Should a Mini Split Run All the Time?
February 10, 2020
If you’ve ever had a furnace or air conditioning unit, then you know these don’t last forever. Running them constantly is one way to wear them down and shorten their lifespan. Once you got your mini split system installed, you became immediately conscious of how long it was running. Lately, you may have noticed that it seems the mini split is on all the time. Is that a bad sign? Should you worry?
In most cases, if your mini split doesn’t turn off, it’s okay. When providing heat especially, rather than turn off like your furnace does, the mini split slows down operation and thus heat output at certain times and then increases it at others. Since it doesn’t stop providing heat, but rather has naturally fluctuating levels, the mini split uses less energy than a furnace would that comes to a dead stop and then has to turn all the way back on again.
If you’re worried about energy usage because your mini split seems to always be on, this should provide some peace of mind. The energy savings are even greater with a mini split than your traditional heater, even though the former runs more.
Now, there are other cases and problems that can arise with your mini split system. All these can also cause the system to run constantly.
Most common of all these is weather changes. In the winter, as the temperatures might dip harshly down early in the day only to come back up again in the afternoon, your mini split will work at different rates. It will provide more heating during the colder parts of the day and then less heating when it’s not quite so frigid. This can make your mini split run for longer bursts than it maybe usually does, but it’s natural.
Even in the heat, how long the unit runs can change. This has to do with the mini split system’s coefficient of performance or COP. In this case, the COP tells you how much cooling your mini split needs to provide to keep your home comfortable in hot weather.
The COP may be about 3.0 to 3.5 if the outdoor temperatures creep up between 92- and 98-degrees Fahrenheit. In slightly cooler temps of 85 to 90 degrees, the COP increases to 9.0 to 10.0. Why is this? Per kilowatt, the heat removal within the mini split can occur at a rate of three times faster in lower temps, but as it gets hotter, the mini split’s efficiency decreases while the running speed increases.
Let’s say it’s not the weather that’s causing your mini split to run all the time. What else can it be? If your mini split has faulty wiring from manufacturing, the system can either run constantly or not perform properly. A lack of refrigerant can also cause excessive running of the unit. The refrigerant allows your mini split to achieve optimal temperatures, so without enough, the unit will keep running to get to that temperature but fail to do so.
If you'd like more info on whether you're unit is having issues or is functioning properly you can call us at: 1-877-297-6594