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How Do Ductless Systems Work?

Closeup view about using some appliance such as air condition.One of our common recommendations for homeowners who are looking for a way to both heat and cool their homes more efficiently, and/or without the use of ductwork, is the ductless mini-split. This San Antonio, TX AC installation is ideal for certain types of homes and applications. For instance, if you’re putting in a room addition or adding air conditioning to a small home that doesn’t have room for ductwork, this system might be ideal.

But, how does ductless heating and cooling actually work? When people think of an HVAC system that doesn’t use ductwork, their minds typically go to boilers. However, ductless systems are forced-air systems that blow conditioned air throughout your living space. How is this possible without ducts?

If you know what kind of service your system needs, schedule it now or request an estimate!

The Core of a Ductless System

Ductless mini split systems are a type of heat pump. If you’re not familiar with them, a heat pump is an air conditioning system that can alter the direction in which it works to become a heating system. But when the heat pump is working as an AC system, it absorbs heat from indoors and moves it outdoors. A blower fan in the system sends the cooled indoor air throughout the ducts. When the heat pump switches to heating mode, the process is reversed. Now heat is absorbed from outside and brought indoors. The blower fan sends heated air into the ducts.

Okay, so we described the essentials—but still, we mentioned ducts, which a ductless system doesn’t have. To understand how a ductless system works, it helps to know how a window unit works.

Centralized Heating and Cooling from One System

You’ve likely seen a window AC unit at some time or another. They are particularly useful for apartment units without central cooling, and even some older office buildings. We do not recommend any home relying on them solely for cooling—at least, not efficient cooling, but they do help illustrate how a heat pump functions without ducts. A window air conditioning unit provides “point cooling.” This means its blower fan sends cooled air directly into the space without ducts.

It does this through conduits that contain refrigerant and a power supply that run from a single outdoor unit to multiple air handlers mounted on the walls of your home. Each air handler, which is installed in each room that will require cooling, and heating, contains a blower and a refrigerant coil. The refrigerant line and condensate line are put through a small hole in the wall behind the blower and connect to the outdoor unit we mentioned.

This provides you with the same “point cooling” that you get from window units, but with less space being taken up, and allowing you centralized heating and cooling from one system. The air handlers are unobtrusive, installed on walls typically above windows, and each can be operated separately from the others to appeal to the cooling and heating preferences of each member of your household.

Contact Riteway Service Company today to learn more about ductless systems and to schedule reliable air conditioning services!

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