Although central air conditioners are the most common types of cooling systems in St. Louis area homes, there are times when you might want to install a separate air conditioner for specific rooms or new additions. In those cases, it might make sense to install a ductless mini split air conditioner.
A ductless mini split air conditioner operates very similarly to a normal central air conditioner. The main difference, as you can tell from the name, is that it doesn’t use ductwork to distribute the conditioned air in your home.
Like a central air conditioner, a ductless mini split system has an outdoor condenser and an indoor air handler. The two components are connected by a set of pipes called line sets. Unlike an air handler in a central air conditioning system, the air handler in a ductless mini split system can only deliver cooled air to one zone in your home. However, models are available with as many as 4 separate air handlers that are all connected to the same outdoor condenser, allowing more than one zone to be cooled.
Probably the most common reason St. Louis area homeowners would choose to install a ductless mini split system is to provide cooling to an addition to their home where adding ductwork doesn’t make sense. If you add a sunroom to your home, for example, you could install a ductless mini split system to provide cooling to that section of your home without having to install any additional ductwork.
The biggest advantage of installing a ductless mini split system is that it’s an unobtrusive and flexible alternative to a through-the-wall or window air conditioner. It is also energy-efficient because it avoids the energy that is normally lost in distributing conditioned air though a home’s ductwork.
The biggest disadvantage of a ductless mini split system is its cost. A ductless mini split system may cost more than a central air conditioner, depending on the situation, and it can only cool 1-4 sections of your home. Also, because the air handler must be mounted on the wall or ceiling, it doesn’t blend in as well as a central cooling system.
If you have any questions about a ductless mini split air conditioner, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.
Photo credit: Gary Jazz