Installing new ductwork for air conditioning makes perfect sense in many situations – but it is inconvenient when the house is already built, and usually costs thousands of dollars. Adding ductwork is also frequently not an option in older houses which lack space for it.
Many people want to build a new addition to their home without extending their existing ductwork. Many others only want to climate control a single room in their house, or supplement climate control in a room which is currently underserved by an existing HVAC system.
A ductless air conditioner is the cost-effective solution to all these needs. Also known as a mini-split, the appliance’s indoor unit is typically mounted to a wall where it produces cool, dry air during the summertime. A mini-split may also include a heat pump system so it can provide warmth in the winter as well.
How Does a Ductless Air Conditioner Work?
Like a central AC system, a ductless AC has both an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. Both units are simply smaller. Also like a central AC, a ductless AC does not draw air from outside – it solely utilizes the air which is already indoors. But whereas a central AC system distributes cool air through ducts, a ductless AC delivers cool air directly to the room its indoor unit is installed in.
A ductless AC’s outdoor unit pumps liquid refrigerant through a pipe to its indoor unit’s coil. The refrigerant becomes cold as it turns into gas inside the coil. That chemical reaction enables the indoor unit to absorb heat and humidity from the room while replacing them with cool, dry air. The refrigerant continually returns to the outside unit where it is converted back to liquid.
Can a Ductless Air Conditioner Cool More Than One Room?
A ductless AC may have one outdoor unit feeding multiple indoor units. In the case of such a multi-zone system, separate pipes connect indoor units directly to the outdoor unit. That allows residents to operate each unit independently of one another, making multi-zone systems ideal for larger families.
A single-zone system with one indoor unit is the more affordable type of ductless AC. But even if you opt to install a single-zone system now, you may still decide to add additional indoor units to create a multi-zone system in the future.
Does a Ductless Air Conditioner Have to Mount to a Wall?
A ductless AC system’s interior unit is typically mounted high up on a wall, where it is out of sight and more effective at circulating cool air. But when wall installation is not desired or possible, the indoor unit may also mount inside the ceiling or flush with the ceiling’s surface. Low-profile console units offer yet another alternative to wall mounting.
What Are the Benefits of Ductless Air Conditioning?
- A ductless AC quite naturally does away with the need for costly and inconvenient ductwork installation. Its smaller mechanical units also cost less, and fast installation which requires drilling as few as two holes and zero indoor wiring only serves to further lower a new ductless AC system’s price tag.
- Energy efficient. A central AC system can lose up to one third of its cooling inside its ductwork. A ductless AC can’t have this problem, thus making the system run more efficiently and cost less to operate. A ductless AC also allows you to avoid cooling rooms which aren’t occupied – another perk you’ll see reflected on your electricity bill.
- Versatile. Its low cost and ease of installation make a ductless AC suitable for rooms which are not conventionally attached to preexisting ductwork. Whether you’re finishing an attic or basement or turning your garage into a mechanic’s paradise, a ductless AC is often your best bet.
- Unobtrusive. A ductless AC’s low-profile indoor unit will neither attract attention nor clash with decor. The indoor unit runs impressively quietly, and its inability to produce toxic gas means no additional ventilation is required. While a ductless AC’s outdoor unit does produce noise, a longer pipe is all that is needed to install the outdoor unit far away from a deck or patio.
Would you like to learn more about adding an affordable and convenient ductless AC to your home or place of business? Contact Gilk Plumbing, Heating & A/C today for ductless air conditioning and other professional HVAC services in Albany, Avon, Cold Spring, Eden Valley, Freeport, Kimball, Lake Henry, Paynesville, Richmond, Rockville, St. Joseph and Watkins, Minnesota!