If you live in the northern half of the USA, then cooling is likely not one of your main concerns. In fact, a basement or rooms on the north side of your home likely don't need much cooling at all. Thus, using a central-air cooling system to push cool air to every room in your home will waste electricity. If you need some cooling, but you want to make sure that you cool your home as efficiently as possible, you should consider installing a mini-split heat pump.
What Does the Term Mini-Split Mean?
A central-air cooling system is "split" in that you will have one set of coils located outside your house, and a second set of coils located at a central location inside your house. Your AC unit can then use ducts to push cold air from this central location to every room in your house. A mini-split system differs in that it will have 1 set of coils located outside your home but up to 4 smaller sets of coils located inside your house. A mini-split system does not use ducts. Instead, the interior coils are placed in the rooms that most need cooling.
Can a Mini-Split System Work for You?
If you have more than 4 rooms in your home, you might think that you have no choice but to use a central-air system. This is not entirely true. For example, if you have rooms in your house, such as a guest room, that are not in consistent use, then you waste electricity pushing cool air to these rooms. Furthermore, if your basement stays reasonably cool on its own, then you don't need to actively cool those rooms. Finally, if you have rooms upstairs, that don't get a lot of direct sunlight, you likely will not need as much cooling for those rooms. Thus, even if you live a large house, you still may be able to benefit from a mini-split cooling system.
Because cooling a home is one of the largest costs that a homeowner has to contend with, you should do whatever you can to cool your home as efficiently as possible. This may even require thinking outside of the box and carefully considering which rooms in your house you actually need to cool. To decide if a mini-split heat pump could work for your home, you should talk to an HVAC contractor. You might just find that the targeted cooling a mini-split system can provide is the key to reigning in your cooling costs.
Go to websites like http://www.advancedheatingandcooling.com for more information.