Everything You Should Know About Ductless AC Systems

June 13, 2023
Ductless Mini-Split Installation in Erie County, NY

If you’re upgrading to a new AC system, you have a variety of options to select from. While traditional units use ducts to move air to every room, ductless systems do not need ducts to function properly. Before you choose an HVAC system for your home, you should know more about ductless AC options.

What Are Ductless AC Systems?

A large percentage of homes are equipped with more traditional HVAC systems that are based on forced air, which means that ducts carry the cooled or heated air to different areas around the home. Ductless AC systems are designed to cool a home without needing to use ducts. When using this type of system, the air is distributed throughout multiple zones in a home via individual room units. All of these units are attached to a single outdoor compressor. By implementing zone-based cooling, every area in your home can be set to a different temperature.

How Ductless AC Units Work

To better understand how ductless AC systems work, you should first know how traditional units work. A traditional air conditioning system includes a single indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit is oftentimes positioned in a closet or attic. Ducts are responsible for pushing and pulling air to the centralized location, after which the air’s temperature changes. Once the air is cooled, it gets delivered to rooms through vents. While it’s possible to install ducts in a home that doesn’t have them, this type of project is cost-prohibitive and time-consuming.

With ductless systems, each individual unit in your home consists of an evaporator and a fan. These devices are connected to the outdoor compressor with refrigerant lines. While the air is being sent to the compressor, it’s cooled before being returned to the indoor system. Refrigerant lines are significantly easier to install when compared to new ducts. These lines only require holes that are around three inches in diameter.

Consider Cooling Power

When you’re considering purchasing a ductless AC system for your home, you’ll have the ability to choose based on power capacity, which is measured with British thermal units (BTUs). Larger rooms should be paired with units that have higher BTUs.

Before selecting a ductless system, measure the square footage of the area that the unit will cover. Otherwise, you could end up buying a system that’s too large or small. If the unit is smaller than necessary, it could be overworked while attempting to cool a room. When you have a large ductless unit, it will only need a short cycle to keep your room cool. Short cycling means that the system will turn off and on regularly, which can shorten the unit’s lifespan. Ductless systems are available in numerous sizes, the most common of which are 12,000 BTU for 400-650 square feet of space, 18,000 BTU for 600-1,000 square feet of space, and 24,000 BTU for 800-1,300 square feet of space.

Reasons to Own Ductless Units

Ductless air conditioning units are often installed in single-family homes. While the upfront costs can be higher than a ducted system, the expense is offset by the higher energy efficiency and the lack of ductwork installation. If your home doesn’t have ductwork in place, these AC units allow you to add air conditioning in your bedroom, home office, or garage. It’s also possible to pair ductless AC units with heat pumps, the latter of which allows the ductless unit to heat and cool a room.

Keep in mind that ductless AC systems are highly versatile and come with floor-mount, wall, and ceiling-recessed configurations. The installation process is simple and straightforward. One potential problem with a ducted system is that cool or hot air can leak while it’s being distributed through ducts. This isn’t an issue with ductless units, which means that your unit should be more energy efficient. Mini-split units can also provide air purifying and dehumidifying benefits.

If you’re interested in installing a ductless AC system in your home, it’s highly recommended that you seek installation services from professional technicians who understand how to safely and efficiently perform this process.

Give Us a Call

Here at Vastola Heating & Cooling, our NATE-certified technicians will answer all your questions about ductless systems and help you understand what the installation process involves. Some of the additional services we provide to Western New York residents include heating and cooling repair and maintenance services as well as indoor air quality services. We also offer generators and water heater solutions. To find out more about ductless AC systems and their advantages, contact Vastola Heating & Cooling today!