What Is A Ductless HVAC System?
A ductless air conditioner, or just mini split for short, allows you to control the temperature in individual rooms or spaces. With a ductless mini split system, each unit will have its own temperature control, without controlling the rest of the building.
Ductless mini split systems are also commonly used as retrofit add-ons to houses with “non-ducted” heating systems. This can bring the comfort of air conditioning to a home that was built without a duct system. A ductless HVAC system may also be a good choice for room additions and small apartments, where extending or installing ductwork is too costly or not feasible.
How Does A Mini-Split AC Work?
Similar to a traditional central air conditioner unit, a mini-split AC system includes an indoor unit, and an outdoor unit.
The indoor unit is placed in the room it is cooling. It starts working by blowing warm air from that room over cold evaporator coils. The refrigerant running through these coils absorbs the heat from the air and brings it to the outside unit.
Multiple indoor units can connect to a single outdoor unit where the refrigerant dumps all the heat it pulled from your home’s air.
Benefits Of A Ductless System
At first glance, it’s easy to see why a ductless mini-split air conditioner may actually be a better choice than a traditional central AC unit. Here are just a few:
- It’s much easier to install if you don’t have ductwork. Attempting to install central AC in a Fort Wayne, IN home without ductwork requires you to cut into almost every wall in your home. A ductless AC allows you to enjoy the benefits of air conditioning without the hassle of duct installation.
- A mini-split HVAC system can both heat and cool. Most ductless mini-split systems are also heat pumps, which allows them to be used all year long in Fort Wayne, IN during summer and winter months to heat and cool the home as necessary.
- Small size and flexibility for zoning. Because each area of the home has a separate unit, a mini split hvac is ideal for individually controlling the temperature of each part of the home separately. This is perfect for one person who is always cold and another who is consonantly hot.
- You can reduce wasted energy. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for air conditioning. Since mini splits have no ducts, they avoid the energy losses associated with ductwork of traditional central air systems in Fort Wayne, IN.
- Rebates from Utility Companies. To encourage customers to buy energy efficient products, many local utility companies offer rebates for the purchase of ductless mini-split systems.
Ideal Situations For Ductless Air Conditioning
Depending on your home’s construction, and the benefits you’re looking for, ductless mini-split systems can make sense in a variety of applications. However, there are a few situations where a ductless HVAC system is the clear choice.
- New additions: If you are adding in a garage apartment, bonus room, sunrooms or man cave, it only makes sense to install a mini-split HVAC rather than connect to your central air. The main benefit of ductless here is that it will be properly sized for the new space and won’t steal air from other rooms or overload your old HVAC system. Plus, if you (or your renter) smoke, you won’t be sharing ductwork with the rest of the house.
- Downsizing larger homes. Many homes around Fort Wayne, especially in certain areas, are larger in size. It’s common that homeowners don’t want to heat and cool rooms they aren’t using, wasting valuable dollars each month. Usually they can just close the vents in unused rooms, but this results in pressure imbalances and mold problems. It’s far better to install a ductless mini-split system in one area of the home where they spend the most time, like the master bedroom. Then the home’s main thermostat can be set to run minimally, and the two systems work together to save money.
- Serving multiple needs under one roof. If you live in a home where the family is constantly fighting over the thermostat, or if you have family members who have medical needs that require warm or cool spaces, a mini-split HVAC is the way to go. A central unit can sometimes do the same thing with separate thermostats, but it’s often ineffective and you’ll waste a lot of energy trying to get it right.
- Giving support to a room with specific heating/cooling problems. Sometimes we just need one room that needs a little extra help. For example, if you have a small kitchen with a giant stove that tends to heat up the whole space, or big picture windows with a southwest view that make you feel like you’re melting, a ductless mini split system can ease those problems without having to install new ductwork.
- Adding AC to a house with no existing ductwork. Ductwork isn’t cheap but adding ductwork to an existing house is shockingly expensive. A mini-split AC system is the clear choice for adding air conditioning to an existing home. Unless of course you don’t mind paying huge bills and living in a construction zone.
Frequently Asked Questions
A ductless mini-split system isn’t as common for some homeowners. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions we hear in order to help our customers decide if a ductless mini-split system is right for them.