Mini Split Ductless
Single Zone Mini Split Ductless
Mini Split Ductless AC and Heat Pumps
As the name implies, a mini split air conditioner and heating unit is meant to condition only one zone or room. Often you will hear them referred to as only “ductless units” or “mini-splits”, both of which refer to the same thing.
Some mini split ductless units are among the quietest and most efficient type of air conditioning and heating systems money can buy. They are definitely not all created equal though so make sure you do your research!
Ductless Heat Pumps and Air Condtioners
Mini split ductless air conditioners are what the HVAC Industry refers to as “straight cool” or cooling-only units. These systems do not provide heat.
Mini split ductless heat pumps provide both air conditioning and heating and work the same way a conventional ducted (central air) heat pump works. They utilize electric for both heating and cooling. Unlike conventional heat pumps however, some ductless heat pumps can operate in extremely cold temperatures*.
* Select model ductless heat pumps operate in ambient temperatures as low as -13 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mini-Split Ductless Unit Efficiency Ratings
One of the most common efficiency ratings manufacturers and contractors alike use to compare new AC units is SEER. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating or Ratio. SEER ratings are to AC units what MPG (Miles Per Gallon) is to cars. The higher the number, the more efficient the AC.
Many people confuse SEER with cooling capacity. Cooling capacity or “tons” is how many BTU’s of cooling energy the unit is capable of producing. SEER is how much energy the unit consumes to produce that cooling.
Mini-split ductless systems are typically much more efficient than conventional central air systems right out of the box. Some single-zone ductless units are 30 SEER or higher. The most efficient central air system on the market today is in the low 20’s.
No AC Air Ducts Equals No Duct Loss
Even with perfect duct-design, installation and duct-sealing, ductwork by its very nature is inefficient. When figuring out what size air conditioner is needed to cool a space, Magic Touch Mechanical completes what’s known as a load calculation. “Duct loss” or the energy lost through this inefficiency is especially high in Arizona where most ductwork is located in hot attics and walls.
In other words it takes a bigger central air conditioner to cool the same space than a ductless AC unit can. This additional efficiency isn’t even accounted for in the SEER rating which is why we said they are more efficient “out of the box”.
Ductless Air Handlers – Many Types and Sizes
Wall Mount Air Handler
A lot of people are familiar with wall mounted ductless air handlers, aka high-wall units. Although a lot of people think they are similar to a window AC – nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, ductless mini splits are the most technically advanced units being built today.
Recessed Ceiling Cassette
The recessed ceiling cassette air handler looks similar to a typical ceiling register (vent). These ceiling units are more discreet than a wall mounted unit. In fact, most people wouldn’t even notice they were there unless you pointed it out to them.
Low Wall / Floor Mount Air Handler
The low wall aka floor mount ductless air handler is the newest style of air handler. It’s a modern twist on an old fashioned radiator like seen in older buildings in big cities. They have a similar dimensions to a small radiator but are thinner so don’t stick out as much. Second only to the wall mounted high-wall units, these are the most popular air handler with Magic Touch Mechanical clients.
Suspended / Ceiling Mount
The suspended ceiling mount differs from the ceiling cassette in that it is mounted “on” the ceiling as opposed to “in” the ceiling. This air handler hangs from the ceiling but is not obtrusive. Common applications for the suspended air handler include sunrooms and garages, although they are not limited to these applications.
Concealed Air Handler
You guessed it, this air handler is well – concealed! For areas with attic access above the room, homeowners can have all the benefits of a ductless unit installed in the attic. These air handlers aren’t truly duct-less however. They utilize very small ducts in short lengths that blow air at a very high velocity.
Ductless Units – Fastest Growing AC Segment in the USA
If you spend any time out of the U.S., you’ve probably seen mini-split ductless air conditioners and heat pumps. Initially developed in Asia, ductless units are the most common type of cooling and heating equipment in the rest of the world. Most homes and buildings in Europe, Asia, Central America, and the Middle East use predominantly ductless systems. Here in North America they are seen often in Mexico.
When you consider that many of the homes and buildings in the “Old World” were built hundreds of years before the invention of air conditioning, you start to understand why. There was no place to install ductwork!
Even modern buildings and homes thought the rest of the world and new homes being built use this technology in the rest of the world. The reason is simple – they are quieter, more efficient, more durable and more reliable than central air conditioners!
For the last decade, mini split ductless air conditioners and heat pumps are the fastest growing segment of new HVAC equipment sold in America.
Ductless Air Conditioner Price
We knew you were going to ask how much a single-zone ductless air conditioner costs! Since there are so many different variations, models, and types we wrote an article that answers just that. Before you jump right to that page though note every application is different unlike central air conditioners. Know there is a lot more than just the equipment that goes into installing a ductless system. I’ll give you a hint, they start in the $4,500 – $5,000 range including tax, installed.
For more information on the price of a new mini split ductless air conditioner or heat pump, visit this page of our website.