What Amp Breaker for Mini Split – Expert Opinion

Mini-split heating and cooling units let you regulate the temperature in specific rooms or areas. They can be a suitable option for energy-efficient new homes that need a modest space cooling system and room extensions when extending or building distribution ducting is not practical. You must thus pose a question. What is an Amp breaker for a mini-split?

For micro split systems up to 24,000 BTU/2 tons, you require a breaker with a minimum current of 25 amps. For 36,000 BTU/3 ton systems, a 30 amp breaker is adequate, and a 50 amp breaker can handle bigger systems up to 60,000 BTU/5 tons.

How Many Amps for a Mini Split?

You’re really happy that you decided to spend money on a mini split for cooling or heating. Whether this new unit is useful for your house or workplace, one thing you will need moving ahead is a circuit breaker. In this method, your micro split won’t be harmed if your house or place of business receives excessive power, as from a thunderstorm.

For your conventional air conditioner or heater, you may have been able to identify the correct circuit breaker, but you’re unsure what you need for your mini split. Which size of breaker is ideal?

You should have some knowledge of your ductless mini split on hand to respond to that query. 

Amps Mca

Minimum circuit amps or MCA amps indicate the minimum quantity of power wiring your mini split can utilize. Knowing the MCA provides information on how much electrical current is needed for a unit to operate in a steady state if you have one on your roof.

Amps Mop

No, not a mop like the one you use for cleaning the house, but MOP, or maximum overcurrent protection. This provides information on the largest size of your overcurrent protection device, which is another name for a fuse or breaker.

This value can be calculated by adding the rated current of the larger motor of the device to any loads operating at 1.0 amps or higher simultaneously.

Fans Amps

A fan within your ductless mini split consumes a specific amount of amps to operate. This is usually not much, with 0.25 amps being normal. You may need more or fewer amps for the fan in your ductless mini split.

Amps for Compressors

Amps are also used to power the compressor, one of the main ductless mini split components. In comparison to the fan, you should anticipate a larger number, perhaps around 17.3 amps. Once more, it depends on the particular ductless mini split model you own.

Rated Amps for Heating and Cooling

Additionally, your micro split’s heating and cooling capacities are rated at a specific number of amps. These might have similar currents, like 17.55 amps each.

Wiring

The wiring is a crucial factor in determining the right size of the breaker for your ductless mini split. You’ll frequently encounter the American wire gauge, also known as Brown & Sharpe wire gauge.

You should typically use a 20-amp breaker if your wiring is 12 AWG or even larger.

Power Requirements for a Mini Split (With Wire Size and Breaker Size)

The Mini Split AC/Heat Pump is quickly replacing other heating and cooling systems in common installation locations such as garages, workshops, and home expansions. Since mini splits are electrically driven, a service line for electricity must be extended to the location of the outdoor component.

The power needs for small split systems are as follows:

  • Most micro split systems up to 12,000 BTUs can operate on 110/120 Volt.
  • 6000 BTU and above on 208/230 volts.
  • Although using 208/230V power for some 6000 BTU micro split ACs and heat pumps appear weird, it is real.

The main topic of this article is the electrical connection that will supply the correct voltage and wattage needed to power mini splits of various sizes. You can locate the data you need quickly thanks to the inclusion of simple-to-read charts and instructions on how to use them.

Wires of the proper size (gauge) are required for all electrical systems and appliances in order to effectively and safely handle the current that the system will draw. While most mini splits require 220 volts, some smaller ones can run on 110 volts. You can use the charts below to select your system’s appropriate wire gauges and circuit breakers.

Mini Split Power Requirements at 110V

For a micro split heating and cooling system to operate safely and effectively, it is critical to obtain the correct wiring.

110v Mini Split Wire Size

110V Mini SplitMinimum Circuit AmpacityWire Size
9000 BTU14 AMP12Gauge
12000 BTU15 AMP12 Gauge

A 12,000 BTU micro split uses how many amps? The aforementioned chart shows that 14 amps are the correct answer. Moreover, what gauge wire should I use for a 12000 BTU mini split? You are instructed to use a 12 gauge wire by the chart.

110V Mini Split Breaker Size

110V Mini SplitBreaker Size
9000 BTU15 AMP
12000 BTU20 AMP

Do you need to know the required size of the circuit breaker for a 12000 BTU mini split? According to the chart, it should be 20 amps. The 9,000 BTU system just needs a 15 amp circuit breaker, as you can see. This demonstrates that a system will need more electrical power the more cooling power it has.

Mini Split Power Requirements at 220V

All micro splits over 12000 BTUs must use 220 electricity, as mentioned.

Mini Split Wire Size For 220v

9000 BTU12 AMP12 Gauge
220 Mini SplitMinimum Circuit AmpacityWire Size
12000 BTU15 AMP12 Gauge
18000 BTU18 AMP10 Gauge
24000 BTU20 AMP10 Gauge
30000 BTU22 AMP10 Gauge 
36000 BTU25 AMP10 Gauge

What gauge wire do I need for my 18,000 BTU micro split? According to this chart, a ten gauge wire should be used. For a 24000 BTU mini split, what size wire is necessary? It is the same gauge (10 gauge) as the other larger sizes on the chart.

