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How Ductless Air Conditioners Operate

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In Florida, we all rely on our air conditioners to provide cooling and humidity control for our homes and businesses. While many people use traditional ducted HVAC systems for cooling, ductless units offer a great alternative for many homes.

At Von’s Heating and Air, we offer professional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services in Orange Park and the surrounding area. This article strives to give you insight into how a ductless system operates. We advocate for homeowners to have a working understanding of their air conditioning systems as seasonal changes create different needs and problems with cooling.

Difference Between Central AC and Ductless AC Systems

Before explaining the mechanisms of ductless air conditioning systems, we think it’s important to explain the differences between ductless and central air conditioning. While both ultimately provide access to heating and cooling, there are vast differences in price and performance. One size does not fit all when it comes to these units and should be considered carefully.

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Central Air Conditioning System

A central air conditioning system processes air at a central point and sends it to an air handler. Warm air is removed from your home and sent to the central AC unit for cooling via return ducts and registers. The conditioned air is distributed throughout your household via supply ducts and registers. It is a virtually invisible setup since ducts are typically located within walls, under floors, and above ceilings.

Ductless Air Conditioning System

A ductless air conditioning system involves two components: an indoor air handler and an outdoor compressor. Cables join the two, and therefore no ducts and registers are required. Some systems only have a single indoor air handler while others comprise multiple indoor units.

How a Ductless Air Conditioner Operates

At Von’s Heating and Air, we offer our clients professional consultations regarding their HVAC utilities. If you are considering installing or replacing your existing air conditioner, we can provide you with information on what to expect with a ductless air conditioner.

Ductless air conditioning systems have been coined various names by different manufacturers and HVAC specialists. You may encounter them being referred to as mini-split heat pumps, split systems, or multi-split systems. Regardless of what they’re called, they all consist of the same components and operate in a similar manner.

The outdoor compressor cools and heats air for the air conditioning system, whereas the indoor air handler disperses the conditioned air into your household. The two pieces of equipment are linked by utilizing a conduit that runs through your wall. The conduit features the power and refrigerant lines that serve the air conditioning system.

The indoor air handler is composed of evaporator coils cooled by refrigerant. The evaporator coils absorb warm indoor air as it blows over and gets replaced by cold air from the outdoor unit. The interchange occurs due to the refrigerants conveying that indoor heat to the compressor.

The fundamental feature of this air conditioning system is the absence of ducts and vents for dispersing conditioned air through the entire household. Ducts in walls and ceilings are not needed as several indoor air handler units can be connected to a single outdoor compressor.

As professional HVAC service providers, we offer assistance in determining the size and quantity of units you will require based on your household’s total size. A single outdoor compressor typically accommodates up to eight indoor air handlers.

The mini-splits are available in various sizes, each with different power capacities. Therefore, depending on how many rooms require air conditioning, we can advise you on the dimensions and number of indoor or outdoor units to purchase.

Ideal Situations for Ductless AC Systems

Creating and installing a new duct system in your household can be labor-intensive and costly. At Von’s Heating and Air, we assist our clients in solving their heating and cooling problems by recommending the most suitable HVAC options for their situation. We find the following circumstances ideal for installing a ductless air conditioner.

1. When New or Extra Rooms Are Added to Your Household

People often take on home renovation projects to expand their living space. You may decide on adding a garage, extra bedrooms, or recreational rooms within your property but won’t be connected to an existing duct system.

Our technicians can install a ductless air conditioning system that is ideal to serve the size of the additional room(s). This way, the space won’t siphon conditioned air from neighboring rooms or overload your old central air conditioning system.

2. When You Want to Have Zoned Temperature Control

Within your household, some members may prefer their room conditions to be cooler or warmer at the expense of others with different AC requirements. Choosing to install ductless air conditioner units allows for temperature zoning. We can incorporate individual indoor air handler units in different rooms to serve the needs of various occupants.

3. When Your Home Lacks Ductwork

If you’ve purchased an older home without ducts, you can choose to add ductwork and a central HVAC system. However, this can be expensive because it requires design and renovation work. In this situation, we recommend choosing a ductless AC system due to its ease of installation.

4. When You Have One or Two Rooms With Temperature Issues

Even if you have a traditional HVAC system with ductwork, you may experience uneven heating and cooling throughout your home for various reasons. When you need to improve the comfort of only one or two rooms, it will likely be more affordable to add a ductless system for those rooms only rather than adding ductwork to deliver conditioned air.

5. When You want to Reduce Energy Use in a Larger Home

Over time, we have received clients who are retirees or have children who moved out. In these cases, these clients are often left with additional rooms that they rarely use. Paying utility services for rooms that are rarely occupied may result in unnecessary high bills.

Shutting air vents in those extra spaces is not a good solution. In fact, blocking registers may deteriorate the central AC system by creating pressure differences that lead to increased wear and tear. Instead, we recommend incorporating ductless mini-split systems in the rooms where you spend most of your time and then relying on those units rather than your central HVAC system to stay comfortable.

The Pros and Cons of a Ductless Air Conditioner

We have compiled some advantages and disadvantages of ductless air conditioning systems. This should help you to manage your expectations when considering installation.

The advantages of these systems include:

  • Easy installation
  • Zoning control
  • No energy leaks in ducts
  • Quiet operation

The disadvantages of these systems include:

  • Higher maintenance needs
  • Not as hidden as ducted systems
  • Limited capabilities
  • Not ideal for all climates

Deciding if a ductless system is right for you can be difficult. That’s why you need a trusted HVAC company like Von’s Heating and Air to help.

At Von’s Heating and Air, we pride ourselves on offering rapid and reliable HVAC services to residents of Orange Park and the surrounding area. We provide a full range of heating and cooling services, including installation, repair, and maintenance. Our team also offers air duct cleaning to keep your system operating optimally and help you maintain good indoor air quality. Reach out to us today for more information or to set up an appointment.

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