Ductless Heating & Cooling Systems
Ductless systems distribute air directly from the indoor unit, instead of a duct. They are also smaller in size than regular central ducted split system HVAC. They are split systems, which means they have at least one indoor unit, also called a fan coil, and an outdoor unit. Their compact size has earned them the name "mini-split."
Besides the customization and energy saving benefits of mini-splits, their major appeal is the ability for up to five individually controlled zones, all matched with just one outdoor unit. Each zone inside has its own indoor fan coil. Each fan coil can feature a different design style and installation option. Users have the ability to turn on and modify each zone according to the precise usage of the zone and the particular people in the room at each moment. A mini-split with one zone is called a mini-split or just a one-zone system. More than one zone is usually referred to as a multi-zone system and ranges from a dual-zone or two-zone system up to a penta-zone or five-zone system.
Consider a typical scenario: During the summer a family may want the upstairs bedrooms cooler at night than the unoccupied ground floor. Factors such as seasons and time of day allow a family to save on energy costs by taking advantage of the flexibility and control mini-split systems with one, two, three, four or five zones offer.
Mini-split air conditioners are great alternatives to forced air heating and cooling, which uses ducts to distribute conditioned air throughout a building. With new homes, remodeling, additions and building expansions, it may not be possible to install ductwork or ducts are too expensive.
Benefits of Ductless Systems:
- Energy-saving Inverter technology is synchronized with your heating load and cooling load. Using self-diagnostic tools, the technology electronically regulates the compressor for customized output based on actual air conditioning needs. This means your system continuously rightsizes electric input, eliminating overconsumption. In multi-zoned applications, even higher energy efficiency is possible because the compressor will not only vary its speed but each indoor unit’s fan coil will operate according to individual zone needs.
- Increased unit lifespan. Traditional systems run at fixed speeds: the compressor cycles on and off according to the thermal load. On/off cycling consumes excessive energy and reduces the longevity of the compressor and other components that constantly turn on and off.
Energy Efficient and Eco-Friendly
- Ductless systems eliminate the need for ducts, which are vulnerable to inefficiencies such as air leakage and thermal shock. With ducted systems, air loss is inevitable as air travels from the main output to each room vent. Thermal shock occurs when ducts run through unconditioned spaces like attics or basements. The fluctuating ambient temperature in these spaces causes the ducts to expand and contract unevenly. This physical stress compromises duct seals leading to even more air loss.
- Low noise: Ductless systems will keep you happy inside with their whisper quiet operation and your neighbors at peace with minimal sound intrusion from the outdoor unit. It’s a win-win.
- No costly, complicated ductwork.
- Installation just requires a 3 inch hole to connect the interior unit to the exterior unit.
- The distance of the outdoor unit can be up to 50 feet away from the indoor unit due to availability of longer conduits.
- For detailed instruction on installing a ductless system, please read our Blog: “Ductless Air Conditioner Installation Guide.”
- Ductless systems are sleek and blend with interior décor. Rather than requiring soffit or dropped ceilings to conceal ducts, indoor units can be mounted low or mid-height on a wall, flat against the ceiling or recessed in the ceiling.
- Choices of colors and finishes for the indoor and outdoor unit are also available.
- Ductless systems are normally standard with remote controls, digital LED display, dedicated dehumidification, 24-hour programmable timer and sleep mode, among other features. New technology such as self-clean function and remote sensor temperature control are also in high demand and available.