Ductless mini-split air conditionings have an external compressor, that is mounted outside your home, and it is usually connected to one or more indoor units located in the rooms where you would require cooling. The indoor units can each be controlled separately so that you change the temperature of each room based on what you need.
How Ductless Mini-Split Systems Work
Both central and ductless air conditioners operate using the same basic science. Warm air is drawn in and then the heat in the air is released outside using the outdoor unit. The cool air is returned directly to each room in which you’ve installed an indoor unit. That eliminates the energy losses that occur when ducts are used.
Parts of a Ductless System
The indoor unit has a blower and evaporator that pulls in warm air from the room and blows cold air out. The outdoor unit is a condenser that receives the heat from inside your home and releases it to the outside. A conduit connects the two units. It carries a power cable, refrigerant line, and a drain. Its job is to provide power to the two units and send the heat that the indoor unit has collected to the outdoor unit.
Installing a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioning System
Ductless systems usually require less time to install than a central air conditioning system. The two main units to install are the indoor air handlers, and the outdoor unit, and these are connected by a single slim control and refrigerant line which would require drilling only one hole into the wall.
Ductless air conditioners don’t require a system of ducts and adding this to your home cuts the time-consuming and expensive task of adding ductwork. Its important to keep in mind that ductless mimi-splits will need an outdoor space to place the outdoor unit.
Each room that requires cooling will need space for the indoor unit. These are usually mounted on the wall, although there are options with some models for ceiling mounting.
Energy Use and Ductless Mini-Split Systems
Ductless air conditioners have some advantages over central air conditioning in their energy use. A ductless system produces cool air from the point of its location so there is no energy loss when compared to central air conditioning which takes time to bring in cool air through the ducts.
Efficient Fan Speed
It’s advisable to buy ductless systems that have variable speed fans. These systems cool the room to the temperature that you want and then function at a lower speed just to keep the temperature consistent.
Maintenance for Ductless Mini-Split Systems
Regular maintenance is important for any type of air conditioning system. Well maintained systems will will function effectively and last longer. Since ductless air conditioning doesn’t require multiple ducts to cool your home, you would be able to dodge the most painful maintenance routine which is cleaning and servicing the ducts.
Regular maintenance checks like changing or cleaning filters is necessary. Also cleaning the outdoor unit to keep it free of dust and dirt is important.
Pros and Cons of Ductless Mini-Split Systems
There are advantages and disadvantages when choosing a ductless mini-split system to cool your home. Here are some important highlights that you could consider when making your purchase.
Installation flexibility – Since you don’t need ductwork throughout your home, you can just install them in different parts of your home that require cooling. Each indoor unit must be connected to an outdoor unit, which only requires routing the small conduit.
Energy efficiency – Ductless mini-split systems are more energy efficient than central air conditioning systems. The use of variable-speed fans makes it a great energy savings option for your home.
Zoning opportunities – Ductless mini-split systems are great for individual apartment homes because of their ability to fix the indoor unit where they like and the outdoor unit separately.
Home size limitations – Most ductless systems have limited cooling power and may not be a great option for extensively large homes.
Visible indoor units – Unlike the nearly registers used with central air-conditioning, each room cooled with a mini-split system will need to have an indoor unit mounted on the wall or ceiling.
Higher initial investment – The cost of a ductless system is roughly 30% more expensive than a central air conditioning system. You’ll want to balance that against the generally lower cost of operation.
Choosing Ductless Mini-Split Systems
Ductless mini-split systems have some pros and cons, compared to central air conditioning systems. If you buy a ductless system, it’s important to consider the size of your home and cooling power you will need. It is great for a home with no existing ductwork. You will also be able to control the temperatures in single rooms or zones. For older homes that go through additions and remodelling, a ductless mini-split system would be a great option.