What is the Difference Between a Mini Split and a Multi Split?

You were sure you were going to get a multi split for your home’s heating and cooling needs, then you became familiar with ductless mini splits. Now you feel torn.

Both solutions seem to offer excellent cooling and heating potential, but what are the differences between a mini split and a multi split?

Let’s explore!

Mini Splits 101

A mini split is part of a ductless mini split system that includes two main components. They are the compressor aka the condenser and the indoor air-handling unit(s).

The compressor goes outside on your lawn. It’s positioned on a slab of concrete and away from direct sunlight and other weather exposure.

Linking the compressor to the air-handling unit is copper tubes.

Each time you turn your mini split on to heat or cool your home, refrigerant within the compressor will travel through the copper tubes to the air-handling unit to either warm or cool the air to the appropriate degree.

The air-handling units as part of a mini split system are placed according to zones, which are the parts of your home that have separate heating and cooling needs.

You can have several air-handling units to one compressor that will all be connected via copper tubes.

Each air-handling unit includes a built-in thermostat and a remote for setting the temperature.

Multi Splits 101

Okay, so that’s a mini split, but what about a multi split?

A multi split system provides air conditioning. It features an outdoor component as well that just so happens to be called a compressor.

The compressor links to several indoor air outlets, as many as five of them. Connecting everything is a series of refrigerant lines.

All the air outlets have individual temperature controls much like the air-handling units of a ductless mini split system.

What Is the Difference Between a Mini Split and a Multi Split?

With so many seeming similarities between mini splits and multi splits, you might wonder what is different between them at all? Well, there are some differences, so let’s investigate.

Primarily, a multi split is only designed for cooling or heating several zones at once, at least two and up to nine (the units on our site only go up to 5 zones).

If you only have the need for heating or cooling a single zone, that’s not an option with a multi split system (after all, it’s in the name!).

A ductless mini split system can cool or heat a single zone as well as several zones depending on what you need in your home.

Another difference, and possibly the most important one to many people reading this, is the price.

Most multi split air conditioners are custom-built according to your heating or cooling needs. The prices are typically available by quote only, but you can expect that with a customized service like this, you’re going to spend quite a lot of money.

Mini split systems are far more affordable by comparison!