Mini-Split Tips During the Winter Season

The most important tips and advice for keeping your Bryant mini split system operating at highest levels of efficiency throughout the coldest winter months include the following:

1. Choose a Higher-Heat Mini Split System for Extremely Cold Temperatures

To protect your home’s interior from the frigid temperatures of winter’s coldest days and enjoy healthy home comfort, choose a heat pump split system since it will keep your inside home environment warm and cozy, even when the temperature drops below zero F. When shopping for the ideal mini split system, check the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) rating for different models. The models with the highest HSPF scores will perform with the greatest reliability and efficiency to keep your home warm during the coldest days of the year. Current model Bryant mini split systems offer HSPF ratings up to 15.0 and they also have SEER ratings (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios) as high as 42.0, which is excellent in terms of saving you money! Also be aware of what outdoor temperatures your model can run to as this varies on each model.

2. Position Your Outdoor Condenser Unit for Sheltered Operation During Cold Weather and Snowfall

The outdoor condenser for your mini split system must have proper placement in order to operate at full capacity for keeping your home warm during icy cold winter weather. If possible, mount the condenser under an overhang on an outer wall of your home; without impeding airflow. This overhang will serve as a roof over the condenser to protect it from any buildup of snow and ice on top of it. Be sure, however, to leave adequate space between the overhanging “roof” and the top of your condenser to ensure its good operation. The condenser unit should be mounted high enough above the ground so be well above the height of any accumulated snow, including snowdrifts following windy weather conditions.

3. Keep Outdoor Heat Pump Unit Clear of Snow & Ice

During cold weather when you operate your mini split for heating your home’s interior, frost will often accumulate on the outdoor condenser coil. By turning the condenser controls to the defrost setting, you can cause the frost to melt. The resulting moisture will drip into the unit’s drain pan. Although this will remove the frost from the coil, it can lead to another problem, since the dripping water may freeze before it leaves the drain pan. If the resulting ice gets too thick, it may freeze the fan blades to the pan.

This frozen moisture may also lodge between the coil fins and crack the coil. Because repairing this type of damage can be costly, it is best to use a drain pan heater to prevent ice buildup and damage to your mini split condenser coil during extremely cold weather. Most models we install have a built-in base pan heater to prevent this.

4. Learn to Compensate for Efficiency Challenges

Since the heat pump of your mini split ductless heater system is not capable of heating up a cold house rapidly, learn to compensate for this fact. At times when the house is not occupied, like during weekdays when all members of your household are at work or school, don’t turn the indoor temperature below 60 degrees F.  During longer times when no one is home, such as during family vacations and on holiday weekends, you may lower the temperature of your home’s interior but realize it will take longer to catch up. Even at this lower temperature setting, the unit will continue to circulate the air, maintaining a good uniform level of warmth throughout to prevent isolated cold spots from forming.

5. Perform Regular Maintenance

Having your ductless mini-split heat pump serviced on a regular basis can improve efficiency, and reduce the likelihood of having a breakdown during the cold stretches.


If you are considering installing a convenient mini-split HVAC system for heating and cooling your home, be sure to consult the experts at Pharo Heating and Cooling located in Madison, WI. As winter approaches, you want to be sure of having the ideal heating installation for top capacity heating of your entire home at a cost-efficient rate throughout the coldest days of the season. The experienced experts at our trusted company will answer all your questions and provide you with detailed information and excellent tips for gaining full capacity heating and cooling from your Bryant ductless system. When you obtain a Bryant mini split system from an excellent service provider, you can be assured of receiving the best product, installation, and services currently available.

Pharo Heating & Cooling is a full-service HVAC contractor in Madison. Our team provides top quality service for new construction and replacement furnace and air conditioner needs. For more information about annual furnace inspection or concerns, give us a call at 608-849-5410 or submit a contact form through our website.

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