Admin on January 30, 2015 13 Comments Ductless air conditioning systems are becoming quite popular these days for a variety of reasons. Also known as mini-splits, these systems provide cooling capabilities without the many problems associated with ducted setups. Using a ductless system, homeowners can better regulate the temperature from room to room, while reducing energy loss typical with inefficient duct work. The following information can serve as a guide for those interested in installing mini-splits in their homes. This includes the main components of such systems, how mini-splits typically operate, and the numerous benefits afforded by taking duct work out of the equation. In addition to home use, these systems also have a wide range of business applications. This is especially pertinent for businesses seeking more environmentally-friendly methods of cooling a structure. How Mini-Split Systems Work Whether used for heating or cooling purposes, all mini-split systems are comprised of outdoor and indoor apparatus. The outdoor condensing/compression unit applies pressure to refrigerant, which is then dispersed through lines that are connected to indoor apparatus. This indoor unit consists of three elements, including air-handlers, blowers, and the evaporator coil. Indoor air-handling units are placed strategically throughout a home, which allows for more efficient energy usage. Air-handling units can be placed in a number of areas within the home, including both walls and ceilings. This can be beneficial for a number of situations, as necessary equipment can be placed in out of the way locations. Additionally, by placing the condensing unit outside, homeowners won’t be bothered by operation noise typically associated with air conditioners. Mini-Split Systems Options As many homeowners are unfortunately aware, conventional central air systems are lacking options when it comes to configuration. This can make it difficult for homeowners to get the most out of their cooling systems. Conversely, mini-split systems are available in a variety of configurations. The following options can allow homeowners to customize a system to their exact needs. Heat Pump: For additional heating capabilities, mini-splits must be outfitted with a heat pump. This device is responsible for transferring heat from one place to another. Heat pumps also include a reversing valve, which can change the direction of heat flow. Single-Zone/Multi-Zone Condenser Unit: Outdoor condensers must be connected to indoor condenser units. As the names indicate, a single-zone unit can heat a single room or zone within a home, while the multi-zone units can occupy a number of rooms or zones. Ceiling Cassette: In situations where space is limited in the home, a ceiling cassette may be the perfect option. Fan coils are outfitted in the ceiling, and disperse air via the exposed grille. Wall Unit:This device is where temperature adjustments will be made, allowing homeowners the option of cooling a specific room or area within a home. Common Applications of Mini-Splits Mini-splits can be a great match to certain situations within the home. Those adding rooms to their homes are the best candidates for such systems. In many cases, a home’s existing cooling/heating systems will not be adequate within newly added rooms. Mini-split systems can help create a comfortable environment in this event. Mini-split systems are also great for those seeking supplemental cooling capabilities. This can be a concern in larger homes with smaller central systems. In cases where expansion of duct work can prove problematic, mini-split systems can prove ideal. This is usually the case with converted basements or garages. Newly constructed homes may also be benefited by ductless systems. This is especially true for those looking to save energy, thereby cutting monthly utility costs. Benefits of Ductless Cooling in One’s Home Variety of Features In contrast to conventional heating and cooling systems, mini-splits offer an assortment of great features aimed at boosting convenience. Most systems are equipped with remote control operation, which is necessary when air-handling units are installed in out-of-reach locations. Programmable timers let homeowners utilize heating and cooling capabilities only when necessary. Airflow can be adjusted for optimum room temperature, and washable filters make maintenance a far easier undertaking. For dual heating purposes, the introduction of a heat pump can provide automatic changeover for heating in winter months. Multiple Operating Modes Mini-splits also provide a number of operating modes. While heating and cooling are standard in many HVAC systems, mini-split systems include the ability to dehumidify a room. This can be ideal for moisture-laden climates which can create an uncomfortable atmosphere in a home, in addition to degrading fixtures over time. A fan-only option is also available, as well as automatic and sleep functions. Increased Energy Efficiency For those seeking increased energy-efficiency, ductless systems can prove quite useful. Ducted systems can lose up to 30% of energy thanks to faulty construction. This loss can contribute to higher utility bills, while also failing to adequately cool every room in a home. Ductless systems can be utilized on a room-by-room basis, giving homeowners greater control over temperature and utility bills. Improved Air Quality Another great benefit of mini-split systems is the improved air quality. Ducted systems are notorious for easy accumulation of assorted debris. Due to condensation within ducts, this debris can quickly become toxic mold, which offers numerous ill-effects to residents of a home. By removing the ducts, homes are privy to cleaner, healthier air overall. Ductless systems are also far easier to access thanks to their unique construction, which makes routine cleaning an easier task. An Advanced Solution to Cooling Your Home For those seeking more efficient function when cooling their homes, ductless air conditioners have a lot to offer. Obvious benefits like increased energy-efficiency and improved air quality are coupled with highly useful additional features, such as auto-restart after a power outage, as well as multiple fan speeds for easier customization. When coupled with heating capabilities, a mini-split ductless system can prove useful in a home all year round. While mini-splits may not be suitable to all situations, their increasing existence in many homes and businesses proves just how valuable these systems can be in many circumstances. If you are seeking a more efficient way to cool your home, ductless air conditioning may be right for you.