A newer mini-split compressor outside the exterior of a home

Ductless mini splits are a popular choice for new installations, additions and spaces that need greater climate control.

But, since these wall-mounted systems don’t use ductwork, you might be asking just how loud that fan is that heats and cools your home? 

The answer might surprise you!

Are Mini Split Fans Loud?

While the air handler might be mounted right on your wall, the fan is actually incredibly quiet! I’ve done installs where the homeowner couldn’t believe they are running. That’s how quiet they are! You have to stand right next to them to hear the fan.

You won’t hear it just sitting in the room (unless you are sitting directly beneath the unit).

For comparison, a window air conditioner can emit almost 70 decibels, while a whole-home central air conditioner emits anywhere between 50-70 decibels. A mini-split emits around 32 decibels, which is comparable to someone whispering beside you. 

What Is a Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump?

Let’s talk more about mini splits.

Mini-splits are a HVAC system that provides heating and cooling with a single unit. These systems do not require ductwork and rely on indoor air handlers to circulate air.

These systems are used to heat and cool small spaces and single rooms. Since multiple indoor air handlers can be connected to a single condenser, they are ideal for zoning. The individual units can be customized to any comfort level, giving you greater environmental control in your home.

How a Ductless Mini-Split Works

Mini splits are heat pump systems. They work very similar to a central AC unit. The big difference is that, because they are heat pumps, they can work in reverse.

This means they can heat and cool with a single unit.

There are two main components to a mini split.

The Evaporator

A mini-split air handler in the corner of a room just below the ceiling with a vent installed

The evaporator (also known as the air handler or head unit) is the part that is inside your home. A mini split can come with one or multiple head units.

These are mounted to the wall in a central location and controlled with a remote.

The Condenser 

The condenser is located outside like a typical air conditioner. And like an air conditioner, it is connected to the inside portion by a set of copper lines. 

On the AC setting, a mini split works just like a central air unit. It uses refrigerant to move heat from one area to another through the lines. In the cooling cycle, the refrigerant removes from heat indoors, and expels it outdoors through the condenser.

The big difference between a mini split and a central air is that a mini split can work in reverse. On the heat setting, the system finds warm air outside and moves it inside. It might seem counterintuitive but a heat pump system can find heat in the ambient air even when temperatures reach below zero.

The condenser unit of a mini-split next to a wall outside a home

Should Noise Concerns Be a Factor in Choosing a Mini Split?

I’ve been installing mini split systems for 10+ years and have never heard a homeowner complain about noise. In fact, most are surprised at just how quiet the indoor heads are. 

There are quite a few factors that go into choosing the right HVAC solution for your home. Noise from a mini split should not be a concern at all.

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