How Do Ductless Air Conditioners Work?


Ductless air conditioning is an excellent option to consider for an efficient or reliable cooling solution. Mini split ACs keep you cozy on hot summer days and give you warmth on chilly winter nights.

We will talk about what ductless air conditioners are and how they work. We will also cover the major differences between ductless air conditioners and traditional HVAC systems before wrapping up with the key advantages of going with a ductless air conditioning system.

What is a Ductless Air Conditioner?

A ductless air conditioner is an air conditioner that can be installed without ductwork. Its cooling process isn’t all that different from a regular central air conditioning system. The main difference is that a ductless air conditioner targets a specific room and cools just that room, whereas a central air conditioning system cools the entire home through a series of ducts and vents.

What Are the Different Parts of a Ductless Air Conditioner?

Ductless air conditioners have a compact footprint, and they are more efficient than central air conditioning. Ductless air conditioning systems use the same essential components. They are just laid out differently.

All ductless air conditioners have:

● An outdoor compressor unit that houses a condenser coil and a compressor fan.

● An indoor handling unit that has a blower fan and an evaporator coil.

● A refrigerant tube and electrical wires connect the two units.

● A heat pump that takes care of pushing hot air from one space to another.

Because ductless air conditioner systems are split up into two parts—indoor and outdoor components—they are also more commonly known as mini split ACs.

How Do Mini Split AC Units Work?

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Mini split ACs cool a room without the loud noise that is so typical of some air conditioning systems, window AC units in particular. This is how mini split ACs function to achieve this:

● The outdoor unit is installed away from the living spaces to minimize noise.

● The compressor transfers liquid chemical refrigerant through the refrigerant tubes and delivers it to the evaporator coil in the indoor unit.

● The evaporator coil then turns the incoming chemical refrigerant into gas.

● This process also cools the air blowing across the coil and dehumidifies it.

● The blower fan inside the indoor unit pushes cooler and less humid air back into the room.

● The chemical refrigerant in the indoor unit, now in gas form, travels back to the condenser coil in the outdoor unit.

● The condenser coil converts the chemical refrigerant back into its liquid form, preparing it to cycle back to the indoor unit.

Many mini-split ACs have a heat pump system that does this process in reverse when they want to heat a room, at a fraction of the energy cost compared to traditional HVAC systems. This is one of the reasons why you see many houses installing mini split AC in the US.

Mini Split Vs Traditional HVAC: How They Differ

Here is how a mini split AC system differs from a traditional HVAC system:

Infrastructure: A traditional HVAC system requires a more integrated installation in the form of fans, ducts, and vents. A mini split AC’s installation is much simpler. Connect your indoor and outdoor units, and you are done.

Air delivery: A mini split cools down a single room, and an HVAC system circulates air throughout the house.

Heating: Traditional HVAC systems come equipped with a thermostat and can regulate cool and hot air. Not all mini splits can do this; only a mini split AC with a heat pump can. When selecting a mini split unit, you’ll want to keep this in mind.

Noise levels: Central air conditioning units can be loud depending on the size of the vents and the quality of the insulation inside. With a mini split AC unit, you can keep the outdoor unit as far as possible and keep its thrumming sounds to a minimum.

Cooling capacity and coverage: A traditional HVAC covers an entire house, cooling or heating all the rooms at the same time, whereas a mini split system only covers a single room and allows you to zone your heating or cooling.

For this reason you have to install multiple ductless air conditioning units in multiple rooms if you want to cover your entire home. 

What Are the Advantages of Ductless Air Conditioning?

Zoning capabilities

Ductless air conditioning gives you complete control over the climate zones in your house.. Everyone has a different temperature preference; mini split units allow your family to maintain different room temperatures for their personal comfort.

Easier to install

Split mini AC units can be installed in homes without existing ductwork. This is handy when installing a permanent cooling solution in older homes that were built without ductwork. There is also much less disruption to your home during installation, and the hook up between indoor and outdoor units only requires a 3-5 inch hole through the wall.

Their compact size  adds to their versatility. You can install a ductless air conditioner in small rooms and spaces. 

Just as easy to maintain

Split ACs have fewer components. Fewer moving parts means fewer chances of things breaking. Cleaning air filters, coils, and condensers is a simple process that any HVAC professional will take care of within minutes.

Less noise

Ductless air conditioners are quieter than other air conditioning systems for the simple reason that you can place the compressor unit as far away. The average noise level for mini spit ACs is 42 decibels, compared to 60-72 decibel range of window ACs and 78-82 for a low end central air conditioning systems

Cleaner air

Ductless systems not only heat and cool your space, but they also clean the air by removing dust, dirt, allergens, and other particles. Those members of the family who suffer from allergies may find the environment to be improved as a result of this change.

Many models also have a “dry mode” to dehumidify without cooling, so you can prevent the growth of mold and mildew even if you don’t need the cooling function.

Are Mini Split AC Units Energy Efficient?

Yes, they are. Ductless mini split units often achieve better energy efficiency and higher SEER ratings than central AC units and heat pumps. Mini splits don’t use ducts. So, there is no loss of cool or heat air from ducts, and mini splits work more efficiently.

You can control which ACs you want turned on in which room. So rather than the entire house, you are only cooling or heating the rooms that you are using, which will lower your energy bills. 

Wrapping Up

We hope this brief guide has helped you understand the basics of how ductless air conditioners work. More and more households in Tennessee are opting to install mini-split AC units.

They can be installed in homes without ductwork, are easy to maintain, and they offer a high degree of flexibility and control. 

Looking for an HVAc Professional in Brentwood, TN?

We are the right choice for all your HVAC needs! Here at Rapid Response, we understand that no two customers are the same and that is why our team of trained professionals will go above and beyond to meet the customized cooling needs of every customer. By choosing us you will receive fair rates, quality work and outstanding service.