What is a Ductless Air Conditioner?

Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning

Gaithersburg HVAC Contractors


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Ductless Air ConditionerIf you’ve never had to install or replace the air conditioning in your home, you can easily become overwhelmed by the options available on the market. Sometimes called “mini-splits”, ductless air conditioners offer several advantages over other potential cooling solutions: suitability for small spaces, usefulness in places where other air conditioning options might be unsuitable, and ease of installation. If you’ve spent any time thinking that installing air conditioning in your home might be too difficult, it might be time to explore the advantages that a ductless system can offer.

How Do These Systems Work?

Mini-split systems work on the same basic principles as other types of air conditioning units. The cooling power of the unit is driven by a compressor and condenser unit that is installed outside of the house. Now, in a conventional air conditioner, this unit would be used to move cooled air into a duct system in the house. However, many homes, especially older ones that rely on heating methods that don’t require ducts, are obviously unsuitable for an air conditioner that relies on ducts to move cooled air.

Instead, a ductless air conditioning system connects the outdoor unit to the inside of the house with a single conduit that carries everything vital for cooling into the inside of the house. This includes the power to drive the indoor air-handling unit, pipes that carry the refrigerant, and a drain to pull any moisture out that generates during air cooling.

Flexibility is Key

The flexibility of these systems is an extremely attractive selling point for many homeowners. A traditional air conditioning unit is largely an all or nothing proposition. With mini-split systems however, you can install the cooling units in any of the rooms in your house that you want to cool. You can install multiple individual units in the rooms that you’re interested in cooling, while leaving out those that might not be as important.

Mini SplitsOther types of air conditioning have rigid requirements as to where you can install them. Window air conditioners, for instance, need a suitable window that provides a safe and stable installation platform. Forced air systems require pre-existing ductwork or the expensive addition of a new ducting system.

With a ductless system, all you need is a place to mount the small, low-profile in-room units, and access to a power source. The requirements are straightforward, and allow the customer to create the exact climate control capability in their homes that they require.

Mini Splits Offer Simplistic Installation

Installing ductless air conditioning systems is less complex and time-intensive than many other air conditioning alternatives. Installing ductwork in a home that is not already outfitted with it, for example, is a costly, time consuming and invasive renovation procedure that requires a huge financial and time investment.

By comparison, the installation of a mini-split system is far more efficient. Instead of having to install potentially unsightly ducting, you only need to run the conduit through a 3” opening in your walls. You are also not limited by the same types of spatial difficulties that come with installing other types of AC units where you need to position your condenser unit in a specific location.

In the case of a ductless air conditioner, you can run as much as 50’ of conduit between the outdoor and indoor components of the system. You are also not limited as to where you are going to have to install the air handlers on the inside of the home. Mounting options include:

  • Anchored on the wall
  • Hanging from a ceiling
  • Flush mounted into a wall or ceiling to minimize footprint
  • A freestanding unit

Save Money with a Ductless Air Conditioner

Ductless systems can save you substantial funds in maintenance and power when compared to other air conditioning options. Obviously, some of the financial savings possibilities have already been outlined in regards to installation. However, there are other ways in which this option can help keep your bills low.

Most people are constantly struggling to keep their utility costs low while also maintaining a comfortable living environment. Ductless systems are ideal if this is a consideration in a household. The power requirements to run a ductless system are low compared to traditional AC systems (which can cause your power bills to skyrocket). This is because the cool air arrives exactly where you want it rather than having to be forced through dozens of feet of ductwork in order to reach the rooms you want cooled.

If you have a larger home and you’ve installed air handling units in many rooms, you can create specific cooling programs based on the air handlers. That way, you’re only paying to cool the rooms that you’re actually using instead of your whole home.

Ductless Mini SplitsThe final cost-cutting consideration comes in the form of tax credits. There are federal Energy Star tax credits available that can help offset the cost of installing this type of system. Green initiatives are an excellent double-pronged way to save money on your utilities. The equipment tax credits like this encourage people to buy also saves you money over the long term due to decreased operational costs.

Outfitting Your Home with a Ductless Air Conditioner

A ductless system carries with it many distinct advantages. However, if you’re going to make an investment in this type of system in your home, you should ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth. This is where the expertise of a professional can come in handy.

When you dive in and try to install this type of system on your own, there are some costly mistakes that you can make. During installation, there are several considerations that can help you maximize the value of this investment into your home, some of which include:

  • Optimal positioning of air handler units for cooling efficiency
  • Arrangement of outdoor and indoor components to minimize energy expenditure
  • Increasing aesthetics of interior air handlers
  • Creating most efficient paths of conduits through the home

A professional consultation can help you make the best decisions regarding the installation of your system. An expert in ductless air conditioners can come to your home and evaluate both the general suitability of your home for such a system and also make recommendations for how to install the system for the most cost effective and efficient operation.

Making this kind of addition to your home pays multiple dividends. Of course it can increase the comfort for you and your family, something that every homeowner wants. But the financial benefits are great as well. When you install a mini-split system into your home, you are making an investment into the future resale value of your home. Homebuyers want a well-cooled, comfortable home. If you want to make the most of the value of your home, this is certainly a wise investment to consider.

Getting a Consultation for a Ductless Air Conditioner

If you’re ready to see how a ductless air conditioner can improve your comfort and the value of your home, reach out to our team at Presidential Heat and Air today. One of our seasoned, local HVAC experts will be happy to evaluate your home and provide you with the advice that you need to move forward with your new cooling system.

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