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Pros & Cons of Ductless Air Conditioners

Pros & Cons of Ductless Air Conditioners

Ductless air conditioners have many uses for commercial buildings and residential use. So, knowing some pros & cons of ductless air conditioners is essential.

People usually use it for multi-family housing and retrofit add-ons for homes with non-ducted heating systems. For example, hot water or hydronic heat systems, radiant panels, or space heaters such as kerosene, wood, and propane. They are also a good option for small apartments or room additions where installing the ductwork is impossible.

Like central air conditioning systems, mini-split systems consist of two main components:

  • an indoor air-handling unit
  • an outdoor condenser/compressor

The indoor and outdoor units are linked by a conduit. This conduit houses the power cable, the tubing for the refrigerant, suction tubing, and the condensation drain.

Pros of Ductless Air Conditioners

The main advantages of mini-split air conditioners are their compact size and flexibility that cools each rooms. Some models can handle four indoor air-handling units connected to 1 outdoor unit to cool four rooms or zones.

The number of units will depend on the cooling requirements of the particular building or the size of each zone. The level of cooling required will depend on several factors, such as how well the building is air sealed and insulated. Each area has its thermostat so that the space can be air-conditioned only when occupied, thereby saving you energy and money.

Ease of Installation and Flexibility

Mini-Splits are also much easier to install. Generally, it requires an 8cm hole through a wall for the conduit to fit through to connect the indoor and outdoor units. Most manufacturers of ductless mini-split systems provide a variety of tube connecting lengths. It enables an outdoor unit to be located up to 15 meters away from the indoor evaporator if necessary. This flexibility cools rooms in front of a building while the compressor is in a more discreet building area.

Saving Energy and Money

The Pros and Cons of Ductless Heating and Cooling | B&L ...

More than 30% of energy consumption in air conditioning may be due to duct losses, mainly when housed in unconditioned spaces like attics. Since there is no extensive ductwork in mini-split systems, you can avoid energy losses from central forced air conditioning systems.

Interior Design Options

Ductless mini-split systems offer more flexibility for interior design options than other types of add-on air conditioning systems. Options include suspending the indoor handlers from the ceiling, high up on a wall, or flush-mounted into a drop ceiling.

Many mini-splits have indoor units with profiles of about 8cm deep and come with high-tech-looking, sleek jackets. Remote control makes it convenient and easy to control units suspended from the ceiling or mounted high on a wall.

Cons of Ductless Air Conditioners

Cost

The main disadvantage of having mini-splits is the cost of running such systems. These systems can cost up to 30% more to run than central air conditioning systems and do not include ductwork. Mini-splits can cost anything from $1,500 to $2,000 per ton, equating to 12,000 Btu per hour cooling capacity.

You must install the correct size indoor unit and the best location to install each unit, judging by the size of each zone. Incorrectly located air-handlers or oversized indoor units can result in short-cycling, which often does not provide proper humidity and temperature control resulting in energy losses and waste of money.

Aesthetics

While mini-splits are less intrusive than window-type air conditioners, sometimes people do not like the appearance of mini-split indoor units. It’s because they may not fit in with their décor. Since you should position it close to the outdoor unit, they have the built-in appearance of a central AC system.