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The Basics of How Ductless Air Conditioning Works

Ductless air conditioning systems (also called ­ductless mini splits for reasons we’ll explain in a moment) offer many advantages for home comfort compared to standard ACs that use ductwork. As we’ve explained in a previous post, a ductless AC can help improve indoor air quality, save money on energy bills, and allows for more flexible home construction and renovation projects.

Many customers are curious about exactly how a ductless air conditioning system works. People are so attached to thinking of central air conditioners as consisting of a large network of ducts and vents that they find it difficult to imagine a system that needs no ducts at all… except a window unit, which isn’t a central cooling system.

How ductless ACs cool your home without ventilation ducts

The window unit AC is a good appliance to bring up here, because it helps explain the way a ductless air conditioner works. There are numerous drawbacks to using a window AC, but it does have one advantage: it blows cool air straight into a room, with no ductwork involved. A ductless air conditioner uses the direct cooling of a window unit, but as part of centralized system that cools down multiple rooms and takes up less space than a window unit (and looks much more attractive as well).

image002A ductless air conditioner consists of an outdoor condenser unit similar to the ones used for conventional ACs. However, instead of a power and refrigerant line leading indoors to a single evaporator cabinet hooked to ductwork, different power and refrigerant lines lead to mini-blower units mounted on the walls of rooms around the house. This is why ductless AC are often called mini splits: a standard air conditioner is split system with an outdoor cabinet and one indoor cabinet, where a ductless system has an outdoor cabinet and multiple mini indoor units.

Each of the blower units contains a refrigerant coil and fan. When the blower comes on, the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air, and the fan sends the cooled air directly into the room. The refrigerant in the coil travels through the refrigerant line out of the house (right through a small hole in the wall behind the blower unit) to the condenser cabinet where the heat is exhausted. You receive point cooling power without ducts, while still enjoying the convenience and efficiency of a central air conditioning system: the best of both worlds!

Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical offers installation of ductless air conditioning systems in Sherman Oaks, CA. Call our friendly technicians any time of the day or night for exceptional customer service!

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