In summers, there’s nothing better and more comforting than an air-conditioned house or space. Thankfully, modern-day HVAC systems or central heating and cooling systems are capable of cooling the complete home. These units are relatively expensive and, when buying, may require careful financial planning. Some people find these systems over budget and opt for other options which are relatively cheaper, like a window AC, portable AC, or a mini-split system.
Window ACs and portable ACs are complete units by themselves and do not require any outdoor unit or a compressor. The evaporator and condenser units are housed within a single casing in both these cooling systems. Unlike these systems, a mini-split is a little different. It consists of an outdoor compressor unit and indoor air handlers.
Often, people contact us to figure out whether they can run two AC units with one compressor. Since this question must have entered your mind as well at one time or the other, we thought now was the best time to address the query.
Do You Need Two AC Units If You Have An HVAC System?
If you pay attention to the size of the AC when buying your new HVAC system or central heating and cooling system, you will have no need for a second AC. Such a concern comes up only if a mistake is made in the size while investing in a new system. So, never assume you know the correct capacity of the AC for your residence or commercial building. It is best to get your home-sized and buy a system that matches its requirements.
If you have made new additions to your existing structure leading to an increase in the square footage, it would be ideal to buy a window AC or a mini-split unit for that area. It will prevent any unnecessary load on your existing HVAC system.
If I Install A New Central AC For Part Of The Structure, Can I Connect Two AC Units With A Single Compressor?
If you have made a mistake and want to buy a new AC to compensate for the undersized unit, that is not a very good idea. It is because you are only compounding the problem. Your undersized AC will continue to work at the same speed and capacity to cool your house. Adding a new AC to the mix will not be very helpful until and unless you isolate the cooling of that part of the building and install a completely independent system for it, almost like zoning.
A crucial thing to remember here is that a compressor or the outdoor unit and the indoor unit are paired systems. It means the compressor is built to work with only its paired indoor unit. So when installing a new central AC for the remaining part of the structure, you cannot overburden the compressor by connecting it to a new indoor unit. Two things can happen if you do this –
1. The compressor will not be able to bear the load and overheat. It may even lead to a fried compressor.
2. Both air conditioning units will develop faults and raise your repair bills.
How About Mini-Split Systems?
Now, these little devils are more inclined to work better with a single compressor. Mini-split systems are unique because, in these units, the compressor is built to handle the load of multiple independent air handlers. Most advanced compressors can support up to 8 air handlers per zone.
Can Two Air Handlers Be Run With One Compressor?
Yes, in a mini-split system, one compressor can easily bear the load of two air handlers. If the compressor is more powerful, it can support even more. But again, the size of a mini-split system should be in accordance with the needs of your house.
Advantages Of Mini-Split Systems
Now that you know only in mini-split systems is it possible to attach more than one air handler to a single compressor, let us briefly have a look at the advantages this setup presents –
1. Flexibility Of Control – Each air handler works independently of the other in a mini-split system. Hence, the occupant of each room can set the temperature according to their preference, and it will not interfere with the comfort of others. So elders can keep the cooling temperature a little on the higher side while the younger generation can keep their room as cool as they want.
2. Energy-Efficient Solution – The other benefit of mini-split systems is that they are very energy-efficient. Moreover, you need not run the air handlers of the unoccupied rooms. Keeping them switched off is absolutely okay. It will deliver power savings. So you get the benefit of dual savings keeping your energy bills and carbon footprint low.
3. Cheaper Than An HVAC System – HVAC systems are whole-house heating and cooling systems. They are powerful and massive and cost a pretty penny. On the other hand, a mini-split system only has a big compressor and small air handlers, making for a relatively cheaper unit. Above all, you can add air handlers one at a time instead of all in one go if there are any financial constraints.
4. Do Not Require Any Ductwork – The best part of mini-split systems is that they are ductless. So if there is no ductwork in your house or the existing one is damaged, you do not need to install a new one.
Disadvantage Of A Mini-Split System
The only disadvantage of a mini-split system is that its cost of installation can be high depending on the number of air handlers you are planning to connect to the compressor. However, if you plan for the installation cost in the budget itself, it should not come across as a shock.
One can attach two or more air handlers to a single compressor in mini-split systems. In any other case, we do not recommend that as it will make for an unpaired system which will be stressful for both the indoor and the outdoor unit. When in doubt, always ask for a professional opinion. The air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning will be glad to be of help.