Do you still depend on those unsightly power-hungry window air conditioners to cool down your older home? Or perhaps you have a central air conditioning system that hasn’t quite cut it since you converted your basement into a den?
Well, there’s certainly no need to worry as we have a definite solution for you.
Innovative high-tech Mitsubishi ductless air conditioner systems can help resolve your home’s utmost climate control concerns. Furthermore, these styles of cooling systems are extremely efficient, less costly than conventional central air systems, and highly adaptable for customizing. Bottom line? They are worth considering for your home if you’re restricted in your choices for climate control.
This blog will provide you with a summary of ductless air conditioning systems, their benefits, and what you need to consider before deciding if ductless mini-split systems are the right choice for your home.
Note: Before proceeding, it’s important to note that Mitsubishi ductless systems have the ability to heat and cool; however, today, we will be discussing the cooling option only.
What exactly is a Mitsubishi ductless system?
In its most elementary form, a Mitsubishi ductless mini-split system consists of one outdoor unit and one indoor unit, connected by refrigerant tubing and electrical wiring. The indoor unit is frequently wall-mounted and distributes cooled air directly into the living space, be it a bedroom, den, or living room. No ductwork is required. This is known as a single-zone system intended to deliver cooling relief to one area in your home. On the other hand, a ductless multi-zone system links one outdoor unit with up to five indoor units that can offer cooling relief for an entire house.
Since there are a variety of styles of indoor units on the market, and because installation simply involves a hole in the wall for the wiring and refrigerant line, ductless systems are among the most straightforward and most adaptable systems to put in a home.
Before installing a new ductless air conditioner or switching out your existing system, it’s essential to appreciate precisely how they function. We’ve provided a shortened version of its functioning above; here is a more complete description.
Put simply, ductless air conditioning systems (also described as mini-splits) connect separate indoor room units to an outdoor compressor. The indoor unit comprises evaporator coils cooled with refrigerant. Warm air from the room blows over and is absorbed by these coils. The refrigerant transports all that interior heat to the outdoor unit.
Rather than a central unit linked by lengthy pieces of ductwork transferring warm and cool air hither and yon, a mini-split system features small units in each room, which pull in warm air and send it back out as cold air. A trendy substitute for conventional air conditioners, mini-splits include far less intrusive installation and blend in better with the room. Plus, they are quieter and quite energy efficient.
Hold on a doggone minute! How can these little mini-split units cool my entire house? It’s very simple – the indoor units are all linked to one outdoor compressor, which captures warm air from the house. Once the main unit is installed, you can select from several types of indoor unit choices, including wall-mounted, ceiling recessed, ceiling register, or floor mounted to integrate into each room’s character and cooling requirements.
What are the chief benefits of Mitsubishi ductless systems?
Remember that even if you presently have a traditional air conditioning system with ducts, you can switch to a ductless system and experience its benefits.
Ductless will save you money
If you’re the same as most homeowners, you require an energy-efficient cooling system. In addition to better climate control, you also want to lower your energy bills. Non-ductless systems cool the entire house, which can be inefficient and even wasteful.
However, a Mitsubishi ductless air conditioning system saves you money with separate cooling for each zone. For example, you may prefer your bedroom to be a bit cooler than the rest of your house. A ductless system allows you to set your bedroom’s thermostat lower without disturbing the temperature in other areas of the home.
Want some expert testimony? James Bowman, a 20-year veteran of the HVAC industry, says, “Simply by removing ducts, you end up with a more efficient system. Ductless models also have inverter-driven compressors, which speed up and slow down based on the needs of the system instead of shutting off entirely as traditional compressors do. You consume a lot of energy during compressor start-up.”
Breathe easier with a mini-split system
Okay, you know that conventional cooling systems depend on airflow to cool your home. However, with that airflow arrives dust and allergens that can lead to upper respiratory concerns. Duct cleaning is a crucial part of maintenance to reduce these pollutants. Alternatively, ductless systems contain multi-stage filtration processes that reduce dust, pollen, and similar allergens in your indoor air.
Yes, a ductless system entails filter changes on each indoor air handler unit. Keeping your evaporator coils clean is vital, as they can have a major effect on cooling efficiency.
Nevertheless, considering that they don’t blow the same air throughout your house, you can more realistically manage the spread of allergens and those annoying particles that lower your indoor air quality.
Ductless air conditioning reduces your carbon footprint
Enhancing your home’s energy efficiency cuts your bills and lessens your carbon footprint. Today’s ductless mini-splits help achieve this, thanks in part to their employment of R410A, a refrigerant that doesn’t adversely affect the Earth’s ozone layer. R410A also soaks up and discharges heat better than R22, its predecessor, boosting your cooling system’s efficiency.
