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Ductless AC – What is that?

At  a conference a few weeks ago, I checked into my really nice room and I could tell it had recently been remodeled.  It was up-to-date, comfortable, had all of the conveniences and amenities anyone would want and (since summer was heating up already) the temperature was perfect! There was a big white box high on one of the walls, that wasn’t an eyesore at all but I had  no idea what in the world it was.  Of course, I had to pull a chair over and climb up to check it out what this was. From the controls and settings on it, I could see that it was some kind of cooling or heating device. I pressed buttons, turned dials and watched it do its thing for a minute and ultimately decided it was an AC system but like none I’ve ever seen before. It was on the wall, not in a window and I could see no ducts anywhere else in the room. Intrigued, I decided to ask about this next time I passed through the lobby at the front desk. The manager kindly educated me that it was their ductless air conditioning unit.  “Your what?”, I thought but rather than look any more foolish, I just thanked him. Then, as soon as I got online later that night in my room, I did my own homework to research this thing.

What I found out was really (pardon the pun) cool! A ductless air conditioner is also called a mini-split system.  There are  two major components to the unit.  One that sits high on an inside wall and a unit mounted on the outside of a house, home or hotel even!  If your home has no ductwork, it’s a great cooling option.  It basically keeps your room temperature at a constant temperature unlike an air conditioning unit that goes on an off throughout the day.  And, in the winter, the system works in reverse by absorbing heat from the outside air and moving it indoors to heat your home too!

I also discovered that there’s quite a few benefits to installing a ductless air conditioning unit.  The installation is very easy and since the unit itself isn’t bulky it can be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye (in a hotel room or even your living room)  The unit is very quiet, unlike noisy window and wall units and since there are no ducts, the system loses less than 5% cooling vs. up to 40% for a traditional unit for big energy savings.  It’s also safer as window units can make it easier for intruders to enter your home. Even better, it’s environmentally friendly too.

For those of you who like diagrams, I found this schematic which shows how the system works:

Ductless AC Systems and how they work

Ductless AC Systems and how they work

So, if you’re in the market for a new AC system, before you run out and buy a huge air conditioning unit, check out the benefits of a ductless system.  It may be a very good option for you and hour home.  And, like me, you won’t have to worry about sounding foolish when you see one in a hotel room or home again. .