Ductless air conditioners have become quite the norm in modern homes. The fact that the indoor units are independently zoned and controlled makes them more energy-efficient and saves energy.
Ductless air conditioners are highly useful in buildings where only certain rooms need cooling. They are also a practical choice where buildings are old or have thicker walls, which impedes the installation of traditional ductwork.
River Valley Air Conditioning is a great example of a reliable HVAC company that can install your ductless AC for you. However, if you’re looking for more context on what factors affect the installation process, we assembled the most important factors below.
How do ductless air conditioners work?
Ductless air conditioners, also known as ductless mini-split systems, are systems that regulate your home temperature without requiring ductwork to deliver conditioned air across your home or a building. They consist of a visible indoor unit that blows the air directly inside the room and an outdoor unit that houses the condenser and the compressor.
Instead of metal ducts, the two units are connected through a conduit that houses a condensate drain line, the power cable, and the refrigerant tubing. The indoor unit is typically mounted on a wall. You can also use multiple indoor units for different rooms or areas that can be controlled independently to customize the indoor air.
Installing ductless air conditioners: what to know?
Due to the inherent differences between traditional and ductless air conditioners, installing ductless systems is usually easier. Here’s what you should remember before getting a ductless air conditioner.
Reduced costs and energy loss
As these systems do not need ducts to be installed, you can avoid expensive installation work. This also eliminates the possibility of improperly sealed or leaking ducts, helping avoid any potential energy loss. So, if you are on a budget, ductless systems would have the advantage.
The conduit required for ductless indoor split systems is substantially smaller than what is required for ducts. So, only a small hole, typically less than 3 inches wide, needs to be drilled in the wall that hosts the indoor unit. Traditional ducts require much more elaborate drilling with larger holes to connect the ductwork. Ductless would be a better option if you need a system installed quickly.
The indoor air conditioning unit in ductless systems is typically installed on a wall or ceiling using mounting brackets. This is in contrast to traditional systems, which may require a concrete pad or alternate mounting options. Consider this if you are particular about how visible the air conditioning can be in your home.
Compared to traditional systems, ductless systems can be installed across a wider range of buildings or spaces. This might include older buildings or homes where ductwork is not feasible due to construction issues or even in rooms where adding ductwork would be cost-prohibitive or difficult. You can go for ductless systems if you live in older buildings or where ducts are prohibitive.
More flexible in terms of zoning
Ductless systems are capable of cooling individual rooms or spaces. This makes them more flexible in terms of cooling options and temperature control. If you only need one room to be cooled or heated, install a ductless system to save hassle and money.
Overall, the installation process for ductless air conditioners is significantly easier and faster than in the case of traditional air conditioning systems. Depending on your specific needs, they may well be the better option for your home.
Installing ductless air conditioners: a step-by-step guide
Just like a traditional system, installing a ductless air conditioner also involves several steps with special expertise. This is why the installation is best left to professional HVAC technicians experienced in installing these systems. However, the installation process generally includes the following.
- Choosing the location for the indoor units: The first step is to review the indoor spaces that need air conditioning and figure out the optimal spot to install the indoor unit. Ideally, the indoor unit should be wall or ceiling mounted to optimize airflow and distribution throughout the space.
- Installing the mounting brackets: Once the space is finalized, the mounting brackets that secure the indoor units should be attached to the wall or ceiling at the selected location.
- Running the conduit: The conduit, which contains the condensate drain line, the power cable, and the refrigerant tubing, should be run from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit location. For this, a hole no larger than 3 inches across needs to be drilled into the wall behind the indoor unit.
- Connecting the outdoor unit to the indoor unit: Once the hole is drilled, the conduit can be run outside to connect to the outdoor unit. The outdoor unit should ideally be installed at a location where it can be safe from mechanical damage. It should also have enough clear space around it to ensure the optimal expulsion of warm or cold air.
- Testing the system: Once the installation is complete, the system can be turned on to choose whether or not it functions properly and regulates the indoor air effectively.
Should you get a ductless air conditioner?
As you may have surmised from the article, the kind of air conditioner you need depends on several factors.
- Consider installing a ductless air conditioner if you want only a specific area or room to have temperature control.
- Ductless air conditioners are highly recommended if your house has thick walls or is old enough to make construction work difficult.
- The lack of ducts means fewer chances of accumulating dust, dirt, and allergens, thereby improving indoor air quality.
- Ductless air conditioners are easier and cheaper to install and significantly cheaper to run due to higher energy efficiency.
So, if you are looking for a cost-effective HVAC solution for your home, ductless air conditioners are your best bet.
Remember that this is just a general overview of the installation. The process can vary significantly depending on the features of the home or the building where it is to be installed.
Remember that the make, model, and brand of the ductless air conditioning system also may play a part in determining the best installation process. As always, we recommend consulting with an experienced HVAC technician before installing.