Ductless mini split heat pumps are great additions to heat and cool efficiently. But, have you wondered if there's a way to get even more control? Finding the right mini split thermostat may be the answer.
Whether you already own a mini split or are planning to add one to your home, you know that it can be a big investment. Mini splits are more efficient than other heating or cooling systems, so they do help you save. But, to see an even bigger return on your investment, let's consider your mini split system and how you control it.
How Do Mini Split Air Conditioners Work?
A mini split is an air conditioning system that doesn't need any ductwork. An indoor unit is installed through a small hole in your wall, and piping runs to an outside controller unit. Instead of creating energy like a traditional heating or cooling system, mini splits transfer energy.
To cool a room, the indoor unit pulls air inside, which passes over evaporator coils filled with refrigerant. Any absorbed heat is transferred to the outdoor compressor unit and cooled air goes back out into the room. So, that's how your mini split keeps you cool in the summertime!
But, many mini splits also have a ductless heat pump, so they can cool AND heat your home. When your mini split heats a room, the opposite happens. The outdoor compressor unit absorbs heat from outside and moves it inside using the refrigerant coils. (Refrigerant is very cold, so it can find outdoor heat even at very low temperatures).
Essentially, your indoor mini split transfers heat from inside your home to the outside compressor when cooling a room. And the outside compressor transfers heat from outside to the indoor unit when heating a room. It's all a transfer of energy controlled by your mini split thermostat.
Do Mini Splits Heat and Cool Efficiently?
Generally, mini splits are about 20-30% more efficient than central ducted systems. And mini splits can save you up to 40% on your heating bill, compared to electric baseboard heating. But, baseboard heating still makes a great secondary heating source, especially in colder months when it might not be efficient to run your mini split.
There are two main factors that help mini splits heat and cool your home efficiently:
1) Being a ductless system
2) Zone control capabilities
Ducted systems can cause air leakage, which wastes precious energy. Since mini splits don't require any ductwork, there is much less warm or cool air lost. So, your home can stay at the perfect temperature much more easily.
Mini splits are also great for controlling multiple home heating or cooling zones independently. Individual mini split units control each room or ‘zone', so they're always the perfect temperature. This eliminates wasted energy, so no room is too hot or cold (and settles any household thermostat wars!).
Another consideration when it comes to efficiency is how you control your mini split. Other heating or cooling systems are usually controlled by a thermostat on your wall. That's not usually the case for mini splits, but it is possible to upgrade your mini split thermostat.
Do mini splits have thermostats?
Technically, yes. Mini splits do have an internal thermostat that reads room temperature. But, they do not have a wall thermostat like other heating systems. Instead, mini splits are usually controlled using an LCD remote.
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.
If you've ever wondered how to add a thermostat to a mini split for better control, there is a solution. Adding an external mini split thermostat with smart control can help avoid wasted energy and help you save.
How to Get Smart Mini Split Thermostat Control
To get 100% control of your mini split system and save on heating and cooling costs, smart home tech is just what you need. With smart mini split control, you can create heating or cooling schedules, control your mini split remotely, and track how long it's running. (Plus tons of other smart features and benefits!)
There are smart mini split systems. But, if you already own a mini split, that would be a very costly upgrade. Luckily, there's a much easier and affordable way to get smart home control of your mini split, and that's by adding a new mini split thermostat.
To do that, there are two options:
1) You can have a WiFi adapter installed to your mini split and existing smart thermostat.
2) Or you can ‘install' a smart thermostat for air conditioners.
1. Installing a Mini Split Thermostat Adapter
A WiFi adapter is a device that can give you smart control of your mini split heat pump. These devices have to be wired to your mini split, as well as the smart thermostat you want to use to control it.
People usually consider a mini split thermostat adapter if they already have a low voltage Nest or ecobee smart thermostat. And since they're wired directly to your mini split and do not rely on IR codes, they can provide consistent control.
However, they can be difficult to install and will likely require a professional HVAC technician. Also, mini split adapters tend to have limited capabilities. A WiFi adapter is unlikely to support all of your mini split's modes and settings, like fan speed and swing control. So, there is an alternative to trying to get Ecobee or Nest mini split control with a thermostat adapter.
If you're looking for an easier solution, a smart thermostat for air conditioners may be for you. They're easy to install and were specifically designed to control mini splits and all of their settings.
