A previous post discussed some of the factors to consider when choosing between a single-zone or multi-zone mini split design. While greater efficiency can be achieved with single-zone mini splits, a multi-zone installation will normally cost a little less than a comparable single-zone installation depending on equipment. Part of the process in deciding on a design approach involves trading off lifetime efficiency savings of a single-zone system with smaller initial up-front installation costs for a multi-zone system.
BUILDING LAYOUT: The configuration of the building and zones to be conditioned impact design choices. For example, a typical one-story motel with adjacent rooms in a row would lend itself to a straightforward single-zone design. However, a complex floor plan with varying room sizes and heating/cooling loads may be better suited to a multi-zone approach.
Limited real estate for outdoor units or a concern for aesthetics will possibly limit the design to a multi-zone approach. The ease or difficulty of running refrigeration lines for each indoor unit may also favor one design or the other.
We perform detailed site surveys to gather all of the necessary data to perform a thorough evaluation of the building structure and its cooling and heating load requirements.
RELIABILITY: While EEI installs top-of-the-line mini splits with a reputation for quality and low maintenance, on rare occasions equipment failure can occur. As a Fujitsu Elite Contractor and Halcyon dealer, EEI is committed and equipped to provide prompt service in the event of a need for service.
Concern for reliability may favor adoption of a single-zone design. A failure in a multi-zone installation may impact several zones, while failures in single-zone installations are limited to one zone.
In conclusion, mini split technology, whether it be single-zone or multi-zone, provides an efficient solution for heating and cooling needs in a variety of building configurations. Engage a knowledgeable and experienced contractor to evaluate your specific application and propose a design, be it single-zone or multi-zone, which addresses the particular challenges of your space conditioning needs.
I have found that each site requires careful consideration of installation logistics, customer preferences and mini split system limitations.