As a responsible homeowner and savvy shopper, you ask good questions and want informative answers before you commit to a substantial home investment. If you’re curious how ductless mini-split heat pumps work to deliver the air conditioning needs of your Montgomery area home, keep reading for the answers to your questions.
The Skinny on Ductless Mini-Splits
Like conventional central heat pumps, ductless mini-split heat pumps manipulate refrigerant to move heat into and out of the home. This is accomplished using the same primary components as central systems. However, ductless mini-split heat pumps heat and cool a single room or area (zone) rather than the entire home, like central systems. This means ductless components are much smaller.
A ductless system’s indoor air-handling unit (AHU) is installed inside the living space and cools and heats air inside the zone it’s located in. Air is pulled through a filtration system inside the sleek cabinet, and then the air is conditioned at the evaporator coil. In cooling mode, the ice-cold evaporator coil extracts heat energy from the air, while in heating mode, hot refrigerant releases heat to the air.
Coil and room temperature are constantly monitored by sophisticated sensors. An inverter-driven compressor located in the outdoor cabinet precisely meets the cooling or heating demand and helps the mini-split maintain room temperature within one degree of thermostat settings. The compressor connects to the AHU via flexible piping routed through walls and other inconspicuous spaces. The piping houses the power supply, refrigerant lines and condensate suction.
Select ductless mini-split heat pumps offer a dehumidification or “dry” mode, which Montgomery homeowners should appreciate during hot and humid weather. Moreover, ductless mini-split heat pumps are comfort systems for all seasons and provide comfortable zone heating, even if outside temperatures dip into single digits.
Ductless systems were designed in the 1970s to provide a practical air conditioning solution to homes and offices with limited space. Over the years, ductless design and engineering improved to offer more efficient heat exchange and multiple mounting options to serve practically any zoned cooling or heating need:
- Universal: A high-wall mounting is the most common installation for the AHU. The AHU may also be mounted flush to the ceiling.
- Recessed: For better aesthetics, a ceiling cassette or wall model may be recessed, which partially conceals the AHU.
- Drop ceiling: If your retrofit or new addition has a drop ceiling, the AHU may be recessed or concealed into or behind a ceiling panel.
- Short duct concealed: You also have the option to select an AHU that may be concealed in the cavities of walls, the ceiling or flooring. A short duct run attaches to supply and return grills for the smooth look of a central system.
The flexible piping system may extend 150 feet or more in select ductless mini-split heat pumps. This provides homeowners great options for locating the outdoor cabinet for best aesthetics or away from the sun. The outdoor cabinet needs a firm surface to mount to, such as a concrete or block slab. It may also be mounted to the home, on a porch or on the rooftop.
The compact design and long piping system gives homeowners free reign for designing a ductless system to their project’s needs, rather than accommodating bulky ducts. Versatile uses for so many applications is one of the reasons ductless systems are so popular. Following are some of the situations well served by ductless mini-split heat pumps:
- Supplemental: Do you have rooms in your home that are difficult to keep comfortable? A mini-split may your home comfort answer.
- Retrofits: Making use of attic space for a new bedroom or home office, for instance, adds value to your home. Save living space by foregoing ductwork and going ductless in your remodeled space.
- New additions: Save space and expense in your new build or sun room with a mini-split.
- Guest quarters: Seldom used guest rooms or outbuildings are ideally suited for ductless cooling and heating.
- Garages: Tired of working up too much of a sweat in the garage? Keep it cool and dehumidified by going ductless.
- Homes without ducts: Many older homes were constructed without air ducts. Ductless systems can provide much needed air conditioning with minimal intrusiveness to the home structure.
Learn more about the ductless mini-split heat pumps available via Air Conditioning by Luquire and contact us today at 334-230-5870 to schedule an appointment!