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How Does A Ductless AC Unit Work?

May 11, 2022 | Blog

Everyone needs air conditioning, but traditional AC units take up a lot of space and require lengthy installation. Many Eureka Springs homeowners have already made the switch to ductless air conditioning. But how does it work if there are no air ducts involved? At Island Airco, our team is here to simplify the process for you!

What is a Ductless AC Unit?

Ductless, mini-split AC units, as the name suggests, do not include ductwork. By connecting an outdoor unit, which includes a compressor, condenser coil and fan, and a wall-mounted indoor unit, made up of an evaporator coil and blower fan, with refrigerant tubing and electrical wiring, ductless AC units directly deliver heated or cooled air into the living space the indoor unit is in.

Have rooms that don’t favor wall-mounting? Not to worry, console units are available for this scenario. Have a new room or converted living space? Ductless AC units deliver air to them in an energy-efficient manner.

How Do Ductless AC Units Work?

First, chemical refrigerant pumps into the indoor unit’s coil from the outdoor compressor unit through refrigerant tubing. When this liquid refrigerant becomes gas, less humid, cool air is sent into the living space. The refrigerant returns to the outdoor coil as gas and is converted back to liquid as heat energy is released. The cooling process works in a similar fashion, with the additional ability to reverse the heating process.

Mini-split systems work in extreme cold or heat to pinpoint areas that require much-needed comfort and accommodate spaces ranging from less than 400 sq. ft. to 1,500 sq. ft. In order to cool or heat larger spaces, they also give the option of adding additional outdoor units and air handlers.

What Options Are Available?

In order to satisfy customer needs, ductless AC units offer both single-zone and multi-zone units. Single-zone units include one indoor unit and one outdoor compressor, with refrigerant and power traveling to the interior unit from the compressor using a small pipe. The simplicity of the system means that the installation process has little impact on the living space.

Multi-zone, like single-zone units, only have one compressor. However, depending on what’s available multi-zone units can come with up to five indoor units. Controlled by a wireless remote, multiple indoor units offer the ability to set different temperature options for different rooms.

Ductless vs. Traditional AC Units, What’s The Difference?

Ductless AC units, as well as their traditional counterparts, use the same heating and cooling units to meet customer comfort needs. However, there are differences that make mini-split systems more suitable during the changing seasons.

Traditional HVAC Units

While traditional HVAC units use ducts, vents, and one centrally located indoor unit to deliver cool air throughout a home, mini-split systems blow cool air directly into a chosen room. It might sound like traditional AC units are the better option, but they are more complicated: they require patching, painting, and indoor wiring, and they can be very noisy and increase the spread of allergens.

Ductless AC Units

Ductless air conditioning units only require a hole in the wall for installing the wiring and refrigerant line. This limits sound by strategically placing the outdoor unit a certain distance away from the house, while also limiting the spread of allergens by not blowing air around an entire house.

Ductless systems can also be added to rooms that already have an AC unit or uneven temperatures, adding cooling power to the home.

What’s The Catch?

The only things that might make an individual hesitant about ductless AC are the cost, which can sometimes be higher than that of traditional cooling systems, and that the indoor unit is wall-mounted and visible can be undesirable to some people. However, one can save big on utility costs, and for houses that don’t already have ductwork, a mini-split system is a major investment.

Contact The Pros Today!

Think a ductless AC system might be for you? Contact us at Island Airco to schedule your appointment today or to learn more about our financing options!

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