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Mini-Split Systems

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Highly efficient heat pumps for decentralized, electric heating and cooling in multifamily buildings.

Mini-Split Systems

Getting to Know Mini-Split Systems

Mini-split systems are an efficient, all-electric heating and cooling technology. Mini-splits can save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while greatly enhancing resident comfort.

How do mini-split systems work?

Mini-split systems are an electric air-source heat pump (ASHP) technology that can be used to heat and cool spaces. Because AHPS transfer heat rather than generate it, they are highly efficient.

Commonly used to provide air conditioning by transferring heat from the air inside to the air outside, ASHPs can also function in reverse to provide effective heating in cold climates. Minisplits are a type of decentralized ASHP suitable for many building types. This tech primer focuses on their use in multifamily buildings. See the Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Tech Primer to learn more about other ASHP options.

Mini-split systems consist of two compact, ductless, components: an outdoor unit and an indoor unit, connected via refrigerant lines (see Fig. 1). This refrigerant piping requires minimal exterior wall penetrations compared to throughwall or packaged terminal ACs, reducing gaps where heat can be lost or gained through the building envelope.

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