220V Mini Split Breaker Size

220V Mini SplitBreaker Size
9000 BTU15 AMP
12000 BTU15 AMP
18000 BTU20 AMP
24000 BTU25 AMP
30000 BTU30 AMP
36000 BTU30 AMP

How much of a breaker do I need for a 24,000 BTU micro split? A 24,000 BTU mini split requires a 25 amp circuit breaker, which is the proper size. It’s okay to use a 30-amp breaker as well.

What Functions Do Mini Splits Serve?

A true marvel of contemporary HVAC engineering is the mini split. This is the first system for ductless heating and cooling—outstanding cooling and heating capabilities (at very high efficiency). Today, we’ll examine a tiny split’s operation.

Let’s go over some of its incredible capabilities before we see how ductless mini splits function:

  • It lacks ducts. Unlike central air (conditioning) and furnaces, you don’t require ducting (heating).
  • Heating and cooling are both possible with a mini-split. It functions like a heat pump, moving heat into and out of your house.
  • Great energy effectiveness. Mini-splits frequently have a 20+ SEER rating (cooling efficiency) and a 10+ HSPF rating due to how they operate (heating efficiency).

Before mini splits, all whole-house HVAC systems were ductless, expensive, and could only supply cooling or heating.

A refrigeration cycle is a foundation of how these split system mini-splits operate. The compression and expansion of refrigerants (such as R410A, R22, and others) are used in this well-known thermodynamic cycle to transport heat.

We must be aware of its three key components to comprehend how micro splits AC/heat pumps function:

  • Here, the crucial compressor is found in the outdoor unit.
  • One or more air handlers installed on a wall make up the indoor unit.
  • Lines for refrigerators 

Seven steps for the operation of a micro split air conditioner

  • A low-pressure liquid form of compressed refrigerant through refrigeration lines moves from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit.
  • In the evaporator cooling coils, which are housed in the indoor air handler, the liquid refrigerant expands and changes to a gas. This endothermic process implies that the coils are cooled during it. Warm indoor air is drawn in and forced over these chilly coils by an indoor air blower. This dehumidifies the air while cooling it (air moisture is condensed on these cold coils). We notice this as the inside air handler blows this chilly, dry air into our house.
  • Warm indoor air is drawn in and forced over these chilly coils by an indoor air blower. This dehumidifies the air while cooling it (air moisture is condensed on these cold coils). This is what we experience when the indoor air handler blows chilly air into our home—this cool, dry air.
  • Through the refrigerant lines that link the two units, gaseous refrigerant (high pressure) now returns to the outside unit. On this sketch, it is indicated by a pink line (cold vapor): workings of ductless mini split ac.
  • The refrigerant is compressed (by the tiny split compressor) and transformed back into liquid in the outside unit. This process produces a lot of heat and is exothermic. The heat from outdoor units is a result of this. The compressor’s primary function is to extract every last bit of heat that has been accumulated from this refrigerant.
  • Through refrigerant lines, the refrigerant returns to the interior unit once it has cooled back down to a liquid state.
  • Once more, the tiny split refrigeration cycle is just getting started. Until we get the desired indoor temperature, this cycle is repeated repeatedly.

FAQ

What size breakers do I need for a 2-zone mini split? 

The system’s size and voltage will determine the solution. A 20 amp breaker can power an 18,000 BTU 2 zone system with two 9,000 BTU indoor units. The required breaker is 30 amps if the condenser is a 36,000 BTU unit and the inside units are each 18,000 BTU. A 40 amp breaker is necessary for any system with two or more zones and 48,000 BTU.

What drawbacks does a small split have? 

Mini-splits’ biggest drawback is their price. Each ton (12,000 Btu per hour) of cooling capacity for these systems costs between $1,500 and $2,000 on average. This may cost twice as much as window units of comparable capacity and costs around 30% more than central systems (not including ductwork).

Does having a multi-zone micro split change the size of the breaker? 

Actually, no. The overall cooling capacity of the unit, not the number of zones, dictates the size of the circuit breakers.

As the charts above demonstrate, the breaker size is increased along with the cooling capacity. A multi-zone micro split’s total (combined) capacity will still exist, but it will be distributed among several zones.

What is the purpose of 14 4 wires in micro split systems? 

The control wire for some micro split heat pumps has four conductors. The required wiring for your ductless system should be described in the installation manual.

Are mini-splits energy-intensive? 

Mini-splits are an energy-efficient solution because they typically use much less electricity than central air conditioning and heating systems. The majority of them use 600 watts per hour or less.

Final Thoughts

An energy-efficient mini-split is unusual since it is designed to transfer heat. You can win if you combine this with the absence of ductwork. Every piece of information you require for a mini-split is included in this essay.

So what amp breaker is for a mini-split? Depending on how many British thermal units, or BTUs, the micro split system utilizes, the amp range changes. Typically, each mini split requires between 15 and 45 amps. On the low end, that is roughly 110 to 120 volts; on the high end, that is 208 to 240 volts.

You must comprehend the information in this article to select the ideal amp breaker. Regardless of what you decide, it will be comfy for you.

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