If you are just learning about indoor cooling options, you may wonder what is a mini-split AC unit. Some of the best air conditioners, after all, ship in this design. So what is a mini-split air conditioner, what are the advantages of using one, how to size a ductless mini-split AC, and is it the right choice for you? Keep reading to find out.


  • Mini-split AC systems do not rely on ducts and instead use an outdoor unit and individual air handlers, aka the indoor unit, located in each room.
  • These air handlers allow you to set specific temperatures for each room, as each room boasts its own thermostat, which is a hallmark of ductless systems.
  • Mini-splits are known for being easy to install, easy to use, and easy to customize to your liking.

What is a Mini-Split Air Conditioner?

There are plenty of AC designs out there if you wonder what is a reverse cycle air conditioner. Some even prefer air coolers if you are comparing a swamp cooler to an air conditioner. Mini-split designs offer some key differences when compared to other types. For one, mini-splits allow often offer separate thermostats for each room, which is quite a departure from central units. These units also often include a heating element, so you might have to learn how to replace a heat pump with an air conditioner.

Insider Tip

Remember to replace or clean your air filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions every two to three months.

Essentially a mini-split is a central AC unit that does not rely on ducts but rather transports cool air to each room as needed. This design is known to be quite energy-efficient if you are learning what is a good SEER rating for an air conditioner.

Benefits of a Mini-Split System

There are many significant advantages to choosing a mini-split system, especially when compared to traditional central units or even window units.


As previously mentioned, split units can cool on a per-room basis, as each cooling zone has access to its own thermostat or controls. This all falls down to the design of the unit itself. Mini-splits use an outdoor cooling unit, just like a central AC, but instead of ducts, this central system connects to various air handlers. Some modern mini-splits connect to up to four or five of these air handlers, allowing homeowners to set unique temperatures in four or five separate rooms.


Modern splits come with a variety of amenities, such as heating, remote control, smart features, and more. The technology is constantly advancing, so you are likely to see upgrades regularly.

Easy Installation

Without the need for ducts, mini-splits are quite easy to install, with the outdoor cooling system representing the most complicated component. Placing the air handlers is simple and connecting them to the outdoor system is also on the easier side.


Why should I consider choosing a mini-split?

If you want an all-in-one solution, complete with a ductless heat pump, consider choosing one of these models. They cut down on energy bills and the inverter compressor does a great job of cooling.

When are the best times to install a ductless mini-split system?

Any season but winter is perfect for installing ductless systems, even those with a heat pump. You want to avoid snow on the ground so the outdoor compressor and outdoor condenser can rest comfortably and send cool air to the indoor air handler.

What about smart controllers?

Purchasing a modern mini-split means you’ll have access to modern features like smart assistant integration. These ductless systems often feature an energy-efficient heat pump, which can also be controlled via smartphone or tablet.

STAT: Mini-split systems have little-to-no ducts, so they avoid the energy losses associated with the ductwork of central forced air systems. (source)

Lawrence Bonk Profile image