The short answer to the question, “do mini splits use alot of electricity?” is no. A mini-split system will use up to about 432 kWh per month. Compare that to a central system which uses 3,500 watts per hour on average.
The typical mini-split system is around 600 watts, so right off the bat, they are designed to draw less electricity than most other cooling units.
The only cooling system that uses less electricity on average is a portable system usually attached to a window and can only cool one small room at a time. However, the amount of electricity your mini-split system uses depends on how it is used and what model you have.
Why Does Electricity Usage Matter to Homeowners?
Cooling your home can cost a lot of money, especially if you have an old, inefficient cooling system or live in a particularly hot region. Here in Tustin, we are pretty lucky because it stays relatively cool compared to other cities in SoCal.
However, the summer months can get downright sweltering. The average temperature in Tustin in August is 84 degrees.
It can be even worse if you have a two-story home or work in a multiple-story building. Therefore, when choosing an HVAC system to cool your home or place of business, you need to calculate costs very carefully and consider all of your options.
That’s why you should carefully consider a mini-split AC system. Mini-split systems tend to be the most cost-effective for home or business cooling.
Of course, you are probably asking yourself, “do mini splits use a lot of electricity?” at this point. Before we get into the details, let us say that no, they don’t. But, again, they tend to be one of the most cost-effective and energy-efficient methods for cooling a home or place of business.
However, there are external factors that will affect energy consumption. Like most things in life, things aren’t black and white with mini-split systems.
In the following post, Universal Plumbing Heating and Air discusses the energy consumption, typical energy costs, and what can affect the performance of mini-split systems.
How Do Mini Split Systems Work?
Unlike a central unit, mini-split systems work by heating/cooling individual rooms or zones. As such, these aren’t ducted systems. Instead, each room will have its own indoor unit, typically controlled via remote.
Mini-split systems don’t rely on pulling air into a central unit as central systems do. Instead, they work by using individual fans and evaporators that are contained in each respective room unit.
Because of this, mini-split systems tend to draw much less electricity because smaller units are being used to cool individual spaces instead of an entire house or place of business.
Factors That Influence Mini Split Energy Consumption
432 kWh per month sounds like a great deal. But not everyone will be able to count on this kind of efficiency. The significant factors affecting efficiency with these units are:
The average mini-split system is 600 watts. However, some manufacturers make much more powerful systems meant for larger spaces. These systems draw much more electricity than average mini-split systems.
So it depends on which make and model you get. The good news is that you will get a pretty accurate idea of how much energy your model will consume simply by studying the EnergyStar guidelines.
Age and Maintenance
Mini-split systems get less energy-efficient with age. Also, if you don’t maintain your system regularly, you can expect a drop-off in energy efficiency.
On average, you should replace your system every 10-30 years. Additionally, it would help if you changed your air filters regularly to keep your system running optimally. Regular maintenance by a certified technician is also recommended.
Running your AC unit 24/7 will cost you a lot no matter what kind of system you have. This is why region plays a significant role in the energy-efficiency equation.
For maximum savings, try leaving your mini-split system off and using it only as needed for most of the day. Most modern units also have sleep timers, so you don’t have to worry about falling asleep with the unit on.
The cooler or warmer you want it inside your home relative to the outside temperature will also affect efficiency. For example, if it’s 84 degrees outside and you have your mini-split system set to 68 degrees, it will have to work a lot harder than usual.
Everyone is different, though, and some people don’t have a very high heat/cold tolerance.
How Much Does it Cost to Run a Mini Split System?
Let’s say you do keep your system on all day, every day for a month. Then, on average, you are looking at about $60 worth of electricity using your mini-split system alone.
That’s actually really good compared to central systems and even window-mounted units. And on average, a mini-split system costs about $0.15 per kWh to run.
This makes them one of the most energy-efficient and affordable options on the market, but keep in mind that these figures are averages.
Again, there is no universal answer to this question. However, all of the factors mentioned above will either raise or drop the average price to run your mini-split system.
How to Keep your Mini Split System Energy-Efficient
Even better news about mini-split systems: there are practical ways you can keep them running efficiently. The general idea is to reduce the work of the system.
When the units have to work harder to draw in air or to maintain a significant temperature disparity (inside vs. outside), it will use more electricity and cost you more money. So here are some tips for saving money:
Replace the Air Filter
A dirty air filter will cause the unit to work harder to get proper airflow. Be sure to replace the air filter every three months or clean it every month.
Use Smart Settings
Most modern units can be controlled with your phone via an app. So try turning off the system when you leave the house and only turning it on when you’re about to come home to save electricity.
Have your mini-split system checked every year by an HVAC professional to keep it running at max efficiency?
Energy-Efficient HVAC Company
Here at Universal Plumbing Heating and Air, we can keep your HVAC system running efficiently all year long. Whether you have a central system or a mini-split system, we expertly handle repairs, replacements, and maintenance.
You can even count on us for 24/7 emergency service. Make your home more energy-efficient with our services today.