Ductless Mini-Split Controls

ductless mini-split remote controller

Many homeowners are switching to ductless mini-split systems. After all, a mini-split is an excellent solution to all your heating and cooling problems. With a mini-split in place, you must have a controller that can unlock your unit’s full potential while adapting to the specific needs of your household.

Having better control over your mini-split means you and your family experience better home comfort. The right control strategy assures you that even problem areas such as new additions, sunrooms, and attics can become the perfect retreats you wish them to be.

Finding the perfect controller doesn’t just mean your mini-split can run at optimum efficiency. It also makes your system easier to use so that you can cater to your family’s specific preferences without difficulty. In this article, we discuss what you need to know about ductless mini-split controls.

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What Is A Ductless Mini-Split Controller?

An HVAC controller is a device that lets you communicate with your ductless heating and cooling system. It can be a simple, handheld remote control that features essential functions. It can also be a sophisticated wireless device that allows you to control your unit even from your smartphone.

Each indoor air handler is equipped with sensors that control the heating, cooling, or dehumidification of your system. You use a controller to signal these sensors so that you achieve your desired comfort setting. The inverter technology in your system will then assist in maintaining that comfort level.

Mini-splits are a perfect solution to your heating, cooling, and energy-efficiency issues. However, it is the controller that lets you fully customize your comfort and direct it according to your wants and needs. Paired with the right controller, you can rest easy knowing that you can harness your mini-split system’s full potential at your fingertips.

In this article, we will run through the different types of controls so that you know all the options you have. Each type of controller has automation and flexibility capabilities. Hence, it is best to understand each in-depth before you decide.

Controller Functions

image of a couple with a ductless heat pump

Depending on your system’s make, model, and brand, different controllers feature different functions. Here are a few of the standard controller functions you may see in your controller:

On/Off Display

As the name suggests, it is the indicator as to when the unit is operating.

Mode Setting

This lets you set the mode of operation. There are typically four modes available. These modes are AUTO, DRY, COOL, and HEAT. AUTO mode is when the system automatically changes between HEAT and COOL modes. This means that it switches to HEAT when the temperature is low and to COOL when the temperature goes up a specific temperature. DRY mode is when the compressor cycles on and off for a few minutes, depending on the room temperature. COOL mode what you use to cool the room. Lastly, HEAT mode is for when you want to warm up the room, especially during the cold season.

Economical Mode

This mode is used to activate the economy or sleep function. When enabled, your system raises the set temperature in steps. For instance, the temperature increases by one degree after an hour, then two degrees after two hours, and so forth. This function is typically used when the occupants of the room are going to sleep as the required cooling reduces during sleep. This mode is also used to help save energy.

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Fan Speed

This function determines the speed of the fan. It could be changed to Low, Medium, High, or Auto. When set to Auto, the fan speed automatically changes following the set temperature and the actual room temperature.


The timer is used for when there is a set auto-on or auto-off in your unit. Simply put, it allows you to set the number of hours until the system turns on or off.

Air Louver

This function lets you direct the airflow to where you want it. Some units have an up or down control. Whereas, some units have a right and left louver control.


Basic Controls

Indoor units come complete with a handheld controller out of the box. Most homeowners are surprised when they find out that many indoor units do not come equipped with a smart thermostat right off the bat.

This handheld controller works like your TV remote wherein it lets you communicate with one indoor unit at a time. It allows you to manually control the indoor unit by turning it on or off. It also enables you to set the specific temperature, and whether your system will be in heating or cooling mode. Lastly, it lets you manage the vane direction and airspeed. Some controllers are also equipped with timers and sensors to allow better convenience and comfort.

If you only have a single-zone unit for a room that is not frequently used, then this type of controller may be enough for you. However, if you have a multi-zone mini-split, then you might want to choose a controller that will allow you to control them from a single source easily.

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Programmable Controls

remote controller for ductless mini-split system

If you are thinking of having a multi-zone mini-split system, then you might want a device that lets you control all the indoor units with a single controller. Otherwise, you will come to realize how much of a hassle it is to go to each zone and manually control every individual unit.

