While the concept of high velocity AC has been around since the 70’s, these symptoms have soared in popularity in recent years. Not only do homeowners use high velocity (also known as mini duct HVAC) systems to retrofit their aging duct work, many new construction properties utilize them as well. While these premium systems may cost more at installation, they offer several opportunities to save money with improved efficiency and functionality. Here’s how!
What is a Mini Duct HVAC System?
High velocity HVAC systems utilize a specialized pressure system to force air through a serious of flexible duct work. The ducts are comprised of very small tubes (some are only 2 inches wide), which can fit behind traditional wall spaces and effortlessly curve in and out of tight spaces. Smaller tubing provides several helpful benefits for homeowners, which we will talk about in a little bit.
Traditional HVAC Solutions
Traditional forced air systems operate at a much slower pace, taking additional time to circulate air throughout large houses. Their rigid ducts require a lot of space to install, making additions to an original forced air system could require you to tear up ceiling areas just to make room. Diverting to newly added rooms is just as frustrating.
The duct work in forced air systems is susceptible to wasteful leaks that develop over time. While they may go unnoticed for months or even years, these leaks will cause your HVAC system to activate for longer cycles. This not only increases energy consumption, it also accelerates wear and tear on your HVAC unit’s mechanical parts. When compared with traditional air conditioning systems, high velocity AC is clearly the winner in terms of functionality and efficiency.
High Velocity Air Conditioning Pros and Cons
There are several alluring perks for installing a high velocity HVAC system. Compared with other solutions on the market (even mini split systems) high velocity air conditioning is incredibly convenient and space saving. As we mentioned earlier, these systems can supply heating and cooling much faster than forced air systems. As a result, your home’s air is conditioned in less time and your HVAC system can turn off sooner, saving energy.
- Little to No Construction Work Needed During Installations
- Simple to Use During Retrofits or Extensions
- Requires About 1/3 the Space of Traditional Ducts
- Circulate Air Faster For Speedier Heating and Cooling
- Shorter Run Times, Saving Energy
- Tubing Can Fit Behind Walls and Between Rafters
- Little Equipment Needed to Serve a Full House
- Vents are Less Noticeable in Ceiling
- Cost of a High Velocity Mini-Duct System Somewhat Higher
- More Complicated to Adapt for Zoned HVAC
- Rush of High Velocity Air Can Be Chilly
High Velocity Air Conditioning vs Mini Split
As you can see, there are numerous benefits provided by high velocity systems. But how do they stack up against a more premium solution, such as a mini split HVAC system? Let’s compare the two!
Mini Split Systems Explained
First, we need to understand the core function of a mini split solution. Also known as “ductless split systems”, mini splits utilize up to 4 ceiling or wall-mounted units which are connected to an outside unit by a single tube. The indoor units take in warm air from each room, flush the heat outside, and redistribute the now-cooled air. One of the primary reasons homeowners love mini splits is that they can customize the temperature in each room with an indoor unit. Plus there is practically zero duct work required to install the system.
Now how does this stack up with high velocity AC?
The Two HVAC Systems Compared
We’ll break down different aspects of each system and declare a winner in each category. Let’s start with space requirements.
- Hardware Requirements: Tied
While mini split systems require no duct work to circulate air, most are limited to cooling 4 rooms. To provide customizable temperatures for more rooms, a second air handler will be required. On the other hand, a high velocity HVAC system requires a little duct work, but it also heats and cools the entire house with just one unit. Both provide an impressively small HVAC system. Thus, we come to a tie.
- Efficiency: High Velocity Mini Ducts
The pressure-powered system of a high velocity AC speeds air throughout the house at an impressive rate, considerably faster than mini split systems. High velocity wins.
- Customization: Mini Split Systems
While high velocity systems can be augmented to achieve zone control, mini split systems have this feature built into their basic design. Mini split wins.
- Appearance: High Velocity Mini Ducts
The temperature customization of mini split systems comes with a notable downside: protruding boxes mounted on the wall. Mini ducts feature tiny, powerful vents that function well but aren’t as noticeable. High velocity AC wins.
- Cost: Tied
Do expensive roof leak repair costs have you looking for the most affordable HVAC system option? The cost of a high velocity mini-duct system is very close to that of a mini split system. If a home requires more than one air handler however, the mini split system may cost more. It’s close though, so we’ll call it a tie anyway.
Talk With One of Our Experts Today!
Our seasoned HVAC technicians would love to answer any questions about your Miami Beach, FL mini duct installation or another part of your heating and cooling system. Give our team a call today at 833-321-5665 to learn more. We can help you with anything from costing to high velocity heating system problems.