Should I leave my mini split on all the time in winter?

This is going to be your first winter with a ductless mini split system, and you honestly couldn’t be more excited. You know how costly it can be to run a traditional HVAC heating system like a furnace or a heater, which is part of why you made the switch.

However, you’re not sure how often you need to operate your mini split system come the wintertime. Does it need to be on all the time? Only some of the time?

You don’t want to push your mini split too far in the first year, but you don’t want to be left shivering either. So what’s appropriate?

You should not turn off your mini split in the winter, that’s for certain. Doing so will make your house a frosty ice palace in a hurry.

Rather, you should run the mini split about as often as you normally do, maybe somewhat more frequently if it’s an especially freezing cold winter.

Here are some more mini split best practices for the winter.

Check the HSPF When Shopping Around

Although you can’t do this if you already have a mini split system installed, if you’re still comparing your options, please do not make a purchasing decision without checking the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor or HSPF of the mini split in question.

The higher the HSPF, the better suited your mini split will be to very cold wintertime temperatures.

An HSPF of 12 is considered rather high.

Don’t forget about the seasonal energy efficiency ratio or SEER as well, which is important in predicting how well your mini split will work with the seasons, including the summer.

Don’t Be Deterred by Noise

Mini splits usually run very quietly, but that’s not always the case in the winter.

You might hear a whooshing noise more frequently than you do in the summer. Don’t be alarmed, as this is just your mini split doing its thing.

That said, if the whooshing noise gets progressively louder as the season continues or if you hear any other strange sounds in addition to the whooshing, then you should call your mini split technician.

Lower the House Temperature When You’re Not Home

You can keep the mini split heat pump running all winter, but at least give it a little bit of a break when you’re not in the house.

During those hours, set your thermostat to 60 degrees Fahrenheit or even a little lower if you’re comfortable. You can even do this at night while you're sleeping if you wish.

The mini split won’t run as often.

Keep the Condenser Clean

As the whipping winds of winter send all sorts of debris flying, your outdoor condenser can get dirtier a little faster than normal this time of year.

Snow can also pile up on the condenser and affect how well it works.

Although you should never clean the inside of the condenser yourself, it’s a good idea to wipe down the exterior as needed.