There is a variety of ways to cool your home, with central air conditioning systems being one of the most common HVAC types. A newer type of system that’s gaining prevalence in the United States, though, is the ductless air conditioner. While they’re commonly used outside of the United States, US homeowners often have plenty of questions about what they believe to be a new and unproven technology. Chief among them is the question of how a ductless air conditioning system can cool a whole house. Here’s the answer to that question, but in short: they can.
What Is a Ductless Air Conditioner?
Before we delve into how ductless air conditioners can cool entire homes, it’s important to first go over exactly what these systems are and how they differ from central air conditioners. Ductless air conditioners, which are sometimes referred to as mini-split air conditioners, represent a different approach to offering the same benefit: cool air inside your home.
A central air conditioner pairs a condenser unit that sits outside your home with a central blower and evaporator unit that sits inside it. The latter pulls in warm air, cools it, and returns it to your home via a network of ducts running inside your walls. To do it, it relies on a refrigerant to carry the heat outside, expel it, and return inside for another cooling cycle.
A ductless air conditioner operates in much the same way, with one critical difference. Instead of a central blower and evaporator, it uses individual air handlers in each room to perform the same task. That eliminates the need for ductwork running throughout your home. Plus, it allows you to control the temperature in each room individually, instead of through a centrally-located thermostat.
How Can a Ductless Air Conditioner Cool a Whole House?
One of the major benefits of a ductless air conditioning system is that you can deploy it in just a single room or multiple rooms if you wish. Depending on the system you purchase, a single outdoor condensing unit can support up to eight indoor air handlers. That means it’s possible to use a single ductless air conditioner to serve a whole average-sized home. And, for bigger homes, there’s an easy solution: add a second outdoor unit to support more air handlers.
Fortunately, the condensers that go with ductless air conditioners tend to be smaller and slimmer than those you’re used to seeing with conventional central air conditioning systems. They’re small enough that it’s possible to mount them right on an exterior wall or stack them on top of one another if necessary. Plus, since they’re small, they’re also quiet, with the average ductless system’s condenser hovering around 32 decibels when running.
What Are the Benefits and Downsides of Ductless Air Conditioning?
Now that you know how a ductless air conditioner can cool your whole house, you might wonder why you’d choose one over a central air conditioning system. There are several good reasons to do so. The first is efficiency. Since they do away with energy loss-prone ductwork, ductless systems often cost less to operate than central air conditioners. Plus, they’re simple to install and customize since you can install air handlers wherever your home needs them. On top of all of that, they allow you to save money by only cooling the parts of your home that you’re using at any given time.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of ductless air conditioners is their cost. They’ll cost you up to 30% more upfront than a comparable central air conditioning system, as they require multiple units installed in multiple places. Residents also need to be more vigilant about cleaning or changing their air filters regularly, as ductless systems have a more difficult time with dirt and dust buildup than central air conditioning.
Consult the Ductless Air Conditioning Experts
If you think ductless air conditioning is right for you, it’s time to contact a professional. At Weather Masters Corp., we offer comprehensive HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services for both residential and commercial customers. We also install and service water heaters, offer air quality services, and can even install smart thermostats if you need one. If you’d like more information about having a ductless air conditioner installed in your Frederick, MD, home, call us at Weather Masters Corp. today!