Before the development of ductless air conditioning, keeping cool in the summer offered only a few options. You could have fans in the windows, which compromise your security and don’t keep you that cool. You could have window air conditioners blocking the view. Or you could have a major ducted central air system involved. Now, however, ductless air conditioning offers a simple, effective alternative.
Ductless air conditioning starts with a compressor in a condensing unit. This component is installed on the outside of the home. Indoor units, each including a small fan to blow out the refrigerated air, are mounted inside, on the walls or ceilings. Copper tubing lines connect the condensing unit with the indoor units. Each of those can be adjusted by a remote or wall mounted control.
One of the major advantages of ductless air conditioning is that each room can be kept at the temperature desired without affecting the temperature in other rooms. Another advantage is that it is much easier to install in a pre-existing home than air conditioning that involves duct work. The system can be in use the same day the installer hooks it up.
A split system of ductless air conditioning allows you to control different parts of the building at the same time. Sometimes they are called a “mini-split.” This form of air cooling is reported to save energy by eliminating the ducts through which thermal losses occur. It is also quieter than a window unit because the noisy part of the air conditioner is outside.
There are a number of manufacturers that make ductless air conditioning. Soleus, General Electric, and Friedrich are just a few. A single unit can cost well under $1000 initially, but installation and charging the system with refrigerant will add to that price. Some ductless equipment is designed for heating the home as well as cooling it.
One suggestion, if you are thinking of installing ductless air conditioning in your home, is to purchase the equipment from a dealer and hire your own electrician or carpenter to install the system. Sometimes buying such a product through a building contractor is much more costly. Most consumer reviews are fairly positive about the merits of mini-split air conditioning, though some brands are reported as noisy or less effective.