2. ‘Installing' a Mini Split Smart Thermostat
In our opinion, the best mini split thermostat is a smart one. A smart thermostat for air conditioners, also known as a mini split smart controller or remote ac thermostat, is a WiFi-enabled programmable mini split thermostat that replaces the remote you use to control your mini split. They can also be used to control window and portable air conditioners, giving you smart AC control.
These devices allow you to fully control a mini split and are quick and easy to install! In fact, it's a DIY project that takes about 5 minutes to set-up. It's like having a universal mini split thermostat remote that you can control anywhere from your phone. And best of all, this product was specifically designed to control all of your mini split's heating and cooling settings.
Installing a smart mini split heat pump thermostat is simple. You just plug the device into an outlet close to your mini split.
Next, you connect the device to WiFi to start pairing. Once connected, select the type of AC unit you have (in this case it would be a mini split), and enter the brand of your mini split. Then point your remote at your new mini split thermostat and turn it on and off. This helps match the IR commands from your remote to a database of commands in the smart thermostat. Once a match is found, your mini split smart thermostat downloads all of the commands for your existing remote, so it can fully control your mini split.
From there, you just set your cooling and heating preferences in the smartphone app. It's that simple!
How to Save With a Smart Mini Split Thermostat
With a smart device controlling your mini split, you can save even more on your heating and cooling bills! So, it's important to take advantage of all the energy-saving features that are available.
For initial set up, we suggest starting with Scheduling, Geofencing, and Energy Charting. Plus, of course, integrating your smart mini split thermostat with the rest of your smart home.
Create a Schedule for Your Mini Split
Scheduling is one of the most basic, but powerful, smart thermostat features to take advantage of. The key to saving with your mini split thermostat, is using it to run your mini split as little as possible while still keeping your home perfectly comfortable.
Instead of having to turn your mini split on and off every day, a smart mini split thermostat can do that for you! All you have to do is create a heating or cooling schedule in the app.
Schedules can be set based on 15 minute intervals to fit your unique lifestyle. You can schedule your mini split to turn off when you head to work and turn back on before you're home, so it's the perfect temperature when you arrive. On the weekends, your morning routine can be scheduled to start later if you want to sleep in. And you can set an overnight schedule to help you save while you sleep!
If needed, making changes to your mini split thermostat schedule is also simple, it can be done in the app anytime. And if something unexpected happens, you can control your mini split remotely from the app. So, you can make mini split thermostat adjustments from anywhere.
Geofencing is an especially important app feature to set-up if you have a flexible schedule. This feature can automatically turn your mini split on or off, based on how close you are to home.
Setting up this feature involves selecting a boundary or ‘geofence' close to your home. Then you set up different actions for when you enter or leave this boundary. For example, you can set your mini split to turn off when you leave the area, and start again once you get close.
This feature really comes in handy if you have an unpredictable schedule. If you get a call to go to work, you don't even have to worry about turning off your heating or cooling. Your mini split thermostat will do that for you.
Track Mini Split Usage With Energy Charting
Energy Charting is another smart way to track how much you're using your mini split to cool or heat your home. You can see your mini split's runtime, temperature history, and humidity, all in one app.
This information can help you make changes to your mini split thermostat schedule or your home, so you can save even more. For example, a spike in energy use in a room could be a sign that your home needs insulation upgrades.
Integrate Your Mini Split Thermostat With Your Smart Home
Smart mini split thermostats give you control over your home heating and cooling. And they also work with your existing smart devices.
If you use a smart home assistant like Google Home, Alexa, or Siri, make sure to choose a smart thermostat that works with it. So, if you like Apple products, you'll need a compatible HomeKit mini split thermostat.
You can also add your ductless mini split thermostat to your smart home themes. Then, during your next movie night, your smart assistant can simultaneously turn down the lights, adjust your mini split ac temperature, and turn on your TV.
Smart mini split thermostats can also work with other smart thermostats for full climate-control. For example, Mysa makes smart thermostats for AC, underfloor heating, and baseboard heating. So, if you have baseboard or in-floor heating too, you can control everything in the same app!
Get Smart About Your Mini Split Thermostat
If you have a mini split or are thinking about getting one, you know the importance of home heating and cooling efficiency. So, it only makes sense to invest in an efficient mini split thermostat too.
A smart mini split thermostat can give you full control, and help you save on electricity costs. If you're interested in learning more, subscribe to our email list for more awesome content about smart thermostat control.