A programmable thermostat has the standard controller’s functionality. However, it has an added feature called automated daily settings. This allows you to pre-program the temperature ranges you want for any specific day. It is equipped with technology that will enable it to work through walls. This way, all connected units receive particular settings and operate based on the parameters you have set, including the airflow direction, fan speed, temperature, and operation mode. These parameters also include when the units will turn on and how long they will operate.

The programmable controller should be the same brand as your mini-split system. Otherwise, you’ll have an incompatible controller that won’t be able to communicate with your indoor units properly.

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Smart Controls

Smart thermostats have more capabilities than just scheduling set parameters. It has features such as real-time weather notifications and predictions that allow it to adjust the unit’s setting automatically. It can remember your comfort preferences and learn to anticipate your specific settings depending on the time of the day.

Multi-Zone Sensors

Some smart thermostats also come equipped with multi-zone sensors. These help you with home safety and security. Sensors can detect the home’s humidity and occupancy. This way, it can ensure that all occupied rooms receive conditioned air at the preferred temperature. It can even control your dehumidifier, humidifier, and ventilator.

Smart thermostats can also connect to security devices like carbon monoxide or smoke detectors and cameras. You can receive alerts to your phone that notify you if your home’s temperature reaches dangerous levels. It can be because it is so cold that you risk bursting a pipe or it is too hot that your pet can get sick.

A downside to smart controllers is that they are more expensive than their counterparts. They are also more complex to install. For every indoor air handler, a smart thermostat along with a thermostat adapter needs to be installed by a professional, otherwise known as a dry contact. This is so they can communicate with one another. Another issue is that a smart thermostat might not even correctly work with mini-split heat pumps. If it does work, you might experience problems with its functionality. This includes difficulty adjusting the vane direction and fan speed, as well as controlling humidity.


Wi-fi Adapters

A smart thermostat may be a tempting option. However, if you want to up your home comfort level without the extra cost and confusion, then a wi-fi adapter is for you. It is undoubtedly one of the best control solutions available on the market. A wi-fi adapter has all the functionality of a programmable controller and the convenience of a smart thermostat. It is an easy-to-use device that won’t burn a hole in your budget.

Because they are brand-specific, you must make sure that you purchase a wi-fi adapter that is compatible with your mini-split. The device must be installed in each indoor unit and is controlled via an app to be downloaded on your smartphone, computer, or tablet. Once it is set up, you can have complete control over your unit at the comfort of your fingertips. This includes controlling the temperature settings, fan speed, airflow, dehumidification, and more.

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Integrated Controls

Do you have existing heating and cooling systems in your home, but you want to supplement them with a mini-split? If so, then you might want to consider purchasing a RedLink controller. It is an integrated control that allows you to control all your mini-split units together.

RedLink Technology allows you to connect up to 16 devices to your heating and cooling system. It allows you to manually operate two or more devices from your smart device or central controller. You don’t even have to worry as it surely won’t interfere with other wireless devices you have in your home. This way, you can supplement your current HVAC equipment and save on energy costs in the easiest way possible.



Understanding what different ductless accessories are, including controllers, and what they allow you to do means that you can create a home comfort strategy to suit your specific needs. If you are looking for more information on how controllers help you personalize your heating and cooling needs, contact a qualified technician. An expert has extensive knowledge and experience to help you choose and install a controller that suits your heating and cooling needs.

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te logoIf you are ready to switch to a ductless HVAC system or have more questions, call Townsend Energy today. Our experienced NATE-certified technicians will discuss your needs and requirements to help you find the best ductless HVAC system for you.

Townsend Energy is a full-service HVAC company that services residential and commercial properties throughout New England. We offer a range of heating and cooling services, including HVAC installations, repairs, tune-ups, and more. Our experienced, NATE certified professionals can find the best home heating and cooling solutions for your home while working with your budget. We aim to improve your home’s level of energy efficiency, comfort, and indoor air quality. We back our work by a warranty to ensure your satisfaction. Also, we provide free, in-home estimates. Call Townsend Energy today.

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