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Is it possible/efficient to have One mini split unit in the living room and remove all the ducts in that room to then have the central AC only cool bedrooms?

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  • Might be efficient for that room only, but not the house. Reducing heat gain for the house will be more efficient.
    – crip659
    Nov 13, 2023 at 23:02
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    Depends on the duct layout, the specs of the A/C unit, etc.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 13, 2023 at 23:06
  • The house is roughly 1300 sqft, 4 med/small bedrooms and an open kitchen/living room area. I was thinking of running a 24K Mini split unit in the living room/kitchen and removing those ducts to have the central ac unit cool down the rooms. Could also add attic fans to possibly reduce the heat?
    – Jona
    Nov 13, 2023 at 23:57
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    When you'll want heating, you'll really want heating though. Ask Texans about that. And modern Asian style wide range heat pumps would've worked great in that Texas cold snap. The problem is, the domestic makers have a near lock on the HVAC business, and they really push their clunky old "That 70's heat pump" which has poor cold performance. A couple million homes failing over to resistive heat strips at high duty cycle brought the grid to its knees. Nov 14, 2023 at 20:29
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    Where is your thermostat currently located? Usually it's in the central part of the house, and if you stop your AC from reaching that central area by closing ducts, then you loose control of your cooling moderation in areas where you do have AC ducts still open.
    – Milwrdfan
    Nov 14, 2023 at 22:45

2 Answers 2

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Possibly.

However it might also be efficient to let the mini-split be active and use fan/blower to circulate air throughout the house. One example of this is for dehumidification. On the old "bang-bang" A/C systems, the units have to run for a long time for dehumidification to be effective. Well if it's deep clouds (no solar gain) and 75F outside, the big system will run 2 minutes an hour, which won't dehumidify a thing. However, if you run "blower only" to circulate air, and have only that mini-split running, it's going to run continuous at low speed, doing A/C for the whole house. That means it will do a good job removing water.

So I would just make sure your return ducting is tip-top (so it works properly) and try that.

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Alternative suggestion: if you already have forced air, you're probably in a great position to take advantage of a ground-source heat pump, which is even more efficient than air-sourced, and let it take over both cooling and heating tasks.

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