. Even though your home might feel cooler, it will not be efficient enough to combat humidity. While discomfort is one issue, too much moisture can also allow for mold to start growing over time.
How Many Mini-Split Systems Do I Need to Install?
Plan on one inside unit for each room unless it is a relatively large and open space that may require an additional unit to cool sufficiently. If your home has more than four rooms you plan to cool, check with an HVAC expert whether you need a multi-zone system.
How Many Square Feet Does a 1-Ton Mini-Split System Cool?
A one-ton mini-split will cool down a 500 to 1,000-square-foot space. A one-ton unit provides 12,000 BTUs.
How Many Square Feet Does a 2-Ton Mini-Split System Cool?
A two-ton unit generates 24,000 BTUs to cool down spaces from 1,000 to 1,500 square feet. A two-ton system may be adequate if your home is no larger than 1,500 square feet.
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What Size Mini-Split HVAC System Do I Need for a Bedroom?
You can estimate the size of the mini-split system needed for a bedroom by calculating your total square feet. Smaller bedrooms generally require up to 9,000 BTUs.
However, if your bedroom is larger than 400 square feet, your mini-split will need to generate at least 12,000 BTUs per hour to maintain a comfortable temperature.
How Do I Choose the Correct Mini-Split System Size For My Living Room?
Smaller living rooms typically require 12,000 BTUs per hour. However, you will need about 18,000 BTUs to say cool if you have a large, open living area.
Now you know the importance of correctly sizing a mini-split for your home. You also understand how to take the basic calculations to determine the best size. While this will get you started, don’t overlook the importance of obtaining a load calculation from an industry expert.
Mini-Split System Installation and Repair Services
If you need assistance sizing a mini-split system for a bedroom or living area, give our team of professionals a call at (703) 543-9649 to book an appointment. Our staff offers comprehensive HVAC repair services in Sterling, Virginia and have the tools necessary to install a new mini-split system in your house.
We provide dependable mini-split system installation and repair services for homeowners in your local area. Our team of HVAC technicians take a number of factors into consideration when it comes to correctly sizing mini-splits so that you don’t end up with a higher electricity bill or system overuse from installing the wrong size.
Our team also offers a variety of other HVAC solutions including air conditioner repair, furnace replacement, air purification system installation, and air conditioner replacement. Whether you plan to install, tune up, repair, or replace your current air conditioning unit or mini-split system, our expert team is always available for support. Contact our professionals today to schedule an HVAC appointment.