Do Mini Splits Use A Lot of Electricity? [Energy Efficiency]

Mini Split Energy Usage

The question of whether ductless air conditioners use a lot of electricity is a little tricky to answer. These systems can both heat and cool, and a mini split’s energy usage varies depending on the function. They also come in a variety of configurations, each with different power needs.

However, compared to other types of HVAC systems, mini splits are generally known for their energy efficiency. They’re Energy Star-certified and especially more efficient than combustion heating (oil, gas, even conventional electric) in the winter.  That makes them cheaper than electric or gas furnaces.

As a certified expert on mini splits and heat pumps, I’ll break down how to estimate your system’s power usage. I’ve been a product manager for the HVAC distributor Peirce Phelps for 14 years and specialize in high-efficiency products and models.

I also work with dozens of HVAC contractors who have put these systems in thousands of homes across Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware.

Click below to get a free product guide with more information. Or, if you live in one of those states I mentioned, you can set up a free consultation with a certified installer near you.


How Much Energy Does A Mini Split Use?

Mini split air conditioners average 600 watts of electricity, ranging from 545 to 1,000 watts. The heating range for heating mode is 1,000 to 7,500 watts. The amount of energy depends on heating and cooling capacity, outdoor temperature, and more.

Let’s translate that into how it affects your electric bill.

You pay for electricity by kilowatt hour, or kWh. That’s the amount of electricity required for producing 1,000 kw for one hour.

Using that calculation, 600 kw is .6 kWh per hour. For heating, let’s use the median 375 watts: 3.75 kWh per hour.

However, it’s crucial to remember that your system will not run at full capacity all the time. So, your daily usage is much less than simply multiply your hourly usage by 24.

With this low wattage, it’s also easy to combine heat pumps with solar power.

We’ll look at comparisons to other systems a little later.

How Mini Splits Use Electricity

Mini splits require energy to power the blower fans and compressor. These components circulate air and move refrigerant in a loop through the system, respectively.

This results in heat transfer. The system moves heat in or out of the house depending on the season. In particular, it’s much more efficient than heating up a coil or burning gas or oil to generate heat.

Variable-Speed / Inverter Technology

Instead of only turning on and off, like a central system, a mini split heat Inverter pump compressor operates at varying speeds depending on the heating or cooling needs of the space.

The compressor doesn’t have to run at full capacity all the time, resulting in lower energy consumption. And, by constantly adjusting, it maintains a more consistent temperature.

Energy Usage Comparisons

We can compare the energy consumption of mini splits with other types of heating and cooling systems. Since they don’t all use the same energy sources, we’ll look at Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) and (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) SEER ratings for cooling. The higher the rating, the less energy they use.

Similarly, Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures heating efficiency. Finally, Coefficient of Performance (COP) measures the amount of energy a unit consumes versus the amount of heating or cooling it produces. The higher number, the more heating or cooling you get from a unit of energy.

Mini Split Vs Baseboard Heaters

A baseboard heater uses about .33kWh, but they run at full capacity all the time. But each room has a separate unit, so that adds up to much more.

Ultimately, heat pumps are up to 300% more efficient. They also provide cooling.

Mini Split Vs Gas, Oil, or Propane Furnace

Gas, oil, or propane furnaces have HSPF ratings ranging from 7 to 9.4 with COP ratios ranging .86 to .94. from Mini splits can achieve HSPF ratings of up to 12.5 and COP ratios of 2 or more (think 86% for a furnace vs. 200% for a ductless system)

Mini Split Vs. Window Unit or Portable AC

When it comes to cool air, mini splits can achieve EER ratings of up to 18 which is significantly higher than the average EER rating of 12 for window ACs.

Mini Split Vs. Central Air

Mini splits can achieve EER ratings of up to 30 and SEER ratings of up to 24, which is comparable to the average SEER rating of central air conditioning systems.

How Much Electricity Do Mini Splits Use? (FAQs & More)

There’s no one answer to the question, “How much energy does a mini split use?” You can use them in many different configurations. And, various setups require different amount of power.

It depends on factors like how many rooms you’re treating. And whether you’re using them for cooling only or for heating as well.

Generally speaking, however, a mini split’s energy consumption is less than that of other comparable heating and cooling systems. They’re Energy Star-certified, and you can set them to use less energy than normal.

In this article, I’ll explain how you can calculate a mini split’s energy consumption based on how you plan to use it. I’m an expert in high-efficiency HVAC products thanks to my 14 years of experience as a product manager at Peirce Phelps, an HVAC distributor.

I also collaborate with dozens of HVAC professionals who have installed these systems in thousands of homes throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware.

You can click the link below to download a free product guide with more details. Or, if you live in any of the states I mentioned, you can arrange a no-cost consultation with a certified installer in your area.

Are you ready to learn more? Get a free consultation to learn more about reliable mini split installers in Cherry Hill, NJ or anywhere in Pennsylvania, New Jersey Delaware, or Maryland.