Ductless Mini-Splits for Sunrooms

Source: GREE

In regions where ideal weather conditions aren't a guarantee, homeowners often seek to make the most of the sunshine and natural views year-round by building sunrooms. However, sunrooms present unique heating and cooling challenges due to their all-window structures. This guide is designed to educate HVAC technicians on the benefits of mini-splits in sunrooms, & to provide some helpful tips on the installation process, providing efficient sunroom heating and air conditioning solutions to their clients.

Why Choose Ductless Mini-Splits for Sunroom Heating & Cooling?

Sunrooms are frequently left out from the central HVAC systems that serve the main living spaces in a home. This is usually due to their sporadic usage or because they were added post-construction. This set of circumstances makes adding a separate mini-split system the perfect solution to effectively regulate sunroom temperatures.

Ductless mini-splits offer an elegant solution to sunroom heating and cooling, as they operate with very little equipment – They require only an indoor air handler and outdoor condenser units, connected through a small hole in an exterior wall. These mini-split heat pump systems use the process of heat transfer to absorb heat through the refrigerant in the indoor air handler, and remove it from the sunroom by sending it the heated refrigerant to the outdoor condenser to cool down again. Heat pumps are incredibly efficient due to the heat transfer process, so installing a mini-split will have a minimal impact on your power bills compared to other heating and cooling options.

In addition to requiring little equipment, mini-splits are usually less expensive to install than extending an existing central AC system, as they don’t require you to add any ductwork to the space. Additionally, the mini-split in the sunroom would be set up as its own zone, operating independently from the central AC system cooling the rest of the home, meaning that you can heat up or cool down the sunroom regardless of what you’re doing in the rest of the house, allowing you to achieve maximum comfort. Finally, ductless mini-splits operate very quietly, ensuring a serene environment for sun-soaking moments in the sunroom.

Tips and Best Practices for Installing Mini-Splits in Sunrooms

As HVAC professionals, it's crucial to ensure the correct installation of ductless mini-split systems in sunrooms. This process requires a combination of technical knowledge and understanding of the particular needs of a sunroom environment. Here are a few practical tips and best practices to consider:

Evaluate the Sunroom Structure

Before starting the installation, evaluate the sunroom's structure. Consider factors like insulation, the amount of glass, exposure to direct sunlight, and room size. These will influence the load calculation and the capacity of the mini-split system needed.

Determine the Best Type of Indoor Mini-Split Unit for the Sunroom

Be sure to select a type of unit that works with the sunroom’s construction and a location where it can distribute air evenly. Keep standard location installation best practices in mind, avoid placing the unit where furniture could block the airflow, and remember that accessibility is also crucial for maintenance purposes.

Depending on the sunroom's design and wall space, the best type of AC unit for the sunroom will vary. If the sunroom has standard construction side walls, it’s likely that a wall-mount unit would be allow for the simplest & fastest installation process. If the sunroom has glass on three out of 4 walls and there is no ideal location for a wall-mount unit, you could consider installing a recessed ceiling cassette, which will provide perfectly even air distribution throughout the space. If the sunroom features higher knee walls, floor-mounted indoor units can be an excellent option as they won’t obstruct the sunroom’s view.

Install the Outdoor Unit with Care

While the focus of your client will often be the aesthetics of the indoor unit, be sure to consider the best location for the outdoor unit. Sunrooms are often situated near landscape drop-offs so that they sit on top of the view. The outdoor unit needs to be securely installed, ideally on a concrete pad. Depending on the location of the sunroom, the outdoor unit may need to be installed on the closest level surface. The outdoor unit must also provide accessibility for routine maintenance.

Use the GREE System Builder

GREE's System Builder is an excellent tool to assist you in designing an optimal mini-split system tailored to your client's specific needs. It can help you choose the best mini-split components, ensuring efficient and effective heating and cooling performance for the sunroom.

Ductless mini-splits offer a robust solution to the unique heating and cooling needs of sunrooms. They deliver energy-efficient, customizable comfort, and a range of installation options to accommodate diverse sunroom designs. As HVAC technicians, your valuable expertise in installing these systems can significantly enhance the comfort and functionality of your clients' sunrooms, making them a year-round paradise. We encourage you to leverage GREE's System Builder to design an optimized mini-split system that meets your client's sunroom needs, and consider becoming a GREE Select Dealer so you can offer your clients the best options for rebates and warranty’s! Utilizing the right resources and technology, you can provide top-tier service and deliver ultimate comfort to your clients.