heating and AC, plumbing & electric
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heating and AC, plumbing & electric 479.900.0784
October 13, 2021

Which Thermostats Work Best With a Ductless Mini Split HVAC System?

What is a Mini Split System?

Mini splits are HVAC systems similar to heat pumps and do not require new or existing ductwork in your home in order to heat or cool a room. Mini splits have two main components – an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air handling unit, or units, depending on if the system is set up for one room or multiple. They are typically much less expensive and time intensive to install than full HVAC systems. Not only are they an energy and cost efficient option for heating areas of your home, they also do not require as much maintenance as a regular HVAC system. Mini-split systems have little-to-no ducts, so they avoid the energy losses associated with the ductwork of central forced air systems. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic or basement.

Stock/Standard Included Thermostat Controller

These days, many mini splits also include wireless remotes to control the unit. These are essentially the stock “thermostats” for the system. This works when you’re at home and the remote is nearby (and not lost in the couch cushions!). But turning your mini split on and off can feel like a chore. Plus, you can’t set schedules with a remote and it only works at certain distances. So, most people just leave their mini split on all day long, which leads to wasted energy. These remotes typically have limited functionality & durability, and are the thermostats that are most likely to fail.

Programmable Thermostats for Mini Splits

Programmable thermostats are essential for energy conservation and system efficiency. With a programmable thermostat, you can adjust how you would like your daily heating & cooling cycle to take place. With a single set it & forget it system, you can wake up, leave the house, and go to sleep without ever needing to adjust your thermostat again after setting up your daily & weekly program.

what is a programmable thermostat

Additionally, many programmable thermostats contain separate programs for heating and cooling. Other functionality includes:

  • Digital (or manual) switch to turn on the furnace blow (for increased air circulation).
  • Running the circulating fan (in the event of a heating or cooling issue).
  • Reminders to change the air filter.
  • Internet connectivity (or smart thermostat, such as the Ecobee thermostat).

Best Smart Thermostats for Mini Split Units

A smart thermostat, also known as a connected or communicating thermostat, allows you to create automatic and programmable temperature settings based on daily schedules, weather conditions, and heating and cooling needs. Some Wi-Fi thermostats have this advanced functionality, but not all do. The advantage of a smart thermostat is its ability to learn a household’s patterns and adjust heating and cooling according to when a home is occupied or is about to be occupied. This reduces the use of heating and cooling systems when nobody is home for significant periods of time. To ensure your system is compatible with a smart thermostat, check with this thermostat compatibility tool. From our own internal testing, we have discovered that Nest branded smart thermostats do not work correctly with mini-split systems. We recommend alternatives like the Ecobee smart thermostat.

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Installing Your Mini Split Thermostat

When it comes to the installation of your thermostat for your mini split HVAC system, it is important to call a heating and air professional that you can trust. For thermostat installation in Missouri, Northwest Arkansas, or the River Valley, call Paschal Air, Plumbing & Electric at 479-900-0784.