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What is a Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner and when is it a Good Option for Your Home?

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ductless air conditioner

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.

What is 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.

When is a ductless mini split air conditioner a good option?

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.

Advantages and disadvantages of a ductless mini split air conditioner

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

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