Many homes in Texas weren’t built with central air conditioning systems. Others have rooms that are under-serviced or that aren’t serviced by their existing cooling equipment at all. Ductless air conditioners are designed to provide the same cooling power that central A/C systems do. Best of all, they don’t need built-in ductwork, and they’re zoned to provide superior levels of efficiency. It has become a popular choice for those who do not want to invest in central air conditioning systems. Read on to discover exactly how this equipment works and to determine whether it’s the right choice in residential cooling for you.
How Ductless Air Conditioners Work
Central air conditioning systems have one outside compressor and one indoor condenser. With these systems, a single condenser forces cooled air through a complex network of ducts and distributes it to individual rooms. With most older central cooling systems, this means that a single temperature must be set for the entire home. With just one thermostat for temperature settings, a central air conditioner is built to cool all rooms equally.
Ductless or mini-split air conditioners can cool different rooms or zones according to the unique needs of individual occupants. Each room or zone has its own separate air handler and thermostat that’s connected to a single outside compressor. Air is distributed through each air register as demanded by the thermostat settings in respective zones. Those who want constant cooling and lower indoor temperatures can set their thermostats accordingly. However, in rooms or zones that aren’t being used, air handlers can be turned off or set to higher temperatures. These changes can be made without affecting temperatures in the areas that are occupied.
Ductless Air Conditioners Have a Versatile Design
For homes that lack existing ductwork, the installation of a ductless air conditioner is minimally invasive. There’s no need to reconfigure living areas to install ductwork post-construction. Moreover, these units require very few building modifications apart from a small hole where each air handler is installed to accommodate the necessary refrigerant lines. This hole usually measures just three inches in diameter or less, and it doesn’t have any impact on the structural integrity of the wall.
There are also several types of air handlers available. Homeowners can choose the style and design that works best for their cooling needs, their preferred indoor aesthetics, and the existing layout of their homes. Some options include ceiling registers, ceiling recessed registers, and in-floor registers. These options also come in white, beige, or brown so that consumers can seamlessly coordinate these fixtures with other indoor design elements without creating an unattractive aesthetic.
Understanding the Cooling Process of a Ductless Air Conditioner
With ductless mini-split air conditioners, each room or zone has its own fan and evaporator. These are connected to the outdoor compressor using refrigerant lines. Air that travels to the compressor is cooled along the way. It is then moved to each connected indoor unit and disbursed throughout the individual zone or room. Given that there are absolutely no ducts in this process, there’s virtually no loss of cooled air. This is yet another way in which ductless systems are superior to most central A/C units. Not only can they be used to selectively cool spaces that are actively occupied, but they also deliver more cooling in relation to the amount of energy used.
Different Applications for Ductless Air Conditioners
Ductless air conditioners aren’t just for homes that lack ductwork for supporting central cooling systems. These air conditioners are also great for cooling down rooms that are under-serviced by existing A/C units. For instance, if you have an upstairs room, basement area, or other space that’s always warmer than other rooms, it may be that there isn’t a sufficient number of vents that are supported by your central cooling system. Installing a ductless mini-split can solve the problem.
Texas residents also use these systems in new additions. If you’ve recently added a garden room, another bedroom, or if you’ve finished your basement and intend to use it as a recreational or living space, installing a ductless air conditioner will give you temperature control. This is often far cheaper and easier than having existing ductwork extended.
Small businesses also use mini-split air conditioners to provide extra cooling service to spaces that must be kept at lower temperatures than other building areas. A ductless mini-split is an excellent choice for keeping computer rooms and server rooms at colder temperatures than spaces that don’t have heat-sensitive technical equipment. For homeowners with high-value gaming systems or gaming computers or computers that are used for cryptocurrency mining, ductless mini-splits are often excellent building additions as well.
Ductless Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps
Ductless air conditioners can be functional solely as cooling units, or heat pumps can be used instead. With a ductless heat pump, residents can enjoy dual-functionality with reliable heating in winter and reliable cooling in summer. Whether heating or cooling their living spaces, consumers will have the ability to selectively lower or raise temperatures in individual rooms or zones for maximum energy efficiency.
Cooling Power and Ductless Air Conditioner Sizes
One very common misconception about all air conditioners is that bigger is always better. When homeowners shop for cooling equipment on their own, they may be tempted to buy the largest models they can find. However, for assured performance and efficiency, cooling equipment should be properly sized for the area that must be serviced. This is just as true for ductless air conditioners as it is for central A/C systems. Installing a unit that’s too large or too small for a space will invariably result in problems like:
- Uneven temperatures
- Higher than average home energy bills
- Icing over
Just as it is for central air conditioners, the cooling power of a ductless mini-split is measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. Room measurements and other calculations are used to determine how many BTUs are necessary. Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating can assist you in getting accurate measurements as well. The most common ductless air conditioner sizes are:
- 12,000 BTUs for spaces measuring between 450 and 600 sq. ft.
- 18,000 BTUs for spaces measuring between 600 and 1,000 sq. ft.
- 24,000 BTUs for spaces measuring between 800 and 1,300 sq. ft.
However, when larger or smaller sizes are necessary for meeting the needs of unique environments, there are multiple suitable options outside of these ranges. Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating would be happy to explore those options with you to help you make the best choice!
If your home isn’t currently set up to support a central air conditioner, don’t worry just yet. Ductless mini-split air conditioners will allow you to enjoy the same level of comfort and efficiency. At Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating, we offer ductless air conditioner maintenance, repair, and installation. We also offer reliable air duct cleaning, air duct installation, and VRF systems installation to residents of the greater San Antonio, Texas, area. Call us today to schedule a consultation appointment!