A ductless system makes use of a condenser that is found outside, and air handling units inside each room. It is the refrigerant that makes the indoor air cold and blows it out of the room. The heat removed from the room travels through a conduit to the condenser outside and is released into the atmosphere.
Air handler fans are designed to be quiet, making sure they don’t get louder than central AC, and are significantly quieter than a standard plug-in fan. The condenser is the loudest part of the system and is often placed outside of the house, similar to central air conditioning.
Installing a ductless system requires air handlers to be installed in every room, either mounted on the ceiling or wall, or recessed into the ceiling or wall if you prefer them to be flush with the surface. Air handlers can be controlled individually or collectively if linked to a common thermostat.
If you want to be able to control different air conditioning zones with different temperatures you’ll need to have multiple thermostats installed in your home. You might want to have separate thermostats upstairs and downstairs, or in little-used spaces, like a guest room. Most ductless systems can be programmed to control four separate zones within a home.
What are the benefits of ductless systems?
A ductless mini-split air conditioning system is very easy to install for a home without ducts. Homeowners usually have a choice in the type of air handlers that are mounted and where they are located in the house. Slightly more pricey are those who lie flush with the ceiling or wall, but can be more aesthetically pleasing.
To accommodate the installation of the ductwork needed for central air conditioning, holes will need to be cut into your home’s walls and ceilings, and you’ll probably lose some closet space. With a ductless system, however, the only retrofitting needed is to cut a small home to allow the air handlers installed in your home to be connected to the condenser unit installed outdoors.
Ductless air conditioning systems tend to be more energy-efficient as they don’t use any large pathways for air travel. Ductless systems are generally about 30% more energy-efficient than central AC, which translates into lower utility bills. The energy waste is caused by leaks, holes, and gaps in seams in the ductwork.
A mini-split system allows you to set “zones” in your home so that you’re not cooling your entire house at the same time. For example, where bedrooms are situated upstairs, homeowners can easily just adjust the bedroom temperature during bedtime without worrying about the temperature downstairs until morning. By doing this you can save a lot of money on your energy bills.
A ductless system is much better than a window unit due to the fact that they don’t require a window to be partially open, which can compromise the safety and pest prevention of your home. Since it doesn’t have to be placed in a window, a ductless system is much more flexible in terms of where you place it in the room. You can also get heat during winter through the ductless units and thus have year-round comfort through their dual functionality.
If you decide on a ductless mini-split air conditioning system, an AC professional can have that installed in your home in about a day. They will take a measurement of your home to know the required number of units that it needs to effectively cool it.
Installation of a ductless system needs to be done by a professional because it makes use of the toxic refrigerant and possibly hazardous electrical wiring. A professional technician can also give you sound advice on the optimal positioning of your air handlers as well as what style of the unit would be the best choice for your home. An air conditioning professional can help get your home running with cool air quickly if you need a service, repair, or replacement.