Ductless systems must meet standards for ENERGY STAR
In this instance, air conditioning units are allocated SEER ratings, and SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the SEER rating, the less energy that the equipment uses. And if your electricity supplier happens to use solar or wind, that’s even better.
Ductless features zone control
Zone control is a more substantial benefit of ductless systems than conventional ones. To put it simply, if you want one part of your house to be kept at a different temperature than another, individual indoor handler units will help you accomplish this.
This means they are also ideal if you have family members with different comfort preferences – someone that prefers a room a bit cooler, for instance.
Ductless offers more precise cooling
Inverter compressor technology makes cooling temperatures more precise. Rather than the constant up-and-down temperature swings provided by single-stage systems, and a variable speed, the inverter-controlled compressor runs much like cruise control in your car, making sure you’re comfortable. It efficiently maintains indoor temperatures with negligible rise and fall.
Okay, why not just install a window unit or portable air conditioner and be done with it?
All these features of a ductless mini-split system add up to a boost in comfort, particularly when compared to the options for cooling single rooms: window air conditioners and portable units.
To begin, Mitsubishi ductless systems are much quieter.
With the system split between an indoor and outdoor unit, the only noise you’ll hear is the fan that’s moving the air. None of that noisy compressor hum is so characteristic of a window unit. After all, the best cooling systems should be appreciated rather than heard.
Also, as described above, most ductless systems employ variable-speed motors in their compressors. That means on a mild day, a mini-split will essentially run at a slower speed than on a hot day, saving energy, whereas a window unit will go on and off, on and off.
This constant cycling of the window unit devours a huge amount of energy. As one HVAC yech explained, “Think of it like trying to push a car from a dead stop to 5 mph compared to pushing it as it’s already rolling forward. Which one requires more energy?”
Are there any disadvantages to a ductless system?
As with most anything pertaining to your house, every option has its downsides, and mini-splits are no different.
- Cost: Ductless is more costly than a traditional window or baseboard cooling unit.
- Aesthetics: Mini-splits are not particularly beneficial when it comes to room design and normally only come in white or beige.
- Maintenance: Ductless systems involve monthly filter cleaning to remove dust and debris. That said, you only need to clean the air filters by running them through your dishwasher.
What is the ideal situation for ductless?
The fact is, dependent on your home’s construction; ductless systems can make a lot of sense in various applications, including, as we’ve described, whole-house cooling.
However, there are specific circumstances where ductless has a clear-cut advantage.
- Recent additions: garages, apartments, sunrooms.
“And man caves,” says our HVAC veteran Jim Bowman. “If you smoke cigars in there, you won’t be sharing ductwork with the rest of the house.” All kidding aside, the chief benefit of ductless systems here is that they will be correctly sized for the new space and won’t borrow air from other rooms.
- Downsizing struggles for larger homes. Many retirees, for instance, don’t want to cool rooms that aren’t in use. But they frequently shut off cooling vents in empty rooms, producing pressure imbalances and minor problems. It’s far better to put in a ductless system, let’s say, in the master bedroom and set the house’s central thermostat to run at a minimum range.
- Addressing several demands under one roof. Do you find your family continually bickering over the thermostat? Ductless is perfect for producing independent temperature zones in various rooms. Yes, you can install zoning in conventional ducted systems, but it won’t be as efficient.
- Providing support to a room with distinct cooling issues. Let’s say you have a small kitchen with a huge stove or a southwest view and a big picture window in your living room. A ductless unit can make your Fourth of July family gathering far more pleasant without installing new ductwork.
- Adding AC to a house with no existing ductwork. We’ll admit ductless isn’t cheap, but it’s certainly less expensive than adding ductwork to an existing house.
Be sure to go with a professional contractor
Proper system sizing and installation are undeniably crucial to getting the advertised benefits of a ductless mini-split system. Although a DIY approach is certainly possible, it’s strongly recommended that you not do it yourself as you might end up voiding the warranty.
Most importantly, ductless will never work correctly if the system is the wrong size, the wall entrance isn’t sealed appropriately, or the delicate electronics are mistreated. For example, oversized or incorrectly located air handlers often result in short cycling, which wastes energy and doesn’t provide proper temperature or humidity control. Too large a system is also more expensive to operate.
Moreover, you must be able to handle refrigerants per EPA guidelines. It’s best to always keep in mind that the extra money you spend to have a pro do the job is more than worth it.
As a certified Mitsubishi Diamond Dealer, our team of experts at Schultheis Brothers is certified in properly sizing and installing all ductless equipment.
Schultheis Brothers is a Mitsubishi Elite Ductless PRO, the highest level a contractor can reach with Mitsubishi. Our Elite Ductless PRO status allows us to provide a limit 12-year parts/12-year compressor warranty on Mitsubishi ductless systems.