A ductless mini-split system, in its most basic form, includes an outdoor unit and an indoor unit, connected by cooling pipes and electrical wiring. The indoor unit is usually wall-mounted and supplies hot or cold air directly to the living space, without the need for ducts. In simple terms, ductless air conditioning systems (also known as minisplit) connect individual room units with an outdoor compressor. The indoor unit contains refrigerant-cooled evaporator coils.
The warm air in the room blows and is sucked in by the coils. From there, the coolant transfers all indoor heat to the outdoor unit. Because mini-divisions are ductless, they avoid energy losses associated with ducting central forced air systems. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of air conditioning energy consumption, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space, such as an attic.
Ductless air conditioning units are much more energy efficient than a traditional HVAC system. The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Index) rating system is used to measure energy efficiency. Generally speaking, ductless units have a higher SEER rating than other options. Due to the benefits of zoning, ductless systems do not waste energy on unused cooling areas of the house.
In addition, ducts also carry the risk of damage, such as cracks, leaks and oxidation, causing the system to waste energy working harder to cool your home. Central air systems send coolant to a bulky central air handler which then blows cool air into the house through a ductwork. Ductless systems pump coolant to compact indoor units within individual rooms. Each split air conditioning unit works as a miniature air handler, supplying cool air to its own area only when needed.
In general, central air systems are more expensive for comparable models, although some top-of-the-line ductless systems will be more expensive than a low-efficiency central air conditioner. However, after the heat waves of recent summers, air conditioning has gone from being a pleasant element of having to an essential one. Although ductless air conditioners are commonly used in Europe and Asia, they are only occasionally used in the United States. Undoubtedly, ductless air conditioners will increase in popularity as people begin to realize the many advantages they offer.
For years, air conditioning was considered a nice feature to have in your home here in the Pacific Northwest, but it wasn't considered a necessity. While central air conditioning is the preferred choice for many homeowners, ductless heat pump systems represent a rising star among the cooling options available to the home, due to their ability to meet a multitude of climate control scenarios. If you're considering a new air conditioning system or it's just time to replace it, you may be wondering if it's better to buy central air conditioning or one of those new ductless systems you've heard of. First, a standard HVAC system for central heating and air conditioning consists of a system of ducts within the walls of a building through which air travels to heat or cool the entire building.
Amanda Jacobs is an internal project manager and third generation member of Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning. With a ductless system, compared to traditional air conditioners, you have much more options in terms of placement. However, with a central air system, cold air is sent through the oven air handler to the ductwork, where it is carried to the rest of the house. There are many different types, from temporary window air conditioners to central air conditioners and ductless systems.
The difference with a ductless air conditioning system (see illustration) is where the air is cooled and how it is distributed. However, with a ductless system, the main parts of the unit are placed on the outside of the house and air comes out the side of the outdoor unit, rather than the top. .