What is a Ductless Air Conditioner?
A Ductless Air Conditioner is mostly used at homes and inside buildings that do not have central air conditioning. The wall-mounted system consists of an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit is connected to the outdoor unit through a refrigerant pipe and electric wire. When mounting a ductless air conditioner, the installer digs a hole in the wall to allow the pipe and the wire to pass through.
A Ductless Air Conditioner is also known as the mini-split air conditioner. Depending on individual requirements, you can install a single-zone or a multi-zone air conditioner.
Single-Zone Air Conditioner
A single-zone system is suited to homes and buildings that may not require additional indoor units in the future. In this setup, a single indoor unit is connected to a single outdoor unit.
This configuration ensures that the user can control the temperature of the room as desired. If needed, you can easily add another single-zone air conditioner to an additional room or living space.
Multi-Zone Air Conditioner
The multi-zone system consists of multiple indoor units connected to a single outdoor unit. While the setup is different, the multi-zone AC performs a similar function. Just like a single-zone system, users can maintain the temperature of individual rooms.
The main advantage of multi-zone AC is the ease of installing an additional unit. For instance, you can easily add an indoor unit by connecting it to a single outdoor unit.
Single-Zone Or Multi-Zone Ductless Air Conditioner
Which Is Better?
Most homes use single-zone ductless because the system is relatively easy to install. The installer can quickly mount a unit on the wall and connect it with the outdoor compressor within an hour. Effortless installation reduces carbon footprint and allows for seamless repairs. If one system is affected, it will not affect the other single-zone ACs inside a building.
In contrast, the multi-zone ductless air conditioner is better suited to large homes and buildings. You can add as many indoor units as the multi-zone connection will allow. These systems are also eligible for tax credit and utility rebates. However, installing and repairing the multi-zone system can take time due to the large piping that connects the single outdoor unit to multiple indoor units.
How Does Ductless System Work?
The ductless air conditioner uses a chemical refrigerant to cool the air inside the room. Chemical refrigerant is pumped from the outside unit to the inside unit. The refrigerant absorbs the heat and moisture inside the room before dumping the heat into the outside unit.
In theory, it's not so simple but this should give you some idea of how a Ductless Air Conditioner works.
Advantages of Ductless Air Conditioner
Since the inception of ductless mini-splits by Mitsubishi in 1959, the ductless system remains the most popular method to keep homes and apartment buildings cool during the scorching summer heat. The ease of installation and inexpensive repair makes ductless systems worth every penny.
Here are few reasons why you should buy it:
- Integrated Zoning: The Ductless Air Conditioner system allows individuals to control the temperature of each zone according to the desired comfort level. If needed, you can install multiple indoor units and connect them to a single outside compressor. Irrespective of the number of units installed, everyone is in full control of their respective zones.
- Heat Pump: Almost all modern ductless air conditioners serve a dual purpose. Besides cooling the environment, they also provide heat during winter. In fact, there is no need to buy a heater separately.
- Energy Efficient: Ductless air-conditioners are very efficient because they seldom lose any air through ducts. In contrast, central air conditioning systems are estimated to lose anywhere between 20 and 30 percent of the air through ducts and pipes.
- Ease of Installation: Both single-zone and multiple-zone ductless systems are very easy to install. It often takes less than a day to install the entire system. Installing ceiling units may take additional time.
- Savings: Ductless mini splits are extremely cost-effective due to their energy-efficient design. The inverter technology adjusts to systems needs, which helps reduce electricity bills.
- Aesthetics: Most air conditioners are only a few inches wide and very slim. They look much better than a traditional window-AC. You can install them anywhere in the room as they can be easily managed using a remote control.
- Tax Credit: Depending on the location, you may get a rebate or cash incentives to install an energy-saving ductless air conditioner.
- Clean Air: Ductless systems contain air purifying filters. These filters help remove dust, pollen, and other germs. Homeowners can easily remove and wash air filters to get a consistent supply of fresh and healthy air.
Factors to Consider When Installing Multi-Zone Ductless Air-conditioners?
A ductless air conditioner is not one-size-fits-all. Before buying a Ductless Air Conditioner, it is important to keep the following things in mind:
Most ductless air conditioners will easily handle the workload of a 250 square feet room. However, irregular room dimensions can prevent the air conditioner from cooling certain parts of the room. For large rooms, you may need two units.
Most ductless air conditioners are able to cool down the room to 20 Fahrenheit. They usually lose efficiency when operating below this point. Similarly, you may notice a significant difference in operating efficiency if it is too hot or humid outside.
The AC will require a certain number of British Thermal Units to operate efficiently. A large room will require more BTUs than a small room and vice versa. For instance, an AC operating at 6000 BTUs per hour is sufficient for a room size between 150 to 250 square feet. Similarly, you may require up to 8000 BTUs per hour for larger rooms up to 350 square feet in size.
Type of Installation
Instead of a wall-mounted unit, you can also choose between ceiling recessed, horizontal ducted, or floor mount units. Consult an experienced HVAC technician to see what is best for your home.
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