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Installing A Ductless Air System

November 20, 2013

Installing A Ductless Air System

A ductless air system, or minisplits as they are often called, has many great applications in residential, along with business and commercial, applications. In operations where duct work is not feasible or cost-prohibitive a non-ducted system is an excellent alternative. The advantages of these systems are many and the drawbacks are few.

What’s in the ductless system?

In a minisplit system the components are similar to a more traditional central air system. There is both an inside and an outside unit. The inside unit is the air handler and disperses warm and cold air to the room. The outside unit houses the compressor, just as in a central air unit. They are connected by a conduit which houses a power cable along with refrigerant and drain lines. The system also features a thermostat and a variable, quiet blower.

Advantages of a ductless air system

The benefits of installing a minisplit system make them quite appealing. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • Systems are small and able to heat and cool individual rooms One outside unit can handle up to four inside units. Each inside unit can have its own thermostat.
  • The non-ducted units are generally easier to install than central units. Since no duct work is required there is no need to modify the existing duct work in the dwelling. The only modification inside the home is the small air handling unit mounted to a wall or ceiling and the conduit that connects the inside and outside units.
  • Ducted systems are notorious for losing energy. This can account for up to 30% energy loss. The minisplit system loses no energy due to duct work so more hot and cold air gets into the home where it is needed.
  • Ductless systems provide the homeowner with more design options. The small footprint of the inside unit gives homeowners the option of mounting the unit to the wall, ceiling or even recessed into the ceiling.
  • These systems can be safer. If the homeowner is considering a window unit this leaves a hole in the wall that could provide access to the dwelling. Since there is only about a 3″ conduit running into the home from outside there is no chance to gain entry with this type of home comfort system.

Are there any drawbacks?

There are really no big disadvantages to installing a ductless system. They are a bit more expensive initially than central air systems but this cost can easily be made up in energy savings. Units do have to be sized properly for efficient operation. It might also be wise to keep your existing heating system in very cold weather areas. As you can see these are not big drawbacks.

Get professional installation

While the ductless systems are small and may appear to be easy to install on a do-it-yourself basis it’s better to have a professional put in the unit. They are fairly complicated and some expertise is needed to do the job correctly.

Be aware that many home comfort companies may not have the ability to install mini-splits. They have the tools and training to handle conventional central air systems. A company such as this may advise you against a ductless system even though it might be the best option for the homeowner.

A ductless system may be right

A ductless home comfort system is a good option if duct work is going to be an issue with any new installation. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about these systems and enjoy great home comfort with a small, energy efficient unit.