With COVID-19 over a month in, you’ve probably purchased a stockpile of canned and dried food just in case you need to shelter in place in Arizona if you get sick or our governor, Doug Ducey, issues a more strict shelter in place order. But where is all of your food stored? Chances are, you’re now storing food and other supplies that are sensitive to the heat in your garage, Arizona room, or some other unconditioned storage room in your home.
With temperatures expected to reach over 100 degrees next week, you may want to consider coming up with a plan to make sure your goods don’t spoil during our Arizona summer heat that lasts all summer long.
Let’s talk about a few solutions to help prevent the Arizona heat from damaging your food stockpile.
What is a Mini Split?
Mini split air conditioners have been around since 1973 and are widely used in Europe, Mexico, and other countries due to their efficiency ratings, low operating costs, and the ability to offer zone cooling in a home. Mini splits have a seperate remote control that allows you to turn your system on when you’re in the room or off when you leave your home.
There are ductless and ducted mini splits; each of them have their particular advantages when installed properly. For storage spaces and garages, we recommend Trane / Mitsubishi ductless mini split air conditioners because the system can stand alone, as the title says, without any ductwork. This means less loss through ductwork (since typical ductwork can account for as much as 30% cooling loss if not installed correctly).
A ductless mini split is a heat pump, which means it has a small outdoor condenser unit that doesn’t take up much space like a traditional heat pump system, and an indoor, high wall, mounted head which we refer to as the evaporator. The indoor evaporator is what pumps the cold air into your garage or other storage space to help keep your food and other valuables cool during summer. And since it’s a heat pump system, it has a cooling mode and a heating mode (in case you feel the need to use it in the winter months to heat the space).
The great thing about Trane / Mitsubishi mini split HVAC systems is that they are all variable capacity, which means the systems will only use the capacity they need (when it’s super hot outside, they will use their maximum capacity, versus when it’s not so hot outside, they only use a portion of their maximum capacity, which helps you save money on energy bills). That’s why mini splits are so efficient and are eligible for ductless mini split rebates at $225 per ton from SRP!
How are Ductless Mini Splits Installed in Phoenix?
With anything, proper accessibility is needed in order to install these types of air conditioning systems. Generally, installing a mini split AC for your garage is rather simple because your main electrical panel is located on the side of your garage, making a new electrical run to the outside condenser easy.
One major thing to note is that a mini split, like all air conditioning systems, must be sized appropriately to the space it is going to be cooling. Bigger is not better—the right size is better!
We see a lot of poorly installed mini split systems that don’t operate properly. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a contractor:
Are they trained and experienced technicians who know the technical differences between a mini split and a regular air conditioning system?
Are they a preferred Mitsubishi Ductless Pro Diamond Dealer?
Will the contractor be using a proper flaring tool and pressure testing the new copper lineset? (Most issues we see with improperly installed systems are due to leaky flare fittings from untrained technicians)
Will the contractor evacuate your system properly and be using a digital micron gauge to verify that the system is leak free before releasing refrigerant?
Trane / Mitsubishi mini splits have a mobile application that allows for programming of the air conditioning system and full Wi-Fi enabled usage, which means, if you forget to turn it on or off, you can just use your phone to control the temperature. We can also connect the system to any Wi-Fi thermostat of your choice.
Other Benefits of Mini Splits
Trane / Mitsubishi mini split air conditioning systems are also extremely quiet. Oftentimes, you will not even hear them running unless it’s a really hot day outside and they’re running at high speed.
If you’re one of those people that has multiple home projects going, especially at a time when we are all stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, a mini split can condition your garage to whatever temperature you need for you to be comfortable while working out there. It will generally take about 10-20 minutes to cool down your garage once you set your mini split at your desired temperature, and because mini splits are so efficient, you won’t be burning a hole in your wallet to keep that area comfortable. Plus, if you park your car in your garage, it can help ease the extreme heat when you go to get inside your car in the hot Arizona summer months!
Other Important Measures to Consider When Installing a Mini Split for a Garage or Storage Room
It’s important to ensure the attic and walls are insulated in your Arizona room, garage, or space that you are cooling down in order to keep the cool air from escaping to the outside. In addition, properly insulated ceilings and walls allow us to size the air conditioning system right for your space and keep your operating costs as low as possible so you don’t have crazy high utility bills in the summer months. Our efficiency and comfort advisers can help determine exactly what size mini split for your garage or Arizona room will keep the space cool as efficiently as possible.