Split Ductless Air Conditioning Systems

Split Ductless Air Conditioning Systems

Ductless, tiny split-system air-conditioners (mini divides) have numerous prospective applications in property, business, and institutional structures.

The most typical applications remain in multifamily real estate or as retrofit add-ons to homes with “non-ducted” heating unit, such as hydronic (warm water heat), radiant panels, and space heaters (wood, kerosene, lp). They can likewise be a great option for space additions and studio apartments, where extending or installing distribution ductwork (for a main air-conditioner or heater) is not feasible. Have a look at our Energy Saver 101 infographic on home cooling to find out how ductless, mini-split air conditioners compare to other cooling systems.

Like main systems, mini divides have two primary components: an outside compressor/condenser, and an indoor air-handling system. An avenue, which houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain, connects the outdoor and indoor units.


The main benefits of mini splits are their little size and flexibility for zoning or warming and cooling individual spaces. Lots of designs can have as lots of as four indoor air dealing with systems (for four zones or spaces) connected to one outdoor system. The number depends on how much heating or cooling is required for the structure or each zone (which in turn is affected by how well the structure is insulated). Each of the zones will have its own thermostat, so you just have to condition that space when it is occupied, saving energy and money.

Ductless mini split systems are likewise typically simpler to install than other types of area conditioning systems. For example, the hook-up in between the outdoor and indoor units typically requires only a three-inch (~ 8 centimeter [cm] hole through a wall for the avenue. Likewise, a lot of makers of this type of system can supply a range of lengths of connecting conduits. So, if needed, you can find the outside unit as far as 50 feet (~ 15 meters [m] from the indoor evaporator. This makes it possible to cool spaces on the front side of a building house with the compressor in a more advantageous or inconspicuous place on the outside of the structure.

Given that mini splits have no ducts, they prevent the energy losses associated with ductwork of central forced air systems. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for area conditioning, especially if the ducts remain in an unconditioned area such as an attic.

Compared with other add-on systems, mini splits deal more flexibility in interior design choices. The indoor air handlers can be suspended from a ceiling, installed flush into a drop ceiling, or hung on a wall. Floor-standing models are also available. Most indoor units have profiles of about 7 inches (~ 18 cm) deep and normally come with sleek, high-tech-looking jackets. Many likewise use a push-button control to make it simpler to turn the system on and off when it’s positioned high up on a wall or suspended from a ceiling. Split-systems can likewise help to keep your home much safer, because there is just a small hole in the wall. Through-the-wall and window mounted space air-conditioners can supply a simple entrance for intruders.


The primary disadvantage of mini divides is their cost. Such systems cost about $1,500 to $2,000 per load (12,000 Btu per hour) of cooling capacity. This is about 30% more than central systems (not consisting of ductwork) and may cost twice as much as window units of comparable capacity.

The installer needs to also correctly size each indoor system and judge the best location for its setup. Oversized or improperly located air-handlers often lead to short-cycling, which wastes energy and does not provide correct temperature level or humidity control. Too large a system is likewise more costly to buy and run.

Some people might not like the appearance of the indoor part of the system. While less noticeable than a window room air conditioning unit, they hardly ever have the built-in appearance of a central system. There should also be a place to drain pipes condensate water near the outdoor unit.

Qualified installers and service people for mini splits may not be easy to discover. In addition, most traditional heating and air conditioning specialists have large financial investments in tools and training for sheet metal duct systems. They have to use (and charge for) these to make a return on their investment, so they might not recommend ductless systems except where a ducted system would be hard for them to set up.


Last updated on September 16th, 2019

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