How does a ductless AC unit work?

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Image courtesy of Mitsubishi.

If you are considering a ductless AC unit for your home or business, excellent! Ductless AC is the heating/cooling option of the future. Since the technology is relatively new, you may have some lingering questions about how exactly a ductless AC unit works and if it will suit your unique needs. In this article we discuss what an AC unit is, what it does, and we go over some of the main components of the system. Keep reading and let’s find out if installing a  ductless AC unit in your home or business is the right move for you.

What is a ductless AC unit?

Let's explore how ductless AC differs from traditional heating and cooling systems

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Get your summer off to the right start with a ductless AC system.

You may be wondering what exactly a ductless AC unit is and how it differs from traditional AC units. Well for starters, it eliminates the need for heating/cooling ducts in your home. A ductless AC unit is usually very small and is mounted on the wall of your home. Ductless AC units can also be referred to as a ductless heating system or a mini-split air conditioning system. These small units can either work individually or as a full home unit, depending on your heating and cooling needs. If you install one of the barely noticeable ductless AC units in each room of your home, you can effectively replace your traditional heating and cooling with a more efficient, technologically advanced air conditioning system.

So how can these small AC units revolutionize how we heat and cool our homes? Let's explore exactly how they work and how switching to ductless will help conserve energy.

How exactly does ductless AC work without using heat ducts?

From the outside ductless AC seems complicated, but is actually very user friendly

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Wondering how ductless AC units work? The answer is more simple than you might think.

Though these systems are assumed to be complicated because of their efficiency and sleek appearance, they are actually relatively simple to explain.

Before we begin analyzing how the ductless AC unit works, we should first go over the three main components of every ductless system.

The Three Main Components of a Ductless AC Unit

  • Outdoor unit: Located outside of your home, usually on the ground, the outdoor unit is connected to the indoor unit by cables and tubing through the walls of your home. Inside the outdoor unit, the hot air is expelled into the outdoors. To achieve this, the outdoor unit contains a condensing coil, an inverter driven variable speed compressor, an expansion valve and a fan to cool the inside of the unit.
  • Indoor unit: As mentioned before, the sleek indoor unit is mounted on the wall of your home. Depending on the season, a ductless AC unit can provide warm or cold air to your home. The indoor unit is usually located somewhere central and accessible.
  • Remote Control: The third component of a ductless AC unit is the remote control. With remote controls you can more closely control the heating and cooling of your home. Giving you more control over the temperature is not only a convenience, it will lead to savings on your utility bills at the end of the month.

The Most Important Details

Let's get into the specifics of how exactly ductless AC keeps you cool

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Let's look at some Important specs about how ductless AC units work.

Now that we have gone over the ductless AC components you will be using everyday to adjust the temperature in your home, let's take a look under the hood of these AC units

A ductless AC system, as we reviewed, is made up of three main components. 

Beginning inside your home, your unit mounted on the wall will contain an evaporator coil and a blower fan to blow cool air into a single room. The indoor unit extracts heat from the room as the outdoor unit pushes refrigerant through the tubing into the indoor unit’s evaporator coil. When the liquid refrigerant evaporates into a gas, the indoor unit begins to sap warm air from the inside of your home or office and blow out cooler air. The refrigerant then makes its way back to the outdoor unit where it condenses back into a liquid as heat is expelled into the outdoor air. Though this is the process for cooling air, ductless AC units can also provide heat using the same methods. All of these heating and cooling actions are all controlled by you, using your handy remote.

Single or multi zone system?

Asses your heating and cooling needs before deciding on a single or multi zone ductless installation

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Single or multi-zone? The answer depends on your space.

As we have discussed, indoor ductless AC units are only able to cool one room at a time. So, how is this a beneficial new technology if it only works in one room? The answer is simple, while the indoor units only heat or cool one space at a time, you can connect several indoor AC units to a single outdoor unit, effectively heating and cooling your whole home. Though they are all connected to the same outdoor unit, the indoor components are able to work independently of each other. This means you can control the individual temperature of each room using your remote control, a perk that was previously not possible using heating ducts. 

If you are looking for more control over your home AC unit, it might be time to think about going ductless. Not only is it easier to use and more customizable than using heat ducts, it will also save you money and energy in the long run. On average heat ducts absorb 20% to 30% of cool air before it is delivered to your living space. So don't keep letting your cold air get away, consider upgrading to a ductless AC system. If you are already dreading the hot and humid Pittsburgh summer, call the city’s experts 412 Ductless for help with all of your heating and cooling needs.

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