Frequently asked questions
What is a mini-split?
By definition, and simply put, a “Split System” is a heating and air conditioning system which has two main components, the indoor unit and outdoor unit. In short, the indoor unit absorbs heat energy in the cooling mode, and the outdoor unit rejects the very heat absorbed by the indoor unit. And the cycle is repeated until the set temperature is met. Although the indoor and outdoor units are located in physically different, hence “split” locations, they are connected and operate as, one system; continuously circulating refrigerant liquid and vapor by means of interconnecting, dehydrated copper refrigerant lines, commonly referred to as a “Line Set”.
What are mini-split advantages?
Just as the name implies, a “mini-split” system is a “split system” however available in smaller capacities, for single room to whole house conditioning. Mini-split systems may range from as small as 9,000 BTUh per hour, comparable to say, a small window AC unit, for individual room use, up to 4 and 5 ton capacities for “Room By Room” (also known as “Zoning”) and whole house conditioning. With near universal design, mini-splits are “heat pumps” which provide both heating and cooling for a home. Here are key advantages when compared to traditional split systems:
- Efficiency- Mini-splits are highly engineered systems which offer attractive operating efficiencies, in many instances, eligible for utility company rebates.
- Heat Pump- Most mini-split systems are heat pumps, providing year-round comfort.
- Solar friendly- Due to very low power requirements, mini-splits are an ideal complement to “Net Zero Energy” homes, or any home using renewable power.
- Carbon footprint- Mini-splits are 100% electric, with zero operating emissions of any type.
- Zoning- Most mini-split manufacturers offer systems capable of room-by-room “zoning”, to account for peak demands of a room based upon construction type, exposure orientation and usage.
- Variable capacity- Mini-splits are typically DC inverter driven. That is, a variable speed compressor which modulates in proportion to instantaneous demand. Most conventional split systems, by comparison, operate with an ON-OFF strategy. (Would you use an ON-OFF switch as the accelerator in your vehicle?)
- Location, Location, Location!- Mini-split outdoor units are compact; they can be located far away from noise-sensitive areas, such as bedrooms and home offices. Mini-split indoor units have the ability to be installed where conventional systems cannot.
- They’re perfect for additions and remodels where access to current HVAC system is difficult to access.
- Modern mini-split systems are remarkably quiet; in fact, many times their operation is unnoticed by the end user.
How can I save money with Westinghouse systems?
Central forced-air ductwork is typically installed in attics or crawlspaces, which are "unconditioned" spaces - the air is not kept to a consistent temperature. Why spend money heating or cooling the ducts in your walls and attic? Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption in your home. Save on your utility bills with Westinghouse systems!
How do I know what size unit I need?
Too often, in the world of HVAC equipment, excess capacity is interpreted as more effective and provides a higher degree of comfort. The truth of the matter is, equipment which is “oversized” (e.g., 18,000 BTUh when only 9,000 BTUh is needed) can result in a shortened equipment lifespan with erratic temperature and humidity control in the conditioned space. A comprehensive load calculation is the foundation of all mini-split systems success, needed to properly determine the heating and cooling requirements of each room as well as the entire house. Be sure your contractor does a a comprehensive load calculation to determine what size system to install.
What is a heat pump?
Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space to a warm space, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house and during the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances. (source: energy.gov)
Who do I contact if I have a problem?
If you have any problems with your system, you should contact the contractor who installed the units. All our systems are covered by a 5 year parts, 7 year compressor limited warranty. The full warranty document can be downloaded here.
Where can I find Owner's Manuals?
Printed manuals come in the box with your units, but you can download pdf files from our Downloads page