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What’s So Great About a Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner?

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Posted December 26, 2012

How would you like to have a state-of-the-art AC system that would decrease your utility bills and provide you with more comfort? If you answered yes, then you should consider a ductless mini split air conditioner. These products offer all of the benefits of a ducted Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioner (HVAC) system with none of the drawbacks.

Going Ductless

Ducted systems are so pervasive that many consumers are not even aware of an alternative; however, in many parts of the world, ductless systems are the only ones that are used. One of the main advantages of having a ductless mini split air conditioner is that there are no ducts. Why is this an advantage? Most duct systems are not efficient at their primary job: moving air. Unless you are willing to invest the money in expensive metal ductwork, then you are going to have a system that suffers from significant airflow resistance. This is because the most commonly used type of duct system, flex duct, has a rough interior surface that creates friction. When you combine resistance with all of the turns, connections and possible crimp points, the result is less than ideal airflow.
Another major problem with ducts, especially in the Houston area, is that they are frequently located in brutally hot unconditioned attics. Although ducts are insulated, the amount of insulation is quite low, and heat infiltration will occur. Flex ducts are also prone to leaks unless they are sealed perfectly, and the extreme conditions of their surroundings constantly work to deteriorate the sealing adhesive. Over time, this deterioration will lead to breaches in your duct system, wasting cooled air and bringing dirty, hot air into your house.

Ductless HVAC Equipment

So how does a ductless mini split air conditioner manage to condition air without ducts? These systems are similar to conventional HVAC split systems in that they have an outdoor component (condenser) and one or more indoor units (air handlers). Instead of the air handler going into a mechanical closet, they are placed on a wall. One condenser can power multiple air handlers, each of which is capable of being individually controlled. This arrangement allows for what is known as zoning, meaning that each room or zone can be set to a different temperature if desired. This is much more effective than maintaining a set temperature over an entire house.

Efficiency of Ductless Air Conditioning Systems

Air conditioning system efficiencies are measured in terms of Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which is the average efficiency over an entire cooling season. While typical HVAC systems are going to range from 13 to 15 SEER, it is possible to achieve up to 23 SEER with a ductless system. Efficiencies will depend on the size and type of system you choose.

There are many advantages to going ductless. Please give Air Specialist a call, and we will be happy to discuss these fantastic systems with you in further detail.


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