Does a Mini Split Bring in Fresh Air?

On a cool, sunny spring day, nothing feels better than opening the windows and letting the fresh air in. Your home feels rejuvenated rather than stuffy. Plus, it’s a good chance to give the heater or air conditioner a break for a few hours.

Well, you want to give your heater or air conditioner a very long break, as you’re thinking of switching to a ductless mini split system instead. Before you decide if a mini split is the right solution for you, you’re curious whether the unit will introduce fresh air into your home each time you heat or cool the rooms throughout.

That’s not exactly how ductless mini split systems work. Allow us to explain. The indoor air-handling units installed in your home takes in air from the room.  Coolant within the pipes then changes the air temperature by absorbing the heat inside the room.  

If the air is already hot, such as during the summer, then the coolant converts from liquid to gas as a result of meeting the warm air. This cool air gets pumped out of the air-handling unit into your living room and the process repeats.

As the above information illustrates, the air itself is not from the outdoors. Rather, it comes from the air inside your home.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re someone who suffers from seasonal allergies, you wouldn’t want your ductless mini split system pulling fresh air and bringing it inside all spring and summer long. Inside or outside, you wouldn’t be able to get any relief from pollen or other allergens.

However, we do recognize that indoor air isn’t always the cleanest. If you have animals in the house and someone is allergic, it’s the animal’s dander that causes symptoms. Dander comprises hair and skin and can float through the house. The dander can get sucked up into the air-handling unit, being redistributed and inducing allergy symptoms.

If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home, it’s not a bad idea to look into an air purifier. An air purifier can catch contaminants in the air throughout your home such as pet dander and other allergens. The purifier may reduce indoor air contaminants such as asbestos, radon gas, lead dust, and nitrogen dioxide as well.

Although mini split systems can't produce fresh air when they heat or cool your home, they are a much more effective solution than your traditional HVAC such as a heater or air conditioner. You can get indoor air-handling units installed in zones throughout your home, or areas that are hotter or cooler than other spots in the house. With individual temperature controls per air-handling unit, you can make your whole home comfortable, even if comfortable means different things to different family members!